Monday, October 22, 2012

Inequalities and Converting Temperature foldables

Did you know?

Grading the quizzes from my algebra class today, I learned that if m>32, then the solution is "all real numbers"... Oh and if 11<6t, then there is no solution.  We may have missed something in that lesson I think... maybe.

Finished Equation Sandwiches Bulletin Board

All three classes' sandwiches up with my letters.  I really like this one :-)


My kids always check the Playlist to see if they are going to be taking notes.  Most days, we take notes.  This year I decided to go with a bound notebook with the foldables in the notebook instead of a foldable for each chapter like I've done in the past.  I've noticed that my students seem to understand that their notebook is a reference book.  I seem them referring back to something we wrote in our notes while they're doing they're bellwork and class assignments.

Here are a few of our latest entries:

Outside has the formulas

Inside has the examples
Outside has "key words" and graphing clues

Inside has an example
I really like how the graphing inequalities foldable turned out today.  I had them write the four sentences on a quarter-sheet of white paper, then they cut the sentences apart.  After that, we labeled the outside of the flaps, and I could already see them thinking about which sign each sentence was going to go with.  When we had finished labeling the outside, we discussed which sentences went with what inequalities and glued them on the inside.  Then we wrote and graphed an inequality for each sentence.  I had a kid tell me "you taught that the best I've ever heard!  It makes so much more sense now."  Have to love moments like that :-)

Friday, October 19, 2012

A new look and Favorite ways to practice

I finally figured out how to add a cute banner and background to my page!  Yay!  

Sometimes we're covering a topic in class and it just requires a lot of practice.  I'm not one for just giving worksheets or book assignments.  For most students, it's just not interesting and really not very effective.  Here are some of my students' favorite ways to practice, as seen from their excitement when they see them on the day's Playlist.

Add It Up

I first came across Add It Up on Julie Reulbach's blog ispeakmath.   Students are given a set of problems - I usually use our workbook and one students does odds while the other does evens - and an add it up board.  Students write their answers on the board and find the sum of the answers.  When they have the sum, they hold up their board, and I give them a thumbs up if it's correct, or a thumbs down if it's incorrect.  If their sum is correct, they move on to the next pair of questions.  If their sum is incorrect, they must work together to check and correct each other's answers and find the correct sum.  I have been really surprised at how excited they get when they see this on the Playlist!  Their so excited to have me tell them if they got it right, they don't even notice they've done 20 questions.


I have been using some form of Math-O in my classroom for the last five years, and students always love it.  It's a game, and they have a chance to win a prize (usually a small piece of candy in my room) when they get five in a row.  I use to make my own cards with the answers from whatever set of 24 problems.  In past years, I have just written one problem on the board at a time, and letting students work the problems one at a time, but this year I've started giving them a page with the problems ahead of time, this way if a student is finished with the problem I've called, they can go on.

Here's a sample of what the cards look like.  I print 4 to a page to save paper.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Applying scientific notation

A few weeks ago, my students were studying how to write numbers in scientific notation and then write them in standard form.  I love finding ways for my students to see how the math that we do can be used in the real world.  Scientific notation has so many applications, I couldn't resist letting them see some ways it makes sense to use it.

I let my students choose a partner, and each partner got a task card with a country, continent, body of water, or planet.  Each card also included a website where the information they were to find could be found.

You can purchase all twenty tasks on my TpT site
When the partners had collected all of their information and written the data in scientific notation, they then created a poster to display their information.  My classes made some really nice displays for their data!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Life's a little better with edible equations

It feels good to blog again... I've been trying to get caught up from being very sick (strep, mono, and walking pneumonia at the same time) and missing a week of work.  

For the last few weeks we have been solving equations of every kind.  We finally worked our way up to multi-step equations with variables on both sides and parentheses.  My students have AMAZED me!  When I had some of these kids as seventh graders, I thought how much I dreaded having to teach them complex equations as eighth graders.  They have completely stunned me with how good they have gotten!  

So, last week I had my advanced class be my guinea pigs to make equation sandwiches inspired by this blog post.  They blew me away!  I put 30 equations in a bucket and had them draw one out, solve it, check their solution, make a plan for their sandwich, and then they went to the supply station and let their creative juices flow!  They made all kinds of sandwiches - smores sandwiches, pb&j, Big Macs.  Here are some of the results...

I went ahead and put the sandwiches from this class on the bulletin board around the corner from my classroom so that my other two classes can see some examples before they make their's tomorrow.  I'm going to cut letters with my cricut to say "Life's a little better with edible equations".