Math: How tall is the flagpole?

Hello math teachers, Check out this great Teaching Channel video of a lesson on using triangle similarity to estimate the height of a flagpole. The students engage in solving a real world problem with partners and in the process enhance several essential math skills. How does the teacher assess and further his students' knowledge of similarity? How does this lesson build background knowledge for students who lack some of the basics?

I was impressed by the way students collaborated during this lesson. In what ways have you engaged students in working together to solve real world problems?

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP


Hi, Susan and Assessment CoP Members,

Thanks for sharing this video.  The student collaboration reminded me of students I've seen engaged in curriculum from Building to Teach:  This a math-based curriculum developed by the former executive director of the Alexandria Seaport Foundation (VA).  Here's a video from a neighboring school district (where I work), showing the students using the curriculum to build a boat:

Joe Youcha developed this curriculum after many years of working with a range of learners, from middle school students to adults.  He's developed an open access professional development model, divided into two stages.  The first is available online for free, and the second requires attendance at a free 3-day in-person training - travel and accommodations expenses may apply.  More information is available online at:

Happy Collaborating!

Best, Mike



Hi Michael and all, The Building to Teach approach looks amazing. Engaging students in real world projects as often as possible is a great goal. Through such collaborative projects learners gain and enhance a wide array of academic and 21st century skills.

Are there members who would like to tell us how they are using project-based learning to teach and assess math?

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP