Analyzing Shapes- Open Middle Problem

Directions: Using the diagram, fill in the blanks with the names of the shapes to make each statement true.


__________ has more sides than __________

__________ has the same sides as __________

__________ has more vertices than __________


Note: you can choose to have students reuse shapes or use them only once.


Describing Shapes- Open Middle Problem

Directions: Using the following picture, complete the following sentences (using the phrases: above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to)

Shapes with  no names.jpg


The cube is ___________ the sphere and ___________ the triangle.

The hexagon is __________ the pentagon and __________ the circle.


Use the shape names to complete the following statements:

The ________ is next to the ________ and above the __________.

The ________ is beside the __________, above the ___________, and below the ___________.

My NCTM Presentation

In case you, like the rest of the mathematical community, was at Jo’s presentation Thrusday @12:30, here is my powerpoint for my presentation at NCTM.


Some big ideas from it:

Change the way you question to promote student thinking and conversations.  This is my new thinking kick, and now I am constantly looking at problems and trying to determine “how can I ask this better?”

Once we ask student for an answer, we ask them to stop thinking.  They become focused on one goal, and will no longer notice and wonder to make connections to mathematical meanings and possible solution paths.

Please try out an  Open Middle problem.  They can fit so seamlessly into your curriculum.  I use them in flexible ways: as warm ups, practice problems, exit slips and for formal assessments.  When you are assigning homework for students, examine your text’s problems and then check out our site- see if you can get them to practice in a more meaningful way that promotes understanding without burying them in paperwork.

It was a great experience presenting for the first time at the national conference, I really enjoyed NCTM and would like to thank everyone that made the conference possible.  I am definitely submitting a proposal for D.C.