Monday, December 16, 2013

Exponential & Logarithmic Form

A big thanks to Amy over at Square Root of Negative One Teach Math for helping me come up with an easy way for students to remember logarithmic form.

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

MTBoS - Backyard Ice Rink

Each year my husband constructs one of our family's favorite after school spots ... our backyard ice rink.  (It's a Minnesota thing.)  Anyways, each year I pose a very important question to my students,

"How long will it take to flood the rink?"  

First, I have them write down an estimated time in hours.  We talk about how they came up with their estimate and if they need any additional information.  They get out their paper and pencil and start brainstorming questions for me.
  • What are the dimensions of the rink?  
    • 36 x 64 feet
  • How thick should the ice be?
    • at least 4 inches thick
  • What long is the garden hose?
    • 50 feet
  • What is the circumference of the garden hose?
    • 3/4 inch
  • How many gallons come out of the hose each minute?
    • We look it up together here
  • How many gallons are in a cubic foot?
    • We read about it here
This is one of my favorite lessons of the year.  This problem is so rich with math.  Do we ever get the exact answer?  No.  I have done this problem for 3 years with a dozen different Geometry classes and each class obtains a slightly different estimate.  I let my students lead because they ask the BEST questions.  They debate about factors such as weather and time of day.  Some classes add or subtract hours due to weather just as some classes add or subtract hours due to the time of day.  (FYI - We do not get into water pressure and what kind of well we have at my house.  Maybe this year I will check into it.)

It's pretty incredible.  Try it.  See what you come up with!

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

If-Then Logical Chain Project

This is one of my favorite projects of the year.  After studying If-Then statements in Geometry, I have my students write an original story based on the children's books by Laura Numeroff.

I introduce the project by first watching one of the following videos and explaining how the stories are really logical chains.

          If you give a mouse a cookie ...
          If you give a moose a muffin ...

Directions for students:

1.  Design a book cover in the space provided for your story.  Make sure you include the title of your book and the author.  (Yes, the author is you!)  You can use colored pencils, markers, magazine clippings, computer generated artwork, etc.

2.  Write a minimum of 8 sentences.  Each sentence needs to be written as an "if-then" statement. 

3.  Write the conclusion (as a conditional) to your story.

Here are some examples of titles from stories this year.  They are super FUN to read!
  • If you give unicorn a yo-yo ...
  • If you give a dog a donut ...
  • If you give a giraffe a bath ...

I used a VERY simple rubric for grading.  This little project is a winner!  Kids love it.

Please visit my TpT store for this project.


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Monday, September 24, 2012

Printing on Stickie Notes (Exit Activity)

We have been studying rigid transformations in Geometry and I wanted to see where my students were at in their understanding of the material.  Instead of handing out traditional Exit Slips, I decided to do something different.  I placed a sign for each of the rigid transformations on my back wall.  Each student got a stickie note (see below) and placed it under the correct sign.  There was some debate with a few of the stickie notes and that made the activity even better!

"Translation"          "Rotation"          "Reflection"

After seeing so many "pins" on Pinterest about people printing on stickie notes, I knew had to try it!  It worked perfectly and the most exciting part was that I didn't jam the printer!  Phew!

Below are a few of the documents you can download and use in your classroom.  First, print 4 templates (page 1) and then place a stickie note in each square.  Print pages 2 through 5 on a stickie note filled template.  It's that easy.

You can download the document here or search my files here.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day of School

Besides the fact that it was near 100 degrees in my classroom, I had a great day!  I'm so thankful for a last minute Pinterest check before school and discovered this activity.  It took approximately ten minutes from start to finish.

I have a huge bulletin board in the back of my classroom that I use to display student work.  This was the perfect spot!  I grabbed two pieces of blue poster board and a wrote on one half of a sheet of bright pink paper "Math is..." and on the other half "I hope Mrs. Fisher...".

I asked my Geometry students (8th and 9th graders) to answer truthfully.  Be reflective.  This activity made me nervous.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  Here are the most common and unique of the 150 responses I received today:

Math is ...
boring but needed
my weakest subject
time consuming
a way to solve problems
not my favorite subject
shapes and numbers
my strongest subject
better than Science
great when you know how to do it

I hope Mrs. Fisher...
teaches well
is nice (to everyone)
does fun things
doesn't give homework
gives me time to answer
explains things good
give us opportunities to learn
becomes my favorite teacher
helps me
is fair
connects with me as a student
isn't mean or grumpy
can help me reach my goal

They did a great job.  This really gave me insight on how my students perceive math and what they would like from their math teacher.  We are going to discuss some of their responses tomorrow as a class.  I think I'm going to keep the poster boards up and use them for more "Sticky Note" answers.

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Interactive Notebook Planning

My first day of school is tomorrow and I am really pumped about using Interactive Notebooks with my Geometry students. Woohoo!  I've put in many hours this summer researching and am ready to put my hard work into action.  Let's get this party started!

I think (hope) I have a good handle on the left and right sides of the notebook, but I'm still struggling with planning.  So silly!  I tried creating a sample notebook, but kept ripping out pages to rearrange them or start over.  I tried a 3-ring binder with loose leaf so if (when) I messed up, I could just start a new page.  That got old too.  I remember seeing a planning page posted here.  (Thanks for the inspiration!  Great ideas.)  With this being my first experience using interactive notebooks, I wanted to add space for notes and reflections.  Here's what I came up with.  I've been using this template for a week and so far I love it.  Hope you find it useful.

View document here.

Download this document here.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Crazy Eight Puzzle

I am in LOVE with this puzzle.  Thank you Math in the Middle for this activity.  (Below is a printable puzzle I created.)  My Geometry students are going to love this simple, yet challenging puzzle.

Download HERE

  • Eight crazy families have lost each other at an amusement park and your job is to reunite them.

Get Ready 
  • Print pages 2 and 3 back-to-back. 
  • Fold along the dotted lines. 
  • Cut along the solid lines.

Now What
  • Fold your paper all different ways until you have four boxes containing the same number.
  • Continue folding until you have successfully matched up numbers 1 - 8.

You can download this activity here.  Thanks for visiting!
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