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# Key to Geometry: Is this clear to you?

I was thinking of getting Key to Geometry and seeing which level to start with. Â So I view the sample page for level 1 and I am a little puzzled by this question.Â

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Please tell me if you can understand question 1 on page 37:

http://www.keycurriculum.com/docs/PDF/Key-To-Workbooks/Key-To-Geometry_Sample-Pages.pdf

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When they say "the ray through each segment" do they mean the ray that would be there if in place of each segment we drew a ray?

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That ist he closet interpretation I can make that would make sense. Â  But then why do they say "draw a small arc" - do they mean that you should draw 7 small arcs, one through each segment (I mean through each invisible ray that would have extended from the segment, had the segment been a ray)? Â

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This is the kind of stuff that I have to make sure is very clear before handing over to dd. Â

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She seems fond of geometry but one thing she does NOT like are worksheets with unclear instructions - this is why she asks me to make all her worksheets. Â I am hoping to find at least SOME storebought stuff that we can use since there just seem to be so many interesting things out there. Â  Key to Geometry seemed to be pretty no-nonsense, substantial and non-patronizing (dd is picky!) so I am hoping it will work for us.Â
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Also if you have any idea of "grade level" corresponding to each level of this series pls do share. Â So far it looks like we will be fine starting with level 1

I have no trouble figuring it out, nor did my 10-year-old, but we immediately understood that it was about using small arcs from a drawing compass to measure the relative lengths of the various line segments, something we're both familiar with. I don't think the wording is terribly clear but the previous page has set up the procedure for comparing line segments with a compass quite nicely. If you've got a really literal kid, well, the slightly vague terminology might be annoying. I mean, the little arcs aren't going to actually *intersect* the line segments if they're shorter than than the reference segment. The arcs will intersect the (implied) ray, but not "through the segment" as the wording says. Doesn't annoy or confuse me and my kid, but we're the sort of people who skim instructions to get the idea, rather than being precise and literal.

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No idea about grade level. I've seen curricula that are otherwise pretty solid delay the introduction of geometric construction to the 10th grade level (maybe they don't trust younger kids with pointy objects?!), but I've also seen it in interest and enrichment resources targeting 3rd to 5th-graders. It's not necessarily at an 8th or 10th grade level of difficulty, but that's where many curriculum writers decide to put it. Dexterity with compass and straight-edge comes pretty easily to the 10-and-ups in my dd's art class, but is not necessarily easy for some under-10s.Â

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Didn't realize Key Curriculum owned Geometer's Sketchpad now. I really like that program. We don't use it extensively, but for certain "observe the sum of these angles while moving this point about in real time" type exploration it can't be beat.

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Miranda

What the directions want you to do is put the compass point at point A and pencil end at point B.Â  Now draw anÂ  arc the same distance from point A as line AB at each line segment.Â  Or draw the entire circle with a radius the length of line AB.Â  Which lines are longer, shorter, or the same length (congruent) as line AB?
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What would probably help to make things clear is the explanations at the beginning of the lesson.Â  The sample is only of the practice problems themselves not the lesson itself.

Right. Â So that is clear. Â 10Q/

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Has anyone else used this series ... I heard about it from this board so I am sure someone is using them. Â Wondering if I should get the entire series or try one book at a time. Â Any comments or suggestions? Â Obviously getting the whole thing is easier / cheaper IF we use all of them.

Key to Geometry was one of my favorite math books as a child. I loved historical cover illustrations and the discovery method, but I especially loved all the white space on the page. To me, that was much better than paragraphs of explanations and examples. Visually calming, plus it helped me puzzle things through myself.

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I got all of the workbooks, and am glad I did. They compact easily--there are reviews every so often, and a longer review at the end, so it's simple to do every few pages, or each new thing once, and cheap enough that it wouldn't have made sense to buy just some. For a child who is new to compass and straightedge work, it's useful to have the easy exercises in the early books to practice on.

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I've only looked at the answers a few times. Mostly it seemed pretty straightforward. If I had to do it again, I might buy used, or ask around for help.

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It's also useful to have a real straightedge, unmarked and shorter than a regular ruler (or just a regular ruler cut off) so that it fits easily on the page. And very, very much worth getting a reasonably good compass like the Alvin Bow (around \$10 from Dick Blick, plus lots of lead; the cheaper one was an exercise in frustration for DS).

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Heather

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