Sunday, July 27, 2014

Super Secondary Link Up!

Time for a Super Secondary Link Up!

Please feel free to link one free and one paid item :)

(limited to the first 40 links)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fun High School Math Bulletin Board

I saw this idea the other day on Pinterest - a Sudoku Bulletin Board.  I was thinking - that is the coolest thing ever!

So, I made my own!

Sometimes my students get to class early and they need something to do.  Sometimes they finish early and they need something to do.

So, I thought as a group effort they could work on solving a Sudoku Puzzle.

Here is how the Bulletin Board would look (currently displayed on my kitchen floor since I am trying to deny the fact that it is almost August for as long as possible :)

In the picture, you will see a Sudoku puzzle set up.  I have similar pieces that have red numbers on them that the students would use to fill in the puzzle as they figure out where the numbers go.  You can kind of see in the puzzle that there are velcro tabs on the puzzle so I can change it around as often as the puzzle gets solved.

I also made this really cool blank Sudoku sheet that you can use to make your own puzzle, or students can use it to record their solutions to the puzzle on the bulletin board.  (This sheet is available for FREE in my TPT store :)  Grab it here:  Blank Sudoku Puzzle

If you are interested in the entire Sudoku Bulletin Board Package, grab it here:  Sudoku Bulletin Board

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Back to School Math Activity

Can you believe it's almost time for Back to School?  As the calendar turns over to August, I know that time is running short and my mind needs to turn back to how to best engage my students.

One things I have found over the years is that it is absolutely necessary to engage them from day one - in this class we are going to talk about math and I mean business :)  I hope they get the message along the way that I love them, but also that I LOVE MATH!

Do you remember high school and on the first day…what did you do - listen to 7 or 8 teachers tell you about the rules for their class - maybe get your book - BORING!

So, how about an activity that you can do the very first day that even incorporates technology :)

This would be appropriate for a class that learned how two solve two step equations last year…

Give each student a card from this set of task cards:

Give the students a minute or two to solve the equation on the card.  Then, have the students - WITHOUT TALKING OR WRITING - line themselves up in numerical order from smallest to largest.

After the students feel that they are lined up in the correct order, the teacher can start at one end of the line with a piece of technology (phone, iPad, tablet) that has a QR Code Reader.  As the teacher scans each QR Code, he or she announces the correct solution.  Students listen to see if they are correct.

I have done an activity like this before where students line themselves up in order of their birthday.  It is a great activity to see who the leaders are in the class and for the students to work together.

(If you are interested in this activity - grab it from my store...Algebra Solving Two Step Equations - Line Them Up )

Have a great day!

Friday, July 18, 2014

What Does a Math Teacher Do in the Summer?

I was so inspired the other day on Pinterest by these fascinating looking sculptures that 5th grade students made! (

I decided I needed to give it a try.

So, I explored the links that I found on the website above.  This project looked fun and challenging!

Here is how it went for me.

1) I started with the template given on the website.  I didn't want the pieces that big though, so I copied, cut, and pasted, and made the template into a size that was manageable for me.  I got 5 pieces onto one sheet of paper.

2) I thought … ugh a lot of cutting!  So, I got out my trusty, rusty Silhouette Cameo and used the print and Cut feature.  This was a lot easier than cutting out all 30 pieces.  (Let me know if you would like to try this and I can post my Cameo Print and Cut File)

3)  Here is what I had after I cut the pieces.

4)  One of the tips given on the above website is to make sure that all of your pieces are facing the same direction, so I piled all of the pieces into a pile so I was sure they were all going in the same direction.  I put a dot on the face of each one.

5)  I then started building - I really had no idea what I was doing at this point - LOL.

6)  As I continued to build, I noticed that the pieces come together in either sets of 3 or sets of 5 and seem to alternate.  This is a picture of about half of the project complete.

7)  As I got closer to the end, it was harder and harder to get the pieces together!  As I got to the place where I didn't think any more pieces could fit in, I realized that there was NO WAY I was going to be able to use all 30 of the pieces.  So, KUDOS to the 5th graders that figured this one out!  In fact, I didn't use 6 of the pieces.

I still think my final design looks cool, but not quite the same :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Keep Calm - Do the Math

There have been a ton of cool shirts that I have seen lately made on TeeSpring - so I decided to give it a try myself.

After some help from their very nice tech people, I created my own shirt and I think it looks pretty neat :)

If you are interested in being part of the cool kids that will be wearing these shirts this fall, check out this link - only $15 plus shipping.

Keep Calm - Do the Math shirt

Have a great day!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Firecracker Freebies!

Each one of the following stores has a freebie link on their Facebook page today only!!

Awesome :)

Check them all out.

Teaching High School Math Teaching High School Math - That's ME!

Kate’s Classroom CafĂ©

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Big Picture versus the Little Picture (Or, How an Administrator Looks at the World)

I have been teaching for quite some time now, and I have developed a theory about several things - one is fractions (see my FRACTIONS POST).

I have a new theory now called the Big Picture versus the Little Picture.  Sometimes this theory is called How an Administrator Looks at the World.

OK, imagine this…when you are an administrator, you have to look out for everything - and I mean everything - who knows what is going to come at you next?  It could have to do with curriculum, it could be discipline, it could be finances, who knows???  You have to consider everything while trying not to tick anyone off.

When you are a teacher, you worry about your own little piece of the school building.  What's vitally important to you is just a very little piece of the entire big administrative picture.

I think good administrators must try to look at the little picture and make adjustments where possible.  They need to listen - teachers do have great ideas at least sometimes :)

There maybe be a big picture reason why that particular student needs to be in my class, or why I have to have the study hall in my classroom during my free period.  It might be a perfectly good big picture reason, but to my small picture mentality those things just seem like a big pain right in the you know where.

Administrators need to try to listen and explain and rearrange when a teacher comes to them with a little picture problem.  Sometimes the reason can be easily explained - BUT, and this is a big BUT, sometimes the reason cannot be explained for privacy reasons or whatever.  This is where we, as teachers, have to trust in the administrator to make the decision that is best for everyone concerned.

Trust - vitally important - between teachers and administrators.