We’ve been sorting students into teams on the first day of each unit this year. After the team sort for Dilations, we were motivated to again make the cards challenging and interesting.

We went to the cafeteria so that students would have plenty of room to find their teams. I told them that we have 6 teams and 30 students.

I overhead the following:

- I’ve just got two sides.
- Am I supposed to calculate the side or the angle?
- I’m noticing we both have 60-30 triangles.
- You would have to find the hypotenuse, and you would have to find the leg.
- Do you have 33 degrees?
- We think we have a team: two sides and an x.
- Who has an x, an angle, and a hypotenuse?
- Do you have the included leg or the opposite leg?
- Is everybody here today?

Eventually, all teams sorted themselves.

From the beginning, students began to **notice** when we can use the Pythagorean Theorem and when we can’t.

Students began to **notice** the difference between the opposite leg of the acute angle of a right triangle and the included leg.

Students began to **notice** when we were looking for the angle of a right triangle instead of one of the sides.

Students began to **notice** special right triangles.

Yesterday, we sorted into teams for our circles unit.

Students began to **notice** the difference between central angles and inscribed angles (even though they don’t know the names of them yet).

Students began to **notice **the difference between diagrams with two chords and two secants (even though they don’t know the definition of a chord versus a secant).

Students began to **notice** the difference between diagrams with tangents only and diagrams with a secant and a tangent.

Just in case you want to use or edit, you can find all of our team sorting cards here.

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Team Sorting – Right Triangles & Circles”