Teaching Proofs with Proof Cut-Out Activities

12 September 2015

So you want to know how to rock teaching proofs?  Proofs cut-out activities are hands down my favorite activity for teaching proofs.

Teaching Geometry Proofs with Cut-Out Activities | mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com

I’ve found that at the very beginning, students need lots of modeling to see how to solve proofs.  Then, when I release them to practice on their own, they often stare at the page.  That’s where cut-out activities come in.  Basically, they are a low stress way for students to practice.  Students kind of have a “word bank” with options to choose from and if they make a mistake they don’t have to erase a million times.


Here’s how they work:

  • I give my students three or four proofs with all the statements and reasons needed for the proofs, jumbled together.
  • The students cut all of them out and sort them into proofs.  Since they’re not writing anything, they can move the statements and reasons around quickly and easily.  
  • If students are struggling, I give them a sheet with hints (included in every proofs cut-out).  Usually, the hints page is enough to help them figure everything out themselves.
  • While students are working, I walk around, check their work, and try to clear up misconceptions.

Teaching Geometry Proofs with Cut-Out Activities | mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com

Teaching Geometry Proofs with Cut-Out Activities | mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com

Proofs cut-outs make it easier for students to make mistakes.  There’s no writing and erasing and writing and erasing and erasing while they’re learning.  Students can easily manipulate the statements and reasons with no record of mistakes.  In my classes, this has totally eliminated students staring off into space and feeling overwhelmed.

Teaching Geometry Proofs with Cut-Out Activities | mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com

Teaching Geometry Proofs with Cut-Out Activities | mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com

I have a few proof cut-out activities in my Teachers pay Teachers store.  Try one out; it will help your students!

geometry-proofs
Introductory Geometry Proofs Cut-Out Activity

geometry-proofs
Parallel Lines with Transversals Proofs Cut-Out Activity

geometry-proofs
Parallel and Perpendicular Lines Proofs Cut-Out Activity

geometry-proofs
Triangle Congruence Proofs Cut-Out Activity

geometry-proofs
Triangle Congruence and CPCTC Proofs Cut-Out Activity

geometry-proofs
Geometry Proofs Cut-Out Activity Bundle

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You may also be interested in:

introduction-to-proofs
How I Teach the Introduction to Proofs

algebraic-properties-of-equality-interactive-notebook
Algebraic Properties of Equality Interactive Notebook Page

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Bellwork Keeps Me Sane

parallel-lines-converse-theorems
How I Teach Parallel Lines Converse Theorems

2 comments:

  1. I think this activity is a great idea! I am preparing to enter the education field and am looking around at lesson ideas. I am a big fan of using manipulatives to keep students engaged and make a lesson hands-on. Especially with a topic like proofs, where many students come in with a negative inclination already. I was wondering, is there any way you mix it up for students of differing abilities? Such as strategically pairing students of different abilities together or having more advanced proofs on hand for groups that finish early?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do adjust for students of different levels. I have "cheat sheets" for each activity that lower level students can use as an outline to help solve the proofs. I also adjust by having students work alone or with a partner. In class, I typically have every student work with a partner. For this activity, I try to match them up with a partner of similar ability level. Then, for my students that struggle, I give them the "cheat sheet". If students finish early, I let them start that night's homework.

    ReplyDelete

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