A Whole New Classroom

Katie Powers

Unit Title:
A Whole New Classroom: Using Geometry to Create the Ideal Learning Space

Grade Level:
Grade 8-10

Subject Area:

Total Estimated Duration:
Eleven 48-minute class periods

A Whole New Classroom

A Whole New Classrom

Unit Lessons:
Lesson 1: Creating a Purposeful Classroom
Lesson 2: Designing the Ideal Learning Space

Background Knowledge:

  • A basic understanding of solving a simple algebraic equation
  • Some ability to work in teams and share responsibility for work
  • A knowledge of basic computer skills to manipulate a power point slide

August 2012

The Big Idea (global relevance)

Students at Winton Woods High School are the future citizens and leaders of our nation. They will fuel the job force and make critical decisions that will steer our nation and world. When these students have the opportunity to learn in a place that spurs them on to want to grow in knowledge and character.

In addition, the community can take pride in a new high school building. Moms, dads, business men and women will be more likely to want to get involved. This collaboration builds the relationship between the community and the students. As we grow in our positive interaction with the ones who support the public education system, there is a cycle of growth that can happen, where this better building helps foster learning, which produces better life-long learners, who will populate the community with whom they have built a good relationship through the school-community relationship that has been built. Those former students improve the workplaces and businesses and return to invest back into the school.

Essential Questions
  1. What kind of classroom will help all learners to learn best?
  2. What would that look like?
The Challenge

The students will create their ideal learning space, an environment where they would feel most enthusiastic to learn.

The Hook

The overall hook for this unit is that students will have the opportunity to participate in the development of the classrooms in their future high school.

Beyond developing classrooms, students will have exposure to professional engineers and designers as well as school board and community members. Through these experiences, students will catch a vision for possible future careers that are respectable, provide a substantial income, and make a positive impact on their community.

Guiding Questions
  1. Why do you think it's important to get a good education?
  2. Is there a way that you could learn better if the room looked and felt different?
  3. How does the engineering design process work in the designing of our classrooms?
  4. What does an architectural engineer do, what challenges are they paid to overcome, and what education is required?
  5. How does knowledge about angles help us to design a better learning space?
  6. Is there a way to have some students working in groups, while simultaneously having students working individually?
  7. What would that look like (as a blueprint)?
  8. What materials would we need to help this set-up be able to change to fit the needs of different learning goals?
  9. How will I present my Ideal Classroom to others in a clear and articulate way?

Engineering Design

Following the Challenge Based Learning framework, students will be presented with 3 activities throughout the Unit:

  1. Sketch the view of the street that is visible from the classroom window.
  2. Create a blueprint of the interior of the classroom.
  3. “Sell” their ideas to a panel of professionals from the community, using logical statements and technology delivery methods.
Unit Academic Standards & Assessments

B.1. Process
d. Use the language of mathematics to communicate increasingly complex ideas orally and in writing,
using symbols and notations correctly
B.1. Process
e. Make appropriate use of estimation and mental mathematics in computations and to determine the
reasonableness of solutions to increasingly complex problems
B.1. Process
f. Make mathematical connections among concepts, across disciplines, and in everyday experiences

B.1. Process
g. Demonstrate the appropriate role of technology (e.g., calculators, software programs) in mathematics (e.g., organize data, develop concepts, explore relationships, decrease time spent on computations after a skill has been established)

C.1. Logic and Proof
b. Use inductive reasoning to make conjectures and deductive reasoning to arrive at valid conclusions

D.1. Points, Lines, Planes, and Space
a. Identify and model plane figures, including collinear and noncollinear points, lines, segments, rays,
and angles using appropriate mathematical symbols

D.1. Points, Lines, Planes, and Space
b. Identify vertical, adjacent, complementary, and supplementary angle pairs and use them to solve problems (e.g., solve equations, use in proofs)
E1. Comparing Similar and Congruent Geometric Figures
c. Identify similar figures and use ratios and proportions to solve mathematical and real-world problems


Summative Assessment

  1. End of Unit Test: Students will take a test, which includes both multiple choice and extended response questions. The questions are drawn from the Quality Core Test bank, Ohio Graduation Test, as well as short answer questions connecting their final products with the standards.
  2. Presentation before a Panel: Community members, including school board members, will judge students presentation of their Power Point Posters, displayed by projecting the poster onto a large screen. Judges will offer students feedback for various aspects of their presentation and poster content and creativity. In addition, the teacher will evaluate each students’ presentation according to a predetermined rubric.
How would you make this a hierarchical unit?

After learning the basic terms and tools of geometry, students will be able to proceed into solving algebraic problems involving the angles.

This Unit is meant to inspire students to investigate a career in architectural engineering. Students may also consider interior design or city planning following this unit. Each of these careers requires application of geometry content learned in this unit as well as the geometry of three-dimensional shape and other topics to come in the 10th grade coursework.

Courses that would also further this learning include Foundations of Engineering, Business, Computer Design, and 2-Dimensional and 3-Dimensional Art.

Any future engineer should be strong in all high school math courses, through Calculus as well as an interest in the application of math in the sciences.