Happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I had the awesome opportunity to give a 2.5 hour workshop on interactive notebooks on Saturday. It went super-well, and I look forward to sharing lots of files and information about what we covered in the workshop after I give the workshop one more time next Saturday. After the workshop on Saturday, my husband and I went to the restaurant where we had our first ever date to have lunch. It was fun to reminisce about our first date and talk about lots of math and math teaching.
Every Monday, I try to compile a list of the great ideas I’ve seen on twitter and in blog posts during the past week. Here are this week’s Must Reads.
Mashup Math recently tweeted a graph of every shot Kobe Bryant has ever taken in his career. I’ve seen this data before, but today was the first time that I thought about it in the context of being a math teacher. What trends would my students notice in this data? I had to stop and think a bit about why there was a half-circle section with almost no shots. I felt a bit silly when I realized the reason!
Solving Equations Opener
Looking for an interesting opener for solving equations? Goytre Fawr Primary has got you covered.
Balloon Proportions Task
Working on proportions? I like this task from Bluecoat Wollaton Maths.
Order of Operations Countdown
Mr Knowles has hit it out of the park again with two more great tasks shared on twitter.
Pentagon Perimeter Task
I’m always on the lookout for interactive classroom displays. I love this Equation Station from Michelle Courville. This could be adapted for many different grade levels very easily!
Some of my favorite things to include in interactive notebooks are calculator tutorials. Students often forget the steps or happen to be absent on the day that we went over the steps in class. With the steps written out in their notebooks, all students are on an even playing field when it comes to being able to take full advantage of everything their calculator has to offer. Shaun Carter has typed up some lovely looking calculator tutorials for the TI-84 that address univariate and bivariate statistics. You can download them here on Shaun’s blog.
Geometry Area of Polygon Activity
Shaun also shared a hands-on activity that should appeal to all geometry teachers. I love how this approach gets students thinking about the math behind the formulas instead of just memorizing formulas and having no idea where they come from! You can find the downloads here.
All math teachers know that time we are given to teach is never enough. I love the way Casey Ulrich makes the best use of his time by combining two topics: measuring angles and finding the sum of the interior angles of a triangle.
Back to Back Graphs Activity
Paul Jorgens shares a back-to-back drawing activity that he uses with his students as a type of formative assessment. This could be adapted for so many different topics!
Combining Like Terms Card Sorting Activity
Jae Ess shares a great card sorting activity for combining like terms. Students have to match all of the cards that simplify to the same expression. I’ve done sorts like this before, and students always love them. Looking forward to stealing this in the future!
Sigma-Aldrich shared a fun brainteaser with a chemistry theme. I posed this as one of our chemistry warm-ups this past week. I was a bit sad that only one student was able to figure it out. It turns out that the rest of my class claims they have never been taught the words “cirrus”, “cumulus”, and “stratus.” I’m certain this is NOT true. When the answer was revealed, the rest of the class also said that they had never heard of this saying before. This led to an awesome conversation about the origins of various common sayings.
Pythagorean Theorem Soccer
I am super inspired by this real-world inspired task shared by Regina Dashiell to practice using both the Pythagorean theorem and scale factor.
Shrinking Your Classmates
Rachel Blunt shares another awesome activity to address scale factor.
Calculus Lanterns Art Project
Looking to combine arts and crafts with calculus? Check out this project by Michelle Ott that uses paper lanterns to demonstrate volumes of solids of revolution.
Function Gallery Walk
Another great idea from Michelle Ott: Give students a set of criteria which they must draw a function to fullfill said criteria. Then, students have to do a gallery walk to evaluate each other’s work. Brilliant.
Law of Sines and Cosines Stations
I could definitely do a better job of bringing real-world applications into my classroom. It looks like Silviya Gallo has this concept down, though! Check out these stations for law of sines and cosines.
One of my favorite function activities is a telephone game. I love how Liz Mastalio adapted this telephone structure for polynomials. I’m looking forward to adding another activity to my upcoming polynomial unit!
Around the World Geometry Task
Pam Wilson shares an awesome geometry task that I need to set some time aside soon to work out for myself!
Praise While You Print
Looking to improve your school’s culture and boost teacher morale? Check out this awesome idea from Kam Renae Koyama. Encourage teachers to write positive notes to one another while waiting for their copies to print!
Translations with Transparencies
Teaching translations can be a tricky task. Lisa Dollar breaks out the transparencies to make the topic slightly less abstract.
Finger Paint Reflections
Lisa Dollar shares another awesome activity to make reflections less abstract that involves finger paint.
Pot Stir Group Discussion
Katie Roznai shares a creative idea for structuring group discussions.
John Carlos Baez shares an interesting mathematical fact regarding on-going mathematical research.
Cookie Cake Area Task
When will I ever need to use math in real life? Jennifer Michaelis shares a real-world example from the bakery section.
Types of Angles Task
Teaching angles? Julie Morgan shares some great ideas in a recent blog post.
I appreciate Julie‘s willingness to be open with the world about both the lessons that go well and the lessons that don’t go so well. More of us should take a lesson from Julie (check out her blog post) and start sharing our own lesson fails. If we reflect and learn from them, then they really aren’t failures.
I’m super excited to see Amy Gruen blogging again! Her exponent puzzles that she recently shared on her blog are awesome. I especially like her use of leveling with the puzzles. Level 1: Find the missing exponent. Level 2: Find the missing base and exponent. Level 3: Use the same base to complete two different equations. Seeing these brilliant puzzles are making me wish I was teaching Algebra 2 again.
Until next week, keep sharing all the ideas!