Sunday, December 29, 2013

Polynomial Cards

In a few weeks we will be started a unit on Polynomials in Algebra 2.  I want (need!) to do more hands on learning in this course.  I'm thinking I could use these cards for quite a few activities.  I've never taught Algebra 2, so it's hard to say what they would work best for.  My plan is to photocopy 10 sets of cards each on a different color cardstock.  I will distribute a set of cards to each group and let the exploring begin.  Some topics I thought about using these for are listed below.  (I know I saw an idea similar somewhere, but couldn't figure out where.  THANK YOU to whoever deserves credit.  Sorry.)
  • Naming Polynomials
  • Degree of Polynomials
  • Shape of Polynomial Graphs
  • End Behavior
Help!  What I am missing?  Is there anything I should add to the cards?  How would you use these?  Thank you.


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Monday, December 16, 2013

Exponential & Logarithmic Form

A big thanks to Amy over at Square Root of Negative One Teach Math for helping me come up with an easy way for students to remember logarithmic form.

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

MTBoS - Backyard Ice Rink

Each year my husband constructs one of our family's favorite after school spots ... our backyard ice rink.  (It's a Minnesota thing.)  Anyways, each year I pose a very important question to my students,

"How long will it take to flood the rink?"  

First, I have them write down an estimated time in hours.  We talk about how they came up with their estimate and if they need any additional information.  They get out their paper and pencil and start brainstorming questions for me.
  • What are the dimensions of the rink?  
    • 36 x 64 feet
  • How thick should the ice be?
    • at least 4 inches thick
  • What long is the garden hose?
    • 50 feet
  • What is the circumference of the garden hose?
    • 3/4 inch
  • How many gallons come out of the hose each minute?
    • We look it up together here
  • How many gallons are in a cubic foot?
    • We read about it here
This is one of my favorite lessons of the year.  This problem is so rich with math.  Do we ever get the exact answer?  No.  I have done this problem for 3 years with a dozen different Geometry classes and each class obtains a slightly different estimate.  I let my students lead because they ask the BEST questions.  They debate about factors such as weather and time of day.  Some classes add or subtract hours due to weather just as some classes add or subtract hours due to the time of day.  (FYI - We do not get into water pressure and what kind of well we have at my house.  Maybe this year I will check into it.)

It's pretty incredible.  Try it.  See what you come up with!

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Advisory Banner

Thinking ahead to my Advisory class, I wanted to do something different on the first day of school.  In the past I had students create a Puzzle Piece to show how we all "fit in".  This year I am going to create a classroom banner with my Advisory students.  I was inspired by this banner I saw on Pinterest.  If I print them on colorful paper it will add some interest to my room.

Download HERE

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Writing in Math

This year I would like to make more of an effort to have my students write in my classes.  I know it is so important and yet I do not do a very good job of being consistent.  Here are some resources I found that support writing in math or provide ideas.

Integrating Writing into the Mathematics Classroom
Using Writing in Mathematics to Deepen  Student Learning
Writing in Math PBS

59 Writing Prompts for Math Class
101 Journal Prompts
Math Journal Prompts
Journal Writing Prompts
R.A.F.T. Math Prompt Builder

I am thinking of using a separate journal booklet instead of having students write in their Interactive Notebook.  Haven't decided.  I quickly put together this booklet in case this is something I would like to do.  Print as a stapled booklet.  Students can color the front cover.  Store them in your classroom or in the back of their Interactive Notebook using a pocket.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Using Technology in Geometry

Where do I begin?  This post could take forever!!  I am blessed to have a cart of laptops in my room.  Yes, I am so spoiled.  Anyways, I use the laptops to assess my students on our Learning Targets (Essential Questions), for daily practice, and to explore geometric concepts in general.  Here are some of my favorites:

1.  Geometer's Sketchpad

I use Geometer's Sketchpad (click here) at least once a week with my students.  I love it!!  It captures their attention and makes learning fun.  It's interactive so kids can explore all they want.

I recently had my students compete a Geometer's Sketchpad Lab on Special Quadrilaterals.  If you have Geometer's Sketchpad, you can download the lab here.  There is also a packet that goes with it here.

2.  That Quiz

You can create a class using That Quiz (click here) for free and then assess students on a wide variety of concepts.  When I am ready to assess students, I create a test and then give the internet link to students.  I am currently using this for a small group of students who need extra help in Algebra.

They choose their name and then take the test.  (I have only used the ready made tests on That Quiz, but you can create your own.)  Before they take the "real" quiz, I have them practice, practice, practice so they feel confident.

You can see the results of your students in the online grade book.  As you can see, we just started using That Quiz so there are missing pieces.  It's really easy to use and my students don't mind it.

3.  Quizlet
This week I set-up an account through Quizlet (click here).  The app was free to download and so far I really like it.  Basically, it is a flashcard application students can use online or using their mobile device.  The online version has better features, but most students use the app on their ipod or phone.  I'm still learning about Quizlet, but so far students have said positive things and that they actual study on the bus!

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

If-Then Logical Chain Project

This is one of my favorite projects of the year.  After studying If-Then statements in Geometry, I have my students write an original story based on the children's books by Laura Numeroff.

I introduce the project by first watching one of the following videos and explaining how the stories are really logical chains.

          If you give a mouse a cookie ...
          If you give a moose a muffin ...

Directions for students:

1.  Design a book cover in the space provided for your story.  Make sure you include the title of your book and the author.  (Yes, the author is you!)  You can use colored pencils, markers, magazine clippings, computer generated artwork, etc.

2.  Write a minimum of 8 sentences.  Each sentence needs to be written as an "if-then" statement. 

3.  Write the conclusion (as a conditional) to your story.

Here are some examples of titles from stories this year.  They are super FUN to read!
  • If you give unicorn a yo-yo ...
  • If you give a dog a donut ...
  • If you give a giraffe a bath ...

I used a VERY simple rubric for grading.  This little project is a winner!  Kids love it.

Please visit my TpT store for this project.


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