Math = Love: 2018's Most Popular Posts

## Thursday, December 13, 2018

### 2018's Most Popular Posts

For the third year in a row, I am recapping the year by taking a look at my blog analytics and figuring out which of the posts I wrote during the past year turned out to be the most popular. You can read 2016's post here and 2017's post here.

This will be my 108th blog post of 2018. So, how does this year's blogging stack up to previous years?

Blog Posts by Year
2018 - 108 (so far)
2017 - 202
2016 - 183
2015 - 199
2014 - 214
2013 - 107
2012 - 103
2011 - 3

Blogging has taken a bit of a back seat to life this year as I've been distracted by switching jobs, taking on two new preps, buying our first house, and some other things that I'm probably forgetting. Plus, 2019 promises to bring even more life changes!

The math teacher in me had to graph my blog post numbers using Desmos and look for a pattern. A parabola fit my data with an r^2 value of 0.8897. I guess that means I need to really get blogging next year or this blog might be dead in two years according to this model.

To determine which of my blog posts were the most popular this year, I took a look at the pageviews of each post published during 2018. Here are my top ten posts according to popularity of pageviews.

1. Review of Angela Watson's 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club

With over 12,000 pageviews this year, this was by far my most popular post. A follow-up post, An Invitation to Join Angela Watson's 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club, also landed in the top ten posts, but I'm just including it with this related post to allow me to highlight a greater variety of posts. The strategies I've learned from Angela's course have really changed my productivity in the classroom, and I love being able to share what I have learned with other teachers. The club is once again open for new members, so if you are looking to learn how to get more done in less time at school, I highly recommend that you check it out!

Inspired by a puzzle I found in a book I picked up at the thrift store, I decided to change up how I normally kick off the school year and engage students with a whole lot of math and critical thinking on the first day. This resulted in the first day of school being full of math talk, cooperative group work, and a much-needed review of the order of operations.  I loved seeing how other teachers took this idea and modified it for their own classrooms on the first day of school.

Another favorite task of mine is a yearly bulletin board challenge that I post at the beginning of each new calendar year. This was my third most viewed post of the year with over six thousand page-views. The challenge for students is to take the all of the digits in the year (2,0, 1, and 8) and the mathematical operators of your choice (add, subtract, multiply, divide, factorial, exponents, etc) and create a mathematical expression equivalent to each number from 1 to 100. It's a ton of fun, and my students get really engaged every single year without fail. This reminds me that I need to get to work to get my 2019 Challenge printed soon!

It's no secret that I LOVE decorating my math classroom. And, I love sharing the posters I create on my blog with you guys. So, I guess it's no surprise that the pictures I posted of my new classroom at my new school were so popular here on the blog.

I regularly post round-ups on Mondays on my blog of the awesomeness I have seen in recent times on Twitter. This is a great way to remind myself of the great ideas I want to use in my classroom someday. And, it's a great way to highlight the amazing work of others that the math teacher community deserves to see. I'm not entirely sure what was extra special about Volume 35, but it had nearly five times the views as a normal Monday Must Reads post. I guess that means you should check it out!

I guess one of the reasons my blogging volume has decreased is that I no longer have interactive notebook pages to share on my blog. I decided that with Algebra 2 and Pre-Calc classes of 30 kids that I would help save my sanity this year by moving to binders instead of INBs. It has definitely saved me time both in class and out of class, but I do miss how attached students ended up getting to their notebooks. It's just not the same with binders. So, if you want to see some of my most favorite INB pages ever, check out this post!

I was a little negligent at getting the photos of LAST year's classroom posted until the school year was entirely over. While you will notice some similarities between last year's classroom and this year's when it comes to some of the posters, there are many differences since I went from teaching Algebra 1 and Chemistry to teaching Algebra 2 and Pre-Calc.

For several years, I got very discouraged while working at my old school because there was absolutely no celebration or even mention of Teacher Appreciation Week. I would log on to twitter to see other teachers posting photos of being showered with free food, gifts, and sweet notes from students. After awhile, I decided to stop being sad and start doing something about it. Last year, I decided to have my students celebrate the teachers in our school by voting for superlative awards. Teachers were voted to categories such as "Most Organized," "Most Inspiring," "Best Story Teller," "Funniest," or "Most Likely to Win Jeopardy." Each teacher's winning superlative was posted on a certificate outside their door for the whole school to read. The teachers loved them, and the students loved walking around to see what award each student had won.

Last school year, I was really good at putting a new puzzle on our puzzle table each week. This Mixed Emotions Puzzle from The Big, Big, Big Book of Brainteasers (affiliate link) turned out to be the most popular puzzle post of 2018. Want even more puzzles? Check out the Puzzles Tab at the top of my blog!

Seeing this activity makes me really, really, really miss teaching intro to polynomials in Algebra 1. I created this activity this past year to give my students extra practice with naming and classifying polynomials. I love that this activity is open-ended in a way since there are several possible solutions. There are a few cards that MUST go in a certain place, but students normally don't figure that out without a bit of discussion and trial and error. I think I will have to pull this activity out and use it as a refresher with my Algebra 2 classes as we will be starting polynomials after Christmas Break.