Protractors, Protractors, Protractors!

Today, we reviewed all that we have been working on so far in our protractor unit. This is one of my favorite units to teach and most of my students really enjoy it because it’s very hands-on.

To start the review, I presented a short mini lesson by displaying slides with a few different protractor angles. The first three slides, we reviewed classifying angles as either acute, obtuse, and right.  Then, we found the degrees of each angle.  I ask my students to always classify first, so that if they write down obtuse and write an acute degree or vice versa, they know to go back and look to correct the mistake.

The next section we continued to classify and find the degrees of each angle. However, the angles were set to 5˚ increments.  We really went over the 85˚ angle because many of my students will automatically say 95˚.  We used this as an example of why it is important to classify the angle first and a way to check your answer.  This was a lightbulb moment for a few of my students. 

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We continued to move to two more difficult angles I find my students have trouble with.  Plus, this is almost always a question in some form on the state test.  One is set to 89˚ and the other is set at 91˚.  As usual, some of my students answer the opposite for each of those during the lesson. This is why we practice these many times to ensure student understanding.

Another difficult angle for my students is when the angles are not set at 0˚.  The next several slides are offset at 10˚ and 5˚ increments. I didn’t not show anything with 1˚ increments on the offset angles as it is not required in 4th grade.

Finally, we talked about complementary and supplementary angles.  I teach these using a tape/strip diagram to find the missing side.  This is a fairly easy concept for students once they understand they will always be subtracting from 90˚ or 180˚ depending on the which angle.

When everyone was ready, I introduced the new Protractor Pursuit Game. My students named the game!!  We went over the instructions and the kids were excited to play.  This was great practice for the kids and they seemed to really enjoy figuring out the different angles.  There are 48 different angle playing cards that are mixed at the 10˚, 5˚, 1˚, and offset angles.  The Protractor Pursuit cards are all complementary or supplementary angles that students solve when they land on a protractor space. 

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After about 40 minutes of playing the game, I had the kids put away the game and return to their seats.  I gave each student an exit ticket to make sure I do not need to pull anyone to work on. It was a short 6 question sheet and I am happy to say, I only had two students that need a little extra practice with me. I always encourage my students to leave me a note about how they are doing. This takes all the guesswork out of my job and the student’s learn to advocate for themselves!

Now, we move onto multiple angles on a protractor and multi-step problem solving.

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