“This is SO Frustrating!” (2/9/15)

We’re in the middle of our coordinate geometry unit and today I gave the students a few problems from the Open Middle geometric properties section, the awesome website put together by Robert Kaplinsky, Nanette Johnson, and Bryan Anderson. While the problems all involved concepts we’d been discussing (parallel and perpendicular lines, distance, etc.), they were definitely a higher DOK level than we’ve been using. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to give these problems to the students, because they need to practice with these types of problems. Students jumped right in and started trying a bunch of different strategies while trying to work the problems out. At one point one of my students sighed and said, “This is SO frustrating.” To which I of course replied, “Good. It’s good to be frustrated sometimes.” I need to be better about finding these types of rich problems, that are accessible but “frustrating,” and giving them to my students on a more regular basis. Thanks for the great work Open Middle!

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2 thoughts on ““This is SO Frustrating!” (2/9/15)

  1. Very cool to read. Have you tried out the Open Middle worksheet? I have found it to be helpful in shifting the conversation to a growth mindset so that frustration doesn’t become a bad thing and is more like perseverance.

    1. I haven’t yet but that’s great idea! Luckily for me, this class really enjoys challenging problems and the statement wasn’t made in an “I give up” kind of way, and the student got right back into solving the problems right after. It’s great seeing their perseverance on problems like this.

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