Math = Love: Five Things Friday: Volume 7

Friday, January 19, 2018

Five Things Friday: Volume 7

It's the first Friday in what seems like forever that I've actually remembered to sit down and write a Five Things Friday post. I'm seriously considering taking the Friday out of the name so that I can just post them whenever I finally remember...

Here are five things that I want to mention on my blog, but I don't feel are worthy of an entire blog post. 

1. One of my students chose to draw a math symbol as part of her slope art project. This made me so happy. What didn't make me happy was grading these slope art projects because many of my students did not follow all of the directions. :( 

2. When my husband (formerly an Australian maths teacher) and I were dating, he wrote a blog post where he shared how he used the Sieve of Eratosthenes with students. I was blown away by this post because I'd used this activity with students before but never exactly like the way he explained. Shaun didn't just have students mark out a number once. He had them color-code their work and mark out numbers each time they were a multiple of one of the prime numbers. My math concepts students are currently working on prime vs. composite numbers, so I finally got to try this activity out for myself with this multi-colored tweak. It was awesome! I also appreciated that Shaun has his template extend to 150 instead of the standard 100 often used in math classes.

3. Part of my math teacher identity is defined by the fact that in six years of teaching I have never taught Geometry. Algebra is my comfort-zone. I've branched out over the years to teach other things than Algebra such as Statistics, Physical Science, and Chemistry, but I've never thought of myself as capable of teaching Geometry. My husband, however, does teach Geometry. And, this year, he teaches right across the hall from me. I was thankful for this earlier this week because my Algebra 1 class got embroiled in a big debate over rhombuses vs. parallelograms. One student insisted we didn't need the word parallelogram because every parallelogram was a rhombus.

In the middle of the debate, I left the room. My students thought I was mad about their debate. I wasn't. In fact, I was quite excited. I barged into my husband's room and announced that I was needed to borrow his tub of exploragons (affiliate link). It was an emergency! We used various sized pieces to make a parallelogram that was a rhombus and one that wasn't a rhombus. It was awesome.

I'm realizing more and more that algebra and geometry are intertwined. I need to embrace geometry and incorporate it in my teaching whether I am formally a geometry teacher or not. This is something I want to think on how to do better this summer.

4. I took the plunge and purchased a 100 Chart (affiliate link) for my classroom. I've only ever seen these used in elementary classrooms before. As a high school teacher, this purchase might seem a bit weird, but I'm looking forward to challenging that view. My math concepts class is a class of 9th graders who aren't ready for Algebra 1. We've already used it once when looking at finding multiples of three. I also look forward to using it to play a LOW-TECH version of Julie Morgan's 1-100 Grid Review Game. If you've used a hundred chart with secondary students, I'd love to hear more ideas in the comments!

I was super impressed that it came with different sets of color-coded cards based on which numbers the cards were multiples of.

5. For the first time since September, I have a properly working projector in my classroom. My old projector would overheat and turn itself off every 3-5 minutes. This was not convenient for getting through material in a timely manner during class. My new, fancy LED projector (affiliate link) is so much brighter than my old projector. We can actually have class with all of the lights on! And, it doesn't randomly turn off, so we can actually get stuff done. Yay! My chemistry class was the first to use our new projector, and I was excited to be able to share what plum pudding looks like while talking about Thomson's Plum Pudding Model.


  1. THank you for that hundred chart! I *promise* you some of those ninth graders will really benefit. (Thanks for getting one that just looks like a number chart... no puppies...) I'm working on a geogebra exercise for practice just putting numbers on a number line to get more fluent with associating numbers with what they mean...

  2. Any chance I could get a copy of the Slope Art Project you referred to in #1? If not no worries, I just like to try new projects sometimes.