Monday, August 29, 2016

What I found this week in MTBoS 8/28/16

First Day Activities

As school is starting right around the corner and my school starts about a week after other schools I am going to post some first day activities that I have found and they look like something I could do.

Name Tents - Sarah V's post on how to use name tents to get to know your students better, and to have a dialog with each student every day.

Marshmallow Challenge - Spaghetti, tape, marshmallow... build the tallest tower in 18 minutes. Ready? Set? GO!

System of 6 equations - Giving students a problem that they will see later on in the year so that you can tell them they will find this easy, and so the students who know it all, know that there is something they don't know.

Birthday Treats - On the first day have students fill out a form, and on it is when is your birthday and what is your favorite treat. Then on their birthday bring it in!

What are 5 numbers that mean most to you - Have students fill this out and then later in the year use this information to create problems. Students don't realize where you learned these facts from. Its great!

Stuck on an escalator - Show a video of two people on an escalator that are stuck there. Shows students how silly they look some times. This post talks about how persistence and grit is good in a classroom.  Great post on intentional struggle, and how we can help students be successful at it. 

Getting to know you Quiz - Students create 6 questions and 4 multiple choice answers, then you take the quiz. They grade it and give it back.

Broken Circle - Each group member gets part of a circle, NO TALKING, NO TOUCHING OTHER LETTERS, and each person has to complete their circle. End of task review - no one is done until everyone is done, notice what other group members are doing. LOVE IT.

Content Ideas

5 ways to express a function - Thats it!

How to redesign a lesson - AMAZING, gives great examples, gives context and gives reason for why. This post is a great way get yourself geared up and excited to revamp some of your lessons.

Poster Ideas

Inequality VS Interval Notation 

Personal Badge - Create a talking point, using math symbols to create a badge around your neck and on the back some interesting hook about math like WODB. Great entry point for anyone to be engaged in math.

Classroom Sudoku - This is brilliant! Take a board in your room and put up a giant sodoku board, interactive, where students can put in numbers.

Yet Poster - I have always liked the concept of YET, or not YET. This post inspired me to create my own yet poster.

Classroom Activities/Lessons

Asymptote Investigation - Students look into what an asymptote is before they learn about it, self discovery.


Desmos Face - Students take a selfie and then trace their face using conics and functions. This is for Calc students to review some Pre-calc.

Asymptote Desmos Lesson - Introduction to asymptotes, and different examples of each. Little "quiz" at the end with a card sort.

How to GOOGLE - Teaching students how to google, on HW have phrases set up like "if you need more info google_____" then later on ask them what they could google as one of the Hw problems. Talk about how if you google that phrase they can then go to images or videos. On First day of the unit have them find 10 facts they know or could find using google.

Positive Struggle - Have students try to mimic a piece of cut paper

Desmos Derivative Card Sort - I stumbled upon this while on the MTBoS, Its a good way to check in with students to see if they understand the concept of a derivative.

Daily Ways to Run a Classroom 

Remind App - use it to set up lists of students to send out one mass text

Classroom Norms - A small list of individual norms, group, and class accountability. What is each person accountable in the different groups. Followed up by;
Cup questions - Students use different colored cups to display their confusion or questions. So the teacher and the group and other groups know if someone needs help.

Intentional Vocabulary - When using math vocabulary in a sentence, define the word in the same sentence, helps students fully understand what is being asked/said.

Opening/Closing 3 minute activities - Things to try in the classroom; Share one word, The reading minute, Closing statement. All good things to try.

Everyone has to raise their hand  - What a great idea! Everyone has to raise their hand in order for the teacher come over and answer a question.  This forces students to talk to each other before they raise their hand.  My only worry, is this going to prevent questions from being asked if students have to have the whole group know they have a question? Im just starting out (my second year) and trying to find that balance for students to feel comfortable to ask questions.

Classroom Setup 

Positive and Negative Infinity - Post a + and - over the whiteboard.

Can it fit into the daily lesson?

Math Talks - Start off the lesson with 112-29, have students do it in their head. Then secretly give a thumbs up when they have it, so they can share their SOLUTION, then ask for another way.

Lagging HW with a twist - I wasnt a fan of the week lagging of homework because I teach at a private school and we only have 100 days of teaching... So for classes like Pre-Calc we teach a topic a day, and dont have a lot of room for taking multiple days to teach something.  But I do like the idea of keeping students thinking of topics for more then one day at a time. I found a middle ground I think, and I want to try it this year.
Day 1 - Lesson
Night 1 -  HW on easiest 33% of Day 1 Lesson

Day 2 -  Lesson
Night 2 - HW on easiest 33% of Day 2 Lesson AND on medium 33% of Day 1 Lesson

Day 3 - Lesson
Night 3 - HW on easiest 33% of Day 3 AND medium 33% of Day 2 AND hard 33% of Day 1

Reward good work - Having a sticker to put on students work to let them know they are doing an awesome job. Or just be more supportive when doing a problem correctly.

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