Math = Love

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Group Board Work Strategy

Some days I have random ideas that work out well.  Other days, my random ideas flop.  Big time.  The other day while doing last minute test prep review, I tried one of those random ideas.

Here was the scenario:

For the first forty or so minutes of class, we had been reviewing various calculator strategies.  We had been practicing entering tables, turning stat plot on and off, and sketching inverses on the TI-84.  I'm annoyed that I have to teach these things because it's tedious and using Desmos would just be so much easier.  But, my kids don't get Desmos on their test.  They get a TI-84.

After finishing the calculator review, I asked my students what else they wanted to review before their standardized test.  This was their last chance to ask questions.  They voted on doing a dividing polynomial problem that resulted in a remainder.  I taught this using the box method this year, and it has been AWESOME.

This post isn't about the box method.  Though, I do need to still blog about it.  If I don't, please hold me to it.  It's pretty much life changing.  

This post is about how I handled a dilemma I had.  There was less than 10 minutes of class left.  It didn't seem like enough time to justify dragging out the dry erase boards, markers, and erasers.  My kids can easily waste a few minutes trying to pick the perfect dry erase marker out of the bucket.  I knew that I could ask students to get out a piece of paper.  But, I think you know how kids are during the last 10 minutes of class on Friday on the last day before the test.  If I did this, a few kids would, but more would probably just sit there and "pretend" to follow along without writing anything down.

In a moment of brilliance/insanity/not sure what, I told my students that we would just do the problem together.  No white boards.  No notebook paper.  Normally this is the recipe for complete chaos and student disengagement.  One person does the problem.  The rest of the class watches.  Or not.

But, I had a plan.  My students had to do the problem together.  With no help from me.  On the SMARTboard.  The twist?  No student could write more than 3 terms on the board.  And, no student could have more than one turn at the board.  

Here's what the finished problem looked like:

The class ACTUALLY worked together.  The top students weren't working ahead.  The lower students weren't off the hook.  Because no student could fill in more than 3 terms, they had to communicate with one another.  They had to pay attention to what the person ahead of them was doing.

Different students wanted to take slightly different approaches with writing out the process (highlighting versus circling like terms).  So, they had to justify these to the class.  Students who were confused about where we were in the process or where we were going were asking each other for help.

It was beautiful.  Students working together.  Students engaged.  Students asking questions.  Students answering each other's questions.  Students doing math.  Students talking about math.

I definitely wouldn't use this strategy every day.  But, for those odd few minutes when you want students to work together without dragging out loads of supplies, this worked perfectly.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Algebra 1 - Unit 2 Linear Functions INB Pages

Are you getting tired of seeing notebook pages yet?  Usually I try to space these out a bit more.  But, I'm so behind at getting them posted.  I want to get all of this year's notebook pages up before the end of the school year in one month!

Many of these are repeats from last year's unit on linear functions.  There are some tweaks and new pages, though.  You can view last year's pages here.

SBG Learning Goals for Algebra 1 Unit 2 - My students asked for separate columns to record their homework and quiz grades for each learning goal.

Unit 2 Table of Contents

Four Types of Slope:

Inside of The Adventures of Slope Dude:

This paper folds out and each quadrant is labeled to represent a different type of slope.  Students had to create 3 examples of each type of slope.

Slope name art project I've used before:

Slope Concept Map Graphic Organizer

Finding Slope from a Table or Points

We used our vertical number lines to help us find the delta y and delta x values.

Finding Slope From A Graph Graphic Organizer:

Interpreting Slope - My students have struggled with questions that ask them to interpret the slope of a table or graph in the past.  This year, we got lots and lots of practice with a poof booklet.

Inside of Booklet:

I don't think they'll forget that slope is all about the CHANGE this year!

Frayer Model for Linear Relationship:

Linear / Non-Linear Card Sort.  This was NEW this year!  Link to download file at the bottom of this post.

Practicing with Linear Patterns:

X and Y Intercept Notes:

Inside of Practice Poof Booklet:

Slope Intercept Form Notes

Inside of y=mx+b foldable:


And yet another poof book.  I kinda like these things!

Notes on converting equations to Slope-Intercept Form

Standard Form of a Linear Equation - I went back to this foldable from my first year of teaching this year.

Point-Slope Form Notes:

4 Practice Problems:

Inside stolen from Everybody is a Genius.

Parallel and Perpendicular Lines Foldable:


These notes are the same as I normally use.

This year, I had students practice writing lines parallel, perpendicular, and neither parallel nor perpendicular to a set of equations.  This is a start at making this lesson better, but it still needs something.  I just can't put my finger on it.  Yet.

Parallel Practice:

Perpendicular Practice:

Neither Practice:

At the end of the unit, I had students create a summary foldable of the different forms of linear functions.  They had to write the steps to graph each function and make their own example problem.

Download files here.