Some Geometry Homework Help For You
High school geometry is a strange creature. Students who have traditionally excelled in math may suddenly find themselves needing extra help with their geometry homework, even though in the past they sailed through their Algebra assignments with no problem.
On the other hand, many students who have struggled with past math courses are convinced that they just can’t do math. All of a sudden they surprisingly find themselves understanding the principles of high school geometry and are elated that they can finally succeed in a math course!
In my 29 years of teaching high school geometry I have seen both of these scenarios played out over and over again. What makes this strange course so different from other math courses? And what are some strategies that can help frustrated students master this course that sometimes seems so perplexing? Here are some of the answers:
A traditional high school geometry course is about logic. It is abstract. It is not what I call “cookbook mathematics” where one is given a recipe and merely has to follow that recipe in solving every problem.
Geometry is not about a lot of drill and practice. It is about critical thinking, learning concepts and principles and knowing when and how to apply them. It is true that previous Algebra courses have required critical thinking skills as well, but not to the extent that geometry requires them.
Just realizing that geometry requires a different way of looking at things should help you overcome some of your anxiety and confusion However, as you work at honing these critical thinking skills in high school geometry, there are some simple, straight forward things that you can also do to help ensure your success in geometry.
Learn all the terms and definitions as they are presented. This is an absolutely essential. The same goes for postulates and theorems.
And don’t just memorize them; as a matter of fact you don’t have to memorize them word for word. But make sure you have a very clear understanding of what each term means. I often told my students “You can’t expect to solve a problem about a scalene triangle if you don’t know what a scalene triangle is.” Develop your geometry vocabulary.
Don’t rush through your geometry homework. Your goal shouldn’t be to ‘just get it done’ so that you are finished with it but to really understand it. Before you tackle the assigned problems, review your notes from class and look over the corresponding material in your textbook.
As you work through the homework problems, check your answers with those provided in the back of the book. If you have something wrong, go back and rethink it. If you still can’t figure it out, put a star or check mark by that problem to remind you to ask the teacher about it the next time the class meets.
When you have finished your homework assignment, think just a little more! Resist the urge to immediately flip your book closed and put your work away. Spend just a few minutes looking back over the problems and thinking about what you had to do on each one.
Developing this habit of reflecting on your work can reap huge benefits in understanding and remembering important concepts. The more you understand and remember from each assignment, the less you have to study and review when it comes exam time.
One important final note…if you are experiencing frustration with your high school geometry course, please remember that this is very common, especially early in the course. You must realize that most students do get past the confusion and frustration if they don’t give up.
Practice the techniques I have presented here, continue to work hard, and even though it takes longer for some than others, that light bulb should eventually come on for you!
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