Key features of parabolas are important to understand the why behind quadratic graphs. It seems intuitive, and it is provided an image, but often the situation is represented as a graph with only words to guide students. My students can graph them but seem to struggle with where things are on the graph. We approached quadratics much differently this year, using only Desmos and graphing calculators to graph. We started with an idea from a colleague at another high school in my district. She uses fly swatters on day one to review key features of a parabola. This is not in the context of a situation but a good place to start. Student LOVED this activity.
This is played relay style (picture was taken on pajama day for homecoming, hence the jammies) and students run up and smack the parabola on the key feature selected.
I also gave an exit ticket in Desmos activity builder to see where we still needed to remediate. I really liked this one because it was open-ended. They moved the parabola around to meet each requirement.
I’ve included the link to the Desmos activity if you would like to use it as well.
Lastly, we worked with real situations. I gave them an Angry Birds picture and had them label, with their elbow partner, initial height, maximum height, time to max height, and time to the ground. It went pretty well and they got everything but initial height, which led to great discussions.
Our last activity was giving them a situation with an equation, they graphed it in Desmos and used their graph to make #mathsnaps. Bitmoji has updated so it wasn’t as easy to use since the beginning of the year (sad face). Students must now create an account on their app (iOS or Android) then link that to the Chrome extension. For students who didn’t have access to the app, I provided a link to clipart and emojis they could use. Here are a few of the math snaps I received this year.
This is without feedback so some of the information isn’t correct. We’ll be conferencing about it soon.
We learn from mistakes and some of mine will have some learning opportunities. YES!
I created this project my first year of teaching (we won’t talk about how long ago that was). It used to be a teacher-guided activity, but with the use of technology, it’s now a perseverance activity that meets the Geometry construction standards for constructing an equilateral triangle and regular hexagon. We also have a discussion about the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle when they ask the question, “Why doesn’t this fit exactly?”
I’ve included a link to the doc with animated gifs to guide the students through construction. Seriously, try to not help them. They can figure this out.
Here’s a small gallery of current and past pumpkins. It really is a fun activity that meets our standards. Our goal is to Make Math Not Suck!
I try to incorporate an activity into every lesson. My goal is to make math not suck and sitting and taking notes is not the way to do it. A colleague found this memory game in an investigation for parallel and perpendicular lines from Wapakonta High School (sorry, I don’t know who to credit.) I love this type of activity but I HATE cutting out paper and having to keep track of the paper from year to year. I played around with Google Slides until I came up with a workable electronic memory game.
I included the instructions in the memory game, delete two cards and if they are a match, keep them deleted. If they don’t match, control z twice and put them back. I made the graphs a background image so they wouldn’t be deleted by accident.
It was fun and it was great practice for identifying parallel and perpendicular from a slope. A few areas of improvement from the students, make the graphs bigger and make the cards images because they kept clicking on the ? and deleting it instead.
I am always trying to include student discourse and critical thinking in my lessons. This activity started as a sort that we would do AFTER the lesson was completed. This year I decided to change it up and created this slide deck as a lesson opener. The students were told which ones were functions and which ones were not and they had to talk at their tables and determine WHY they were functions. I asked the “What do you notice?” and “What patterns do you see?” type questions.
Both Algebra 1 classes came up with a pattern they noticed and they were able to narrow their pattern down to the x-axis, which is awesome. I continued with this discussion using tables, then function maps and asked if their pattern worked for those as well. When we started the formal note section, they were already comfortable with their idea of a function and I could use their words to tie into math vocabulary. I love when they create their own ideas and knowledge from questions instead of simply writing down what I give in notes. It means so much more to them.
I followed this activity by giving each student a relation and they had to defend on Flipgrid if it was a function and why. I love to have students explain on Flipgrid!
I’ve included a link to the slide deck I used for this activity if this is something you would also like to use.
I have a fun activity I created with @AliceKeeler using a Google Expedition and spreadsheet activity to reinforce WHY we need to solve for y or another variable in literal equations. [I will link here when I post this activity, didn’t realize I hadn’t posted this activity!] For some students, this is enough, but for others, they need more time with the actual process of HOW to solve for y (or another variable). One of my colleagues found this idea on I Speak Math. Now if you don’t follow Julie on Twitter or her blog then you are missing out. Pause reading and go follow her right now, you won’t be sorry.
I switched it up a little and used Starburst instead of Kisses. I also had counters that were red on one side and green on the other. I loved that as students balanced their equation, they physically flipped the counters over to show the sign change.
I used her activity sheet (see her post), but then continued to practice by putting equations on the board because my students wanted to practice more. We also ended putting an example in our notes at the request of the class. We also added examples with negative y but flipping the cups upside down. We have to switch the sign (change colors of Starburst or flip the counters over) to put the cups upright. You can’t put candy in an upside-down cup.
Here’s what I love about this activity. 1. Students were physically balancing these equations and could see why terms change signs. 2. When students tried to combine a variable and a constant I could remind them that you can’t add counters and Starburst together. 3. They now understand why you divide EVERY term by y’s coefficient; you have to know how many will go into each cup. I have referenced this activity many times while continuing to work with students. Thanks Julie for the awesome idea!
Last year I posted a vocabulary activity I’ve done many times with Geometry and our circle unit. Our students love this project so much we decided to use it for other units as well. Our first unit in Geometry is basic vocabulary and notation. My colleague, Tessah Wood, wrote the activity and, once again, our students LOVED it.
Here are some student examples:
We didn’t have our Chromebooks yet so I created an information page instead of putting in a Slide Deck like I would normally. I’ve included the PDF version of the instruction sheet and the scoring guide and you make recreate it if you want to make changes.
This was a great way to practice their vocabulary and their notations and allow students some choice and creativity. I gave students feedback on their project when they turned it in and allowed them to fix any mistakes they had and resubmit them. It was a great first lesson and discussion about learning from our mistakes to improve.
Let me know if you use this lesson. I love to see examples shared on Twitter so please tag me @TTmomTT if you share.
The Total Solar Eclipse happens at the beginning of our school year. Since we will still be in the introduction/relationship building phase and won’t have learned new content, I wanted to create a BreakoutEDU that included prior knowledge. I searched online to see if any already existed and stumbled upon a digital one created by Wendy Lentz. I loved it, but my students won’t have their Chromebooks yet, so I needed one that wasn’t 100% reliant on technology. I also wanted to incorporate math. I did borrow her video and Google Form (with her permission) and included it in my Breakout. Definitely check out Wendy’s! She did an amazing job.
I plan to do this with my Freshman. You can adapt it for any age you like. I’ve linked to the folder with all of my resources. You will need to make a copy to edit. The form will not be editable for you but you can email me if you would like the ability to edit.
My breakout needs a small, medium, and large box. It uses the following locks: 3-digit, two 4-digit, 4- letter, 5-letter, directional, & a keyed padlock.
You will also need a Chromebook or iPad and black light with marker. I have included instructions to make red-letter code glasses and you will need red cellophane and cardstock to make those.
Please let me know if you use it and/or tag me in your photos on Twitter (@TTmomTT). I love to see students using resources I’ve shared.