Welcome Letter


Dear Hands-On Geometry participant,

I look forward to working with you starting on July 20. Please read this message carefully, as it should help prepare you for our week together.

Our workshop will have approximately an hour per day, so a total of five hours. In order to make those hours productive, we will do some of the work in asynchronous "homework" time. You will be able to do that part at whatever time is convenient for you, hopefully before the next session. Some of that work will consist of puzzles and creative projects, so it might be suitable to do it with your kids, spouse, or whoever you live with. (Or, of course, by yourself.)

I'm hoping to make our workshop sessions as interactive as I know how, even though they will be conducted over Zoom. One thing that will make this possible is breaking you up into groups, and the use of Google Drive, which allows the members of a group to simultaneously work on a document, and to see other groups' work.

We won't have time for some of the things that usually happen in a workshop (chit-chat, introductions, and so on.) I'll make sure we'll have some Zoom time outside of our official time together, about 30 optional minutes either before or after the session. This will be a good time for socializing, for starting homework, for sharing your homework creations, or for asking me questions we didn't get to during the session.

 Here is what you need to do in preparation for the workshop:

-    Take a look at our Hands-On Geometry website.
There's a lot of information there. By the time the workshop starts, I'll have included crucial links on the Schedule page. You will absolutely need those to collaborate with other participants!

-   Introduce yourself using Flipgrid by July 13 (password: MathRocks)
Say a few words about yourself — what and where you teach, plus anything you want all of us to know. Institute-wide, there will be fifty of those introductions, so it's not likely any of us will watch all of them. I will watch the ones from the members of our group before Day 1. You might do the same, or wait till you are curious about someone, and watch it then.

-   Join our Slack workspace by July 13.
That will allow you to "talk" to each other and to me at your convenience outside of Zoom time. You can use Slack to collaborate on homework or to share your homework discoveries. You can also use it before July 20 to ask me questions that were not answered on the Hands-On Geometry website.

If you shared your US Mail address with Liz, you will soon receive a packet of manipulatives and handouts in the mail. You will need those during the workshop! However not everything is in that packet.

-    Documents
You will enjoy the workshop more, and get more out of it, if you wait until our time together to look at the packet documents. During the workshop, I will share links to additional documents which you can either print, or look at on your screen. (The links will be on the Schedule page.)

-    Manipulatives
You will receive tangrams, Geometry Labs templates, pentominoes, and supertangrams. Feel free to play with those when you get them. We are not sending you pattern blocks, as those would have drastically increased the cost of the workshop. If you can go to your school and borrow some pattern blocks, do it! Or you can purchase some to have at home. (You won't regret it: I periodically find excuses to play with mine, even though there are no children in my house. See Slack for a discount code.) Or you can use one of the excellent online pattern block applets. 

Well, that's all for now. See you on Slack, Flipgrid, and Zoom!

-- Henri
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