Friday, October 14, 2016

Angry Birds Parabola Project

This week I decided to try something new in my PreCalculus class.  It occurred to me that the paths of the Angry Birds are parabolas and that is exactly what we were working on recently.  Maybe someone had written a project that I could use and I wouldn't have to make one up!  So, I googled Angry Birds math project - and several popped up.  I used this one Angry Birds Project.

I divided the class into groups of 2 or 3 and then they got to work.  I used all 5 different versions of the project so that everyone didn't have exactly the same parabolas.  I liked that the different paths of the birds were described in different ways (graph, table of values, words, equation).

I found large graph paper that the students could use on amazon (see it here: Large 17 x 22 inch graph paper) - I wanted them to make their graphs large so that we could hang them up and people could see them.  They graphed each of the paths followed by the angry birds in the specific color of the bird.

Next, my students put stickers of the birds that I printed out each path.

But, here is my favorite part.  We learned about an app called koma koma at the beginning of the school year in our PD.  This is an app that you can use to make a short stop motion video.

Each group chose one bird that would move in their "movie."  We stuck this bird to a post it so they could move it easily.

Here is a group using the app to make their movie.

Here is my favorite movie that was turned in:


This project took about 3 class days to complete, but I introduced some new material at the beginning of class each day, so we still kept moving along.  My juniors and seniors enjoyed this project, but I also think younger students could be successful with this project with some modifications.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

5 Ways to Give Your Students Math Practice without the Worksheet

A start to the new school year is a great time to try out some new ideas in class.  Here are 5 ways that you can have your students practice math without the worksheet.

1) Task Cards - I use task cards pretty often in my math classes.  Usually, I use task cards that have QR Codes on them so the students can check their answers themselves.  For some reason, my students love having the individual problems printed on cards instead of a worksheet.  They love that they can use their technology to check their answers.  Another great thing about task cards is that they work for all levels - they aren't too "babyish" for older kids and even much younger ones can get the idea of how to scan the QR Code.

Here is an example of one of my task cards for Geometry - Measuring Angles.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

First Day of Math Class - Win one of 5 TPT Gift Cards!

It's going to be the best school year ever!  Time for new students, new ideas, new uses of technology!  My STEM teachers friends and I got together and we are sponsoring 5 $25 gift cards that we are giving away - go all the way to the bottom of this post to check it out :)

But first, I'd like to give you some first day/week of school ideas.  I hate the read the syllabus I'll give you my rules first days.  I like to actually have an idea of something students can DO!  (The only problem I've found with this is that students come to school EXPECTING that teachers will just be reading the syllabus to them that they don't even bring a pencil - so be sure to have some on hand!)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Bulletin Boards for High School Math

A dilemma I face every year...what to put up on my bulletin 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's also extra space on my white boards - what could I put up that my students might find interesting to look at?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ten Tips for the New {Math} Teacher

Ten TIps for the New Math Teacher

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 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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tarsia Puzzle for Mac - Finally Figured it Out

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.)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Algebra One Fun Mazes and Other Activities

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!