It’s a shame that schools don’t teach kids geometry until 8th, 9th, or even 10th(!) grade.

One, because it’s an SAT subject they need to know.

Two, because in my experience, almost all students love geometry – ESPECIALLY younger students.

And three, because oftentimes it appeals to those who might not be enamored of computations and equations.

Institutions and textbooks really do need to bring back compass and straight edge *constructions* but I won’t hold my breath…. compasses are probably a legal liability!

Today, in the intense summer enrichment program which I teach, I had my semi-accelerated elementary students drawing triangles and quadrilaterals with a ruler on a blank sheet of paper and not only were they completely engaged by it….I’m sure they also learned a ton.

  • Draw a triangle
  • Turn it into a trapezoid
  • Draw an isosceles triangle
  • Draw a larger isosceles triangle with the same base
  • Turn the triangles into trapezoids.  What kind are they?
  • Draw the quadrilaterals as best as you can
  • Now draw the quadrilaterals by first drawing the diagonals
  • Draw bisecting diagonals
  • Draw equal bisecting diagonals
  • Draw perpendicular diagonals
  • Draw perpendicular bisecting diagonals
  • Draw perpendicular bisecting equal diagonals
  • Etc.

While there are an increasing number of *mathematical manipulatives* out there for teaching geometry, I don’t think anything more than paper and pencil is really needed.

Also that book Geometry Revisited is truly fantastic.  Guys on my high school math team used to fight over the lone copy that our math coach had.

But today….all that cool geometry, and MUCH MORE, is available online, on Wikipedia!