In Valerie Folk’s Geometry classes, students are taking their knowledge from inside of the classroom and applying it in surprising ways to the world around them. They are doing this by utilizing their geometry skills to figure out the size of COVID-19 social distancing circles and then calculating how they should be placed.
For the initial step, Valerie talked to her students about what shape formed around each of them when they were sitting six feet apart. After coming to the conclusion that the most accurate shape is a circle, they discussed how they would have to calculate the circumference of the circles before laying some string down in and outdoor setting to mark the boundaries. The students utilized their existing geometry skills to come up with the formula and then they calculated the circumference together. They measured out their yarn and placed their circles on the ground with themselves at the center.
The students were very interested in the activity and enjoyed the opportunity to physically step outside of the classroom while remaining intellectually engaged with the work. After they placed their circles down close together, they realized that the circles could even overlap while maintaining proper social distancing and adjusted them accordingly.
While this activity was initially conducted when day students were the only ones attending class in person, Valerie is planning on repeating the experiment with boarders this week. She said that “it has been very nice to find ways to safely be with students outdoors doing an activity like this.”