Math = Love

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Algebra 1 INB Pages - Unit 6 Linear Functions

Still working through my draft folder.  And, I happened upon some INB pages that I somehow forgot to post this year.  I posted snippets of some of these, but never the entire unit.  Don't worry.  I'll rectify the situation today!  If you're in a hurry, the new, never posted pages, are at the very beginning and towards the middle.  As always, files to makes these pages are embedded at the bottom.

I present to you: 

Unit 6: Linear Functions

This pic is old.  Here's the rest of the table of contents:
61 Finding Slope From A Graph
62 Finding Slope From A Table
63 Finding Slope From 2 Pts.
64 Linear Function Vocabulary
65-66 Linear/Non-Linear Practice
67 X- and Y- Intercepts
68 Different Forms of Linear Functions
70 Parallel and Perpendicular Lines

Read more about the Slope Name Art assignment here.

Read more about Slope Dude here.

I actually had the students draw 3 examples of each type of slope.  I only put one example of each in my notebook to keep a student from copying my notebook and not having to think!

I use these little light bulb post-it notes I got from Target to mark things in my notebook to change for next year.

I had my students design their own notebook pages over finding slope.  That was an experience that I'll try to blog about ASAP.

I posted about our linear/non-linear practice pages here.  

And, I blogged about our x- and y-intercept notes here.  

The next set of images are ones I haven't shared with you before.  Oops...  This year, I decided to teach all of the different forms of linear functions at once.  The jury is still kinda out on whether that was a good decision or not...  The test will be to see if I decide to do it the same this year!  

I've already posted about our HOY VUX notes here.

This year's parallel and perpendicular notes are very similar / almost identical to last year's notes.  

All of the files you need to make these notebook pages are embedded below as both PDF and editable files.  Enjoy!  Let me know via e-mail at mathequalslove(at)gmail(dot)com if you have trouble downloading these files.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Foldables In The Making

I get a lot of comments and e-mails asking exactly how I model my notes for my students.  I know some teachers write the notes on an actual foldable under the document camera, but I don't have the most user friendly document camera.  And, it's a big pain to switch back and forth between the document camera and my SMART Board.

So, I make foldable templates in the SMART Notebook software to write on top of.  This isn't foolproof.  I often have students take notes in the wrong place, but I think that's a result of their not paying attention.  Because usually 95% of the class will do it right...

Here's an example of what my SMART Board notes look like and what the foldable my students end up making looks like.  I write everything every class period.  This can get a bit old, but I find myself tweaking my wording throughout the day.  I take what didn't work first hour and try to make it better third and fifth hour.  I teach 3 classes of Algebra 1 and 2 classes of Algebra 2, so I never have to write the same thing more than 3 times.  There are some things that I type out in advance for my students.  And, there are some days when I think some notes will take 3 minutes to write.  When they take 10 minutes in reality, I usually end up typing them out for the rest of my classes and simply have them glue them in.  Timing activities can be really tricky with interactive notebooks.  I've found that giving my students a specific amount of time to do a task (via a timer) can be a big help! I wrote more about using a timer in class here.  

As you can see, I try to incorporate lots of color-coding.  Doing this is pretty easy on the SMART Board.  Plus, if a student was absent, I can always pull up the previous day's notes on the SMART Board for them.

The notes look super messy once we get done, but my students don't seem to have too much trouble following along with what's new on the page.  Though, they do take every opportunity they can get to criticize my SMART Board handwriting...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Me and My Desk: A Plea for Help

This post has been setting in my drafts for a while now.  I'm not sure why I never posted it.  So, the date references are all wrong, but I think you'll be able to follow along.  I almost deleted this since it was so old, but I decided to post it as a plea for advice.  Keeping my desk organized is a huge struggle or me.  So, I want to hear all your tips and tricks for staying organized during the school year.  I obviously need them!


In high school, I won an award for being the most organized student.  I was always the one with the binder full of tabs and sheet protectors.  I always had all my needed supplies.  And, everything had a place.  I'm not sure what happened to me.  The other day, a student asked, "Ms. Hagan, why is your desk always so messy?"  I just don't know.  When I do clean my desk off, I will have at least five people (coworkers and students) acknowledge how clean my desk is.  That's a sign that it's quite the rare occurrence.

Last week, I decided that I wasn't giving any standardized tests on Wednesday or Thursday.  So, I was going to make it my goal to clear my desk off before the three day weekend.

I even took a before picture to help motivate myself.  After all, then I could look at the after picture and feel so accomplished.  


Wednesday afternoon, I got unexpectedly called on to proctor a state test during my planning period.

(Not Much Better!)

So, Wednesday didn't end in a clean desk.  There's still Thursday, though.  Hope lives on!


What a great after picture, right?  A clean desk should not be this hard.

Why am I showing you pictures of my messy, unorganized desk?  This is a plea for help, guys.  I promise.  I don't want my desk to look like this.

I much prefer for it to look like this:

So, how do you keep your desk clean?  How do you stay organized?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Favorite YouTube Videos to Show in Math Class

I'm cleaning out my drafts folder in blogger.  Most of my drafts are posts with titles to remind me about what I still need to write about.  Is it bad that I don't remember what some of these titles even refer to anymore?  Delete.  Delete.

Today, I want to share with you the youtube videos I have used in my math classes over the past two years.  It is my hope that I might introduce you to something you haven't seen before.  I guess these could all be individual posts, but that's not gonna happen.  As soon as school starts, I'm going to have a million and one new things to blog about.  So, I want to blog about as much of my old stuff as possible before then.

The first few videos are ones that I show on Pi Day.

(By the way - I'm not sure if these embedded youtube videos will show up if you're reading this blog post via e-mail or RSS reader.  If they don't show up, you may need to click through to my actual site to watch the videos.)

What Pi Sounds Like - Very cool musical version of pi!  My band students especially love this video.

How Pi Was Nearly Changed to 3.2 - A fun little history lesson for students on how pi was almost changed forever.

The Pi Song - Cute song that will help students start memorizing the digits of pi.

Quadratic Formula Song to Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" - Funny story.  I actually heard this version BEFORE I heard Adele's original song.  Now, any time I hear the actual song, I think of it as an adaptation.  Some of my students really enjoyed this.

y=mx+b Song - I like this short slope intercept song.  My students voted it as their least favorite of my slope songs, though.  :(

Colin Dodds - Number Types (Math Song) - I always use this video when introducing the Real Number System.  I love the organization of his graphics!

Slope Music Video (Rise Up Run Out) - This is probably my students' favorite slope song.  They begged me to play it while we were working on homework for the entire rest of the year.  Some of them went out and listened to it on their own time.  Love this song!  I have even found myself singing it in the shower...

Colin Dodds - Slope (Math Song) - Another catchy slope song from Colin Dodds.  I love his stuff!

Graph Shop - Graphing Lines Thrift Shop Parody - I think this was my favorite new math song this year.  I went and listened to the actual lyrics of Thrift Shop after this.  Not good!  One day, my students asked me if I knew who Macklemore was.  I thought he was a character on Harry Potter.  Oops...

Slope Rida - "Slope" - I always use this video in my introduction to slope.  LOVE it!

Nonagon - They Might Be Giants - I've never actually taught geometry, but I still manage to find a way to show this video to my students.  Usually it goes like this - Do you want to hear my favorite math song?  Sure!  Show this video.  For some reason, they are not as excited about it as me.  It always makes for a sad day...

Slope Dude - This post wouldn't be complete without mentioning Slope Dude.  I can't teach slope without him!  This is the video that I hope my students remember until the day they die.  A bit extreme?  Maybe.

Colin Dodds - Pythagorean Theorem (Math Song) - My first year of teaching, my 8th grade Algebra 1 students were also required to take the 8th grade state math test in addition to the Algebra 1 test.  One of the main 8th grade topics is the Pythagorean Theorem.  I used this song as a quick review of that.

Meat-A-Morphosis: An Introduction to Functions - I use this video every time I introduce functions.  The kids are outraged.  And, it leads to all kinds of fun conversations.  Most of these are centered around my decision to be a vegetarian...  But, we also talk about math, too.

Hexaflexagons by Vi Hart - I love making hexaflexagons with my students.  Vi Hart explains them way better than I ever could!

Hexaflexagon Safety Guide - After we make our own hexaflexagons, we watch this video to get some really cool decorating ideas.

Video for Combining Like Terms - This video is a little long, but it makes the perfect introduction for combining like terms.  Watch it.  You'll see why!

Flocabulary - Order of Operations Rap - My students love this order of operations rap.  Apparently, it has a "sick beat."  I guess that's a good thing???  All I know is that students were wanting to download this song on their MP3 players.  In my book, that's a win!

PEMDAS - Don't Stress! - I also love this order of operations song.  Catchy tune!

Graph! (WSHS Math Rap Song) - This was my first year to show this video during our linear equations unit.  My students enjoyed it, but it's a bit long for my taste.

Minor Notes - Slope - My students asked to watch this video one day based on YouTube's recommendation.  I agreed hesitantly.  I try to not let students watch videos I haven't pre-screened.  I made that mistake once.  A student suggested a quadratic formula video and assured me that it was school appropriate.  Then, one of the cartoon characters cut off the other character's head.  Didn't see that one coming!  I decided that anybody who would call themselves Mr. Q - U - E would have to be school appropriate.  The song was okay.  There's a lot of slope songs I like a lot better.  But, my students loved it for some reason.  I think their love might be more for the singer they deemed "handsome" than for the song...

Colin Dodds - Scientific Notation (Math Song) - Scientific notation was another one of the topics that my 8th graders were tested on that wasn't covered in Algebra 1.  They really liked this video.  It provided several opportunities to pause the song and think about the answer before continuing.

The "One Direction" Quadratic Formula Song - Here's another quadratic formula song that we listened to in Algebra 2.  It's to a One Direction song that I'm not really familiar with, but my students were plenty familiar with it.  I still prefer the Pop! Goes The Weasel version...

So - there you have it.  My favorite youtube videos to use in math class.  Do you have any favorites you don't see listed?  Share them in the comments!  I'm always on the lookout for new videos to share with my students.  There are so many of them on Youtube, it can be hard to sort through them to find quality videos.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

End of Year Clean Up: Brilliance and Insanity

These pictures are from May.  Yes, I realize it is now July.  School starts back way too soon.

This post is proof of both my brilliance and my insanity.  :)

Brilliant move: have students help with end of school year clean-up.  Our last day of school was crazy.  First off, it was a half-day.  And a third or so of that half-day included our all-school Awards Assembly.  On the morning of the awards assembly, I got a call from my principal asking me to make hundreds of awards for the assembly.  On the day of the assembly.  Talk about stressful!

Luckily, I'd already written a to do list on the board of tasks that needed to get done.  While I was busy printing awards, my students got to work on the list.  I didn't even have to ask them.  Honestly, I think they were bored out of their minds and glad to have something to do.

End of School To Do List
This next picture shows both the nicely stacked desks and my moment of insanity.  On our last teacher work day of the year, I decided it would be smart to take EVERYTHING out of my black storage cabinet and set it on the floor.

Here's the cabinet minus everything but my colored paper.  That stuff is heavy and a pain to move!

Most of the stuff was pretty easy to put up.  But, there's always those things that you don't know quite what to do with.  For example, where should I store my leis from our Hawaiian themed spirit day?  Or my fly swatters for the fly swatter game?  As soon as I throw out the old ice cream bucket, I will find something I could have done with it.  This was the point where I really started dreading my decision to pull everything out of my cabinet at once!

The final results was nice!  I don't think my cabinet has ever been quite this organized.

Of course, after this, I decided to change how I stored my paper which led to even more re-arranging.  I posted about my new solution to colored paper storage here.  

I post this as a reminder to myself.  Getting students to help with classroom chores = good.  Deciding to take everything out of your storage cabinet at once = stupid.  

Side note: In just two short years of teaching, I've accumulated a TON of stuff.  Whenever I decide to move, it's going to be crazy.  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Vacation Math - Sundae Possibilities

Prepare to gasp, guys.  I've got something to share today that ISN'T a poster.  Shocking, right?

A couple of weeks ago, I went on vacation with my parents and sister.  My sister and I had never been to Colorado, and my parents hadn't been since they were kids.  So, Colorado it was.  We ended up making a giant circle.  Oklahoma to Kansas to Colorado to New Mexico to Texas and back to Oklahoma.

On the last day of our trip, we stopped at Denny's for dinner.  While waiting for our food to be prepared, I decided to glance at the extra menus that were at our booth.  That's when I discovered something exciting.  A math problem!

There are more than 80 ways to build your own Sundae.

Of course, I had to check out their claim.  So, what are the choices for building your own Sundae?

Pick Two Scoops of Premium Ice Cream.  There are three difference ice creams to choose from.  I count six different ways of choosing my ice cream.  VV, VC, VS, CS, CC, SS.

Pick A Topping.  There are three different toppings to choose from.

Pick A Crunch.  There are three different crunches to pick from.

So, by my math, there are 6 * 3 * 3 ways to build a sundae.  This multiplication yields on 54 ways to build a sundae.

Am I missing something?  Did I make a mistake somewhere?  Or do they really not know how many sundae possibilities there are?

The picture on the menu page showed whipped cream on top of the sundae.  This isn't listed on the options.  Adding the possibility of whipped cream or no whipped cream would change my number of possible sundaes to 54*2 or 108.  That is more than 80, but I'm not satisfied by that.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sentence Starter Posters to Promote Group Discussion

Okay, today I'm sharing yet another idea I stole from Ilana Horn's Strength in Numbers: Collaborative Learning in Secondary Mathematics.  You could say I'm kinda obsessed with this book.  I'm feeling so much better at attempting group work in my classroom after reading this book.  To encourage student conversation during group work time, the author suggests that you provide students with these sentence starters.

These sentence starters are designed to get students discussing their thinking.  If a student is confused by what their group members are doing, they could say, "How did you know how to draw the diagram?"  or "Why are our diagrams different?"  I've always assumed that my students can't have mathematical discussions.  They've failed grandly anytime I've tried to have one.  But, maybe my students just haven't been taught how to have a discussion.  By posting these and referencing them, I will (hopefully!) be helping my students to take control of their own learning and benefit from the group work.

Since I like to make posters about everything, I decided to make a set of sentence starter posters.  At this rate, I'm not going to have any room in my classroom to hang up any of my old decorations!  I guess that's a good problem to have???  One of my students (who has had me two years in a row) did tell me that I needed to get some new posters...

I've embedded them at the bottom of this post as both a PDF file and an editable Open Office file.  If you have trouble downloading the files, please send me an e-mail at mathequalslove(at)gmail(dot)com.  I'll happily attach the files and send them to you.

Embedded Files:

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