Common Questions We Are Asked

100_6099Visitors to Geometry in Construction at Loveland High School have been numerous.  Each group comes with many questions on how Geometry in Construction will look at their high school.  These same questions are often asked as we make presentations at conferences.  So, we thought it would be good for us to answer the most common questions.

How do I convince the math teacher/construction teacher to work with me or to work together?  The question is asked by Math, CTE, and/or Administration.

Getting teachers to see a need and then giving them permission to take a risk is key to convincing teachers to change what they currently do.  We speak from personal experience as we were in a similar situation when we began several years ago.  We saw a student need and decided to do something about it.  From the math teacher point of view, even our most gifted book learners struggled to apply their math in the real world environment.   This created the question, if they cannot apply their math then are they really STEM?  From the construction teacher perspective, the programs were being reduced or eliminated.  As a construction teacher, Geometry in Construction was the solution to job survival.

Schools can help teachers catch a vision by visiting a school that currently has a Geometry in Construction program.  When you are able to see students engaged in their math,  talk with the teachers, and see student success, it allows teachers/administration to visualize what this would look like on their campus.

Is Geometry in Construction aligned to the Common Core Math Standards?   The other version of the question, is Geometry in Construction a full rigorous Geometry class with all of the objectives?

Yes, Geometry in Construction is Common Core aligned and yes, it is a full rigorous geometry class. Math teachers are afraid of having their curriculum limited to only the trade math while some construction teachers will tell us their students don’t need all the rigorous geometry to build a house. Both sides have an element of truth. Geometry in Construction does include the trade math, but does not stop there and teaches all of the geometry concepts. Our students are career bound with some choosing the 4-year college track while others choose certificate programs, military, or direct to the work force after high school. Because most of our students do not know their exact career path, we feel we must prepare them for whatever path they choose after high school whether it be a white collar or blue collar career.

You can download the full Geometry in Construction Common Core alignment under the “Tools” tab at www.contextuallc.com

Do I have to build a house?

No. You decide the project based on your situation. They include:

  • Your level of knowledge.
  • The number of students enrolled in the program.
  • The needs of the community. What can you sell/provide?
  • Your funding.

We help you decide what project(s) would best fit your situation. Students just need a hands-on application of their mathematics.

Where do your ideas come from? How much time did you two spend creating this?

Our ideas come from each other. Literally, we spent hundreds of hours crosswalking the 2 subjects and creating lessons/activities.   When this question is asked, people are desiring to know if it is possible for them to create a similar contextualized class using other areas of Career & Technical Education or other math classes. The answer is yes. We always caution administrators that programs like Geometry in Construction cannot be created in a 2 week summer professional development. It takes a lot of time. It takes working closely with the other person. If either the math teacher or the CTE teacher creates by his/her self they miss large numbers of connections. The partnership must be in place for an effective program to be developed.

There is a free “class” on www.contextuallc.com (scroll down on the home page) for those who want to know about the process we used in creating Geometry in Construction. It is the same process we are currently using to create and teach the pilot classes of Algebra 1 in Materials, Products, Energy and Design.

Why don’t you sell the curriculum without the training? I cannot attend a training because of ………. but want the curriculum.

 We have tried selling the curriculum without the professional development. It did not work. Any curriculum can be lectured into the ground or changed to be very traditional. The vast majority of the teachers we have trained tell us the professional development is the most important part of the curriculum. They see the value of how the 2 subjects are comingled in the classroom.

The cost of the professional development and curriculum compares very favorably to other programs.   Once a teacher has attended the workshop, they can use the curriculum for their own students for as many years as they desire. There is no need for student texts as they are included in the curriculum. There is no yearly fee/additional expense as with some other programs. With many student textbooks costing $80+ each, the program is really less expensive than many other curriculums. It is equivalent to 20 “normal” math/construction textbooks.




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