Category: activities

    17 Ideas for Teaching Slope

    I meet with new teachers weekly to discuss teaching strategies, tips, and lesson planning. This week the conversation turned to our next lesson which will be Slope of a line.  Slope is a crucial topic for both middle school and high school students. Slope forms the basis for writing equations and graphing. Without an understanding of what it is and how to calculate it, the rest of the semester (and year) becomes much more difficult for students and teachers. Even though my pacing allows two days (what are they thinking????) for learning slope, students need much more than this to […]

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    Stay Sane in the Halloween Classroom

    I love fall, the cooler weather, the crisp nights and the holidays. And apples. Especially apple pie. Kids love holidays as well.  For the classroom, it becomes more difficult to keep students focused on math (or any other subject).    Adding to the natural frenzy that Halloween brings, my high school allows students to come in costume, has a costume contest during lunch and other Halloween themed activities through the week. The school clubs all sell Candy-grams which are delivered during class, adding another interruption during the week. Clearly, they have all joined the “If you can’t beat them,  join […]

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    11 Online Tools for Secondary Students

    With a new school year, it is time to try something new.  In no particular order, some of my favorite online programs for the classroom: 1)  Quizlet.  I attended the Quizlet Unconference before school began to trim my learning curve.  I cannot believe how easy it is to use.  The basics are study cards, definition (graph, picture, diagram, etc) on one side and definition or explanation on the other.  But you can use this set in a variety of ways.  I used a statistics set that was done in Spanish for my ELL students.  You can study the cards, or […]

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    7 Ideas to Increase Student Motivation

    This year I am teaching Algebra I to students who have already failed (some more than 3 or 4 times).  I teach it differently to these students because they have already seen it before.   They think there is nothing new in math.  They are wrong.  Here are some ways I get these bored students interested in math again. 1) Tell a good story. I can get really worked up about girls having the right to study math and be really good at it.   Did you know that Pythagoreas (father of the Pythagorean Theorem) had a secret society and allowed both […]

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    Ways to Use Digital Task Cards

    I have been using a variety of digital resources for the last 5 years.  Mostly online resources, which do a good job to reinforce teaching, provide independent practice that students need and give me some formative assessment on student learning.  Yes, there are a lot of resources out there.  But last summer, I found a new one and fell in love. I am obsessed with Boom CardsTM.  If you are not familiar with these cards, settle back and I will give you the scoop.  Boom Cards are digital task cards to be “played” on a device—think chrome book, iPad, phone, […]

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    3 Quick Technology Ideas—even if you are a non-tech person

     Recently, a friend asked me to give her some ideas to spice up the classroom with a little technology—one of my favorite subjects.  I took a deep breath and was about to start a long monologue when she held up a hand and said “Just give me 3 quick ideas”.  Hmmm.  I know this is changing slowly but not all teachers have chrome carts in the classrooms so students are not able to be 1:1.  But there are some things you can do to spice up your lessons and use a little bit of technology and have fun. Ready? 1.  […]

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    Solutions for Fidgety Students

     There has been a lot of brain research in the last 10 years that has really informed teachers about what is happening with students who fidget a lot (or those who don’t but are sleepy and not engaged).  Brains today are not the same brains that existed 1000 years ago.  I wasn’t there 1000 years ago, but neuroscientists tell me so and I believe them. There are many aspects of brain development that are of interest to teachers, but today I want to emphasize just one part.  The brain and physical body are interconnected.  Physical activityeffects how the brain works. […]

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    New Year, New Decor

    This year I wanted to not only decorate my room but work on organization as well.  Usually I am surrounded by a mountain of papers, supplies are in several different areas and when I get overwhelmed I start stuffing the file cabinet full.  Then I have to buy more supplies because I can’t find anything. students who are not proficient in English, I have the words displayed in both English and Spanish and either a word definition or a picture illustrating the word or phrase.  I had well over 100 words or phrases, but left space in case I had […]

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    August Sampler Freebie Available

    How did it get to be August 1 already?  I am going back to school tomorrow and have mixed emotions, sorry to be going back while it is still sooooo hot and excited to meet my new students and try out some new activities with them.  Students are returning on this Friday (I know, who has students start school on Friday, right?) and one of the activities I am going to use is my conversation starters.  I really want to focus on student conversations this year, improving vocabulary, and learning to express ourselves mathematically. There are 27 cards which I […]

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    Cut and Paste Puzzles Again

    I have often used cut and paste  puzzles  in my classes either as collaborative work or partner work to reinforce math concepts. Usually the puzzles of 16 pieces their squares sometimes I use the 12-piece rectangle depending on my whim or mood. the first time I use a puzzle in the classroom students take a little bit longer to complete them,  just as they do with any new idea or activity.  I don’t think I’ve ever thought about using smaller puzzles to help them understand how the puzzles go together.  I have  also written about using puzzles before here on […]

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