Posted in Activities, Math Art, Stop Motion, Tessellations, Transformations

Tessellations

What do you do at the end of the year when students have already turned in their laptops? Tessellations.

This was a great review of transformations and students were able to show their creativity. We learned how to make tessellations that translate, rotate, and reflect and then students could choose which 2 of the 3 they wanted to make pictures with. I loved the A-HA moments when students created their tessellation realizing that the transformation used to create the template was the same transformation they were trying to make.

I created some stop motion animations to help make each type of tessellation.

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Some were simple, some were fancy. All of them were very fun.

 

 

Keeping students involved and excited about math at the end of the year with finals and impending summer break is very important. I want students to love math more when they leave my classroom than when they entered. I don’t want to lose them at the end.

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Posted in Activities, Geometry, Scale Factor

Far Side Expansion

I have been doing this activity LONG before computers were a staple in the classroom. (We won’t talk about how many years that’s been!) I love this project now as much as I did when I started.

I used to have a Far Side by Gary Larson desk calendar and each year I would keep the images and use it for this project. I don’t buy the desk calendar anymore, but you can find Larson’s comic’s online.

I take the comics and cut them equally into 3-4 congruent parts (depending on my groups). Students must work in groups of 3-4 to decide on a grid size for their original and a scaled paper size and grid size. Once they’ve worked together to draw this in, they start sketching their drawing box-by-box. We spend about 4 -50 minute class periods on this project.

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The students have a lot of fun with this and are proud of their product when finished. It also reinforces teamwork. When one person doesn’t complete their part, a picture is hung up for viewing incomplete. So sad.

Here is the planning guide I use for this project. If you use it, post about about it on Twitter, and tag me @MandiTolenEDU.

Posted in Activities, BreakIN, Circles, Equations of Lines, games, Geometry, Google Slides

Break-In Game

Matt Miller had a guest post on his blog a while back by John Meehan on a game concept called QR BreakIN. I love to create BreakOUT games so this idea had me intrigued. John’s graphics were amazing and the game boards looked fun. I pondered how to use it in my math classroom for quite a while until an idea finally surfaced.

A few areas had me stumped.  1. I needed the tasks to be sequential and most games boards where you roll dice are random. 2. I didn’t think, unless it was a review day, I could accomplish much in our 45 minute class period using his format.

I used John’s template but with my own twists. I came up with the Donkey Kong idea because jumping the barrels creates the progression of tasks that I needed. I also made this a unit long game instead of one day. Reading more information on John’s blog, I found a post he had about Power-Ups, so I incorporated that into this game too.

Link to Slide Deck  (All graphics were created in Google Drawing)

7th Donkey Kong Equations (3)          7th Donkey Kong Equations (4)

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Since the game would be completed over 2 weeks, I made my game board and game pieces electronic. I also wanted to use Google Classroom to release the tasks instead of using QR codes, mainly because our student laptops aren’t the best and they don’t play nice with QR readers.

Donkey Kong Equations (3).png  Screen Shot 2019-04-04 at 9.27.11 AM

Here are my takeaways from this unit long game.

Game Board

I like that I can open the slide from day to day and update the progress of the game instead of moving it from the board and putting it back for each class daily (I did this in 3 classes). However, I felt like it took me longer than I wanted to get the board updated because I was checking and releasing tasks.

Narrator Cards

GENIUS! I gave my students 3 for the unit. The cards could be used to ask a content question of the Narrator. You know what happened? They asked each other instead, just as I had hoped. We are nearing the end of the unit and NO ONE has used a card. They have worked together as a team to find solutions.

Google Classroom instead of QR codes

This one was tricky for me because of the time issue. I did load each post ahead of time as a draft and then I could release to each group as they were ready. This still took more time than I wanted to spend. It would be much simpler to have the QR codes, but I also like that the tasks are still in Google Classroom if they want to reference them.

Student motivation

Wow, kids are serious about earning Power-Ups. If a student did not complete their practice, the team was ALL OVER THEM.  I had more practice completed this unit than ever before.  Students were also, mostly, positive in their encouragement of their team.

Would I do this again? YES. This has been a fun way to present a short and mostly review unit for my students. They seem to be enjoying it.

Check out the hashtag #QRBreakIN on Twitter and also lurk around John’s blog. He does some amazing things with students.

 

Posted in Activities, App creation, Area, Geometry, Google Slides

Area App with Google Slides

I love when you create a project that students are excited about! This project fits that description. We review area formulas in Geometry before we start surface area. I DID NOT WANT another “look up the formula” day. It’s boring! And, if I don’t like it, students won’t either. Then I stumbled across this post by @micahshippee on Kasey Bell’s website ShakeUpLearning.com. I have the privilege of knowing both of these wonderful people. Micah is part of my Google Innovator Cohort and he is amazing.  And ya’ll know Kasey. If you don’t know them, look them up, RIGHT NOW. You’ve been missing out.

Micah created an activity where student use Google Slides to create an “app” that you can load on your phone or tablet. I decided to use this wonderful idea to review area formulas. My students created an app where you could click a button and find the formula and an example for each shape.

Bonuses: Students were VERY ENGAGED. They were still working when the bell rang and didn’t really want to stop. They were helping each other, critiquing without being prompted, and giving great advice. I was MORE THAN excited when students came into class the day the assignment was due with the app already loaded on their phone. They were soooo proud!  I think, as an extension of this activity, we will share our apps with lower grade levels, who are learning about area for the first time, and have them give us feedback through Flipgrid.

Here is the activity I gave the students. My instructions are taken directly from Micah’s post because they are so thorough. He is cited in the activity.

Create an App for AREA (1)

I’ve also included some of the apps created by my students. OMGee, they make my heart happy. You should be able to click on the phone below and it will open a Google Drawing file where the links are active. If you use this activity, please share on Twitter and tag me @MandiTolenEDU and @micahshippee.

 

 

Posted in Activities, Geometry, Google Slides, Trig

Student Created Trig Word Problems

For the last 9 years, I’ve had students do a Trig project where they use handmade clinometers to measure the height of an object taller than they are. I love this project because it shows the application of Trig and guides students through a thought process to solve this type of problem.

This year I wanted to shake things up a bit. I wanted them to do the same project, but this time I wanted them to write an angle of elevation word problem. Students struggle with the word problems, and writing them helps them understand the process and required information.

As always, I was blown away by the creativity of some of my students. Their word problems were hilarious! They were problems I would WANT to solve. I took a few and used them on our assessment.

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Since we had a recent ice storm, pictures had to be taken inside. It was Homecoming week, so we had some interesting backdrops. Students used the HOCO decorations and wrote their stories around them. Aren’t kids great?

Angle of depression is still giving us issues so maybe next year I’ll have them measure something below them. Maybe from the bleachers or the top of the steps. Hmm… food for thought!

Posted in Activities, Geometry, Google Slides, Questioning, Thinking Questions

Thinking Questions

This idea came from Alice Keeler and the late Diana Herrington’s book Teaching Math with Google Apps. I have wanted to implement it for some time and even had some conversations with Alice about how she is currently using it. This year I finally created some. The whole point behind this type of question is to get student to look up information, explain their thinking, and persevere until they have it correct.

Now, Alice does a much more in depth version of this, and I LOVE it, but my students aren’t ready for it yet. We will get there!

I give the students a question on a slide. One portion is for their answer, another portion is for them to explain their thinking. I leave comments and return them if they need correction or more in depth explanation. Taking some advice from Alice, I started off by giving students credit as quickly as possible. They will get frustrated and quit if they have to resubmit too many times. If the response if VERY incorrect, I will conference with the student face -to -face so we can discuss their misconceptions and they can be more successful with their next submission. I only give one of these a week and I do give them a grade for it. But remember, they can resubmit based on feedback as many times as needed.

Here are some examples of thinking questions I’ve given Geometry so far.

I don’t assign points for practice but I’m making the exception for this. I feel like the effort and perseverance creates a deeper mathematical understanding. The students have responded well to it and most students turn it in successfully.

As always, let me know if you use this idea in your classroom.

 

Posted in Activities, Geometry, Stop Motion, Triangle Congruence

Stop Motion Triangle Congruence

Triangle congruence is coming up soon. I’ve always done some kind of activity where students construct triangles and discover which ones are congruent.  One activity is Road Kill Cafe shared with me by @craigklement. I’m not sure where it originally came from, sorry. Below is another construction activity we have done very similar to Road Kill Cafe.

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Some of my students get so bogged down in the construction of the triangles, they miss the whole point of the activity. So this year, I wanted a visual to show them. I started my search in Google and stumbled upon this gem. I do plan to use it, but AFTER we have discovered which theorems produce congruent triangles. What I didn’t find was a good set of videos to demonstrate the construction of these triangles. So… I decided to make them. Using Google Slides, I created some stop motion “videos” to demonstrate these constructions. Click over to my other blog, Infinitely Teaching, to check out a tutorial on how to make them.

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Hopefully students can see the relationship with these and not get caught up in the construction process.