Category: Uncategorized

    February Tech Tips

    Every week I work with new teachers.  At the beginning of the year, we worked on classroom management ideas and classroom organization. These are both necessary for new teachers to be able to focus on instruction, but after many years of working with first and second year teachers, it becomes a little routine to me.  Then we move on to something I can really get excited about—using technology in the classroom. At this point in the year, we are working on projects to integrate technology.  Technology has become one of those areas teachers need to implement so that students can […]

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    College Research Project

    It’s getting close to spring and a young person’s fancy turns to — No, not that, It’s college. Especially for my seniors who all have senioritis and want to just be done and move on. Okay, I know some of you are still buried in snow, but for students, they have been preparing for college in one way or the other for years now it is SPRING.    They’ve taken tests, they have written letters and probably had some mock interviews, and some have even applied for student loans. But they have NOT nailed down the college of their choice. Most […]

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    Absolute Best Ways to Teach Absolute Value

    Like most people, I begin my lesson on absolute value with a story about distance. I love telling stories in class. Stories are a way to lessen stress in class and provide a way to have some fun. In my story, I drew a number line. I placed the school at zero and told the students that I live 10 blocks from the school.  I then asked where if they could determine where I live. Of, course the first answer was at positive 10. Most students were happy with that answer.  When I pressed for another answer, they caught on quick […]

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    Review Graphing Online Resources

    The winter break is coming to a close and it is time to think about lesson planning and review activities (review graphing in particular ) to use in the classroom.  The last topic my Algebra students covered (notice I did not say learned) was solving systems of linear equations. This important topic came at the very end of the semester when they were tired, overwhelmed and counting the days. Review Graphing Often Since the new semester continues the unit with graphing systems of inequalities, some review is necessary.  Specifically, I need to review graphing, equations in both slope-intercept form, standard […]

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    Puzzling Holiday Fun

    With the holiday break, I made countless lists about cleaning and organizing. I added lesson planning and making some fun new projects for the classroom. I am teaching my Consumer Math class using the Stock Market Game and I have some preliminary lessons about investing that need to be created before February. However, I got sidetracked. Why? First I finished up a pair of socks I was knitting and then before the unit for investments and mutual funds could be started, I did a puzzle. Puzzles Help Mathematical Thinking I really like puzzles of all types. Puzzles get the credit […]

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    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 […]

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    Awesome Ideas for Linear Systems

    Review Graphing Before Teaching Linear Systems The week before Thanksgiving we finished our unit on writing linear equations in all its forms.  After a week off, I know I will need to review these concepts before plunging ahead to begin our unit on Linear Systems. Monday we will review graphing linear systems written in Slope-Intercept form.  I plan to use an idea from a recent training. It focuses on multiple representations (my interpretation) and having students work in pairs to match up graphs to equations, except that there is an uneven match.   Group Review Activity for Linear Systems For […]

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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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    I Love Polynomials

    This year I have tried to incorporate more vocabulary activities in the classroom. There have been studies that vocabulary in a typical math course is like studying a foreign language, even without all the math confusion.   I have 3-4 students in each of my classes who do not speak English at all.  Using a lot of pictures, diagrams and activities that can connect math vocabulary to something concrete has both been helpful and fun.  Fun for all the students. Recently we started out Polynomials unit in Algebra class.  I spend the first day with notes on vocabulary, talking about exponents, […]

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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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