Math = Love: 2017's Most Popular Posts

Friday, December 22, 2017

2017's Most Popular Posts

Every year, Jo Morgan posts a recap of her favorite and/or most popular posts of the year. Last year, I copied her lead, and this year I am going to do the same. I guess that makes it a tradition. 2017 isn't quite over yet, but I'm going to take advantage of the fact that it is early Christmas Break and my to do list is not yet overwhelmed with stuff to get ready for next semester.

This will be my 197th blog post of 2017.So, how does this year's blogging stack up to previous years?

Blog Posts by Year
2017 - 197 (so far)
2016 - 183
2015 - 199
2014 - 214
2013 - 107
2012 - 103
2011 - 3

Hopefully, I can knock out a few more posts over the rest of Christmas Break. That would make 2017 my second most frequent year of blogging. Like last year, I am going to take a look at how many pageviews each blog post I wrote in 2017 received. I enjoy doing this to see what type of posts my readers most enjoy.

1. 21 Ideas for the First Week of School - I wrote this post this summer to reflect on the activities I did LAST YEAR during the first week of school. I'd never gotten around to blogging about it last year, so I decided I might as well do a recap of last year to help me decide what I wanted to do this year during the first week. This was by far my most popular post of the year. It was read over 20,000 times! The fact that this post was my post popular of the year doesn't really surprise me because my blog traffic always peaks in mid August/early September as teachers are planning for the upcoming school year.

2. My Most-Referenced Math Classroom Decorations - My next most popular post featured one of my favorite things to blog about - decorating your math classroom! This past summer, I took a different approach to my classroom decorating process. Instead of creating a bunch of brand new posters like I have the last few years, I almost entirely decorated my classroom with my favorite posters from the last few years. Making posters for my classroom is an activity that brings me incredible joy each year. The fact that so many math teachers across the country choose to hang the posters I have designed on their walls is amazing.

3. Post-It Note Puzzle - This post included an awesome puzzle from Chris Smith involving post-it notes. The puzzle was included in Chris's maths newsletter which is a must-subscribe. (For subscribing info, check out the blog post above!) Quite a few of you tried the puzzle out after I shared it. Writing this post reminds me that I have yet to use this puzzle with this year's students. I must remedy that!

4. Free Printable Farkle Score Sheet - Farkle (affiliate link) is one of my favorite dice games to play with students. This year, I designed a reusable score sheet for my students to use while playing Farkle. I printed them on 11 x 17 cardstock (affiliate link), and we slid them into our 11 x 17 dry erase pockets (also an affiliate link). If you don't have the ability to print on 11 x 17 paper, I have also uploaded a letter sized version. I think one of the reasons this post was so popular is that it isn't just math teachers who love playing farkle. I've had plenty of blog traffic from people just searching for "printable farkle score sheets."

5. Two Truths and a Lie Activity Template - For several years, I have used two truths and a lie as a review strategy in my math classes. This year, I decided to formalize the process a bit and create a printable version that students could then glue in their notebooks. I think this post has been popular this year because this printable file can be used by teachers of any grade level and any subject. In the future, I'd love to edit this file to make it into a bulletin board version where the answer to which statement is the lie is hidden underneath the statements.

6. Systems of Equations and Inequalities Interactive Notebook Pages - I'm a bit surprised that this post was in my top ten for 2017. When I looked back through this post, I didn't find anything to get super excited about. One reason I think it may have been popular is that I've always found teaching systems of equations/inequalities to be a very tricky topic to teach. If you do a search on my blog, you will find relatively few posts about teaching systems because I've never really felt as if I've done them justice. Last year's attempt was my best attempt at teaching systems so far.

7. INB Pages for Algebra 1 Unit on Polynomials - Polynomials, on the other hand, are one of my favorite topics to teach in Algebra 1. Over the last few years, I've made my polynomial unit into a unit I'm very proud of, so I'm not surprised that this post was so popular. Using the box method (or area method if you prefer that name) has been a life-changing experience as a math teacher. Every year, I try to focus more on conceptual understanding when teaching factoring than the many tricks I used to use as a beginning teacher.

8. Kicking off Sequences in Algebra 1 - This is a relatively short post, but I guess it still resonated with my readers. Last year was the first year for sequences to be included in Oklahoma's Algebra 1 curriculum, so I had to get especially creative with this unit. If you want to know more about how I taught sequences last year, I would recommend reading this post instead because it covers the entire sequences unit instead of just the beginning.

9. Can You Level the Towers? - Unlike the last few resources, this is not my own creation. This task was created by the amazing and inspiring Don Steward. I took his image and resized it to fit in my 11 x 17 dry erase pockets (affiliate link). I love that this task approaches the concept of mean through a understanding of leveling instead of a memorized algorithm.

10. Mean, Median, Mode, and Range Spider Puzzles - This last most popular post of 2017 was also not my own creation. These spider puzzles were a free download from alutwyche on TES. If you haven't checked out his wide range of spider puzzles, they are an incredible resource for your math classroom. I resized his file (originally meant to be printed on A4 paper) to print on letter sized paper to fit inside my 9 x 12 dry erase pockets (affiliate link). These puzzles provide great leveled practice of mean, median, mode, and range.

So, what are my take-aways from compiling this list of my top ten most popular blog posts from 2017? Like last year, I recognize that most of my post popular posts include downloads. People still love downloads. Three of my most popular posts are just re-shares of awesome resources created by UK maths bloggers. The majority of my readers are American math teachers, so I assume many of them aren't familiar with many of the UK maths teachers who are sharing amazing resources.

I'll admit that when I first started reading blogs, I steered away from blogs from other countries because I found a lot of the terminology they used to be confusing. Then, I made an exception once for an Australian maths teacher who I ended up marrying. Since then, I follow ALL THE BLOGS.

I'm happy that I am able to use my blog as a place to elevate the voices of other math(s) teachers around the world. This is one reason I love compiling my Monday Must Reads posts each week. I'm looking forward to 2018 as a year to share both what I'm doing in my classroom and what others are doing in their classrooms that I find to be inspiring.

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