Saturday, August 1, 2015

Secondary STEM Sellers Back to School Giveaway!

Are you ready for Back to School?  Me neither quite honestly, but time marches on and it must be done :)

So, a group of my favorite Secondary STEM Sellers have gotten together to put together a great giveaway package for you!  Two people will win this fabulous package :) and one lucky person will win a $10 TPT Gift Card!

Here are the sponsors and the products they are giving away:

1)  Teaching High School Math - that's me :)

Sudoku Bulletin Board

2)  Flamingo Math


Functions Lab Stations Activity

3) Joni Kilberg Kessler



Slope End of Unit Task Cards



4) Janet Knox



Graphing Reflections and Shifts of Parent Functions

5) Mrs. E. Teaches Math




Midpoint and Distance Formula Stations

6) Education with Doc Running

Exploring the Art of Fractals

7) Lisa Tilmon


Scientific Notation - I Have Who Has Game

8) The Blakenator

Distance and Midpoint Quiz

9) Gramma Elliott - Educational Tools


Arthropods Magnified by a Scanning Electron Microscope

10) 4 the Love of Math


Intro to Algebra Interactive Notebook Pages

11) Math Giraffe



Coordinate "PLANES"

Would you like to win the products listed above?  Two lucky winners will win the package and one person will win the $10 TPT Gift Card :)

Get chances to win by following each of our TPT Stores.  Enter Below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Animal Sudoku Bulletin Boards [and a FREEBIE!]

I posted last year about making a Sudoku bulletin board for my high school classroom...you can read about it here: Sudoku Bulletin Board

This year my daughter is going into first grade and I thought she might like a smaller form of Sudoku...she's not ready for the full fledged board yet.

So, I made her a smaller version that has animals instead of numbers.

Here is what the board would look like if you choose these four animals.  [Animal clipart by Krista Wallden - Creative Clips]


These would be great if you used a magnetic board and had small magnets on the back of each piece so you can change out the pieces and make a new puzzle.

I also made 10 print and go puzzles that we could take along.  Kids cut and paste the missing pieces from the bottom of the page.  You can see an example in this picture.


Do you have a little person in your life that would like to try an Animal Sudoku puzzle?  Here is a freebie for you:




If you would like to see the full Bulletin Board and 10 puzzle product, check it out in my TPT Store:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Using Exit Tickets in Math Class



Using exit tickets in math class has really changed my teaching.  Let me tell you why...

1)  I think the biggest, most important thing that exit tickets have provided me is something worthwhile for the students to do the last 5 minutes of class.  Sometimes my lesson doesn't get me all the way to the bell and having an exit ticket ready to go keeps my class busy all the way until the end of the period.

2)  Using an exit ticket (or quick check as I sometimes like to call them) gives me a really quick way to assess how students are doing on a small slice of material.  I don't know about you, but I usually do not have the time to grade daily homework.  I JUST CANNOT. DO. IT!  But, seeing a small stack of one quick problem to grade for each student is something that I can definitely do in just a few minutes.

It is truly eye opening to get a response from each student.  You really thought that everyone understood everything you were talking about, but when you get the quick check you can see that many students have understood the concept, but others are still struggling.  You know who to work with during the next class period.  Not only that, but you have an idea of what specifically they are struggling with.

3)  Exit tickets keep students engaged and responsible.  If students know that they are going to have to show you what they know at the end of the period, they are less likely to tune out.  You never know when something will be said that is on the end of class assessment.

Do you use exit tickets in your classroom?  I'll be back later this week with some more information about how I use them in my calculus classroom and how I hope to incorporate them into my geometry class this year.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Super Secret Number Puzzles - Calculus Edition (FREEBIE!)




I have developed an activity that can infuse a little excitement into the classroom while students practice valuable skills.

The idea in this activity is that students are given a set of problems (usually between 8 and 10) that help them practice a very specific skill.

Students solve all of the problems that are given.  Then they find the sum of all of their answers (this is the super secret number) and then…(here's the fun part) they check to see if they have correct super secret number by scanning the QR Code that I post in front of the room.  [If you don't have QR capabilities, you can still use this activity - you can just wait until the students are finished and TELL them the Super Secret Number - it's still fun :) ]



I have Super Secret Number activities available for the following Calculus Topics:

1) Chain Rule

2) Equation of Tangent Line

3) Implicit Differentiation

4) Position, Velocity and Acceleration

5) Curve Sketching

6) Natural Logs and Exponential Function Derivatives

7) Riemann Sums and Trapezoidal Rule

But, just for you blog reader, I have a bonus Super Secret Number Puzzle - Finding the Value of a Derivative at a Point!

Download it here:

Derivative at a Point


Are you interested in buying the bundle?  Click Here:

Super Secret Puzzle Calculus Bundle





Friday, June 26, 2015

Summary of Responses to the Golden Rectangle Experiment

From time to time, I will update this post as to the responses for my Golden Rectangle Experiment.

Before looking at the graph below to see how the research is going…make sure your vote.  Go ahead, I'll give you a second…go back to this post and vote.

The Golden Rectangle Experiment









As of today, June 26, 2015:

91 people have voted and here is a chart to represent the results of the voting.



As time goes on, I will report back :)


Monday, June 15, 2015

An Experiment About the Golden Ratio

This is an experiment that deals with the Golden Ratio.  I am not going to explain anything about the Golden Ratio here.   I just want to know, which of these rectangles is your favorite?





Vote in the google form below.  Be nice, don't vote twice :)






And, if you wouldn't mind typing in your zip code, I sure would like to know where I am getting votes from.


I will add another post soon so you know which rectangle is winning!



Sunday, June 14, 2015

Writing in the High School Math Classroom



Writing in math class…wait you're going to give us a grade on how well we write… this isn't English class!!!

I am sure you have heard those words :)

It is seriously astonishing how poorly my students (and maybe your students too :) can explain things that they have learned in math class.  Even when I think I have explained things UNBELIEVABLY WELL I have been discouraged to find that my students can't explain or sometimes even write a coherent sentence about the given topic.

When I have my students write, or explain, how they solved a problem I encourage them to follow these four steps:

1) Read the question.  Circle keywords, underline important vocabulary, put a box around the question - whatever marks help you understand what the writer of the question is asking about.

2) Graph the coordinates or sketch a picture.  I can't believe how many students don't graph points when they are given.  I don't tell the students that they have to graph each point exactly or get out a piece of graph paper, but just draw a quick sketch so you can at least tell what quadrant the points are in!  If the problem doesn't give any coordinates, sketch a picture of what the problem is talking about…pictures are worth 1000 words!

3) Show the math, do some algebra, set up some calculations.  This is math class after all, so you probably are going to have to do some math to explain what is being discussed.  In this step I try to encourage students to SHOW ALL THEIR WORK so that can reference it in the next step.

4)  Finally, make connections between the question and step 3.  Explain how your algebra or other calculations show that your explanation is correct.  I tell the students that they should have had a hypothesis about what was going to be true from the beginning of the problem.  In this step, they are explaining why their hypothesis is correct based on their calculations.  This step trips students up because they forget to connect their calculations.

I don't know about you, but with standardized testing going more toward this type of question, I know we need to work on it!  Last year my students to the Aspire test for the first time and I know they were completely unprepared for the writing types of questions.  Definitely a new thing to work on!