Friday, January 25, 2013

Review of Two Great TPT Items

I am happy to meet new friends online as I work on expanding my teacherspayteachers.com store. Today I would like to introduce you to Jennifer Smith-Sloane. She has a very nice blog called Live.Teach.Create  where she shares some of her creations in action.

She also has plenty of items for sale in her Teacher Store.  I have bought several things from her and she has also very generously given me a couple of items that I can review for you here today.

First up is a set of Volume Task Cards.

There are 6 task cards altogether.  I think this would be a great partner activity.  Students could each try the problem and then compare their answers, or they could work together.

There is a picture of a 3d solid on each card (sphere, prism, cylinder).  The dimensions of each shape are given.  Then students are asked to find the volume and surface area of each shape.

I think this activity could be used for junior high through high school geometry.  Of course, depending on the level of students, it will take more or less time.

If you have ever taught kids about volume or surface area, you know that they need all the practice they can get!


Second, we have a set of sequence task cards, entitled All About Sequences.

In this activity, there are 12 different task cards - 4 on a page.  These could easily be cut out and laminated to you can use them year after year.  The clipart is water themed.  The problems deal with various themes that students might encounter.

There is also a very nicely formatted answer sheet included where students can put their final answers.  In fact, Jennifer suggests that you might use this as a scoot activity and/or use dry erase boards for students to do their work.  There is something so much more exciting about writing on dry erase boards than on plain old boring paper!

I think this activity could be used for junior for sure, and maybe Algebra One.

Thanks Jennifer, for working with me on this blog exchange!

See below for a great Middle School and Secondary Linky Party!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

First Linky Party for Middle School and High School Math!

I am going to give a Linky Party a try - this is my first one!

As a thank you, I would like to give away my Geometry Area Valentine's Puzzle.

Feel free to access it from here:

Geometry Valentine's Area Puzzle

Please post at most one free item and two paid items.  You may link to your blog or to your teacher store.

Leave a comment if you find this linky party helpful!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Polygon Unit Favorite Materials from Teachers Pay Teachers

I have just finished teaching polygons in my geometry class.

Here is a list of my top 5 materials that I liked for teaching polygons:

1)Teaching the Formulas for Interior Angles and Diagonals - This would be a great introduction to the formulas for interior angles and number of diagonals.  I liked this one the best.  It includes a chart that students can fill out, but also helps them see where the formula for the sum of interior angles is coming from.

2)Polygon Person Project - I think this is a cute idea for a project.  Students choose polygons to make a person and then must calculate the area of their person.

3)Polygon Domino Game - I think this is a good idea for a game that could be used for review before the polygon test.  Students work problems on each domino and then must match them in order to play.

4)Polygon Math Song - Although I did not try this myself, I think it is a great idea to have songs that students can use to remember various math concepts.  I didn't find this until after I was done with the unit, but I think I will try this next year!

5)Geometry Polygon Puzzle - Dinosaur Theme - Finally, this is my own puzzle that I made for students.  It is great for a review of sum of interior angles, sum of exterior angles, number of diagonals, names of polygons, and finding how big EACH interior or exterior angle is.  I find that students really need to be encouraged to READ during this section.  Many times, they will answer the wrong question - for example if I ask them how many sides, they will answer hexagon instead of 6!  This puzzle has a dinosaur theme.  I tried it in my classroom.  It took about 15 minutes for students working in groups.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Figuring Out Google Docs...

Well, I guess this is not news to most people, but I just figured out that I could share files by using google docs...I have been wondering how people can give away freebies on their blog and now I know!

So, to try this out, I have put for free on google docs through this weekend a geometry valentine puzzle.  This puzzle has to do with finding area.

Let me know if you like it!


Geometry Area Valentine's Puzzle

Have a good weekend!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Ideas

Well, it's a new year, and like a lot of people I'm sure there are couple of New Year's resolutions rattling around in my brain...

Of course there are the usual ones...more patience with my little ones (my actual children :), but with my students too... more exercise, eat more healthfully...

But, one thing I want to talk about here is to look at teaching math differently.  I have been teaching for 22 years and there are plenty of things that I think I have down pat.  I have taught at least one section of Geometry Honors every year that I have been at my school.  We have even been using the same book all of that time!  Literally, I have done some of the same problems about 60 times...I should be good at them by now!  I also teach Calculus AB, and I have been teaching that for about 15 years.

So, the material I have been teaching has been pretty similar for at least the last 15 years.  I have some really good lessons...some not so good...but I feel pretty comfortable.  I know the questions the kids will ask.  I know things to caution them about.  I know exactly what section the Pythagorean Theorem is in.

But what can I do differently, what can I do better?  I have been reading about the flipped classroom...not so sure I am ready to make videos yet...I have been reading about using ipads in the classroom, using smart boards, etc...

So, I'd like to take time this year to think about new ways to teach...