Category Archives: Made 4 Math Monday

Week 2 Sunday Summary #MTBoSchallenge & #made4math

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Week 2 is complete.  I am still trying to find my groove with having 1st hour prep.  I am a morning person, so I am ready to interact with students as soon as we arrive.  Sitting down for plan time, I lose my momentum.   Paired with having to be out of our building by 3:00 due to renovations, I have no time to sit and process the day’s events.
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3 Things That Happened This Week
I finally got my anchor chart board with sentence starters and questions completed.  I am very pleased with it and have been trying to model/give students opportunities to practice in class discussions.  Here is a link to a file of the starters.

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I giggled when I saw Sarah saying she “totally stole” from me…that’s what #MTBoS is all about. Sharing and making our classrooms better for our students!

I am using visualpatterns.org as one of my daily tasks to begin class.  I wanted students to have a page in their INBS to record these…

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Here is the file.  Print 2 up and front/back for a booklet for your INBs. 

I shared Thursday how I was a bit hesitant to allow my students to go with their process of locating the midpoint given coordinates of endpoints.  I know.  There are those that say just tell them the midpoint formula.  I could but this is the method they are owning.  Basically, they are finding the distance between the coordinates, then “moving” half the distance will put them at the midpoint. 

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But then I got to thinking about the actual standard:

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSG.GPE.B.6
Find the point on a directed line segment between two given points that partitions the segment in a given ratio.

Midpoint is the most common and yes, we’ll use it in proofs later.  But if I go in Monday and ask them to find 1/3 point which would be a 1:2 ratio, or a 2/5, 2:3? Will their method actually prove more efficient because it is actually the same process for both?

2 Things on My To-do List
I have 3 tubs that still need to be unpacked from our renovation move.  I have my shoe boxes on the shelves, but I need to get those labeled correctly.

Finish an Intro to Matrices Unit, I hope will work as  flipped/blended learning unit.

1 Good Book to Read
Thanks to @mathymeg07 for sharing Wonder by RJ Palacio. 

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Megan said it is a book everyone from 9-99 should read!  Right now, the Kindle version is on sale for $2.50.  I am making posters of Mr. Browne’s Precepts for my classroom, such great lessons to live by.

Time Capsule Teaching #tbtblog #julychallenge Post 13

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This tweet made me wonder….

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If I created a timecapsule of my teaching strategies…what would I think when I opened it? 

I read the post, Time-Capsule Teaching and within a few moments I thought…what was I blogging about 3 years ago?  I searched back and thought I hadn’t actually started yet, but there it was…

July 17, 2011

I was new to the blogosphere. 
This was my 2nd post.
TMC did not exist yet.
I was learning about standards based grading.

After much reading and discussion with close colleagues and many hours of processing what I had read, I knew SBG would be more effective in communicating student learning.  My grades prior to this had been filled with fluff, things unrelated to actual student learning…the reason some students had good grades but were not achieving at the same level.  Initially, that’s why I started blogging was to record my journey through sbg.

2 Years ago
July 16, 2012 #made4math Monday

It was the 3rd week of #made4math.
These lovely pencils for my classroom.

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I did this again last school year. 15 pencils almost lasted until Christmas break.  All in all, I put out fewer than 36 pencils for the entire year.  My daughter helps decorate-cheap flowers, pipe cleaners, feathers-whatever she finds in the craftbox to make them obnoxious.  Students no longer ask me, they just borrow.  It is easier than me taking time out of whatever task I am on to hunt them a pencil. I have a mini clipboard, students signed their name and crossed it off when they returned.  Obviously, some were not returned but that’s about 1 pencil per week.  Its worth it to me, fewer interuptions, I don’t get frustrated if the same ones are borrowing a pencil everyday. 🙂

The same post I shared this handy paperclip box that I just filled with paper clips before APSI last month!

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1 year ago
July 23, 2013
A Reflection Tool for PLCs from @TJterryjo “I have a dream…”

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Basically her PLC was asked what characteristics a dream math student would have (in green).  Then, as teachers, what they could do to create that dream (in blue).  At each PLC, they “dotified” what they had seen in students and themselves to see if they were moving toward that dream.

This is something I wanted to do but let it go.  This is on my to-to list for our first departmental PLC this school year!

Join in!
Pick a year. Any year.  Read a post and reflect…
Not been blogging that long? Pick a favorite blogger and read one of their posts from 3 years ago…
Throw-back Thursday Blog #tbtblog

#made4math Monday: Learning Target Quiz Cards

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Last year I wanted a file for each course, with sample questions addressing the learning targets to use as either an intervention or for retake quizzes.

Different suggestions were made in a discussion on Twitter regarding organization, offering different levels of questions.  This morning, I am trying to plan out my format.

Here is what I have come up with so far:

Supplies:

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Standards/Learning Targets
Index Cards
Index Card Dividers (Tina suggested coupon organizers for built in dividers)
Markers/Pens

I chose a standard.  Labeled my divider and thought it might be handy to write out the actual standard.  (Yes, this could be done with printed labels).

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I am using level colors that coordinate with our Discovery Ed. Benchmarking system.
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  L1-red, is the very minimal; L2-yellow, shows more understanding;

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L3-green, is where I want to get everyone (this set came from Illustrative Mathematics Project); L4-blue, are open questions for this example anyway…may need to change this later.

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I am including answers on the back for guick-check.

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These are a quick, rough sketch…trying to iron out my goal, how I want to use them.

My idea is to have a coupon/photo organizer for each unit I teach.  Use actual learning targets from our unit organizer in order to move Algebra 2 closer to SBG.

Suggestions for improvments or your own experiences are welcomed!

INB Unit Organizer

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I wanted to create a unit organizer than encompassed several aspects but would also be narrowed to one page, fiting in to the INB.  Here’s a list of what I wanted:

vocabulary
unit overview/schedule
learning targets
record of assignments
track their own assessments/learning
place to record questions/big ideas
opportunity for end of unit reflection

Here is what I arrived at for a first attempt, copied front to back and folded in half, this is the order students will see the booklet. 

The vocabulary pre-assess was a great tool.  I saw this idea over at Math = Love earlier in the summer.  It went so well. It only took students a couple of minutes to self-assess their vocabulary knowledge.  As I walked around, I was able to see several terms had 3s & 4s.  We compiled a list of our 1s & 2s words.  I explained, as they learned a word or gained better understanding, they should go back and put a +.  Before the end of class, students were asking if they could go ahead and update their chart.

If possible, maybe completemthis part a day before beginning a unit, in order to make needed adjustments based on student responses.

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I included the correlated CCSS # for each target.  Eventually, these may be beneficial when looking online for a resource on a specific standard.

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I am not fully satisfied with this chart yet. Assignments made for specific targets can be listed, a note if completed (stamp) and place to monitor their assessment for each.  A second line has been included in case RTI/enrichment is needed.

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Finally, the back side has a place to record reflection.  Ideally, I would have them complete the reflection at least 2 days prior to unit assessment, allowing to address any needs the following day, prior to assessment.

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As always, this is a work i  progress, suggestions and ideas are welcomed!
PDF:  http://db.tt/DWfJUqLL
Foundations in Geometry doc

Intro to Matrices:

Intro to Matrices pdf
Intro to Matrices doc

All Student Response Cards #made4math Monday

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In reading Embedded Formative Assessment (Wiliam, 2011), there have been several practical techniques presented in each chapter.  While discussing chapter 4, @druinok suggested creating response cards this summer, based on the technique All Students Respond.

  I had seen a set made by an elementary teacher in my leadership network.  She had several cards labeled with letters, hole-punched and attached to a 3 inch ring that could be opened and placed around the metal frame on student desks. She explained students always had access to them.

I kept thinking about how to accomplish the same idea for my classroom.  I had a package of name badge holders I had picked up at our Mighty Dollar in town, but never found a use for them.  Basically, I put this example together quickly, to have something for #made4math today. Its not innovative, but for anyone who does not have a “clicker system” or devices to use with Poll-Everywhere, etc., its an option that I believe could prove as a useful tool.

My idea is to have a single card, with all responses.  I would need to ‘train’ students how to hold their cards allowing me to see their response clearly.  Mine is double sided, this could easily be accomplished with cardstock printed, then laminated if you didnt have the badge holders.  Each student could clip one into a pocket of their INB and have them on hand when its time to use them.  Or they could be clipped either to a hanging ribbon or the side of a magnetic cabinet, even placed in a basket if you only had one classroom set.

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The first side includes a favorite of mine…always, sometimes, never…color coding green, yellow, red, respectively.  The student places their hand, so only the response they choose is visible and located at the top of the card when they hold it up for me to see.  I didn’t have the color circle stickers here at home, but I believe they may help in the visual for me to see.  By keeping responses color coded, I can quickly scan the room to see where students are, then make a decision as to what type of question follows or if we should procceed with discussion of why they responded as they did…supporting their claims with mathematical evidence, of course.

Notice, the QUESTION response.  A student may have a question or require some clarification, this choice doesn’t allow them to opt out, but provides a way to say, I need some help.

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On the back side, there are simply color-coded (different from other side) multiple choice responses, again to allow a quick scan before deciding how to proceed.  If multiple answers are chosen, begin by asking students to give possible reasons why a student may have chosen A or D-the other answer, if I chose A, could I figure out how someone else would have chosen D?  I also like to ask, noone chose B or C, what is a possible reason why someone would not have chosen  ___?

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Like I said, I plan to use color circle stickers which allow me to see student responsesmfrom across the room.  I am debating on howmto do true/false.  Would
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Trig Ratios – #made4math

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Through the years, I’ve seen students struggling trying to remember which Trig Ratio is which.  I have a colleague who draws a big bucket with a toe dipped into the water.  She says she tells the students “Soak-a-Toe” to help them recall SOH-CAH-TOA.  Another has described the “Native American”  SOH-CAH-TOA tribe as the one who constructs their teepees using Right Triangles.  The most entertaining though is the rap from WCHS Math Department “Gettin’ Triggy Wit It” on youtube.

I wanted to use an inquiry activity to help them develop the definitions of the Trig Ratios.  Basically, they constructed 4 similar triangles, found the side measures, then recorded ratios of specific side lengths.  Next, I had them measure the acute angles, then we used the calculator to evaluate the sin, cos and tan for each angle measure.  Students were asked to compare each value to the ratios they had recorded in the table and determine which ratio was closest to their value.  Here’s the file https://www.dropbox.com/s/gfvhnictujfj2ik/similar%20triangles%20intro%20trig.docx?dl=0 Similar Triangles Trig Ratios.  Anyway, its not a perfect lesson, but a starting point.  If you use it, please comment to let me know how you modified it to make it a better learning experience for students.

In the past, students sometimes struggle trying to decide which ratio they need to use when solving a problem. I put together an activity adapted from a strategy called  Mix-Pair-Freeze I’ve used from my KaganCooperative Learning and Geometry book.  This book offers numerous, quality activities for engaging your students.

You can make copies of this file, Trig Ratio Cards File, then cut cards apart to use.

Trig Ratio Cards

Each student gets a card.  They figure out which Trig Ratio is illustrated on their card (& why).  They mix around the room (with some fun music would make it better), then pair up with someone.  Each person tells which Trig Ratio and why (can be peer assessment, if one is mistaken).  They swap cards, mix and pair with another classmate.  This continues for several minutes, allowing students to pair with several different people.

When I call “Freeze!” Students are to go to a corner of the room which is designated Sin, Cos or Tan.  Within the group in each corner, students double check one-another’s card to determine if they are at the right location.  Again, peer assessment, if someone is wrong, they coach to explain why, then help them determine where they belong.

Students swap cards, mix-pair-freeze again.

I like this activity for several reasons:

  • 1. Students are out of their seats and active.
  • 2.  Students are talking about math.
  • 3.  It allows them to both self-peer assess in a low-stress situation.
  • 4.  I can listen to their descriptions and address any misconceptions as a whole-class as a follow-up.

 

To clarify, the intent of this activity is for students to determine what information they are given in relation to a given angle, then decide which ratio it illustrates. It is meant to help students who struggle deciphering what information is given.

Triangle Centers #made4math Monday

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I stumbled upon a learning task this weekend on a Georgia DOE site involving triangle centers.  The task is simply to choose a location for an amusement located between 3 cities.  Yep. Simple enough, until I sat down and started deciding how I would approach the situation.

The final task is for students to write a memo with their recommendation when cost of building new roads is taken in to account.

Here is copy…

Triangle Centers Task

I am looking forward to reading what recommendations my students give and their reasons why!

Lesson Planner Resource #made4math

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While trying to catch up on my reader – I ran across Simplifying Radicals post on using Google Docs to create lesson plans.  She had an update at the top and suggested reading a comment made by another reader.

I briefly went over to Common Curriculum to check it out.  I’ve created an account, watched a few of the videos, looked through suggestions by other users and played around with lesson plans.  I like it.  I think I will eventually like it a lot.

Basically, you set up your schedule – what you’re teaching; edit a template – creating category “planning boxes” that you will use often.  You can add / delete any given day.  Within the template – hover over the settings for the box and choose “Show on Class Website” for items you wish for students to have access to on the class website it automatically creates for you.  The standards box is automatically included – you can search either Math or ELA CCSS by keywords or standard #.

 

printview

printview

 

Uploading files / linking to online resources / videos is VERY simple.  Currently files are quickly loaded from your computer, google drive, evernote, box and it seems dropbox will be added soon.

I created 2 separate resources boxes in my planner – Student – to include links to online resources / files for students to have access to on the class website; and another Teacher – to link resources I need.   This is one I just experimented – a drag and drop.  It displays the photo or file name.boxmax

 

I attempt to keep a class blog – but sometimes get behind keeping assignments / resources up to date.  What I think I’m going to LOVE about this site – as I’ve already mentioned, you can choose which planning boxes you want to show on the class website – then either give students site address OR post link on current blog, etc.

Website View

Website View

Excited about this new resource – Thanks to Debbie Hurtado for posting on Simplifying Radicals for the heads up!

 

Linear Equations Card Match #made4math

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Let me first say – I did NOT create this set of cards.  I received them in a session at KCM about 3 years ago.  Kudos to whomever they belong. 

 I was looking for resources to use during my RTI and ran across a box I had used in the past. 

LinearEquationsMatch – the file of the cards.

You can do several different sorts with them.  POINTS-SLOPE, POINTS-EQUATION, GRAPHS-EQUATIONS, etc.

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I have each complete set on different colors of cardstock, so I can have several sets out at once, but none of them get shuffled.

#Made4Math Monday – Parallelogram Foldable

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Its been a while since I’ve sumbitted #made4math Monday post.  I really like the idea of foldables – a kinesthetic graphic organizer…I believe they have a positive impact on student learning when used purposefully.

This one (found here parallelogram foldable) for parallelograms, rectangle, square and rhombus.  I wanted a foldable that somehow showed all were all in the parallelogram family, but still kept them separate – I chose a trifold.

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When I saw an example of the tri-cut Venn Diagram, I knew I wanted to incorporate it somehow to show squares as the overlap of rectangle and rhombus.  This picture does not show the cuts between rectangle/square and square/rhombus, but I think its visible in the last picture.

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The file is simply the skeleton, please feel free to make it your own (ha, just don’t go selling it as your own!)

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I am still debating what should go in the center – thinking of examples / non-examples.   Possibly even giving students a couple of example problems using properties of quadrilaterals.  Istuck area formulas in at the last second – but think it may be more effective to let students discover area of a rhombus on the own.  Suggestions are always welcome!