Friday, May 31, 2013

Thinking About Ways to Get Students Involved - Fun In the Classroom!

I'm already thinking about next school year!  I am excited about two purchases I made yesterday on

The first one is a set of Learning Resource Buzzers.

Each of these buzzers makes a different sound (honk, doorbell, boxing bell, and boing!).  I also bought a set of similar buzzers that make animal noises.  Cool!  I already have my class get into groups quite a bit, so this will be a fun way to have challenging competitions.  And, best of all, I won't have to be the judge of who answered first - I am hoping it will be easy to tell since each group will have a different sound.

I also purchased a set of  Magnetic Whiteboard Spinners.

I am envisioning drawing a circle on the board with the student's choices - whatever they might be - and then giving the spinner a spin.  I won't have to be the bad guy - a way to liven up math class.  What could be better :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reporting Back on Using QR Codes in the Math Classroom

I thought I would let everyone know how my first experience went with using QR Codes in the classroom.

Going in to the experience, I had several concerns:

1) Would the technology actually work?
2) Would students be prepared for class - would they have downloaded an appropriate app?
3) Would students use the app as intended, or would they just write down all the answers?

I tried this activity with my Geometry Honors class.  I have three classes of Geometry Honors.  These three classes are actually very different.  One is made of almost all freshmen, one is made of almost all sophomores, and one is a mixture.  

I am happy to report that the students in all three classes were prepared for class.  Although not everyone has a smart phone, we had enough students with smart phones and an appropriate app that we could make plenty of small groups.

The technology worked fine!  I was worried that perhaps our wireless wouldn't be able to handle that many requests at once, but it was fine.  In fact, I guess I shouldn't have worried about it because in the activity I used, students didn't have to connect to wireless at all.  The QR Codes I used led to text, so it wasn't a problem.

And, most of all, the students LOVED the QR codes.  They loved being able to check their answers immediately.  I am sure that part of it was it was a novelty...using their phones in math class - COOL!  However, I think that the immediate feedback is a really great learning tool.  The other interesting thing about it is that this activity worked best with my class that is the most squirrley (is that even a word?  LOL)

After I had so much success with this activity the first day, I tried using QR Codes again the next day...I simply made a QR Code out of the answers to my students' homework.  I had one student from each group come up and scan the code and then go over the answers with their group.

I am so looking forward to finding more uses for QR Codes in the math classroom.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Success In Secondary - Linky Party

In celebration of my new blog (designed by A Bird In The Hand Designs) I am hosting another Success In Secondary Linky Party.

Feel free to link up your favorite middle or high school activity.

Thank you for all your support this year!  Look for continued Linky Parties Monthly this summer!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Saying Goodbye...

Said goodbye to the seniors today - I'll still see them at graduation, but they won't be in my class anymore :(  OK, really it's spring, the seniors have been done since spring break.  But they have been an enjoyable group.  A very intelligent group of young people who will certainly change the world someday...

Whenever I start to feel sad about it, I will remember my juniors - they'll keep me smiling!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fun Math Lessons and Activities for the End of the School Year

It's time to start counting down the days...this year it seems like the warmer weather hit in the MidWest and the kids are DONE!  It's so hard to keep their attention, so I am on the lookout for fabulous ideas to keep them focused and learning :)

Here are 4 I found:

1) I really love this idea...a math activity with a movie or book that kids love!  This particular activity goes with the movie How to Train Your Dragon, so I think it would best be used in middle school.  According to the description, this activity has problems that include the topics: fractions, decimals, percents, probability, area, perimeter, stem and leaf, and more - that is sooooo cool! (made by Lisa Blagus)

2)  One idea I've been noticing lately is people designing a character and then taking him or her through a variety of situations.  If you teach trig, you should try this series of lessons for a review...Brocky McTrig.  There are 6 lessons altogether.  I originally though I might be able to use these in geometry, but I definitely think they are better for Trig. (made by Lorraine Darwin)

3) I have often thought about playing Bingo with my math class, but making the bingo cards all different  aaargghhh - what a PAIN!  I have had my class make their own bingo cards before, but it takes so long, and some kids don't quite get it!  Gina Wilson had a fabulous idea and made a BINGO template in Word.  Check it out here...BINGO Template (made by Gina Wilson)

4) Didn't you love scavenger hunts when you were a kid?  Here is an example of a way you can review  math concepts at the end of the year and still have fun at the same time - a Newspaper Scavenger Hunt. Have each child bring a newspaper and this checklist and they'll have a meaningful task that will keep them engaged :)  (made by Mathematic Fanatic)

Do you have your own favorite end of the year math lesson?

Add your linky here!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Teachers Pay Teachers Sale!

New Sale Starts May 7th!

You can get 20% off of my store - then if you use the code TAD13, you can get an additional percentage off.

 Here is a link to my store:

Teaching High School Math

Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Participating in A Super Secondary Giveaway!

I am participating in a Super Secondary Giveaway!

More than 40 Secondary Teachers are Participating.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway