Engaging students: Defining intersection

In my capstone class for future secondary math teachers, I ask my students to come up with ideas for engaging their students with different topics in the secondary mathematics curriculum. In other words, the point of the assignment was not to devise a full-blown lesson plan on this topic. Instead, I asked my students to think about three different ways of getting their students interested in the topic in the first place.

I plan to share some of the best of these ideas on this blog (after asking my students’ permission, of course).

This student submission comes from my former student Tramashika DeWalt. Her topic, from Geometry: defining intersection.

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How could you as a teacher create an activity or project that involves your topic?


I would create a Kahoot to define intersection for my students. I would begin with the basic definition, which is, where lines cross over, meet, or have a common point (Unknown, Math is Fun, 2016). Thereafter, I would display pictures that visually portray intersection and that do not portray intersection. Within the same Kahoot, I would provide the students with the more advanced definition of intersection, intersection sets, “The intersection of two sets A and B is the set of elements common to both A and B” (Unknown, Math is Fun, 2016) according to MathIsFun.com. Like before, I would follow the definition up with pictures for the students to determine if the set intersects or not. After the Kahoot, I would have the students to get into groups of 4, with a large piece of paper, to come up with intersections from their daily life. Finally, the groups would display their findings and we will discuss the results as a class.

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How can this topic be used in your students’ future courses in mathematics or science?


This topic can and will be used in my students’ future math courses. As I mentioned above, the basic definition of intersection will be extended to intersecting sets. In set intersection, the student will have to determine what elements each set has in common (that intersect) in order to determine where the sets intersect. The student will also have to know that the elements that are not common for both sets are not included in the intersection of the two sets. Intersection is used throughout math, so students can encounter it in high school, calculus, functions and modeling, real analysis, abstract algebra, etc. Not only will my students’ encounter intersection in future math courses, but they will also encounter intersections in life. For instance, when they are at a stop light (intersection), at a four-way stop sign (intersection), or even walking around UNT (students’ paths and sidewalks intersect all the time here).

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How can technology be used to effectively engage students with this topic? Note: It’s not enough to say “such-and-such is a great website”; you need to explain in some detail why it’s a great website.


As mentioned above, I would create a Kahoot, on kahoot.it, to effectively engage my students with technology to define and solidify the definition of intersection. I would layout my Kahoot by starting with the definition of intersection. Then I would have a variety of picture that would either display a form of intersection, or that would not display a form of intersection. Kahoot is awesome because it allows students to use their cell phone, iPad, or tablet to respond to questions created by the teacher. I feel the Kahoot will be very engaging because it allows the student time to play on their phone (so that the teacher doesn’t have to confiscate them for inappropriate use), listen to cool background music as they solve their problems, and learning about the particular topic at hand, all while having fun.  Now Kahoot even has a podium at the end of the Kahoot that displays the top three point earners.




Kahootit! (n.d.). Retrieved from Kahoot!: create.kahoot.it


Unknown. (2016). Math is Fun. Retrieved from Math is Fun: http://www.mathsisfun.com/definitions/intersection.html

Unknown. (2016). Math is Fun. Retrieved from Math is Fun: http://www.mathsisfun.com/definitions/intersection-sets-.html


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