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Monday Must Reads: Volume 4

Things have been pretty quiet on the blog front since the last volume of Monday Must Reads. I had multiple posts I wanted to write, but I had to exercise some tough love and not let myself write any more blog posts until my state teacher of the year application was finished. I’m cheating a bit by writing this blog post today because my application still isn’t technically finished, but it’s finished enough that I could submit it if it wasn’t for my perfectionism. I’ve still got lots of edits to make on my seven (!) essays. It turns out that my writing style is a bit more wordy than what the committee is looking for.  Each essay has a maximum length of only one or two double-spaced pages with 12 point font and one inch margins. That’s not a lot of room!

I guess I do need to actually make mention on this blog that I was named both Drumright High School’s Teacher of the Year and Drumright Public Schools Teacher of the Year. The first honor came with a check for $500 and the second honor will come with an additional $500 check once my Oklahoma Teacher of the Year application is submitted.

Without further ado, here are the blog posts and tweets that I considered to be must reads this week.

#Teach180 Tweet Compilation

Liz Mastalio has been killing it this year with her awesome #Teach180 tweets. The snapshot she provides into her classroom is incredibly inspiring, and I find myself wanting to be a student in her class!  In a recent post, Liz decided to create a curation of her favorite Teach180 tweets from the year. This classroom highlight reel is a treat to read!  And, you should definitely consider joining in next year with the #Teach180 hashtag.  I might even have to steal Liz’s idea and create my own blog post with my favorite tweets of the year.  What an incredible way to reflect on the end of one school year as we begin to prepare for the next!

Smudged Box and Whisker Plot Problem

Norma Gordon created an awesome #SmudgedMath activity involving interquartile range and box-and-whisker plots. I love the student thinking required in an activity like this.  Norma’s #SmudgedMath tasks can be downloaded here.

Visual Approach to Equation Solving

Yah Lee‘s recent tweet about using a visual to help students solve equations has got me thinking a lot about how I want to approach solving equations with my Algebra 1 students next year. Last year, I used a combination of the flow chart method and the traditional approach. I would love to get away from the traditional approach, but I also want to make sure that whichever approach I use can be used when there are variables on both side of the equal sign.

Fawn Nguyen Quote re: Blurting Out Answers

I’m not sure this tweet from Fawn Nguyen needs an introduction. #TRUTH

Rate In/Rate Out Diorama Project

Rebecka Peterson does the coolest projects with her students. Her Rate In/Rate Out Shoebox Dioramas are no exception.  And, if you’re not regularly reading her One Good Thing posts, you are missing out on a daily dose of inspiration that I think all teachers need to be reading.

Rube Goldberg Machine in Desmos

Desmos recently blew my mind with their awesome Rube Goldberg machine graph!  It’s animated, so you’ll have to click through to get the full-level of awesomeness. I’m unsure who to credit as the creator, so I’ll just put it as Desmos until someone tells me otherswise.  🙂 

Periodic Table Desmos Polygraph

As a (hopefully) soon-to-be chemistry teacher, I can’t not mention Jenn Vadnaisrecent post about using Desmos Polygraph to practice the periodic table. Now, if only my school had the technology necessary so that I could use this in my classroom… 

Variation on Probability Bingo

One of my favorite probability activities is Probability Bingo. My students love this game and get super competitive every time we play! Liz Mastalio recently found a way to fix one of the most annoying aspects of the activity by using shapes instead of colors. It’s so much easier to produce two dice for the activity by gluing on shapes instead of trying to color the dice and dealing with the colors rubbing off. Yes, I speak from experience.  

Composite Shapes Problem Solving Strategy

Mr. B‘s tweet caught my eye because it helps illustrate a solution to a problem many of my algebra students have. Most of my students can solve this type of problem in their heads, but I’ve never been really sure how to help those students who struggle to understand where the missing value is coming from.

Padlock Puzzle

I recently had my first breakout box experience as part of the Tulsa Math Teachers’ Circle. I’ve been toying with using the idea in my own classroom, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a bunch of different locks. Nick Waldron created an activity that caught my eye because it allows students to do lots of math practice but only requires a single lock.

Introducing KenKen Puzzles with Notice/Wonder

I love using logic puzzles in my math class, but I often have issues with students trying to do a puzzle without first fully understanding the rules. Molly Rawding‘s new approach to introducing KenKen puzzles is a brilliant way to solve this problem!

Statistics Stencils

If I ever get the chance to teach statistics again, I definitely want to find a way to get my hands on some of these stats stencils that Will Davies tweeted about.  Can you tell I’m a bit anxious about the fact that I don’t know what classes I’m teaching yet for next year?

Graphing Transformations with Plexiglass

Jennifer Michaelis is making me wish that I could teach trig again next year. How awesome are these plexi-glass graphs that allow for instant trig graph transformations?!?

Roots/Solutions/Zeros/X-Intercepts Visual

For the four years I taught Algebra 2, I taught my students that roots, solutions, zeros, and x-intercepts were all the same thing. Today, I learned the truth thanks to David Butler. It makes so much sense, and I wish I could go back and re-teach my former students why there are so many different words. Special thanks to Matt Enlow for taking David’s tweet and turning it into a catchy image!

And, here’s Matt’s awesome visual of this:

And, that’s all of the blog and twitter awesomeness I have until next time.  Remember, my Monday Must Reads post may become a bit sporadic over the summer due to other obligations.  Keep sharing, #MTBoS!

Latest Monday Must Reads Posts


Wednesday 24th of May 2017


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