Geometry problem solving

[quick lunchtime post]

In the last couple of days I found two really nice geometry problems online for my son. The first problem I saw (which was the 2nd one we did) came from a Michael Pershan question on Twitter:

I tend to not have great insight as to how a kid will approach a problem, but I do like seeing what happens in person. In this case, my son’s approach was different than mine:


The second problem was posted on twitter by Five Triangles.

As mentioned above, my son actually worked through this problem first (during the day yesterday). He made some interesting progress, but couldn’t quite get to the end. The first video shows the progress he made, and the second shows us working to the end of the problem.



I really enjoyed observing the problem solving process in both of these problems. It is far from clear to me that there’s a simple prescription for teaching problem solving, but working through problems like these ones gives plenty of good problem solving practice. I’m a firm believer that a strong base in mathematical problem solving helps you approach problems in areas outside of math, too, so I’m always looking for as many ways as possible to help build up that base. Thanks to Michael Pershan and to Five Triangles for sharing these problems.