# Category: activities

## Teaching to Better Brains

This week I have changed my practice, my mind about teaching and more important changed my mind about my 5th period. I am getting ready for the math conference in Palm Springs on November 6. I am speaking about activities to use in the classroom that get students moving and how important movement in the classroom is to keep the brains active. I have been doing a lot of reading in the last few months about brain research. When I was growing up there were a lot of theories about brain development, IQ, learning which have turned out to now […]

Read More## Quick Assessments

I was going to save this for tomorrow and then call it Tech Tuesday, but I have learned not to procrastinate. A few weeks ago I was looking for a way to quickly assess my support class without it being formal, and without grading, and make it non threatening to students. Once upon a time, I had seen students clickers used in the classroom and wanted them desperately. I even went to a training, and entered every raffle I could find to win a class set. They are expensive. I never won. I am glad. Then a few weeks ago […]

Read More## Puzzling Math

I remember when I was growing up we always had a lot of different types of puzzles in the house. Contrary to what my student think, that was not before television, we just lived differently than students do now. In winter we always had a jigsaw puzzle on the dining room table and would work on it a few minutes (or more) each day until it was done–and if it looked like it was going to be finished after I went to bed I would take a few pieces with me to have the last placement. I think this is […]

Read More## Racing to Learn Math

Last February I was fortunate to speak at a CTA Good Teaching Conference in San Jose, California. I was scheduled to speak on Sunday morning, so on Saturday morning I attended a session on teacher driven change. The presentation explained how teachers had implemented projects to improve their schools and their teaching. In the back of my mind, I had been thinking of a project but lacked the funds to implement, so listening to these teachers, I began to imagine bringing these racing simulators to my school to help students use math in a real live context. HiperMath is the […]

Read More## Sprinkling Happiness

This school year, we began to implement PBIS-Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports across the campus and district. As part of back to school, staff has proclaimed the first day and each Monday of the first month of school to “Sprinkle Happiness”. Staff welcome students and other teachers in the morning, hold signs with positive messages and cheer when the bus arrives. I admit, I thought it was a little corny, but then I got into the swing and created my own messages on the sidewalk. Outside my classroom in front of the bus gate, where I was stopped by security […]

Read More## Attitudes About Math

Since the first few days of class are all about getting to know the students and establishing classroom atmosphere, I decided to make concept maps to find out about student attitudes about Math. I intended to only do this activity in my support classes, but I have support period 1 and when I saw the results I decided to have all students do this. In support class I asked students to pair with a “like minded student”. But when I looked at the results, they are all like minded, so that was a surprise for me. I expected the negative […]

Read More## Back to School Frenzy

Summer vacation is almost over and I am beginning to stress over the first few days of class. Our school starts on a Minimum Day Wednesday (Every Wednesday is a minimum day) so that first day, with all the new names and faces will only have 38 minutes. I will already have my hands full, but thinking about an activity that is both quick and fun has been difficult. I hate to give rules on the first day, hate going over the syllabus or classroom routines. Students have just been off for 7 weeks and this is not the first […]

Read MoreI am in flux. Last week and the week before I was out of class to write pacing guides for next year for both Math 7 and Advanced Math 7. I got energized again, thinking of next year and how I am going to change up things. I begain dreaming of new activities, using manipulatives and how all my new students would be either at grade level or advanced. And they would never be absent or be late to class. And they would turn in all their work. (Ok, I am dreaming, lol) But the year isn’t over. And I […]

Read MoreThe team Cube activity was a HUGE success. I actually had winners in each class. The questions that were straight forward were easy for the students, but the ones asking students to think backwards (find the side of a cube with volume 343) were difficult. I think it was just that they did not read the question, they looked at the number, zeroed in on the fact that volume was mention and then started multiplying. I have not decided how to combat this yet. After the Team Competition, I gave the class a simple quiz on volume and surface area […]

Read MoreState Testing So I am sitting in the computer lab with students as they attempt the state testing–SBAC for those of you who aren’t so lucky…They are miserable, I am bored, they are clueless. They keep looking at the clock, so do I. This is the first day, tomorrow will be the second and last day and we can go back to the classroom. There are 36 questions and so far none of them have answered more than 12, so tomorrow looks very busy, lol. After first period, I realized that I needed something to do, so I started thinking […]

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