Sunday, March 31, 2013

Branching Out to a Science Product

In addition to being certified to teach math, I am also certified to teach chemistry and physics.  I have limited myself to math products at teachers pay teachers until now.  Today I had an idea for a small chemistry practice worksheet, so I decided - hey it's spring break, let's give it a try.

So, I made a chemistry maze for students to practice the symbols of the elements.  I made two of them - one is much easier than the other one.  One of them uses much more common elements than the other.

Check it out here:

Chemistry Symbols of the Elements Maze

I hope to make more chemistry and physics things in the future.  Thanks for checking it out!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Teachers Pay Teachers Sale

I am joining with some other sellers at Teachers Pay Teachers this weekend to have a big sale!

This is a great opportunity to pick up my newest addition to my store - I really love how it came out!

There are four posters included in this product that are superhero themed.  These posters will hopefully help students remember the difference between positive, negative, zero, and undefined slope.  

(Speaking of undefined slope - I included two posters for undefined slope - one of them is labeled as no slope as I know that is how some books refer to it.  I personally like to refer to a vertical line as having undefined slope because I think they get no slope and zero slope mixed up.  What are your thoughts?)

Check out my store here:  Teaching High School Math

I hope you have a really happy Easter! 

(Just to be clear - this is not a site wide sale - only some people are having a sale :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

You Cannot Be A Lifelong Teacher Unless You Are A Lifelong Learner...

"You cannot be a lifelong teacher unless you are a lifelong learner. Being a connected educator enables that opportunity." --from Tom Whitby

This quote could not come at a better time for me.  At my school, there is a hot debate going on about whether we are going to allow students to use iPads in the classroom - and not only that, but whether we are going to require that each student comes to school with an iPad each day.

There are a ton of things to consider, what about students that can't afford an iPad, what happens when students forget their iPad or it's not charged, what happens when someone takes a picture of the test, and passes it out to all their friends, what happens when one is stolen, what happens when an iPad breaks, and the list goes on and on!

And then there are teachers that are not so comfortable with technology?  Many of them are fabulous teachers - with or without an iPad!

I think this speaks directly to this quote.  I have been teaching for 22 years.  I have taught geometry for at least one period from exactly the same book for every year of those 22 years.  Do I think I do a good job - yes :)  Do I think I could do a better job with the aid of more technology - most definitely yes!  I am so excited for the opportunity for every student in my classroom to have an iPad in their hands while I am teaching.  I am willing to learn!  I want to see how other people are using the do they set their classroom up, how do they give and collect assignments, what other opportunities are there for students to learn using the technology??

I am at the point where I need to learn "new tricks!"  I want to be a lifelong learner...I mean how many more years can I keep doing the same old thing - I am starting to bore even myself :)  And, you have to figure that if I am boring myself, what must I be doing to my classes?

To close for today, I found a great website that has a lot of information about teaching with technology.

Educators Technology

Have a great day!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Success in Secondary Linky Party!

It's time for another Success in Secondary Linky Party!

It has been a long week for me for sure - we have had all kinds of interruptions at the high school where I teach - one day we had a faculty meeting, one day we had an all school assembly with a guest speaker, one day we had an all school mass, our boys basketball team had a big game in the state name it, it happened this week!

But now I'm ready to start thinking about spring -- how about you? Maybe not too much longer here in the midwest.

Please link up to three activities - looking forward to seeing what you all have been working on!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy Pi Day!

Have a great day celebrating!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fun St. Patrick's Day Math Activities

Are you looking for something fun to do in honor of St. Patrick's Day?  Let's see what I can find on Teachers Pay Teachers...
clipart from Little Red's Clipart

1) Algebra Solving Inequalities Puzzle - In this puzzle, students practice solving inequalities by matching up pieces of a puzzle.  There are 16 pieces to the puzzle.  One of the reasons I picked out this activity is because there are 3 different levels of difficult of this puzzle, so the teacher can choose the one that is right for his or her class.

2) Geometry Shamrock Reflection, Rotation, Translation - A fun basic worksheet on transformations.  Fun way to practice some geometry topics but still have fun!  Best of all, it's FREE!

3)  Algebra Solving Multi-Step Equations Puzzle - This is my own fun, quick puzzle that students can use to practice solving multi-step equations.  There are 15 questions in this puzzle.  Students solve the equations and then match their answer to a letter.  They use the letter to solve a funny St. Patrick's Day themed riddle.

4) St. Patrick's Day Math and History - What could be better than practicing math problems and learning history at the same time!  Fun idea for sure :)

5) Leprechaun Mystery Grid Drawing - This looks like a really fun activity.  Students redraw each puzzle piece in its proper spot to make a drawing of a leprechaun.  Great!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fun Calculus AP Activities

Let's face it - calculus is a difficult class.  Class is often the same - go over the homework, lecture on something new, do your homework.  Everyone needs a fun activity now and again - even the best math students appreciate a puzzle, a game, or a new approach.

Here are some of my favorite calculus activities that I have written and used in my own class.

1)  Derivative at a Point Hangman Game - In this activity, students practice finding the derivative of various functions at a given point.  While they practice, they play a game of hangman.  They have to keep playing until they get the phrase.  They could be lucky and only have to do a few problems, or they might be really unlucky and have to do a bunch.  Competition with their classmates is fierce!

2)  Halloween Review Puzzle- This is a fun review with a Halloween Theme.  The problems contained in this review cover many Calculus AB topics from the first quarter of the school year.  Students solve review problems to figure out the funny Halloween joke.

3)  Color My Math - Antiderivatives - I have several of these types of activities in my store.  Students work problems and then shade in a grid according to the directions.  A cool design will results.  This particular activity is good to use when introducing antiderivatives.

4)  Derivative of Logs and Exponentials - Line Up - This is a fun activity for students to practice derivatives of natural log and exponential functions.  They begin with any one of the 12 cards in the activity.  They find the derivative of the function given on that card.  They then find that derivative at the top of one of the other cards.  They then find the derivative on that card, and so on.  When the activity is completed, they should have looped around to get the derivative on top of the first card.  Great for self-checking.

5)  Equations of Tangent Lines Task Cards - Finally, class is so much more fun when you solve problems on task cards instead of a worksheet.  I don't know what it is about the questions on small little pieces of paper instead of altogether on one page...maybe there is more of a sense of accomplishment?  Who knows.  I have several sets of calculus task cards in my store.  This is an example of one that students use to practice finding the equations of tangent lines.