Tuesday, December 30, 2014

We're Half Way There…Secondary Sale at TPT!

The School Year is Half way Over…

So, a bunch of Secondary Teachers have gotten together to have a Half Way Over Sale!

Check out my Store for a Discount on Each and Every Product on December 31st and January 1st.

Teaching High School Math

This would be a great time to start the new year with new ideas and new games, activities or worksheets.

Then hop on over to these other Secondary Sellers stores where they will have discounts as well!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Using QR Codes in Math Class (Part 1)

QR Codes - those funny little things that you see everywhere - on packaging, in magazines, in MATH CLASS??

I have been using QR Codes over the last 12 months in my math and physics classes.  The students and I LOVE them!  What can you do with them??  Here are 5 ways that I have used them in my class.

1) Post the homework answers on the board in the classroom.  - When possible, I post one big QR Code at the front of the classroom.  When students enter the room, they scan the QR Code and they have all the answers to the homework.  They can check as soon as they enter the room - AND, my favorite part, I don't have to read all the answers AND I don't have to spend 10 minutes answering What was number 9, how about 12, what was 9 again…UGH!

2) Use task cards with QR Codes - This is seriously a favorite with students.  I make 10 - 12 problems on task cards for students to use.  Here is an example of a task card for Algebra that students can use to work on solving systems of equations.

Students work the problem and then scan the QR Code to see if they are correct.  They get immediate feedback AND they get to pull out their technology in math class - COOL!

3) If you are absent - If you know you are going to be absent, you could make a QR Code that students can scan as they enter the classroom.  They can get the directions for the class period and start working right away!

4) Use the QR Code as the answer to the problem of the day - If you use a Problem of the Day, put a BIG QR Code on the same screen as the problem.  As you project the problem, students can work it and then when you give them permission, they can get out their phone and scan the answer.  Here is an example of a calculus problem of the day that I use in my class.

5) Link the students to something - If you want the students to go to a specific website, it is such a pain to give them the website and watch them type everything in.  Inevitably, someone doesn't type something right, and ends up somewhere else.  Websites are often long and cumbersome!  Instead of having students type in the website, make a QR Code that leads them directly to it!  Make it big and project it, and students can go right to the place you want them to go.  This is also useful if you want to give students a source of information that they can use to help them with homework.  Scan the QR Code and they are right there!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts for the Math Teacher

Have you ever wanted to put a math symbol into the math worksheet you are making, but don't want to go to all the trouble of using Math Type or Equation Editor?

I can't tell you the number of times I wanted to put π into a geometry worksheet and I was so frustrated that I was going to have to open Equation Editor or insert a symbol.  Ugh…Word makes things so difficult!  Usually what I ended up doing was handwriting it in and then inevitably I would end up forgetting to put it somewhere I needed it!

Then I discovered that there are symbols that I can insert using the KEYBOARD!!!  I am using a mac, so I am not sure if this will work on the PC, but Mac users REJOICE!

Here are some often used symbols and the Mac Key Combination that will allow you to type the symbol immediately:

˚   - alt k makes the degree symbol

π - alt p makes the pi symbol

√ - alt v makes the radical symbol

∫ - alt b makes the integral symbol

µ - alt m makes the letter mu

∞ - alt 5 makes the infinity symbol

÷ - alt forward slash makes the division sign

Sometimes there are different symbols that can be made if you hold down the shift key at the same time as the alt key.

Other key combinations will make other letters of the Greek alphabet.

Experiment on you own and let me know if you find any other interesting combinations that will help you!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

iHeart Math Holiday Hop

I have certainly been missing writing my blog over the last few months.  As teachers, we have the best of intentions with blog writing, but actual real-life little people that are in front of our face get in the way ;)  I have several posts planned for Christmas break - so I hope you will tune in.

Today, I have the pleasure of linking up with several wonderful math bloggers for a month long holiday hop.

We are excited about this collaboration because each day you can access a different blogger with great holiday tips and a special gift. Be sure to tune in everyday to read each blog post.

Stocking Stuffer #1 - During the holiday season, we are all exhausted and just want Christmas to finally get here already so that we can go back to our normal life.  I just want you to be sure to take a minute and appreciate the Christmas season.  It truly isn't about the gift-giving :)  My girls went to a Frozen Christmas party yesterday that was put on by the school where I teach.  Everyone had such a great time!  Try to find some fun things to do with your kiddos - they are only little people at Christmas for a few years! (My littlest one is trying to play tea party with me as I write this post!)

Stocking Stuffer #2  - At the school where I teach, I feel really lucky because we have exams right before break so we are on a half day schedule.  That is awesome because I have a chance to get things graded and work on some family Christmas stuff all while my own children are at school.  But, the week before that I really try to help my students review for their finals.  Reviewing for finals is soooo boring, so I work on trying various different ways to review.  One day we work on a review sheet, one day we do task cards, one day we play bingo, etc.  I try to incorporate QR Codes into these activities so students can self-check.  [Stay tuned for more information this week about incorporating QR Codes into the math classroom]

Now here is a freebie - it might be too late for you to use it in your classroom this year, but keep it in mind for next year right before the holidays.  It is a great way for you to have a quick fun assignment right before the holidays.  This is a Super Secret Number Puzzle that students can use to practice solving Multi-Step Equations.  In a Super Secret Number Puzzle, students solve all of the problems and then add up their solutions.  This sum is the Super Secret Number.  If their Super Secret Number matches my Super Secret Number, they probably did the problems correctly.  If not, they have to go back and figure out what they did wrong.

[Click below to download]
Super Secret Number - Holiday Edition

I hope you have a great vacation and awesome holiday.  Don't forget to take some time for you!

There is one more stop on the Holiday Hop - check out Cynthia's post tomorrow at Love2Learn2Day.