Math = Love

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Printable Vertical Number Line Foldable for Interactive Notebooks

I get e-mails from people all the time wondering how to get started with interactive notebooks.  Honestly, I'm not quite sure how to answer this question.  How does one get started with interactive notebooks?

I know these aren't the steps people want to hear, but I think this pretty much sums up the process:

Step 1.  Adjust your expectations.  Every page in your interactive notebook will not be pinterest-worthy.

Step 2.  Try stuff.  Figure out what lesson you are teaching.  Think about how you've taught it in the past.  Look online for ideas.  Decide a plan of action to take.  Take it!  

Step 3.  Reflect on the experience.  Were these notes helpful to my students?  What should I have further clarified?  Was the time spent on the notes appropriate?  Did my students reference their notes?  What could I do to make my students reference their notes more often?

Step 4.  Use what you've learned/made to impact future lessons.

Step 5.  Repeat.  Forever.

At Twitter Math Camp this year, we had several interactive notebook parties where we sat in the hotel lobby and just looked through each other's notebooks.  I brought along my teacher copies of my interactive notebooks for the past two years plus a few student copies.  Last year was my second year of doing INBs.  And, let's just say that my notebook pages from last year were easily 100 times better than my notebook pages from the first year.  That's natural.  We all learn and improve with time.  When we stop desiring to learn or improve, that's when we need to quit our jobs and re-evaluate our lives.

Why, then did I want to hide those less than perfect notebooks?  I don't remember who it was, but somebody picked up one of those notebooks from my first year and started leafing through it.  I immediately encouraged them to look through one of my newer, better notebooks instead.  After all, they would get so many more ideas from a different notebook.  But, they persisted and said they wanted to get an idea of what it really looks like to do interactive notebooks for the first time.  They were interested in reality since reality is the world we live and teach in.

When I envision what my notebooks for the year will look like, I have hundreds of amazing ideas.  Some of these will make it in our notebooks.  Some ideas I thought were amazing will end up flopping.  The idea that comes to me five minutes before class starts that I have to rush to put together will end up being a show stopper.  At least 50% of my ideas will never come to fruition because the timing doesn't work out just right or because I never get around to making a certain page.  My students are always eager to share their opinion.  Why didn't we put X, Y, or Z in our notebooks?  Or, this page was stupid.

Each year, this notebook thing gets easier.  I can reuse pages from previous years.  I have a better sense of how long it will take my students to do certain notebook pages.  Since I'm not having to create EVERYTHING, I can spend some time adding some "extras" to our notebooks.

This post is about one such extra.  This notebook addition has been 3 years in the making.

Year 1 of Teaching.  The formula for slope is (y2-y1)/(x2-x1).  Why can my students never remember this formula?  They change it to (x2-x1)/(y2-y1) or (x1-y1)/(x2-y2) or some other sort of mathematical heresy.  Then, if they do remember the formula correctly, they end up making all kinds of silly mistakes with their positives and negatives.

Year 2 of Teaching.  Inspired by Elissa, I decided to get rid of the slope formula.  We're just going to use tables to find the change in y and the change in x.  The formula delta y over delta x should be easier to memorize, right?  It turns out it is!  Some of my students have trouble finding the change in y or the change in x.  I direct them to use the number line on the wall.  This helps as long as they are in my classroom.  But, some of my special education students want to take their slope test in the resource lab.  That's one of their rights, but there is no number line on the wall in there.  One of my students asks why they can't have a number line in their notebooks.

Year 3 of Teaching.  AKA Yesterday.  In introduce the slope formula again as delta y over delta x.  I show my kids how to make the table and use the number line to find the change in y and the change in x.  While students are using their pencils to point at the number line on the wall, I ask them if they think it would be helpful to have their own personal number line to use.  YES!

I send out a tweet looking for a number line someone has already made.  Nothing.  This morning, I decide to make my own.  I really wanted the number line to extend from -25 to 25, but I had to settle for -20 to 20.

When not in use, the number line folds up on the inside back cover of our interactive notebooks.  

When students want to use the number line as a tool, they fold the number line over so it extends outside of the notebook.  

Now, the flaps will fold out to reveal a beautiful, vertical number line.

I wanted to make this number line in such a way that students can use it at the same time they are using their notes.  Here are our notes for finding slope from a table or points.  Students can use the number line to find the difference of the two numbers.

Here's a close-up of the extended number line.  I took a highlighter and marked zero for quick reference.

Now,  my students are equipped with lots of tools for finding slope!

I printed the number lines two to a legal sheet of paper.  The length of the legal paper allowed me to make the number line much longer than would have been otherwise possible.  I would like it if the number line was printed on a heavier weight of paper.  Alas, I don't have any legal sized cardstock.  If students take the time to fold these nicely back into their notebooks, they should fare well.  What I fear is that students will cram their notebook into their bag with the number line still protruding from the notebook.  I guess there's not much I can do to prevent this, though...

As with all notebook additions, I had to force my students to use the number line to show them its worth.  If I don't make my students reference their notebooks, they just won't.  I have to force myself to answer student questions with "It's in your notebook.  Look it up."  Today, one student was trying to find delta y when the two y-coordinates were 5 and -15.  He insisted that 5 and -15 were ten apart on the number line.  Of course, his number line was folded neatly into his notebook.  I made him get his number line out and show me the ten spaces they were apart.  Oh.....  Yes.  Now, please use your number line for the rest of the assignment.  

Also - I've finally become convinced that vertical number lines are awesome.  Hopefully, there will soon be one gracing the wall of my classroom.  My students requested it.  It turns out that many of them prefer the vertical number line to the horizontal number line.  

Want the file to print out your own vertical number lines?  Here's the link to the PDF file and an editable PUB file.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Five Random Facts

The contents of this post have nothing in common.  This is just me being random.

Random Fact #1: Even though I've lived on my own for a few years, using a hammer to hang things on the wall of my house still makes me feel independent.  This weekend, I had a few things that needed to be hung up.  I hung up my hexagonal pot holder on the wall in my kitchen.  This could be considered art, right?

I hung up some flower pictures in my bedroom.  We're going to pretend these are perfectly straight and level.  Let's just say I never measure before hammering in the nails to hang stuff.  It drives my mom crazy.  Hanging these required playing musical chairs with two other pictures on the wall.  

I hung a wreath over these hooks by my front door.  My sister told me the placement of the wreath was "interesting."  How am I supposed to know where to hang a wreath if I've never owned one before???

And, an obligatory selfie to round out the experience.

Random Fact #2:  I got a new laminator!  The summer before I first started teaching, I heard @druinok talking about purchasing a laminator.  If she buys something, I know it something I've got to have.  So, I bought one, too.  #BestPurchaseEver.  I used my Purple Cow Laminator A LOT.  I paid less than $30 for it from Amazon, and I have not regretted that purchase.  It laminated hundreds upon hundreds of pages for me.

This summer, I killed my laminator.  It wasn't the laminator's fault.  Total user error.  I turned on the laminator to warm up.  Then, I got side tracked.  When you buy a laminator, they tell you to never use it for more than two consecutive hours.  By this, they also mean, don't accidentally leave your laminator on for 24+ hours.  Oops...  I guess I got really side tracked.  When you leave the laminator on for that long, it starts to melt the parts inside.  Yeah.  Not good.

So, I ordered me a new laminator.  Amazon was having a sale on this Scotch Thermal Laminator.

I took it out of the box today to laminate some of Cindy Johnson's conic cards for my Algebra 2 classes.  This laminator is a thing of beauty!  It's quiet, and I think it might be a bit speedier than my previous Purple Cow.

Random Fact #3:

I can't wait to show this new brain teaser to my students.  My mom picked up this toy at a thrift store recently for me to share with my students.  The goal is to get the plastic ring off.  It looks impossible, but it's not.  I'm curious to see if any of my students will be able to figure it out.  This will make a perfect task for Brain Teaser Thursday.

Random Fact #4:

Students give you the weirdest stuff.  "Ms. Hagan, I brought you a water bottle."

Thanks?  I did use the water to water my plants in my classroom that I had been neglecting...

Random Fact #5:

My pink cabinet finally has labels!  :)  These make me happy.  Now, I just need to label everything else in my classroom!  Some day I will be organized...

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

RedditGifts Teacher Exchange: My Box of Goodies

I learned about the RedditGifts 2014 Teacher Gift program from Kathryn (@iisanumber).  After seeing some awesome gifts sent to her by a complete stranger for her classroom, I decided to sign up this year.  I asked my anonymous donor to help out with supplies for our interactive notebooks.  And, I'm so glad I did!  

My school fully supports my using interactive notebooks, but I have to provide all of the supplies for my students.  This can get a little pricey at times, but I think it's worth it.

Here's the box of goodies from my mystery donor.  Almost 12 pounds worth of INB supplies!

Dear Mystery Donor,

Thanks for going out of your way to help make math fun for my students!  I love all the supplies, and my students are going to love using them, too!  Thanks for helping make our notebooks beautiful!


Sarah (@mathequalslove)

Want to see pics of what I got?

They sent construction paper.

And pocket folders.

I may be most excited about this next one.  A plethora of post-it notes!  We can do so many fun activities with these post-it notes!

Scotch tape.  :)

Fun colored highlighters.  Yay!

Erasers for fixing mistakes.  Mistakes are good.  We learn from mistakes.  #growthmindset

And, you can never have enough glue sticks!

Colored pencils are a must for INBs.

My students have been complaining about all of our markers dying these past few weeks.  They're going to be super excited about these!

Pencils.  Why can some students never remember a pencil?

And, chalk.  There aren't any chalkboards in my classroom.  But, I'm pretty sure I saw an activity the other day that used chalk.  Now I just have to remember what activity it was...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

September Reflections on a Life Changed

I doubt my sixth grade homeroom teacher knows this, but she changed my life.  I can't remember the occasion, but during the first month of the school year, she gave me a book.  I'd forgotten about this book until this past Labor Day Weekend.  I'm an avid reader, and I have the bookshelves to go along with that passion/obsession.  Though my house now boasts five bookshelves, it wasn't that way when I first moved out on my own.  So, for the past few years, I have kept quite a few books on a shelf in my old bedroom at my parents' house.

Over Labor Day Weekend, my mom decided that to do some rearranging of furniture.  One of her plans involved switching the bookshelf in her bedroom with the bookshelf in my old bedroom.  Easy, right?  Well, after my mom and sister unloaded the 375 or so books off the shelf in my room to move the shelf, they were not exactly in the mood to re-shelve that many books.  When I came over to visit, I was given an ultimatum: "Go through your books.  Take the books you want to keep to your house.  Put the books you want to keep here back on the shelf.  Donate the rest."

This stack of books to go through isn't at all intimidating.  There were actually more than this.  These were all I could get in the picture, though.

I made three piles.  Keep.  Take home.  Donate.  Some of the books were easy to categorize.  Memorable books from my childhood went back on the shelf.  A few math textbooks went to my house.  The hundreds of novels from classical literature that I never got around to reading during my "I'm going to be an English teacher someday" phase ended up in the donation pile.  Going through the piles, I found the book that started it all, the book that was a gift from my 6th grade reading/homeroom teacher.  It was Memories of Anne Frank: Reflections of a Childhood Friend by Alison Leslie Gold.  In less than a second, I knew this book had to go in my keep pile.

I remember reading it, loving it, and wanting to know more about this young girl's life.  When the book fair came to the school, my first purchase was The Diary of Anne Frank.  I had already read about her life and experiences through the perspective of her friend.  Now, I relished the opportunity to get a glimpse into the author's life through her own words.  Reading her diary made me want to keep my own.  But, I didn't do anything about it right away.

Then, the world changed.  On a September morning that same year, two towers came crashing down.  Moved by the events, I picked up a pencil within a few minutes of learning about the tragedy and started writing my own diary.  I was a terrified eleven year old, and my writing reflected that.  I wrote in my 9/11 journal for a few weeks.  I recorded what I had heard on the news, conversations with my parents, rumors of impending war, and, mostly, my fears and questions.

I think I secretly hoped that one day my journal would also be read by the world.  Now that I've been on this planet for nearly a quarter of a century, I no longer have to dream of having my diary published for the entire world to read.  I'm already living that dream through this blog.

I started writing because Anne Frank wrote.  I started writing because Ms. Adams encouraged me to.  I started writing because I had something to say, but I was too scared to give voice to my thoughts and ideas.  The notes Ms. Adams would leave on my essays reminded me to be thankful for my experiences, and she encouraged me throughout the year to step outside of my comfort zone.  If she could see the woman I am today, I'm 99.97% sure she wouldn't recognize me.  That shy girl who always did her homework but never spoke up in class is now a confident, enthusiastic, passionate high school math teacher.  It took some hard work, but she got over her fear of being in the spotlight.  This summer, she even presented at two different conferences for math teachers.  That girl who was encouraged by her teacher to pursue her love of music now plays the piano for her church every Sunday.  

I started writing in the sixth grade on 9/11, and I haven't stopped since.  In 13 years of journaling, I've filled 36 volumes.  Volume 37 is currently in progress.  A shelf in my bedroom holds these volumes.  These pages tell of triumphs and low points in my life.  Other pages cover the mundane.  The pages have been written, read, and reread.  Tears stains dot some pages; other pages include a ridiculous amount of exclamation points.  When I look back at my early entries, I have to cringe.  At the same time, I know I wouldn't be the writer I am today if it wasn't for those early attempts.  If my house is on fire, these will be what I grab.    

Sometimes I wonder how many more volumes there would be if I hadn't picked up blogging.  How many books would be filled by my 400 blog posts?  Writing and the process of reflecting in order to write have changed me.  When I think about how I decided what area of teaching to go into, I have to laugh.  I discounted the idea of becoming an English teacher because I said I hated writing.  Actually, I guess my exact words were, "I hate writing essays, so I'm pretty sure I would hate grading essays."  So, what did I do?  I became a math teacher who writes and writes and writes.  And, amazingly, people seem to want to read what I write.  So, the process continues.    

The list of people who have greatly influenced my life is dominated by educators.  And, I have to hope that someday I will be on someone's list.

I had several high school English teachers who took the time to teach me to write and develop my voice.  To them, I will be eternally grateful.  Junior year.  AP English Composition.  The task: write an essay about a life changing moment.  It was a few weeks before the fifth anniversary of September 11th.  At this point, I had no way of knowing I was still on a journey that was influenced by the events of this day and the gift of a book from a teacher.  I didn't know that the journal I started that day would soon multiply into volume after volume.  I didn't even know what a blog was in middle school.  

Every September, I make it a point to go back and re-read my reflections.  What I wrote in 2006 remains true today.

Not Such An Ordinary Day: A Reflection on September 11, 2001
By: Sarah Hagan

It was just an ordinary school day, or so I thought.  After we had said the Pledge of Allegiance, the principal came over the intercom.  I do not remember her exact words because at that time I had no idea what she was talking about.  She basically told the teachers that they should try to make the school day as normal as possible.  "Why", I thought, "should the teachers have to try to make the school day normal?"
By third hour, I was even more confused.  What was this secret that all of the teachers were keeping from us?  My science teacher had a television set pushed up to her desk and muted so only she could see it.  Why was she allowed to see it if we were not?  By now, I knew something was terribly wrong.
The answer came at 1:18 p.m.  Ms. Jordan, my sixth grade social studies teacher, took the time to tell us all of the events that had happened that morning.  She turned on the news so we could see the Twin Towers crash to the ground for ourselves.  Ms. Jordan realized how great of an impact this was going to have on our lives.  She took the time to listen to our worries and answer our questions.  Who did this to us?  Why did they do it?  Are they going to do it again?  There was not enough time to answer all of our questions.
I knew that this was to be an important event in my life.  I wanted to have something that I would be able to look back at so I started writing.  I wrote about everything that had happened and how it made me feel.  Looking back at those pages, I relive the horrific events of that day.  "It's 1:18 pm and the United States is under siege." That sentence begins my account of September 11, 2001 and the days following.  That night, I wrote, "I'm still scared.  No more news.  I hope it doesn't turn into a war!"  I started to question why this had happened.  I wrote, "I've been praying a lot lately.  Why did this have to happen?"  Luckily, my parents were there to answer any questions I had.  I can remember asking my mother, "What did we do to them to make them do this to us?"  Most of my questions were answered with, "I don't know."  It made me feel better to know that I was not alone.
Ms. Jordan told us that the day of September 11, 2001, would be one that we would remember for the rest of our lives.  It would be a day we would tell our children and grandchildren about.  I tried to imagine myself as an adult who was able to immediately recall the exact day the Twin Towers came crashing down.  I simply could not picture it.  Reflecting back, five years later, I remember the date as if it was yesterday.
Growing up, I thought America was the best country in the world.  If we were not the best country, then why did so many people want to become American citizens?  I felt that war was an uncivilized thing of the past.  September 11, 2001 made me realize that our country was not safe.  We were hated and despised by other cultures.  If they could kill thousands of innocent people, what else could they do?  If they did it once, they could do it again.  For the first time in my life, I feared my safety.
Even at the age of eleven, I knew that this day was a changing point for America.  The events of this day are still defining my life today.  Just as Dorothy realized she and Toto were no longer in Kansas, we woke up that day to realize that we were not as safe as we thought we were.  We woke up that day to never sleep again.  The rose colored glasses of my childhood were abruptly ripped off that afternoon, and my feeling of safety collapsed with the Twin Towers.  

Disclosure: This blog contains Amazon Affiliate links.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Things Teenagers Say Volume 15: Vampires, Bad Jokes, and Jellyfish

Welcome to Volume 15 of Things Teenagers Say.  Each and every statement below was uttered by a student in my classroom.  Teaching high school math is NEVER dull.  :)

View Previous Installments:
Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3 | Volume 4 | Volume 5  
Volume 6 | Volume 7 | Volume 8 | Volume 9 | Volume 10


What not to say to your teacher:

Student 1: Ms. Hagan, how do you have so many twitter followers?
Me: What can I say?  People just like me.
Student 2: And, how are cooler on twitter than you are in class?


Student: You're evil. But, you're a sweet kind of evil.
Me: Thanks???


After introducing my function machines to my Algebra 1 students:

Student: Did you know that naming things like this is a sign that you're going crazy?


You should date my brother.  He's an old soul just like you.


My boyfriend kisses like a jellyfish.



Student: Do you want to hear a dirty joke?
Me: No.
Student: I haven't vacuumed my carpet in seven years.


Student: If you change the N to a W, it would say "Class Worms."
Me: Thank you for that wonderful insight.  


We should make algebra a contact sport.  When somebody gets something wrong, their desk should get tackled.


Student 1: Do you know what I did this morning?  I couldn't find my belt, so I decided to use a bungee cord to hold up my pants.
Student 2: You can use a bungee cord for anything!
Me: I don't even think I own a bungee cord.
Student 2:  What type of person doesn't own a bungee cord?


Did you know looking at your phone can give you a double chin?


How can I make my leg wake up other than telling it to wake up?  Because I told it to wake up, and it didn't work.


Student: What happens if you swallow a bug?
Me: You die.
Student: [Gasp] I think I just swallowed a bug.  


Every day, I write a greeting on the SMART Board on the slide that tells students what supplies they will need for the day.  It's usually something along the lines of "Have a Wonderful Wednesday!" or "Start thinking of your good thing!"  Last Thursday, the board read, "Happy Baby Friday!"  Growing up, my mom sometimes referred to Thursday as "Baby Friday."  Apparently, my students have never heard of this before.  

All day long, I heard, "But, Ms. Hagan!  It's not Friday!" when students walked in the classroom.  I didn't say it was Friday.  I said it was "Baby Friday."  Yeah, I'm not sure they fully comprehended my message.  It did lead to some interesting comments.  

Student:  Shouldn't it be called Teenage Friday?
Me: What?
Student:  Baby Friday should actually be called Teenage Friday.  Then, Wednesday could be Baby Friday.  Thursday could be Teenage Friday.  And Friday could just be Friday.

Another Student: Baby Friday?  I think the lack of meat is going to your head.


On a Thursday...

Student: Guys!  It's one day early to be making fun of Ms. Hagan's jokes.


Ms. Hagan, I heard your boyfriend broke up with you because he found out you were a teacher.  Is that true?


Note to self.  Do not tell jokes about vampires and teachers unless you want to be accused of being a vampire.  Rookie mistake. 

Me: What do you get if you cross a vampire and a teacher?
Student: Ms. Hagan

(and in another class)

Me: What do you get if you cross a vampire and a teacher? 
Student: A Math Teacher

Me: Guys, do you really think I'm a vampire?
Student: I bet you sleep in a coffin.
Another Student: Maybe this is why we never see you outside the school.
Yet Another Student:  Your legs do kinda remind me of a vampire's legs.  They're so white, almost like porcelain.


#TMC14 was held at Jenks High School.  The other day, some of my students were hypothesizing what it would be like to go there.  

Student: Can you imagine what it would be like to go to a school like Jenks?  I bet their hallway is like a Calvin Klein runway show.


The ag teacher told me how you teach.  You teach in such a way that we don't realize we're learning stuff.  We just come to class and think we're having fun.  But, you're actually teaching us math!  Good job Ms. Hagan!  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

#Next5: Making Plans

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately.  Planning for my future.  Thinking about my present.  Reflecting on my past.  What do I want to accomplish in my life?  What should I be doing right now?  

These post-college years have not looked like what I anticipated.  My plans for my future and God's plans haven't necessarily lined up in all aspects of my life.  But, that's okay.  He's continually showing me how His ways are better.  I've accomplished so many things these past couple of years that would have been impossible had my own plans worked out.

In one of the facebook groups that I'm a part of, several of the participants started posting lists of goals under the hash tag #Next5.  The idea is to write a list of what you wish to accomplish in the next five years of your life.  Then, share it with the world.  Kevin Buchanan made a video about the #Next5 Challenge.

I've never been one to create a five or ten year plan for my life before.  But, there's a first time for everything.  Here's what I hope to accomplish in the next five years of my life.  I'm a few months away from turning 25, so I guess you could call this my list of things to do before I turn 30.

I tried to take a selfie with my list, but my selfie skills are seriously lacking.  This is the best out of at least 10 or 15 takes...

Eventually, I just resorted to laying my list down and snapping a picture of it.

My #Next5* 

Master's Degree
After four years of college, I was READY to be done.  While my friends were busy taking the GRE and filling out grad school applications, I was busy filling out job applications.  I wanted to be the one giving the homework instead of doing the homework.  Now that I've been out of college for several years, I miss it.  I miss the challenge.  I think I'm ready now.  I have a vision for what I want to do someday beyond the classroom.  And, it's going to take a fair amount of extra schooling to make it happen.  More about those plans in another post, though...

National Board Certification
I have one more year of teaching to complete until I can start the process of becoming a Nationally Board Certified Teacher.  I remember watching my high school teachers go through this process while I was a student, and I'm excited for the opportunities for reflection and professional development it will provide.  The thought of video-taping my teaching and reflecting on it terrifies me.  But, that's a sign that it's something I need to do.  I want to become a better, more effective educator.  And, I think this is an important step on my journey to do just that.  The extra stipend that comes with it will be nice as well.  (Let's just hope Oklahoma keeps paying the stipend!)

Own My Own Home
I moved out of my parents' house at age 18 when I started college.  My first two years of college were spent living in a dorm room.  Next, came two years of living in an apartment.  When I moved to Drumright, I rented a house.  This will be my third year living in the same house. I think I'm finally at the point where I need to decide where I want to settle down and buy a house.  I feel like it's silly to keep paying rent when I could be investing in something.  In the town I live in, house payments are actually cheaper than rent.  I have lots of decisions to make.  But, I definitely want to own my own home in the near future.

Run a 5K
I'm not a runner.  It doesn't come naturally to me, but I want to prove to myself that I can do it.  I want to prove to my students that I can do it.  This is about me making an effort to stay healthy and fit.  This is about me proving to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to.  This is about me stepping out of my comfort zone.  It's time to stop making excuses and make this happen.

Get Married
If I said I didn't want to get married, I would be lying.  So far, God hasn't made this happen.  Instead, he's been using this season of singleness to work on growing me as a person.  He's teaching me how to communicate.  Oh, how he's doing quite a job of that right now.  This could be a blog post in itself.  I've also had to learn how to go after what I want and not what I think that others would want me to do.  I know marriage isn't easy.  And, I know I will be better off for working on these things before entering into a relationship.  Will marriage happen for me in the next 5 years?  I don't know.  Of all the things on this list, it's the one that is the least under my control.  At least the type of God-honoring marriage I'm looking for is out of my control.  I guess I could always find some random person on the street that would agree to marry me, but that's definitely NOT what I'm looking for!  :)

The disclaimer at the bottom goes for the entire list.  I truly have no way of knowing what challenges and triumphs the next five years of my life will bring.  God is in control.  And, the Bible tells me that his ways and thoughts are greater and higher than mine.  I plan on working my hardest to make these goals into reality, but I am ultimately not in control.

What's your plan for the #Next5 years of your life?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Beginning of Year Concept Maps 2014-2015

This summer, I participated in OGAP for the second year.  One of the requirements for our participation is to have our students create concept maps at the beginning and end of the year.  I'm looking forward to seeing how this year's group of students' attitudes change toward math as the year progresses.

Here are some of the highlights of this year's concept maps.

I'm not sure if this student things algebra is going to be good or bad or fun or all three!

We'll be working on negatives this year a lot in Algebra 1!

Feeling flattered.  Maybe they'll learn to spell my name correctly by the end of the year :)

I told students they could write anything related to algebra including how they felt about it.  Algebra apparently ruins your life.  "It would be better if it was food."  Hmm...  Not quite sure how to respond to that one. I've got my work cut out this year with convincing this student of the amazingness of algebra!

"I like math unless I get pushed to far and yelled at."  Has this happened to them before?  So sad.  I hope students don't leave my class feeling this way.

It looks like I also have some tricks to nix this year.  KFC should be banned!

I especially like the "something I can't remeber the name of" bubble.  :)


I like that this student recognizes that homework is preparation for tests.  And, I agree.  Algebra and math are both cool.

Math = Lots of Headaches

Lots of truth in this concept map.  "Ms. Hagan don't eat meat."  Ms. Hagan has lots of signs and quotes on the wall.  Ms. Hagan has a stuffed monkey as a classroom pet.

I may have to start referring to Remind (formerly Remind101) as "Algebra Alerts."  :)

Problem solving.  Confusion.  Brain thinking.  This is what I want my classroom to be like!

INBs make an appearance.  Coloring and Drawing in Notebooks.  "Fun with Ms. Hagan."

Algebra is a sleeping aid.  And, I am nice but strange.  Thanks, student, for your honesty.

Algebra is better than geometry.

A student's take on typical word problems:

This is a student I had for Algebra 1.  Love this concept map!

"Only Ms. Hagan likes math."  I would beg to differ.

Apparently, this student really doesn't like math.

And, this is why I have banned the (y2 - y1) / (x2 - x1) formula from my classroom.  I didn't teach the formula last year and the results were AMAZING.  Students I taught the formula to two years ago still can't remember how it goes... :(

Algebra "should be ILLEGAL."