Posted in Activities, Algebra 1, Choose Your Own Adventure, Circles, Geometry, Solving Equations

Choose Your Own Adventure *Updated*

A lesson is only as good as the updates you make. This activity, which I first blogged about here and here, came from Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller. I love this idea and now use it as an alternative assessment activity. Please go back and read how this started for me.

One reason I love this activity so much is because it gives students choice and freedom of topic, they become the teacher so they learn the content more deeply, they peer edit which is a very crucial skill, and this year I added a Flipgrid component in collaboration with another school.

I have updated my planning documents a little. They are posted on the posts, but this will be the most up-to-date document I have. I have also created a Google Slide presentation so very little teacher direction is needed. Another update I made this year was to increase the level of peer editing. Students do not intuitively know how to do this, so I updated the document so they have a little more guidance. Lastly, and probably the most exciting part for me, was creating these CYOA stories for a sister class in another district. We sent them our completed stories and then each student left feedback via Flipgrid. We’ve sent our stories to this district before but having video Feedback through Flipgrid was amazing and meant a lot more for my students.

I’ve included some fun examples from this year. I encouraged my Geometry students to create circular images as part of the story.  You can check the links above for examples from previous years including some Algebra 1 examples.

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Including the Flipgrid responses from our sister school was an amazing addition. My students loved seeing the faces and hearing their reviewers. It also made the audience “authentic” to them. We did get permission from their parents for my students to view them but we did not include releasing it publically so I can’t share the link to the grid. I’ve included a screenshot of the grid below.

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You can find a link to my resources below.

Planning Guide – 2018 CYOA Scoring Guide-Algebra

2018 Choose Your Own Adventure Planning Guide-Geometry

Slide Presentation – CYOA Planning Guide.png

Student Peer Review Document – 2018 CYOA Scoring Guide-Algebra

2018 CYOA Scoring Guide-Geometry

Here is an example of a peer review. In my experience, you need to model this for your students. I have, in the past, peer-edited my own story with the class so they see what to look for.

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Please give credit to Matt Miller and me if you use this idea. It has been a fabulous learning experience in my classroom and I look forward to the next update!

 

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Posted in Activities, Algebra 1, Bitmoji, Google Drawing, Parabolas

Fly Swatter, Parabolas, & Math Snaps

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.

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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.

Fly Swatter Key Features

link to slidedeck

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.

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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!

Posted in Algebra 1, Functions, Questioning

Math Talk – Functions

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.

Function not Function

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.