Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Using Two Truths and a Lie in Calculus Class

Curve Sketching is a topic that Calculus students need to practice over and over again.  So, I decided to give them some practice by using this fun idea that I originally found on the Math = Love blog {Math = Love Two Truths and a Lie}

First, the students and I played a quick round of two truths and a lie as a small icebreaker.

For example, I made these three statements about myself.

1) I graduated from the University of Illinois.
2) I played the oboe in high school.
3) I lived in Hawaii for a year.

My students know me pretty well, so they quickly figured out that I never lived in Hawaii :)

Then I gave each set of partners a copy of the Two Truths and a Lie form.  Students could do this activity by themselves, but I thought for a first effort maybe partners would work better.  This form is specifically geared toward this particular Curve Sketching activity, but it could easily be changed to target whatever topic you want.

I decided to give my students an equation to work with.  This way, I could target a couple of groups with some more difficult equations.  But, you could easily just tell students they have to come up with their own equation.

I told students they need to use words like maximum, minimum, increasing, decreasing, concave up, concave down, and point of inflection in their 3 statements.  I did allow students to use their calculators to check their work.

Here is an example of my work:

Finally, after each group was finished, I had them fold up the bottom of their paper so other students couldn't see it.  We had a gallery walk around the room and students had to identify the lie on all of the other group's papers.

This was a really fun activity and I hope to incorporate this activity into other topics in some of my other classes!

{Do you like this idea?  If you would like to purchase the forms and equations used in this activity, please visit my TPT store at: Two Truths and a Lie Curve Sketching}

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Teaching Riemann Sums...A Post It Activity

I don't know about you, but I have a ton of post its sitting around everywhere.  Every color and size...I even purchased the Post Its Teacher Treasure Box :) I use them often!

I was ready to start teaching Riemann Sums in Calculus the other day and I happened to look down at the post its I had on my desk and I realized...hey I can use these!

So, I made this one page worksheet to get my students started on learning Riemann Sums.  The worksheet is the perfect size to use the post its that are 1/2 inch in width.  (For example, see them here: Post It Page Markers )

I introduced the idea of Riemann Sums to the class and we did an example at the board.

Then I had everyone take 15 post it page markers. [Teacher Tip:  If you put 15 post its on each student's paper before you start this activity, it takes a LOT less time]  Students will also need a pair of scissors.

This is how one student's paper looked as she worked on the assignment.

Would you like a copy of this activity for your students?  Download the one page pdf file from my TPT Store...

Teaching Riemann Sums with Post Its

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Fun Winter and Christmas Activities for Secondary Math

It's that time of year again - when we all get REALLY ready for Winter Break.  We teachers are no different than the students!  There is still work that needs to be done, but if we could only make it fun somehow to keep our student's minds on math :)

I have teamed up with some of my secondary math friends to compile a list of some terrific, fun activities you might use in your class this December.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

My Current Solution to the Homework Problem

I seriously hate grading homework.  But, kids are kids, and if you don't do something with it, they simply won't do it.

Even worse, it seems like some kids just copy the homework off of someone to just get it done.  Or, they use one of the readily available apps to scan or input the problem and immediately get the answer.

I've tried many methods of checking homework...walking around the room and giving points for completion, giving short homework "quizzes" on problems from the night before, giving no homework, collecting the homework and only checking one or two problems, giving online homework, etc, etc, etc.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Making a Breakout Box {Escape Room} for Math Class

Let me tell you...making a breakout box for your class to use is no small task!  But, I had a lot of fun making it and I am hoping my students will have a lot of fun with it too.  I am planning to use this as a first day activity in my Calculus class to review some necessary skills and avoid the first day here are the rules speech.

In order to make a Breakout Box, you first need to gather your supplies.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

First Day Activity for High School Math

This would be a great activity to use for the first day of a high school math class where students know how to solve multi-step equations.  I plan to use it for the first day of Geometry class.  It will be ever so much more fun that just TELLING students where to sit.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Teaching Geometry Proofs

One of the biggest ideas in high school geometry is getting students to write a two column proof.  Although proofs seem to be emphasized less these days, it is still an important concept to get across to students.  Step by step logical argument is an important skill that can be applied to any career or aspect of life.

I like to start teaching proofs with something the students can relate to.  I ask one student to come to the front of the room.  I ask him or her to take of their shoe {must be a tie shoe!}.  I then ask for a volunteer to give that student verbal directions on how to tie his or her shoe.  I tell the demonstrating student that they must do exactly what the directions say.  I use this exchange so students will hopefully see how important it is to be very specific and step-by-step with their directions.

Next, I like to use a couple of puzzles to continue to develop the idea that a step by step process is necessary when writing a proof.  I use word puzzles that are sometimes called word ladders.

We then move on to another thing that students are very familiar with - solving algebra equations.  I setup several algebra equations in two column form.  Students get familiar with the format of a proof and start to understand how to move step by step through the process.

Finally, I feel that my students are ready for the big event...writing an actual geometry proof.  Unfortunately, this sometimes doesn't live up to what I might have built it up to be.

As we move through the properties and apply them to geometric situations instead of algebraic ones, students start to get the idea.

Soon, we make it to congruent triangle proofs where these ideas are really applied.  Introducing the ideas of congruent triangles slowly with MANY examples helps students get the idea.  Using lots of different activities {task cards, board work, fill in the blank, etc}

I just finished making a flip book that I am going to use this year to introduce Congruent Triangle Proofs with CPCTC.  One example on each page that students can fill in as we go.  When we are finished, they can store it in their notebook by gluing down the back page if they wish.

Below are some links to products that you can use to help your students work on writing proofs in geometry.

Good luck!