Success Geometry is a geometry course that has been slimmed down and broken into small, bite-sized pieces and designed for students with extra learning challenges where processing math is difficult. The lessons in Success Geometry typically introduce just one skill at a time in an easy-to-understand format, with frequent reminders and review built in. The goal of the course is for students to experience success in geometry by removing math anxiety and building math confidence, not only by teaching geometry concepts and reviewing algebra skills, but also by teaching skills and habits needed for learning the abstract math taught in high school and beyond.
This course is specifically for students who have a learning or processing challenge that causes them to struggle with math, not for students who have learning challenges but are gifted in math. Diagnoses for these types of students can be (but are not limited to) dyscalculia, ADD/ADHD (but not gifted in math), high functioning autism (but not gifted in math), or other similar processing or learning challenges. However, a diagnosis is not required to determine if your child needs this. Often, a gut feeling from a parent is enough. If your child really, REALLY struggles with and has not experienced success in algebra and other math, then this course is right for them.
Success Geometry has cut out the non-essential geometry topics to make room for focusing on the topics needed to successfully continue on to algebra 2. While this is not considered a “college-prep” course, the goal is to build math confidence and good learning habits in the student that will help them should they desire to pursue college at some point.
A student who completes Success Geometry will have the geometry basics they need to move on to Success Algebra 2 and then Success Advanced Algebra & Trigonometry. By the end of these courses, a student will have enough math credits to graduate high school, as well as the skills needed to take math portions of standardized tests and transition to higher study if desired.
Success Geometry Includes:
1-year access to our comprehensive Success Geometry teaching videos. These are short, to-the-point instructional videos covering essential geometry topics. The course also includes access to the Solutions Library where every homework and test problem is worked out and explained on video.
Student Textbook & Solutions Manual
Our spiral bound student textbook is consumable, which allows students to easily follow along, take notes, and work problems exactly as they see them in the video lessons. This avoids the frustration of copy errors and makes handling and reading easier. The spiral bound solutions manual works out every single homework problem in detail so both students and parents can check work and accurately assess progress.
Chapter Tests & Solutions
This packet contains two versions of tests for each chapter (forms A and B), allowing a student to re-test if he or she needs further practice on concepts. The corresponding solutions manual works out each problem for each version of the test in detail. The 3-hole punch packet format allows parents, tutors, or teachers to easily disperse individual test forms as needed and accurately check work afterward.
The parent guide provides parents with all the information they need to confidently guide their student through Success Geometry, whether the student needs the parent to be fully hands on, mostly hands off, or somewhere in between. It provides pacing guides, grading suggestions, and grade recording pages.
How can I tell if Success Geometry is right for my student?
This is for the student who really just does not “get” math at all. These students struggle to understand the bigger picture of what is going on. They typically cannot remember lessons they just learned (even just moments ago), and they easily get overwhelmed and melt down when multiple steps are required in a problem.
The course is written under the premise that the student easily forgets everything taught, tires quickly in a lesson, struggles with organization, struggles to understand a seemingly simple math lesson, and only has limited basic math skills.
This was designed for the student who not just struggles understanding math, but seems to have an extra level of challenge that a lot of other students don’t seem to deal with. It was written for students with either diagnosed or suspected dyscalculia, dyslexia, ADD/ADHD (where math is difficult to understand), other similar neurological challenges, or just high math anxiety. This is not designed for students with ADD/ADHD or neurological challenges that are gifted in math (though they could certainly take the course and excel in it).
This course would also be good for a student that may be fairly neurologically typical, but perhaps has had some very bad experiences with math and just needs a recovery year where math is not a struggle that allows progress to be made and confidence to be rebuilt.
Is my student ready for Success Geometry?
Algebra 1 is a recommended prerequisite for this course. Algebra concepts are reviewed in the context of geometry but not specifically taught as they are in algebra 1.
Is this course completely stand-alone?
Yes. This course is designed to take a struggling student through an entire geometry course without the need for a tutor or additional instructor.
Where would my student go after taking Success Geometry?
After completing Success Geometry, students will be equipped to move on to the next high school math course, most often algebra 2.
Denison Algebra is creating a "Success Series" that includes Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 and Advanced Algebra & Trigonometry designed in the same fashion to support students who struggle with extra learning challenges. However, students will have the skills and habits in their math tool belts to be able to finish high school math with any curriculum.
Does Success Geometry teach traditional, formal proofs?
There are many differing views in the math teaching world about this, ranging from "proofs are a waste of time" to "proofs are absolutely essential," and everything in between.
While proofs have their value and are used in the professional math world, students do not write formal proofs in my course. Throughout the course, I teach students to use logic and the rules, definitions, theorems, and postulates of geometry to work problems, but we do not write formal traditional proofs. There are several reasons for this.
1) When writing a proof, there is no "one answer" for the proof. If a proof differs from the answer key, it needs to be closely examined. Often, I find students will take a different, unexpected, or less direct route to a correctly written proof, but rarely discover this by just comparing to an answer key. This can be very discouraging for students, causing them to hate geometry or to unnecessarily lose self confidence in their math ability.
2) Formal proof writing is never used anywhere in any math courses going forward, nor is it tested on standardized tests. This was not my main reason for excluding formal proof writing, but it did play a part in my decision.
Having said all of this, I am not anti-proof, and it does have value. But for a typical homeschool geometry student (the audience for this course), I have found proof-writing to be very counter-productive.
In 20+ years of teaching math (11 of them in public school), I did not see any positive difference in student performance in the years I taught heavy proof writing vs. the years I taught little to no proof writing (I experimented both ways). In fact, proof writing actually tended to have negative effects on the students (they pretty much universally hate writing proofs, which makes them hate geometry and sometimes math altogether).
There are excellent teachers on every point along the traditional geometry proof spectrum, but this is the reasoning behind excluding them from my courses.
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