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High school mathematics teacher Derek Boyd leads his 10th grade geometry class through a hands-on measurement activity and explains over a series of short interviews the process through which he and his students problem-solve, in this media gallery from WGBH.

Derek Boyd introduces a problem in which students need to work out the dimensions of a staircase in their school with limited tools. He reviews with students what they will need to know to approach and solve the problem and supports them as they work in teams to take measurements.

Mr. Boyd describes the topic and problem students would be working on during class. The task he describes asks students to get information that is not easily accessed with the tools they have. Students have to figure out how to use the mathematics of trigonometry that they had reviewed in class.

Mr. Boyd admits that he was not sure at first how his students would respond to doing a task that was not straightforward. He explains that building classroom culture and relationships with students enables him to trust students to engage in their work.

Mr. Boyd describes what perseverance looks like in his classroom and the strategies he uses to help students get past stumbling blocks and problem solve on their own. He explains how he plans lessons and words math questions to engage students of all levels.

Mr. Boyd and his students explain why reflection is valuable after completing an activity. Reflection gives students a chance to think about their learning and think about what went well and what could be improved upon.

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