Category: fun stuff

    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 […]

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    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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    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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    6 Musts to Starting a New School Year

    Starting the school year is exciting.  It is also stressful.  I understand the student anxiety really well because I have the same fears: “What if no one likes me”, “What happens if I am bullied”, “What if I don’t know anyone”.  Yes, I have those same thoughts and I have been in school—for one reason or another- for over half my life. So if I am still stressed and worried at my age, imagine how young students feel—whether you have elementary students or high school. Here are 6 ways to get the year started successfully and if you are struggling  […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]

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    I 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 […]

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    The 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 […]

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