# Category: activities

## 14 Formative Assessment Strategies

It caused some controversy in a meeting when I said I was never surprised by test/quiz scores. Some teachers tried to hide their smirks, others just stared. No, I am not psychic, I just use a variety of formative assessment strategies to gauge learning during and after the lesson. There was also some debate about the definitions of formative assessment. Many of us put it in the grade book, others said that formative assessment is just a tool and never goes in the grade book. But since I use formative assessment techniques daily, many will go in […]

Read More## February Tech Tips

Every week I work with new teachers. At the beginning of the year, we worked on classroom management ideas and classroom organization. These are both necessary for new teachers to be able to focus on instruction, but after many years of working with first and second year teachers, it becomes a little routine to me. Then we move on to something I can really get excited about—using technology in the classroom. At this point in the year, we are working on projects to integrate technology. Technology has become one of those areas teachers need to implement so that students can […]

Read More## College Research Project

It’s getting close to spring and a young person’s fancy turns to — No, not that, It’s college. Especially for my seniors who all have senioritis and want to just be done and move on. Okay, I know some of you are still buried in snow, but for students, they have been preparing for college in one way or the other for years now it is SPRING. They’ve taken tests, they have written letters and probably had some mock interviews, and some have even applied for student loans. But they have NOT nailed down the college of their choice. Most […]

Read More## Absolute Best Ways to Teach Absolute Value

Like most people, I begin my lesson on absolute value with a story about distance. I love telling stories in class. Stories are a way to lessen stress in class and provide a way to have some fun. In my story, I drew a number line. I placed the school at zero and told the students that I live 10 blocks from the school. I then asked where if they could determine where I live. Of, course the first answer was at positive 10. Most students were happy with that answer. When I pressed for another answer, they caught on quick […]

Read More## Puzzling Holiday Fun

With the holiday break, I made countless lists about cleaning and organizing. I added lesson planning and making some fun new projects for the classroom. I am teaching my Consumer Math class using the Stock Market Game and I have some preliminary lessons about investing that need to be created before February. However, I got sidetracked. Why? First I finished up a pair of socks I was knitting and then before the unit for investments and mutual funds could be started, I did a puzzle. Puzzles Help Mathematical Thinking I really like puzzles of all types. Puzzles get the credit […]

Read More## The Crucial First Five Minutes

Every veteran teacher understands that the first few minutes of a class set the tone for the rest of the period. This is why most schools insist on some form of the warm-up (also called bellringer or do-now) for students to complete at the beginning of the period. New teachers may have experienced this during student teaching, but do not understand all the reasons why it becomes an important part of the classroom routine. Why is a Warm-Up So Important? A daily warm-up for the first crucial five minutes actually serves several purposes: It sets the tone for the […]

Read More## Paper Chains—Not Just for Christmas Trees

When I was a child we made paper chains for the Christmas Tree. They were fun, very colorful and a holiday event each year. Many years ago I was desperate for some type of activity to use in the classroom. I was tired of worksheets, the kids were tired, and we were both bored. It is difficult to remember the specific content I was trying to practice, but someone offered me a paper chain activity they had used. The other teacher was not that enthusiastic but when he gave it to me said: “you can probably do something with it”. I […]

Read More## Awesome Ideas for Linear Systems

Review Graphing Before Teaching Linear Systems The week before Thanksgiving we finished our unit on writing linear equations in all its forms. After a week off, I know I will need to review these concepts before plunging ahead to begin our unit on Linear Systems. Monday we will review graphing linear systems written in Slope-Intercept form. I plan to use an idea from a recent training. It focuses on multiple representations (my interpretation) and having students work in pairs to match up graphs to equations, except that there is an uneven match. Group Review Activity for Linear Systems For […]

Read More## Writing Linear Equations Thanksgiving Style

Students have problems writing equations. It seems to be because there are so many ways to do it. If they could have just one way of writing an equation, they could be successful. I embrace a variety of ways to solve problems, but this confuses my students. They like things simple. They can write an equation in slope-intercept form. But only if given the slope and the y-intercept. Well, some of them can. A few students are mixing up the two things. We have reviewed and practiced. We did some dice rolls as well. They need more practice and […]

Read More## Teaching Teens Personal Finance

This year I am teaching what the district calls Consumer Math, more popularly known as Personal Finance. My seniors are assigned this option when they fail to meet the 2 years of required math, it is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I believe all students should learn personal finance so that they can be more successful adults, and the content I present is timely, real-life examples that they can apply. A curse because this class – like other math classes – is approached with a sense of dislike and fear. It has “math” in the title, students […]

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