Category: activities

    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 […]

    Read More

    Good Teaching Conference Tidbits

    If you have not attended a CTA sponsored good teaching conference you really must put it on your to do list for next year.They have 2 separate conferences one in the north usually in San Jose, and one in the south. This year, in the south,  the conference was in Garden Grove last year it was in San Diego.  Always held in a beautiful hotel, lots of teachers, vendors and exciting things to learn. At this Conference there were over 1500 teachers. In the past CTA had a lot of sessions that were mostly elementary but in the last several […]

    Read More

    Where have I been,what I’ve been doing and where am I going,

    It’s been a while since I’ve shared the doings in my classroom.  I’ll keep this part brief and tell you up front that it’s ok to laugh at this. After an injury at work, my left arm was put in a cast.  Inconvenient, but i’m right handed and I can’t count the number of times I said to everyone how grateful that I was I hadn’t hurt the right hand.  I said that sincerely and those who know me would agree that I always find the silver lining.  Keeping up with my normal work was difficult but I was scheduled […]

    Read More

    Palm Springs Math Conference

    It’s that time of year when thousands of math educators of all types go to Palm Springs to learn from each other at the California Mathematics Council annual math conference.  It is normally the first weekend in November, however there have been a few times when it was the last weekend in October.  If you have never attended, you need to go for several reasons. 1.  Palm Springs is beautiful.  The weather was perfect, people (not me and probably not most math teachers) were in their bikinis laying out by the pool, everyone was walking around enjoying the weather.  I […]

    Read More

    Tis the Season to be Scary

    My school makes a big deal out of Halloween, and for the most part I have mixed feelings about it.  It’s not my favorite holiday and the kids are always crazy for days before and when October 31 falls in the middle of the week, they are crazy days afterwards from all the candy.  In the past 3 weeks, I have been asked several hundred times what I am going to be for Halloween.  I say I don’t know, but I am thinking “I’m going to be tired”. Last year at the end of the year, I was tired of […]

    Read More

    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