A dilemma I face every year...what to put up on my bulletin boards...fun and yet functional :) I am in awe of elementary teachers - they change their bulletin boards so frequently and they are always so CUTE!
I am ashamed to say that I am lucky if I change my bulletin boards once a year...(I am hanging my head!)
So, it is my new school year resolution to do a better job! But, it's not just the two bulletin boards I have hanging in my classroom...it's also extra space on my white boards - what could I put up that my students might find interesting to look at?
A new school year is about to begin...a brand new group of teachers is ready to start for the very first time! It's exciting to finally have your own group of students, but there is also a feeling of anxiety...how am I going to handle these kids all by myself???
Here are ten tips that I came up with for the new teacher...most are tips for every new teacher - but a couple are specifically for new math teachers.
I have wanted to make Tarsia Puzzles for the longest time, but they seemed like soooo much work to do by hand. Several months ago I found a website that provided software you could use to make the puzzles - I was excited! (even better - the software was FREE.)
Algebra One - where it all begins! Kids as young as 6th or 7th grade are in this course - they are still little :) They still are willing to have fun in math class - and hey let's face it - even those of us who have kids in 9th or 10th grade taking Algebra - we need a fun activity every once in awhile. So what can we do?
Here are two ideas:
1) Have students practice the skill you are working on within a maze. They will go back to their earlier childhood and remember the fun they had working mazes - and you can sneak in the practice!
The content of this post may seem obvious to some of you, but to others that haven't tried using a timer before, I invite you to try it...I bet you will love it.
I often have my class work in groups...sometimes they are working on task cards, sometimes a review sheet, sometimes talking about a couple of problems. But group work sometimes ends up in a black hole - some groups finish and are really focused, some groups work well together naturally, but other groups end up talking about things other than the math assignment!
One thing that really helped me this year was using a timer to keep things moving along. You could use any timer, but the kind that really helped me was a digital timer that I could project onto the front board. (There are many available online for free, but here is the one I used: Online Stopwatch )
I'd like to tell you about my experience with this project.
Since, I had never attempted this project before, I gave the students no guidelines before we began. I showed a few pictures from the website, but other than that, I handed them paper and tape and told them to have at it.
The beginning of the project was very slow...it took them a long time to cut out the pieces for the structure and then start taping them together.
It's suddenly May...we've almost made it! What could be better than a sale AND a giveaway? (Keep reading all the way to the bottom to enter to win!)
What kinds of activities do you like to use as the year draws to a close? I like to do things that keep kids minds on math, but they don't realize it! In my class webquests are a big hit. The webquests I have made teach the students something about math history - a topic we don't often have time for during the busy parts of the year.
Check one of these out:
1) Mathematician Webquest - this is one of my best sellers. Students match a fun fact about Mathematicians to the name of the mathematician. (see it here: Famous Mathematician Webquest)
2) Four Color Theorem Webquest - this is a fun activity for students of all levels. You can do part or all of the webquest depending on the level of your class. The big idea students need to understand in order to complete the activity is that there are only 4 colors necessary to color any map so no adjacent states are colored the same color. (see it here: Four Color Theorem Webquest)
3) Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Numbers Webquest - Students learn a little bit about the Golden Ratio through looking up items online and can also learn to draw a golden rectangle. Check it out here: Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Number Webquest