Define “Hexagon”:

What does this student know about hexagons? What does the student think he knows, but doesn’t? What does the mistake reveal about his thinking, and what would you do to help?

  • Barry

    At first blush, I’d say the the only mental model conjured in this students head by the word “hexagon” is a regular hexagon. I’d also guess he used the loose reasoning that because moving along the perimeter of the hexagon eventually returns you to where you started, you “travel through” 360 degrees, so each angle is 60 degrees.

  • Tim C

    Perhaps an older post, but I imagine that the student sees a hexagon as a six-sided version of a square. I would probably point out that a hexagon is like a quadrilateral, and that squares are in a special category (regular) of quadrilaterals. If you asked the student to count up shapes starting from 3-sides, they would probably say “triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon”. Personally I think it’s excellent that the student points out the 60 degrees are “on the inside” because it means they are aware of the different kinds of angles formed. They know what they are talking about, just unclear on just how broad the term hexagon really is.