# Category: math review

## 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 […]

## 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## 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## 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 […]

Read More## 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 […]

Read More## 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, […]

Read More## 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. […]

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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