Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Student created Math Posters

This past Monday, we had what was called a Virtual Day. On the virtual day, I gave the kids the job of learning all about law of cosines/sines/Heron's Formula/Law of Sines for Area.... Yeah a lot but of course I created my YouTube videos for each of them and they did an ASSISTment follow up. All good.

From experience, I'm aware that these topics require practice, especially the ever so difficult law of sines with finding that ridiculous ambiguous case..... So to help start us out with the topic, I broke the kids into groups of four and informed them that they now were hired to create math posters that a math teacher might purchase and it was their job to create a poster that contained the following:
-Definition of Formula / Theorem
-How/Why is it Used?
-Example
-Color/Neatness

With that, I let them have at it. Now of course, there were some mistakes and we had to clarify a few things but it really helped me see where my kids had some misconceptions based upon what they learned virtually. After I gave the kids about 20 minutes to create their posters, we had Your Turn! time where the kids solve all the problems and check their answers. These are done either in their notebooks / on their desks / or on a dry erase board. Their call.




Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Real World Conics Project


Last year, my Algebra 2 kiddos simply created art through conic sections. This was a part of what we call a Design Challenge and I didn't want it to be too intense. For Algebra 2 this year, I've decided to assign the project at the beginning of the unit as well as add onto it!

I found the idea of having the kids take real life pictures of conics through nature/architecture/every day items and tracing the sections. Easy enough, right? Well, that's part 1 because it can be done rather quickly plus the kids can technically use the pictures they take around the school as our intro. activity (tomorrow). I found this idea from, I believe, a graduate student! Part 2 is the art project that I did last year but they have to choose one of these real life objects from part 1 to make an art piece representing. Part 3 is where the application skills come into play. I found several real world problems from several sources and compiled them into Part 3.

In total, the project becomes 75 points and it's a project that can be worked on throughout the unit! I know the kids will groan as it's more work than last year's project but hey, I have to change something each time I teach it, right?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Around the Room

Sometimes, the kids just need to get out of their seats, like really. They get antsy and with us having classes that are an hour and a half long, I really got to get them moving. I remembered reading about this cool idea to use QR codes around the room to get the kids to solve problems by scanning the problem onto their iPad, thus moving them around the room. Well, not all my kids have a smart phone so not everyone can use the QR code so back to the idea of okay, how can I get them moving.

Around the room is basically an activity where the kids solve the problem on their paper and find the answer elsewhere on a different question. Once they have found the solution to their problem, they have to solve the problem on their new paper. The first person to correctly tell me the order and show me all their work (SO KEY), wins the prize, typically a homework pass (from Vistaprint).

I've uploaded two of the Around the Rooms I've used this year, one with Quadratics and one with Law of Cosine/Sine. In the title, I've included the correct loop.


Winter wreath!

This past summer, I used my time wisely. Haha, ok good joke but really. I made a burlap wreakh with the intent that each season, I would some how make it seasonally friendly. 

Voila! My fall/winter wreath! The heart piece was a whopping $3 at a craft fair and the berry and pine come twigs were $2 a piece at target! Not bad in my book and I'm sure I could have done it even cheaper. 


It's nice to find time to still do things I enjoy while juggling 120something teenagers. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Birthday Baseball Parabola

So we're just now finishing our unit on quadratics and I was trying to come up with a good way to have the kids get challenged while reviewing the content. Then I remembered how I had my trig kids complete the birthday polynomial activity. I then wanted to combine this with the review baseball card concept and poof! I ended up with the baseball card below.
I like to be cheesy so I put things like Home Field (domain/range) and Opening Day (Direction of Opening). After the kids created each of their own birthday parabolas, they then had to play "some games" or "match ups." Their first matchup was with my birthday parabola. A matchup basically consisted of solving the system of the two parabolas, even if the solutions were complex. Through their own personal baseball card and their "match ups," they reviewed nearly every concept except for inequalities and discriminants.
I added transformations during the activity so this is the not updated version of my own parabola.
Overall, I got some good results. A student even exclaimed that she really liked the activity (this is atypical for this child). The cool part is that most of my kids are still 90s babies so they had fabulous y-intercepts. But of course, I had a few 2000 babies so their parabolas were slightly easier and everyone wanted to partner up with them.

UPDATE: Idea from below in comments. Can easily be transformed to a basketball theme and soooooo if you happen to be teaching it in March (oh maybe next semester ;) ), you can turn the game portion into a MARCH MADNESS THEME REVIEW DAY!!!!! And the kids can be timed to compete to find the intersection point in each match up!! Ahhh! Love it!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This year's Complex Number Book Project Results

I love how you can do a project multiple times and each time you do it, you get different results! The kids are just so creative! This year, we even had a puppet show! Oh, and this year, I added an additional component of needing to include a real life application into their story.

I always love being in the stories. Ironically, I was wearing my hair exactly like that on the day we presented......


We all loved the rhymes in this one :)

Ok, this project was pretty awesome. The child actually hand drew each Batman character and then was able to do some sort of program and digitized it! I'm keeping my electronic copy.


The kids had to explain to me who this 'Caillou' was.....


It was PUPPET SHOW time!!!!!!

The bar has now been raised for these projects. I think I'm going to update the rubric soon too....... Maybe.....


Positivity! Positive Graffiti Art

Are your kiddos super stressed? Well my kids are. In fact, I get multiple emails a week and they tell me it all the time how stressed out they are! Now, granted, we are on a mastery system and thus, it's a tad bit more stressful on the kiddos, having to get an A in order to move on, etc. Anyways, the freshmen always have the most difficult time with the change as they typically aren't used to the idea that they actually have to do work. I'm getting off topic now.....

Last week during advisory (basically homeroom time), I talked to my kids about taking time for themselves by eating well, sleeping, exercising, and doing something for themselves. I also mentioned how surrounding themselves with positivity would in turn help change their environment in a positive way. In order to spread the positivity, I took my kids outside to draw "positive" art on our sidewalks. Those who wished to not draw, took a lap around the school, some running, some walking, some just taking some space.

Regardless, the kids were semi excited about it. They're teenagers, they're never truly thrilled with me 100% but hey, I loved the positive graffiti.




Oh, and either my mom is awesome or my kids have decided that I should be married. Regardless, I manage to teach math AND how to be awesome. Apparently :)

Formative Assessment and Saving the Environment!


So I've spoken about them before and how the lessons are pretty awesome... Yes, that's right those formative assessment lessons! Well, I did one of my favorites, Forming Quadratics, again this year but this time, I decided that I was sick of printing and cutting mass quantities of dominos for the activity so I finally made a class set that I laminated (unfortunately the laminator is poor quality). We also have these really awesome desks so that the kids can write on them with dry erase markers, so the desks became their posters!


In order to submit their work so that I could hold them accountable, I had a member from each group take a picture of their loops along with all the details that they added and email their "poster" to me. Saved Paper. Saved the environment.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Trick or Treat! - My version of BuCkEt of LiEs (Solving Quadratics)

So you know how you spend all summer looking up all these amazing ideas to use in your classroom the following year? Okay, you caught me, I didn't do that all summer.... But I certainly pinned like crazy and made sure I was using those ideas! Well one of those awesome ideas was Bucket of Lies by Simplifying Radicals. Basically, the idea rocked but I tweaked the name and gave some firm instructions on what all the kiddos were to do.


I basically broke the kids up into groups of 4 (I had my classroom set up that way for another activity in Trig class - Add Em Up by Function of Time [Exponential/Log Equations Version], which of course the kids loved as well). In each group, I had a Jack-O-Lantern filled with Tricks (Incorrectly solved problems) and Treats (Correct problems, which I explained are treats to a teacher because there is less for us to fix... they soon realized this to be true).

As Simplifying Radicals said, basically it awesome to hear the kids talking and trying to find the error. The best part, that I added, was having the kids come up with questions they could ask this student. Because of course, we had to have the conversation that you can't just write, "you're dumb" on this person's test.


If you can't see it in the back, I have my Masterpiece Window with names in Window marker! They love it :)




Monday, October 14, 2013

When tests and retests don't work....

 At my school, we operate on a mastery based system. AKA, the kids have to get an A to pass. Well, obviously that doesn't always happen at the first go so we offer remediation activities in order to allow for the kids to show/prove their mastery. After doing a series of remediation activities, the kids qualify for a retest. I'd say 80% of the time, this works. Of course, I have the kids who aren't successful.

What do you do with those kids?

These are the kids who struggle on tests. These are the kids who just need a little extra guidance to get through. These are the kids who no matter how many times they practice, just can't apply what they know. These are the kids who are left in the middle of the road wondering, what now?

Well, here's my answer.

My answer is actually more of a question, a question that I pose to the child. It goes a little something like this, "Well, clearly tests don't work, so what works for you? How could you prove to me and show me that you have mastered the content?" Now obviously, you'll get an odd look staring back at you saying, what do you mean? I mean literally what I said, tests don't work for you and no matter what I give you, it's not working. Now, this can be hard for the child to hear but here's where the fun comes in and the differentiation is through the roof.

An illustrative book to show me a child understood The Fundamental Counting Principle

Another child spent 40 minutes making instructional videos explaining how to do questions thoroughly. Yes 40 minutes talking about math and it was documented.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sign up for an ASSISTment training!


Remember how much I love ASSISTments? Here, and here, and here. I'll be doing a training and would love for you to join us!



Teachers, Administrators…….

Do you want to…
·      Differentiate your students’ education plans?
·      Save grading time for teachers?
·      Get instant results to drive instruction?
·      Communicate individual student progress with parents?
·      Be able to track growth with real data?
·      Have access to content linked to the Common Core?

Do you want to do all of that and more for at NO COST to your school or to you students?

If you do, ASSISTments is perfect for your district! 
Learn More with this  VIDEO


ASSISTments Training:        Metro Training Center

Tuesday 11/5/13    9:00-3:00     AND     Tuesday   11/19/13   9:00 – 3:00

·      Training is offered through the Metro Training Center located at Metro Early College High School, 1929 Kenny Rd., Columbus, OH 43210
·      Who should attend: Classroom teachers, department chairs, administrators, school teacher-leaders
·      Training is conducted in a Train-the-Trainer model - you may take ASSISTments back to your staff!

Sign up Now!  Space is limited….

To be included in this training, simply complete the registration Google Form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1cgwME3YVD_skKWrA5cSqnfx15nyIVrgk2HvpF32739w/viewform

Trainers:                              
Jessica Rudolph, Metro, HS Math Instructor
         Carol Van Fossen, Metro, MS Math Instructor

Send questions to Carol:  vanfossen@themetroschool.org

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Angry Birds Levels - Shoebox Version

Ah! Here come the quadratics! I'm so excited! So much to do in this unit and well, so little time :( 
I loved doing the Angry Birds Project last year but I felt that it was almost too easy for the kids..... Plus, I know that my kids could make it even better. I remembered doing a shoe box diorama when I was little where my mom and I created a character who could fly through the air (it was a ballerina). Boom, angry birds fly through the air! 
So I've tweaked the project this year and I will now be having my kids produce a shoe box diorama of the level. I've also given myself a new rubric to use.

I'll probably stick with the same warmup I did last year from teacherspayteachers, you can find those details in the old post. But I already recognize that I could easily pile on the additional project discussed by Face the Math.

Pictures to come later!! Ah, I just can't wait!!! Oh, and I'll probably also do graphing parabolas with an MDC - formative assessment as well giving the pre assessment around assigning the project and then do the activity after the kids have been working on the project.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Updated Remediation Form

Just for those of you who follow how we do remediation, kids are to complete a series of activities in order to qualify for a retest. They document this on a remediation form then compile the activities into a nice packet that is submitted to me.
I felt like my form from before was a bit wordy so I tweaked the form every so slightly. I uploaded the word document to scribd (below) so that you can tweak it even further (I know your name is not Miss Rudolph :) ).
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