Friday, August 5, 2011

Geometry Resources for Ages 8-Teen

This is my geometry round-up for the near future. I'll add to this as our geometry explorations grow.

First, what kiddo used this summer:
String, Straight-edge & Shadow the Story of GeometryHands-On Geometry: Constructions with Straightedge and Compass, Grades 4-6Savage Shapes (Murderous Maths)
String, Straight-edge and Shadow: the Story of Geometry
Hands-On Geometry: Constructions with Straightedge and Compass, Grades 4-6
Savage Shapes (Murderous Maths)

He loved Savage Shapes (the edition we have is called Vicious Circles and Savage Shapes) for its tongue-in-cheek writing style. Savage Shapes may be paired with trigonometry-themed Fiendish Angletron for fun reading. Both are from the Murderous Maths series and will likely be cheaper if purchased from The Book Depository (free shipping worldwide).

He also liked Hands-On Geometry for the step-by-step guidance provided for constructions. He took about 30 days (30-40 minute sessions a day) to complete the workbook.

For creating constructions, kiddo used the Alvin introductory bow compass (pictured here with other construction tools and patty paper).

A lesson from Hands-on Geometry
String, Straight-edge and Shadow is what you'd call a living math book and introduces one to how the ancients discovered angles, patterns in nature and the use of geometry with nothing more than string, a straight edge and shadows! I suspect though that the kiddo didn't appreciate the book as much as I did (because it was an assigned read lol).

A page-spread from String, Straight-edge and Shadow

Coming soon...

Patty Paper GeometryHe's expressed interest to try Patty Paper Geometry next and once he completes algebra, we'll jump into this book with the required box of patty paper (the translucent square paper used in between frozen burger patties so they won't stick together). You should be able to find the set for cheaper here. Note: I've heard that the student book isn't needed in a homeschool setting.

I have to say I'm quite excited! It will be a very tactile approach to geometry with lots of folding and rotating and sliding of patty paper. All the better to understand angles, transformations etc!

A few pages from Patty Paper Geometry. Zoom in for details.
Once he has good experience with hands-on geometry, we might explore proof-based geometry using either Art of Problem Solving's Introduction to Geometry, or the Jurgensen, Brown, Jurgensen Geometry text. I say 'might' because things are always unpredictable here at FunSchooling Academy (nothing ever goes 100% according to plan you know?). If you're interested in using the Jurgensen text, solutions are available here and here or you might wish to purchase Duke TiP's video lessons CDrom and workbook set.

Along with the texts, kiddo will be sharpening his skills in Geometer's Sketchpad (visit the Learning Center for teaching ideas using this software) and the free GeoGebra download. I don't think he needs a graphing calculator yet and when he does, I'll update this post.

Other geometry resources that may be of interest:
Books and manipulatives:
Right Start Geometry panels
Zome Geometry
Expeditions in Your Classroom Geometry
Life of Fred Geometry

Online/ video courses:
Derek Owens (uses Harold Jacob's Geometry, 3rd ed.)
Kinetic Books

The Great Courses:
High School Geometry
Mathematics from the Visual World
Shape of Nature


  1. Wow, really good recommendations again! Thanks, Suji! I particularly like those that tie in with history. Coincidentally, I'll be introducing Geometry to Tiger in September using the Sir Cumference series.

  2. Thanks Neo! Have you already read the Math Adventure books like What's Your Angle Pythagoras? Good stuff!

  3. No, I haven't. Sir Cumference is the first of the Math Adventure books that we are using, although I am certainly eyeing the others in the series for future use!


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