The adults in the room may remember Geometry class as a pretty abstract activity. Lines, shapes, planes all existing on a piece of paper and in the mind. But, in Melissa Tusing’s classroom, students step onto the plane to explore concepts. As Mrs. Tusing introduces concepts like interior angles and alternate exterior angles, students rise from their seats and stand over line diagrams taped to the floor. They place post-it notes on the floor diagram, answering questions prompted by Mrs. Tusing and her SmartBoard presentation. With the help of Betsy DeWitt, Mrs. Tusing’s co-teacher, students that struggle get help with clues and prompts, eventually placing the post-it’s in the right place. The exercise is interactive, physical, and undeniably engaging.
But Mrs. Tusing and Mrs. DeWitt do not stop there. On the next day, they follow up with Dance Dance Transversal. Yep, you read that right! DDT is a take on the super-popular video game Dance Dance Revolution, and it uses that gameplay to help students learn the geometry vocabulary. While popular tunes like “Uptown Funk” and “Billie Jean” play, students hop to the correct positions on the line diagram, with each hop reinforcing the concept.
In a lesson like this, time flies and students find themselves surprised to discover that they are learning while laughing, smiling, and working together. It’s just another example of what Southview’s about!