Does your school district provide teachers with adequate resources for teaching Geometry? Do they provide a textbook to use as a teaching resource? I did not have a textbook for most of my years teaching Geometry. And, while I appreciated the pedagogical freedom of not being tied to a book, it would have been handy to have something. Eventually, my district did adopt a textbook and I was grateful to have a tool to supplement all the things I had already created to help me teach the content, but it was certainly not a tool that I could use exclusively. I had one colleague who was overly thankful and repeatedly said they were glad to finally have a “curriculum.” This was confusing to me and it prompted a discussion about the function of the textbook.
So, what is the function of a textbook? Let’s first clarify what it is NOT. A textbook is not a curriculum. It is not a set of standards. It is not a pacing guide. A textbook IS a tool to supplement the learning process. It can be used as a guide for learning and it can provide a set of practice problems.
Using a textbook as a tool, along with other effective teaching tools can be very helpful for students and teachers. But, what do teachers do when we do not have one? We create the tools. We create teaching materials and student resources and all the things that make the learning come alive! Which is what I did when I was asked to teach Geometry with no provided materials. Enter: my Full-Year Geometry Bundle.
Piece by piece and unit by unit, I worked to create meaningful resources to help me teach and help my students learn. I wrote bell work problems, quizzes, guided notes, tests, and created word walls, practice worksheets, and activities. Read on to find more about each set of resources that I used to help me teach Geometry effectively and efficiently.
Teacher Planning/Teaching Materials
One of the most challenging parts of HS Geometry is all the new vocabulary. Set your students up for success by giving them lots of scaffolding and opportunities to learn all of it. I created these word cards and accompanying vocabulary graphic organizers so that students master vocabulary and in turn, they may access the content.
Filling your walls with content-specific decor is helpful for students to find success in Geometry by allowing them to visualize the big picture of each unit. I created a set of content-related decor for each unit of geometry. This resource provides you with printable pages to create a bulletin board of what concepts will be learned in each unit. I also created a sample board that you can use as an example.
Check out the bundle of concept maps here.
Who enjoys creating effective Bell Work questions every day? No teacher ever! This full-year set of Geometry Bell Work Prompts is the answer to all your problems! Also called Bell Ringers, Warm-ups, Entrance Tickets, and Do-Nows, these prompts are perfect for getting your geometry students thinking mathematically. I created 139 days of bell ringers, with each having 1-10 problems. And because I like to mix up the format I give it to the kids, there are two versions: a PowerPoint that you can present or printable PDFs with 2-4 per page.
I believe in students using paper and pencil to learn math. I believe in students writing their observations, thoughts, and questions on paper to learn math. Additionally, I believe students take forever to sketch geometry figures in their notes. 🙂 So, I created guided notes that helped students learn geometry. Students save time and paper by providing them with these note templates. They essentially create their own textbook in their interactive notebook.
One printed page is equal to two student pages, but it is more than just printing 2:1. The pages are designed to include three sections. The main section has guided notes with definitions and examples. The side section has extra material, guided practice, or additional tips/strategies. The bottom section is to be used last and lets students have a chance to attempt the geometry independently. This means no wasted paper. There are no leftover scraps or large sections of notebook paper that don’t get used.
When Covid hit, all teachers found themselves in a situation of needing more options for how we reach students. Whether we were virtual, in-person, or hybrid, presenting information to all students became more difficult. And, then we were additional students missing school for quarantine and worse, illness. Even though I did not love teaching geometry with PowerPoint presentations, I found they had a place and a purpose in the learning environment. So, I created a PP to accompany each set of guided INB notes.
STUDENT TOOLS/PRACTICE MATERIALS
Vocabulary is such an important part of mastering Geometry…so why not make it fun? And as you read above, I love to frontload a unit with the vocabulary so students can access the content. After each unit test, I give students the vocabulary word search for the next unit so that students can begin to familiarize themselves with the new terms before they begin to use them.
Each word search set I created comes in 3 options, so teachers can get the best use of the puzzle for their students. They are also great to leave when out with a substitute! Check out all the word search puzzles here!
Task Cards are the perfect balance of engagement and rigorous practice! These activities are great for high school geometry students because it breaks up the monotony of boring worksheets or textbook practice! This big bundle of task cards includes 29 sets (668 cards)! And each set of my task cards includes a link to a Google Form self-checking version!
BOOM Cards are a super fun and engaging way to practice Geometry Skills! Boom Cards are digital task cards that are self-checking so your students get immediate feedback. They work on an iPad, Chrome Book, Kindle Fire, other devices, or even your phone! This activity is perfect for distance learning. New to Boom Cards? Click this link to play a few sample cards: SAMPLE BOOM CARDS Also, I have an entire blog post devoted to Boom Cards that you can read here! See all 29 sets of Geometry Boom Cards here.
Traditionally, choice boards have been used for big projects or assessments with elaborate options and rubrics created for each option. We think of options like writing a song or poem, creating a PowerPoint presentation, making a video, etc. And these things are great, but choice boards do not have to be this involved. Any set of options students get to choose from is a choice board. Bottom line – if you are giving students a choice, it’s a choice board. Students love them. Why do they prefer them?
- FUN. Students find choice boards more fun than traditional practice.
- PERSONALIZED LEARNING. Choice boards personalize the work for them and they feel a real ownership of the work.
- PERSEVERANCE. Often, if a student starts a problem and they get stuck, they will give up. But with another option there, students will try a different one.
- MOTIVATES THEM TO DO MORE. When students are offered a choice, they will often choose to do more than the minimum requirement.
Geometry students will enjoy these practice activities because they add an element of fun with a holiday-themed color-by-number worksheet. These are perfect to celebrate holidays in the classroom while still working on content. These are also wonderful practice activities to leave with a substitute as they can be done independently with little prep! Check them out here!
These half-page assessments over geometry skills and concepts are great checks for understanding to assess student progress, inform instruction, and save teachers time! These formative assessments are formatted as short quizzes with an answer key for each one.
Exit tickets are wonderful formative assessments, but if I did not pre-plan the exit ticket and have it ready to go, I would neglect this great resource for teaching geometry. And, it’s hard for teachers to find time to create meaningful prompts every day. These exit slips are done for you for the year and each day includes a “Rate My Understanding” section so students can assess their confidence with each skill. I know this is a tool most teachers struggle to use, so I wrote a post about how to use them efficiently here. See all the exit tickets here!
Hate creating tests? Me too. But, when you aren’t provided with resources for teaching geometry, you have to. So, I did! These tests are all aligned to the content throughout the units and naturally, there are two versions!
Why is it helpful to have two versions that assess the same content? Two versions of the test can be used in a variety of ways to meet the needs of your classroom and students:
- Pre/Post Tests
- Version A & B to reduce student copying
- Study Guide and Test
- Test and Retake
What are the types of questions used on the assessment? Each unit test includes:
- Vocabulary Matching
- Multiple Choice
- Short Answer
- Open Response
They are also editable and come with a key! Want to check them out? See them here!
WHAT OTHER TEACHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THESE RESOURCES FOR TEACHING GEOMETRY
Thank you for your interest in these tools for teaching geometry! Please reach out to me by leaving a comment below if you have any questions. If you would like to see the full year of resources for teaching geometry at a highly discounted bundle price, click the button below! And, happy teaching!