Happy Monday! It’s a three-day weekend here, so I’m especially enjoying this Monday that feels more like a Sunday. Today, I have knocked out our grocery shopping (a much-hated chore) and stopped by a few thrift stores where I picked up some new books. I had lunch with my parents and sister, and now I’m sitting on my couch covered up with a blanket while I finish off this post. After I hit Publish, I need to figure out what my Algebra students are doing tomorrow and continue working on a 2.5 hour presentation I will be giving Saturday over interactive notebooks.
If you’re new around here, I try to share a new post every Monday of the previous week’s “must-reads.” It’s really just an excuse to scroll back through my twitter likes of the previous week and think about how I would like to apply them in my own classroom. I hope you can take away something useful from this post!
Without further ado, here are this week’s must-reads!
One area where I fall short in my classroom is exposing my students to real-world data and real-world situations. It’s an area where I’m always striving to improve, but I always still feel like I’m falling short. One of the main reasons this area is hard is because it’s hard to find good data to use in the classroom that will capture students’ interest. This graph that was shared on twitter by Trooper Ben caught my eye. I’d love to edit it a bit (especially remove the Halloween label) and use it as a What do you notice? What do you wonder? prompt. Would your students be able to tell why there was a dip at the end of February and a peak at the end of October?
Jo Morgan shared a common misconception that her students have with evaluating expressions involving exponents. My students have been having similar issues. Despite going over the order of operations in depth at the beginning of the year, they are still making errors like this. I even make my students sign a “Parenthetical Promise” where they have to pledge to always use parentheses when substituting values into an expression. Still, I get responses like this. How would your students answer this question? I think we need to have more conversations about common misconceptions like this.
Teaching dilations? Check out this idea from Adam JW Craig‘s coworker. You could easily use a different mystery picture with each class so that one class couldn’t ruin the mystery for another class.
We’re currently working on linear graphs and inequalities in Algebra 1, so I’m especially on the lookout for ideas for this unit. Amy‘s Special Lines Drawing assignment caught my eye. I’ve done this with slope before, but I never thought of doing it with writing the equations of horizontal and vertical lines.
Students often amaze us when we just give them time to think and ponder in class. I love this conjecture about prime numbers created by c_lum dill_n.
Paul Jorgens offers a brilliant activity for introducing the idea of linearity. Totally stealing this idea for next year!
Julia Anker is helping me write my lesson plans for one of my skills later in our linear graphs and inequalities unit with this activity. Each student had either a situation, table, graph, or equation for a function taped to their back. They had to ask each other questions in order to place themselves in groups that represented the same function. What an awesome idea!
Jennifer Michaelis shares a link to an interesting NPR article regarding a study involving gummy bears and several related studies which I found to be quite interesting. Do gummy bears of different colors really taste different? Can your students devise a study to test their hypothesis?
Lauren Hannah creates a yearly gingerbread house with one goal in mind: to have her students find as much math hidden in the gingerbread house as possible. I LOVE this idea!
Sarah Leivian shares the results of a “Mystery Footprint Project” that sounds like the perfect motivation to introduce scatterplots.
I also love Sarah‘s project where she challenged her students to come up with a strategy to determine if Zebra Cakes or Christmas Tree Cakes are better. How fun is this?!?
I’m currently in the process of teaching myself physics so I can be certified to teach physical science and/or physics, so I’m always looking for great physics activities. I love this tug of war activity to motivate coefficient of friction from Frank Noschese.
It is true. Students are stressed. So, I think it’s amazing that Cynthia Platou added a de-stress corner to her classroom that features a giant coloring page. Cynthia says she bought her color poster awhile ago at Hallmark.
Scottie O’Neill shares a great idea for making classroom management more manageable. I think I need to do this next year. I need to pick a couple non-negotiable rules and track them visibly.
I’m also intrigued by this twist on exit tickets that Scottie has shared.
Looking to have some snow day fun? Liz Mastalio puts up a calendar and gives each student a chance to guess when the first snow day of the year will be. I know this is probably too late in the yar for most of you, but here in Oklahoma we still haven’t had a snow day yet.
Jenn Vadnais shares a photo of giant ten frames on a classroom floor. This has my brain churning about what other giant math-y things we could make on the floor of our classrooms…
Chris Bolognese has came up with a great idea for investigating similarity – expanding creatures!
Have any leftover wrapping paper that has a grid on the back? Daniel Knox has a use for that.
What better activity for the first day back from break than creating and illustrating a graph that describes how you spent your break? Thanks Trever Reeh for the great idea!
Megan Denman shares an idea for an awesome way to make stoichiometry calculations more hands-on with a card sort.
Mr. Knowles shares a great looking geometry task that involves a lot of algebra practice. I would classify this as a very strong first tweet for a beginning teacher! I look forward to following this account to see what other excellent tasks that Mr. Knowles has to offer.
Leigh Ann Mitchell shares an awesome project that combined graphing with Desmos and 3D printing.
Amy Hogan shares some fun 2018-themed math puzzles to help ring in the new year.
Until next week, keep sharing your ideas!