tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-835913025834910962018-07-16T02:19:04.352-05:00Wilcox's WayBlogging about my school adventures.Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.comBlogger46125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-74690146447512846612018-07-07T07:35:00.000-05:002018-07-07T07:35:48.314-05:00Planning for the First Week and Beyond In my last post, I wrote about some things to think about when planning for your year. In this post, I want to talk about how I actually go about implementing all of this.<div><br /></div><div> When I first started teaching, I used to spend the first day of class going over the syllabus. At some point I realized how overwhelming (and boring!) that must be for students if every teacher is doing this on day one. I also enjoy doing activities that help me learn about my students (and their names!) on the first day. For the next couple of years, I started going over the syllabus on the second day of school so I could spend the first day learning about the kids. Finally, I realized that there is never a good day to "go over the syllabus" for an entire class period. I mean, let's be honest.....as an adult, am I able to sit and listen to someone talk about important rules and procedures for 45 straight minutes and actually absorb this information? No! So that is definitely not an effective way to go over the very important procedures that I really need for my students to know to have a smoothly running classroom for the rest of the year.</div><div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WD60vWxqOpA/W0CguIj4INI/AAAAAAAAkXw/5eL96oEvOYcbzzSdWBanUYjSF3LG41QkQCLcBGAs/s1600/How%2Bto%2BPlan%2Bfor%2Bthe%2BBeginning%2Bof%2Bthe%2BYear.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WD60vWxqOpA/W0CguIj4INI/AAAAAAAAkXw/5eL96oEvOYcbzzSdWBanUYjSF3LG41QkQCLcBGAs/s640/How%2Bto%2BPlan%2Bfor%2Bthe%2BBeginning%2Bof%2Bthe%2BYear.png" width="426" /></a></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><div> My current system involves prioritizing my rules and procedures, as well as waiting until they are relevant to teach them. Instead of teaching them all at once, I teach a few of a day for the first few weeks of school. I am very strategic and careful about how I teach the rules. As I mentioned in the <a href="http://wilcoxsway.blogspot.com/2018/06/25-questions-for-planning-your.html" target="_blank">last post</a>, I start with a list of all of my planned rules and proceduress for the year in a Google Doc. As I am planning out my first week of school, I start looking over my procedures and prioritizing them. </div><div><ul><li>What procedures are the most important to me? </li><li>What procedures will help my classroom be organized and allow for maximum learning? </li><li>What activities can I plan to give me a good way to teach my expectations and procedures?</li></ul><div>As I'm planning, I pick the most important procedures and find ways to incorporate them in to the first week of school. </div></div><div><br /></div><div> For me, the very first procedures that I teach are my expectations for the beginning and end of class. I feel this sends a good message to students about the value of class time by showing them exactly what is expected at the beginning of class so we can get started right away each day. It is also important to me from the very beginning that students know that I expect us to be busy until the end of class (especially because I expect students to wait for my signal to be dismissed rather than the bell). Another expectation that I teach right away is the supplies that I expect students to bring to class. Since these are the most important procedures to get my class running smoothly, these are the procedures that I teach on the second day of class. </div><div><br /></div><div> Once I have chosen a couple of procedures to teach, it's time to plan for the rest of class. At the beginning of the year there are always lots of things that I want to do: introduce growth mindset, do <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Beginning-of-the-Year-Goal-Setting-Activity-3182116" target="_blank">some goal setting</a>, have the students take an interest survey, and.....do some MATH! After teaching a couple of basic procedures, I pick an activity that meets one of these other goals. Often I am able to naturally incorporate a few other procedures or expectations to go with an activity. For example, if I an activity that requires students to pick up a supply at the beginning and be turned in when they are finished, then I have the perfect chance to talk about these procedures. Or if my activity involves students sharing how they solved a problem, then I take the chance to introduce my <a href="http://wilcoxsway.blogspot.com/2017/06/a-good-math-class-discussion-part-2.html" target="_blank">classroom listening norms</a>. Teaching procedures when students need to know, rather than all at one time, them leads to better retention. </div><div><br /></div><div> Each day for the first couple of weeks, I continue teaching a few norms, rules, expectations and procedures. I also continue to reinforce the rules that I have already taught. It helps students to hear expectations several times over the first few weeks. It is also important to give students feedback on how they are doing with meeting expectations over these first few weeks. Now is the time to teach your students how to do things the way you want. Remember, you're teaching students how you want things done for the rest of the year. It's worth a few extra minutes now to consider the ideal way you want things done. Let's look at something that will happen a lot: turning in papers. In my classroom, I have an alphabetical file sorter that I use for turn in. As I imagine this happening, here are some things that matter to me:</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4-Z7lxaKK2M/W0CdCSPweyI/AAAAAAAAkXk/5ytXzIgUwGU5AWM55K3UOWkgHZkgWbHLACLcBGAs/s1600/beginning-of-year%2B%25282%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4-Z7lxaKK2M/W0CdCSPweyI/AAAAAAAAkXk/5ytXzIgUwGU5AWM55K3UOWkgHZkgWbHLACLcBGAs/s640/beginning-of-year%2B%25282%2529.png" width="425" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">I love that the papers are easy to stack, and in alphabetical order when students turn them in!</td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div><ul><li>I want all of the papers facing the same direction.</li><li>I want all of the papers placed all the way under the first letter of the student's last name.</li><li>I want students to be relatively quiet during the process. </li><li>I want students to return to their seat as soon as their paper is turned in.</li></ul><div>If these are the things that are important to me, then I make sure that I tell students these expectations before they turn in papers the first time. As they turn in papers, I am closely evaluating how they are doing. If I notice a problem, I point it out as something we can improve next time (or perhaps something that we need to try again right away). I also note anything that is done exceptionally well. I will make sure to reinforce these expectations the first several times we use this procedure. Let's face it, if you don't take time to get things going smoothly now, what's it going to look like in April or May?!?!</div></div><div><br /></div><div> Throughout the first few weeks of school, I keep my list of procedures close by. As I teach a procedure, I cross it off my list. This list is always close by the first weeks of school. I use it during class as I teach my procedures. I use it as I plan, to keep track of what procedures still need to be taught. It is a well-worn friend by the time I get all of the procedures crossed off!</div><div><br /></div><div> You can also use other activities in your classroom to teach some of your procedures. Do you enjoy using stations for your classroom? Then <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Beginning-of-Year-Rules-and-Procedures-Stations-3895978?utm_source=WWBlog&utm_campaign=PlanningFirstWeek" target="_blank">use stations</a> as a way to teach some of your procedures! As a bonus, you can use those stations to teach students your expectations for moving around the room when doing stations. Enjoy using games for practice? Plan a Jeopardy game using questions off of your syllabus and teach your expectations for playing games. Love the collaboration and fun of escape rooms? Plan an easy puzzle based on your classroom rules and teach students about perseverance, collaboration and growth mindset!</div><div><br /></div><div> It takes a few weeks, but I feel like this way of teaching procedures, rules and expectations is much more effective than having a boring day of class to go over the syllabus when I overwhelm students with more information than they can possibly take in. There is a day that I love every school year. There comes a day, usually a few weeks into school that I realize I didn't have to teach a single procedure....just math, all day long. That is one of my favorite days each year....and it always goes more smoothly because the students know how I want them to do things!</div>Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-48900132595575767242018-06-29T16:01:00.001-05:002018-06-29T16:01:13.340-05:0025 Questions For Planning Your Classroom Procedures I've always been a big believer in the power of planning and teaching classroom procedures. I can still remember my first year when I thought that I would just go over the rules on the first day and start teaching on the next day! It only took me that first year to realize how much more goes into setting up your classroom in a way that works. I spend time every single year setting up my classroom procedures.<br /><br /> Usually, the first time I start to think about my classroom procedures is at the end of the year school....no, that's not a typo! I said the end of the year. I always start thinking about changes that I want to make for the following year in May. The end of the year is the perfect time to begin the reflection process because that is when you know what is driving you crazy! Some of that stuff is just the normal stuff that always drives you nuts at the end, but perhaps some of these pet peeves could be improved or fixed with different procedures. Kids not coming to class prepared? Maybe you need to rethink your beginning of class procedures. Not happy with the time spent checking homework? Perhaps revamping your homework procedures could help. Usually in May I start a Google Doc that has a list of what needs to change for the next year. At this point, I may not have all the solutions, but at least I know what procedures I need to think about and look for ideas over the summer.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3RL20H9eq9U/WzacwIswaHI/AAAAAAAAkRA/UdB1FFycJ4QOTY-7PZokXBe1QsrtIA3UQCLcBGAs/s1600/classroom%2Bprocedure%2Bredesign.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3RL20H9eq9U/WzacwIswaHI/AAAAAAAAkRA/UdB1FFycJ4QOTY-7PZokXBe1QsrtIA3UQCLcBGAs/s640/classroom%2Bprocedure%2Bredesign.png" width="426" /></a></div><br /><br /> Once I'm ready to start planning, deciding my classroom procedures for the school year is always the first thing that I do to prepare. Once I know the procedures I want to use, I can be more effective with things like classroom set up. I can make sure that my classroom set up supports my procedures. I can make sure that if I buy something, it will really be what I need for the year to come.<br /><br /> When I'm planning out my procedures for the year, I always start with my list of things that I wanted to change. Then I try to think through what a perfect class period would look like from bell to bell. This vision is what drives my procedures. I'm always thinking about how my classroom procedures can support my vision of what class should look like. Personally, I like to be as specific as possible and plan as much as I can in advance. In addition to the "regular" day (if there is such a thing in middle school!?!), I also try to plan out stuff that doesn't happen every day, but is still important. For example, knowing how I want to handle study guides, tests and retakes is important in my planning.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rVK4wLTRHYI/WzaXgpNdhEI/AAAAAAAAkQ0/YTiAaIKsiYQ4ojLEK34dji7SKT53cMJ0ACLcBGAs/s1600/classroom%2Bprocedures.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rVK4wLTRHYI/WzaXgpNdhEI/AAAAAAAAkQ0/YTiAaIKsiYQ4ojLEK34dji7SKT53cMJ0ACLcBGAs/s640/classroom%2Bprocedures.png" width="426" /></a></div><br /><br />Here are some of the things you will want to consider when planning for a new year:<br /><br /><ul><li>What materials do you want students to have for class each day?</li><li>What are your expectations for students when the bell rings each day?</li><li>What do you plan for students to do each day for the first few minutes of class?</li><li>How do you plan to take attendance?</li><li>How will you manage student absences?</li><li>What materials are available for students to borrow? </li><li>What will you do about students that don't have the necessary supplies for class (books, calculators, pencils, etc...)?</li><li>How are you going to handle student requests for drinks and bathroom breaks?</li><li>How do you want students to handle sharpening pencils and other tasks that might require them to get out of their seats?</li><li>How are you going to assign <a href="http://wilcoxsway.blogspot.com/2017/10/homework.html" target="_blank">homework</a>? How will you grade it?</li><li>What is your grading policy going to be? Will you have categories (tests, quizzes, participation, etc...)? What percent of the total grade will go to each category?</li><li>How will you get your student's attention when they are working?</li><li>What do you want students to do with graded papers?</li><li>How do you want students to organize notes and notebooks?</li><li>Where will students turn in papers? </li><li>Who will return graded papers?</li><li>Will you have any classroom jobs that students can do for you?</li><li>Do you need to have any procedures in place for technology in your classroom?</li><li>How will you handle the end of class? Do students need to wait to be dismissed, or can they leave then the bell rings?</li><li>What clean up procedures need to be in place for the end of class?</li><li>What will your retake policy be?</li><li>What will your late work policy be?</li><li>What is your policy for calculator use? Use of other technology?</li><li>What other procedures are important in your classroom? (Examples include effective group work, <a href="http://wilcoxsway.blogspot.com/2017/06/a-good-math-class-discussion-part-2.html" target="_blank">classroom discussions</a>, how to respond to feedback, etc...)</li><li>Will you have some structure set up for challenging students or early finishers?</li></ul><div> Personally for me, I organize all of this into a Google Doc. I find it easier to group them into categories, and then each year I can update and change easily. Then I just change the date at the top, and I've got my procedures planned out for the year! Then I'm ready to start on the rest of the tasks that need to get done before the new year begins.</div>Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-19665585480466650692018-06-22T21:09:00.002-05:002018-06-22T21:16:21.194-05:00Favorite Technology Part 3: Quia Today's favorite is actually one that I pay for, but it's worth the $49 a year to me. Quia has lots of ways to create online practice activities. There are a total of 15 activities that you can create for your students. My favorites are Battleship, Challenge Board, Cloze, Flashcards and Rags to Riches.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gqzKdcx9VVc/Wy2tbj_5CgI/AAAAAAAAkG4/AlNga5Fh28UCU_IAl-xyR6TPo2kKnBS2ACLcBGAs/s1600/3reasons.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gqzKdcx9VVc/Wy2tbj_5CgI/AAAAAAAAkG4/AlNga5Fh28UCU_IAl-xyR6TPo2kKnBS2ACLcBGAs/s320/3reasons.png" width="213" /></a></div><br /><br /> Battleship is just like the board game. Students play against the computer. Each time they answer a question correctly they get a turn to try to sink the computer's battleship. It can be a fun way to get my kids practicing. Rags to Riches is similar to Who Wants to be a Millionaire. This is another game where students play against the computer as they answer progressively harder questions to practice. The flashcards allow students to play Memory.<br /><br /> The Challenge Board is also fun. It is basically a version of Jeopardy. This is a fun one because it does allow students to play individually or with a partner. It's also a great way to review since you can create different categories.<br /><br /> These are all fun ways for students to practice and get feedback....but they are actually not what I love about Quia. Quia is what I usually use for online quizzes. As much as possible, I use Quia to give formative assessments because it is such an easy way for my students to get useful feedback that they can learn from.<br /><br /> There are three main reasons why I love giving quizzes on Quia. First, I love that the grading is quick and easy. Quia will grade multiple choice and multiple mark items for you. It will also grade short answer questions for you, based on whatever answers you have indicated are correct. It is also easy to override the automatic grading if a student gives a correct answer that you didn't think to list in your answers. Quick feedback is good for student learning, plus a the online grading is a major time-saver for me!<br /><br /> The second reason I love giving quizzes on Quia is that I can give students feedback AS they take the quiz. Yes, you read that right....AS students take the quiz. This is really the reason why I'm willing to pay for Quia. You can set Quia to give students one question at a time, and to show them feedback as they go. Using these settings, students get feedback on the quiz as they take it! So I always base my feedback for incorrect answers on what might be a common mistake or misunderstanding. I just love the idea that students could be learning AS they are taking an assessment.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9Gw9RxrbrXk/Wy2n5tF7cyI/AAAAAAAAkGg/F3_G33tiH1ILP3unpu9OcosrHYu1LoIswCLcBGAs/s1600/Give%2Binstant%2Bfeedback%2Bfor%2Bincorrect%2Banswers.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9Gw9RxrbrXk/Wy2n5tF7cyI/AAAAAAAAkGg/F3_G33tiH1ILP3unpu9OcosrHYu1LoIswCLcBGAs/s640/Give%2Binstant%2Bfeedback%2Bfor%2Bincorrect%2Banswers.png" width="425" /></a></div><br /> The third reason I love using Quia for quizzes is still about feedback. Once all of the students have taken the quiz, you can look over each question one at a time and give even more feedback. For example, if a student made a different mistake from what my feedback for incorrect answers anticipated, you can give customized feedback just to that particular student (or to all of the students that made the same error by copying and pasting).<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YkIFQsnmbMo/Wy2qkhA20FI/AAAAAAAAkGs/fLVQk1H9JF4mRUA2UcTwEGI3xrBdfZ8PACLcBGAs/s1600/Giveindividualizedfeeback%2Bafter.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YkIFQsnmbMo/Wy2qkhA20FI/AAAAAAAAkGs/fLVQk1H9JF4mRUA2UcTwEGI3xrBdfZ8PACLcBGAs/s640/Giveindividualizedfeeback%2Bafter.png" width="426" /></a></div><br /> I have tried using Google Forms to give quizzes, but have just found that it takes me longer to create a quiz with the same feedback. I also find it takes me longer to give individualized feedback through Google Forms than through Quia. I use Google Forms for surveys and other things, but generally for short quizzes, I prefer Quia.<br /><br /> Giving feedback to students is hands-down one of the most effective teaching strategies that we can use in our classrooms. I feel like Quia gives me a hand in effectively doing this in a very timely manner!<br /><br /><br />Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-10882671058546207032018-05-23T19:44:00.000-05:002018-05-24T04:48:55.959-05:00Scheduling a Year of Math Challenges in About an Hour! This past year I had the idea to have an extra Google Classroom that I called my Challenge Classsroom. This way, I had information in one place for all of my students that were interested. The code was on a poster at the back of my room. I posted fun challenges that I found throughout the year that kids could work on. I still continued to post a "Challenge Problem of the Week" on paper at the back of my classroom....well, it was supposed to be a problem of the week. Unfortunately, if I'm honest, it was a problem of the week until I started to forget some weeks. By the end of the year, it may have been more like a problem of the month. Good intentions foiled again!<br /><br /> But can I tell you how excited I am? I already have my Google Challenge Classroom set up for next year. The Challenge Problem of the Week is already scheduled for August through May. So I can't forget! I can still change it or add to it...but just knowing that it is already done is so great! In addition, I have some "Any Time, Any Topic" challenges that will always be available to kids. My final category of challenges that is already set up in my Challenge Classroom is one that I call -"Wonder Math". Basically, I search up pictures that are interesting and likely to make kids wonder about stuff that may be math-related (for example, a pool filled with jello; a world-record sized pie; a life-size gingerbread house) and just ask the questions "What does this make you wonder about? How could math help you answer your questions?" There are a few reasons that I love using Google Classroom to manage my challenge work for my classroom.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-D5aiVJhbrms/WwYKnfljEvI/AAAAAAAAidQ/_SntzpdLuY0BW3VAeZsBLkTuV1x9nZ1RQCLcBGAs/s1600/math-challenge.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-D5aiVJhbrms/WwYKnfljEvI/AAAAAAAAidQ/_SntzpdLuY0BW3VAeZsBLkTuV1x9nZ1RQCLcBGAs/s640/math-challenge.png" width="426" /></a></div><br />1. I love being able to schedule everything out. I want to have a problem of the week, but honestly as the year gets going this is sometimes one of the things that gets forgotten about. Now I was able to devote a block of time to get it done (and it took me under an hour since I had all the challenges ready to go)!<br /><br />2. I love the flexibility of being able to share all kinds of stuff that gets me excited about math. I'm always finding some news article, website, video or something else that reminds me of something we're doing at school. Through Google Classroom, it's so easy to share all of these kinds of things.<br /><br />3. I like being able to use topics to organize the different types of challenges. This way I can have problem of the weeks, plus other types of challenges all housed in one place.<br /><br />4. I can have one place to house all of my challenges for every class. All I have to do is post the code to join and every kid that wants access can have it. It even allows kids that I have in math club, but that I may not have in class, to join in the challenges.<br /><br />5. At the end of the year, I will have everything in one place. It will be so easy to reuse the posts that I really like and update with new ones.<br /><br />6. It gives me a way to provide lots of options, which give kids so many different choices. Hopefully they will be excited about at least some of the possibilities. (And it is one more answer to the eternal "Jill is bored in your class" line that we all may have heard).<br /><br /><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LelexF9dGM&t=1s" target="_blank">Here is a video</a> where I walk you through how I set up my challenge classroom. If you're interested in the resource that I used for all of my weekly challenges, I used these <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Year-of-Weekly-Math-Enrichment-Challenges-for-7th-Grade-3810219?utm_source=WWBlog&utm_campaign=ChallengeClassroom" target="_blank">Year of Weekly Challenges.</a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>Here are some other great sources for challenge problems:<br /><a href="http://www.openmiddle.com/" target="_blank">Open Middle</a><br /><a href="http://mathtop10.com/7th_grade_math_challenge_free/7th_grade_math_contest%20P1.htm" target="_blank">7th Grade Challenging Math</a><br /><a href="https://www.mathcounts.org/resources/school-handbook" target="_blank">Math Counts</a> (some stuff is paid, but they have lots of free stuff as well)<br /><a href="http://figurethis.nctm.org/challenges/challenge_index.htm" target="_blank">Figure This</a><br /><br /><br />Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-26909305721357739752018-05-13T20:21:00.000-05:002018-05-13T20:21:20.261-05:00Favorite Technology Part 2: Quizizz For part 2 of my favorite technology I want to focus on Quizizz. Quizizz is a little like Kahoot, but there are some differences. I can't really say that I like Quizizz or Kahoot better, but I find they each have uses that they are best suited for.<br /><br /> Just in case you're not familiar with either Quizizz or Kahoot, the basic idea is that you create multiple choice questions. Students answer them and get instant feedback after each question about whether their answer is correct.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9Oow0Wr2rdE/WvjkBhhmvUI/AAAAAAAAiHY/1ddrwRB-6uQdO0oAyXv0B6dKiGhGwZKkgCLcBGAs/s1600/8%2B%25281%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9Oow0Wr2rdE/WvjkBhhmvUI/AAAAAAAAiHY/1ddrwRB-6uQdO0oAyXv0B6dKiGhGwZKkgCLcBGAs/s640/8%2B%25281%2529.png" width="426" /></a></div><br /> Here are some of the things that I like about Quizizz.<br /><br /><b>1. Quizizz is self-paced.</b> If I want my kids to practice a few questions getting feedback along the way, Quizizz is the way to go. Students go at their own pace, moving on to the next question as they finish. Some of my kids that are slower workers find Kahoot to be frustrating, because they are always feeling rushed to keep up with classroom.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NSoPf4Yll3M/WvgzmZU4-bI/AAAAAAAAh9U/i3w4QxfT324fcNiZIPFF1dao-dzOJu3bwCLcBGAs/s1600/math-middle-school-technology-quizizz.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NSoPf4Yll3M/WvgzmZU4-bI/AAAAAAAAh9U/i3w4QxfT324fcNiZIPFF1dao-dzOJu3bwCLcBGAs/s640/math-middle-school-technology-quizizz.png" title="" width="426" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">This is the student view during a Quizizz. The top shows the difference between a multiple choice and a multiple mark question. At the bottom you can see the response for a correct or incorrect answer.</td></tr></tbody></table><b>2. Students see the question on their own screen, rather than on the SmartBoard. </b> This one might seem minor, but when you have students looking at a graph, table or other image, this can be much easier when it is closer to them. <br /><b><br /></b><b>3. You have a lot of flexibility with how much time you give to students. </b> Quizizz allows longer times. You can choose to give students any from 5 seconds up to 15 minutes. This is less stressful for my slower workers. It also allows for me to ask more in-depth questions that a fast paced Kahoot doesn't allow for.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-egiW-tL3cus/Wvg1yOMXy6I/AAAAAAAAh9g/sJvwqPeuN4scBxwTZNdlouKe2_jDcp7oQCLcBGAs/s1600/math-technology-middle-school.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="800" data-original-width="800" height="400" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-egiW-tL3cus/Wvg1yOMXy6I/AAAAAAAAh9g/sJvwqPeuN4scBxwTZNdlouKe2_jDcp7oQCLcBGAs/s400/math-technology-middle-school.png" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><b>4. Easy to combine questions from different quizzes. </b> Quizizz has the option to add questions from different quizzes with the click of a button. I LOVE this feature. Super convenient, and really helps me get the Quizizz just how I like it.<br /><br /><b>5. You can assign these as homework or play them live. </b> I love that you have options. Honestly, this is usually what helps me decide if I want to use Quizizz or Kahoot. If I want to play live, I usually go with Kahoot. With Kahoot, all the kids are doing the same question at the same time. So I really like Kahoot if I want to be teaching along the way, based on what questions kids are missing. If I'm really wanting to give kids a chance to work independently, and then decide what direction my teaching needs to go, then I like to use Quizizz. That way, I can look over the results when everyone finishes. I really like assigning a Quizizz as homework, as students can do it over and over. Great opportunity to practice!<br /><br /><b>6. It's quiet.</b> I'll admit it...I love Kahoot, and the kids love Kahoot, but there are days that I just don't have the energy to deal with the noise. Or when the room next door is taking a test or giving presentations and I need to be quiet. And then, it's Quizizz to the rescue. You can use the same types of questions, but it does make for a much quieter classroom.<br /><b><br /></b><b>7. Great data that is easily accessible as kids play, and when everyone finishes.</b> I love both views of the Quizizz data while kids are working on it. You can toggle between two different views: the first view shows the overall percent of questions correct. The other view is by question. I really love the question view, because it really allows me to focus my teaching on the problem areas.<br /> Then once everyone finishes, there is even more data available. One of the pieces of data that I really love at the end of the Quizizz is the part that shows the average time spent on a question. This has led to some good conversations in my room about how rushing and not reading carefully can lead us to poor results.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JGUBAuqaFf0/Wvg2aiN-VdI/AAAAAAAAh9o/trMazh32lU8A372j07m99QGplh9DcVp1ACLcBGAs/s1600/technology-math-middle-school-quizizz.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JGUBAuqaFf0/Wvg2aiN-VdI/AAAAAAAAh9o/trMazh32lU8A372j07m99QGplh9DcVp1ACLcBGAs/s640/technology-math-middle-school-quizizz.png" width="425" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gJ3BICJ-D1w/WvjhYW5cp5I/AAAAAAAAiGk/EFssASiQ_rgv4sWG2id0gf7Im7JlXL91wCLcBGAs/s1600/math-middle-school-technology.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gJ3BICJ-D1w/WvjhYW5cp5I/AAAAAAAAiGk/EFssASiQ_rgv4sWG2id0gf7Im7JlXL91wCLcBGAs/s640/math-middle-school-technology.png" width="425" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The top picture shows the question view during the game. It's nice to be able to see as you go which question students are struggling with. There is also a student view during the game...you just have to be careful about displaying results with student names. The bottom picture shows the overview given after the Quizizz is over. I love that you can see time spent on questions, as well as percent that got it correct.</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><b><br /></b></div><b>8. You have the option to either have multiple choice or multiple mark questions.</b> I know on our district and state tests, we see a lot of multiple mark questions. These are so hard for kids, so the chance to practice them is terrific!<br /><br />If you haven't tried Quizizz yet, maybe it's time to give it a try!Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-59712041487964115872018-04-28T10:36:00.000-05:002018-04-28T10:36:30.534-05:00Favorite Techology Part 1: Desmos Teaching Activites I'm going to spend a few blog posts talking about some of my favorite technology sites and applications to use in my classroom, and my favorite features of each.<br /><br /> Usually, I'm a "save the best for last" kind of gal, but for this I've decided to dive in with my favorite....Desmos! I have written before about how much I love Desmos, but today I want to tell you about a few of my favorite features (and a little bit about how to use them!).<br /><br /> There are tons of cool activities that have already been created to use on Desmos. If you've never tried any, poke around and find one to try. My favorites are <a href="https://teacher.desmos.com/marbleslides-lines" target="_blank">MarblesSlides</a> and <a href="https://teacher.desmos.com/activitybuilder/custom/57d9fdc6ebf48f73093807b2" target="_blank">Inequalities on the Number Line</a>, but there are tons of great ones to pick from!<br /><br /> Here are a few reasons that I love creating my own Desmos teaching activities:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xnP9e6rF_6g/WuSAODlebtI/AAAAAAAAhxI/z6eUK7ktM08I0ZXdbcxzzQKpwO5ZOZwKQCLcBGAs/s1600/desmos%2Bmath.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="800" data-original-width="800" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xnP9e6rF_6g/WuSAODlebtI/AAAAAAAAhxI/z6eUK7ktM08I0ZXdbcxzzQKpwO5ZOZwKQCLcBGAs/s400/desmos%2Bmath.png" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br />1. One of the things that I love about Desmos activities that I create myself is all of the different options that I have for what I can add to them. Here is what you can add to your Desmos activities:<br /><ul><li>graph</li><li>table</li><li>sketch</li><li>media (picture or video)</li><li>note (you give information to students)</li><li>input (students input text or math equations)</li><li>choice questions (choose between multiple choice, multiple mark, or explanation)</li><li>card sort or marble slides activity</li></ul><div>You can even combine more than one of these things on to a single screen. For example, you could have a graph on the screen and an input box where students have to respond to a question about the graph. </div><div><br /></div><div>2. Another thing that I love is that I can see all of my students work on one screen. I can quickly see who has finished which slides. I can click on a student's slide to get a closer view of their work. This really allows me to give students real-time feedback! Having everyone's answers in one place also allows for terrific use of student work to guide discussion, as I can quickly scroll through answers to find ones that I want to highlight in class.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NHnf9yz2gOE/WuSPq_SrF3I/AAAAAAAAhxY/VngM8qqWK38mCIvI7ZeytL8aUixC70clACLcBGAs/s1600/desmos%2Bmath%2Bgraphs.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NHnf9yz2gOE/WuSPq_SrF3I/AAAAAAAAhxY/VngM8qqWK38mCIvI7ZeytL8aUixC70clACLcBGAs/s640/desmos%2Bmath%2Bgraphs.png" width="425" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Notice that Brahmagupta has made a mistake on the purple line. This makes is so easy to find mistakes and talk with students.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br />3. My class really likes to have me use the "Anonymize" feature, which assigns each student the name of a famous mathematician. It's fun to hear, "Cool, I'm Katherine Johnson!" or to see kids looking up mathematicians to find out who they are. I also like this feature because when I notice a problem, I can call out "Pythagoras, it looks like the second point on your graph is off. Please double check it" and give kids feedback without embarrassing anyone.</div><div><br />4. I like to set up my activities so that students get to see the answers of other students after they complete a slide. I think it's really helpful for students to see what other classmates were thinking, and how they justified their thinking.</div><div><br /></div><div>5. Another feature that I really love about Desmos is the fact that you can carry forward a graph from one screen to another and kids could continue to work on a graph from one screen to another. <br /><br /><br />If you're ready to create your own Desmos activity, go to https://teacher.desmos.com/ and choose choose "Custom" on the menu on the left side of the page. Then click "New Activity" in the upper right hand corner. Then click "New Activity" in the upper right hand corner of the next screen.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4ajEprquCss/WuSSt59oMqI/AAAAAAAAhxk/YiWTr7ugrls6afDTQzMq8F5PP3TOvEeuwCLcBGAs/s1600/desmos%2Bblog%2B2.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="620" data-original-width="1349" height="182" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4ajEprquCss/WuSSt59oMqI/AAAAAAAAhxk/YiWTr7ugrls6afDTQzMq8F5PP3TOvEeuwCLcBGAs/s400/desmos%2Bblog%2B2.png" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7zqvJ9e0RAY/WuSS_tz4cyI/AAAAAAAAhxs/MX4AWF9hAno69bsQe8k8ls7z1YnLMXfZgCLcBGAs/s1600/desmos%2Bblog%2B1.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="620" data-original-width="1349" height="183" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7zqvJ9e0RAY/WuSS_tz4cyI/AAAAAAAAhxs/MX4AWF9hAno69bsQe8k8ls7z1YnLMXfZgCLcBGAs/s400/desmos%2Bblog%2B1.png" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">This short video should give you some ideas of how to add things to your Desmos activity.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="320" height="266" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/UvQZJOmnITc/0.jpg" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UvQZJOmnITc?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Good luck, and I hope you love creating these activities as much as I do!</div><br /><br /><br /></div><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-19526982920157401152018-04-12T17:28:00.001-05:002018-04-18T18:07:29.314-05:00Ideas to Create Your Own Escape Room Puzzles In my last post, I talked about the huge multi-day escape room activity I was doing to review for state assessments. I've done two days so far, and it has really been going great! If you're considering designing your own escape room style activity, here are a few tips to consider.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VTA4NW7mG2s/Ws_bje3jUhI/AAAAAAAAhkc/hbKrk0rQJ_UpX8YhjJZjVRjh9wnRA-fMQCLcBGAs/s1600/Five%2BTips.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="math escape room" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VTA4NW7mG2s/Ws_bje3jUhI/AAAAAAAAhkc/hbKrk0rQJ_UpX8YhjJZjVRjh9wnRA-fMQCLcBGAs/s640/Five%2BTips.png" title="" width="426" /></a></div><br /><br /><b>1. Start with the skills. </b> As with anything in education, you've got to start with a clear idea of what skills you want students to practice. Otherwise it's easy to get lost in planning fun puzzles and lose track of what's really important. For my escape room activity, I started with a list of the top eight skills that I most wanted my students to practice again before state assessments. From there, I knew that I wanted one puzzle to go with each topic.<br /><b><br /></b><b>2. Try using a worksheet/activity that you already have.</b> Some of my puzzles were fancier, but some of them were pretty simple. Some of the simplest puzzles were simply a list of problems from a pre-existing worksheet, and an answer bank. When you're planning an escape room activity, there are all sorts of codes you can have: letters, numbers, directions, colors, and shapes are the first that come to mind. So when you put down your answer bank, just attach a letter (or number or color) to each answer and there you have it! Students solve the problems and use the answer bank to find the correct "code".<br /><b><br /></b><b>3. Make clues that force students to do all of the problems you want them to do, not just some of them</b>. As I was creating clues, I started off with clues like "The answer to problem 2 plus twice the answer of problem 5". If all of your clues are like this, students will only complete the problems that they have to in order to get the code. If you want them to complete all of the problems, consider having at least one clue that forces them to look at all the answers, such as "the difference of the largest and smallest answer".<br /><br /><b>4. Get creative and add some fun and interest to the puzzle with fake generators. </b> There are all sorts of cool sites that allow you to generate fake text messages, tickets, receipts, etc.... Simple things like these can add some fun to your escape room activity. Here are a few links to get you started:<br /> <a href="https://ifaketextmessage.com/" target="_blank">Fake Text Messages</a><br /> <a href="http://www.faketicketgenerator.com/" target="_blank">Fake Concert Ticket Generator</a><br /> <a href="http://breakyourownnews.com/" target="_blank">Fake Headline Generator</a><br /> <a href="http://www.fakereceipt.us/sales_receipt.php" target="_blank">Fake Receipt Generator</a><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TiDJrUBBkJE/Ws89J9WGhjI/AAAAAAAAhkM/C4Z3mEg4PDAAiAriWxSjzOCwJFUj_accACLcBGAs/s1600/Create%2Byour%2Bown%2B_fake_%2Bclues%2Bwith%2Bonline%2Btools%2B%25281%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="escape room math review" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="640" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TiDJrUBBkJE/Ws89J9WGhjI/AAAAAAAAhkM/C4Z3mEg4PDAAiAriWxSjzOCwJFUj_accACLcBGAs/s640/Create%2Byour%2Bown%2B_fake_%2Bclues%2Bwith%2Bonline%2Btools%2B%25281%2529.png" title="" width="425" /></a></div><br /><br /><b>5. Get creative with how you let students know the correct order of the answers in the code. </b> I tried to vary this to keep my students thinking. Here are some things I tried:<br /><br /><ul><li>Used a colored border at the top of the paper. Each problem had a colored dot next to it. Students had to match the order of the border to get the answers in order. </li><li>Put a different letter with each problem, and then give a clue how to rearrange those letters to spell a word. When I tried this, I had a puzzle about surface area. The boxes held the letters A-N-I-S-T. Somewhere else on the page were the words, "A very good person". Students were supposed to come up with the word saint.</li><li>Put a different word with each problem, that spell out a common phrase. Students organize the answers according to the phrase. One of my puzzles had four sets of problems, and each set of problems would leave students with one number. The boxes were labeled with these words: ALLIGATOR LATER YOU SEE. Students had to reorder the numbers to make the clue say SEE YOU LATER ALLIGATOR, and this gave them the 4-digit code.</li><li>Use a visual clue. One of my clues, I simply had a different number of dots on each section. Students were supposed to put them in order from one dot to five to find the correct code. </li></ul><div>Good luck helping your students to escape the classroom!</div><br /><br /><br /><br />Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-32460343935436059862018-03-22T09:10:00.000-05:002018-04-18T18:08:39.917-05:00I'm So Excited to Review for State Testing........said no teacher ever.<br /><br />Except this year.<br /><br />Because I am.<br /><br />I'm planning a 3 day study session for state testing. I've mapped out the most important topics to review to help my kids show what they know.<br /><br />But the awesome part is I'm planning to do it Escape Room style, so I think it will be awesome!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pa2183Lv15c/WsFFzBCQxlI/AAAAAAAAhYs/0mc7tIVNPOYZEPB7d7zuij5K4MHmp2mKQCLcBGAs/s1600/Review%2Bfor%2BState%2BAssessments...Breakout%2BStyle%2B%25281%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="math escape room" border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pa2183Lv15c/WsFFzBCQxlI/AAAAAAAAhYs/0mc7tIVNPOYZEPB7d7zuij5K4MHmp2mKQCLcBGAs/s400/Review%2Bfor%2BState%2BAssessments...Breakout%2BStyle%2B%25281%2529.png" title="" width="266" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>This will for sure be the biggest Breakout I've ever attempted but I think it will fine. I'm going to have 8 boxes, but each with just one lock. Each box will be focused on a different topic: circles, surface area, factoring/distributive property, solving equations, percents, scale drawing, statistics, proportional relationships and one general review.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9y6rw9emS60/WsFGeq3vzxI/AAAAAAAAhY0/lWD6ZX4MFe4Q7MRnkCr1MyaU3P4FhDX9QCLcBGAs/s1600/Untitled%2Bdesign%2B%25285%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="math review escape room" border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="400" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9y6rw9emS60/WsFGeq3vzxI/AAAAAAAAhY0/lWD6ZX4MFe4Q7MRnkCr1MyaU3P4FhDX9QCLcBGAs/s400/Untitled%2Bdesign%2B%25285%2529.png" title="" width="266" /></a></div><br /><br />I'm going to put a link to a review video on each puzzle so the kids can watch a quick review if they need help. The boxes can be solved in any order. As teams break in to a box, they will find a piece of one final puzzle and some money.<br /><br />The whole point of the Breakout will be to collect as much money as possible. At the end of the Breakout, we will have an auction where teams can bid on items to buy.<br /><br />One of the other things that I'm really excited about is that teams will also be able to earn extra money for the auction by exhibiting good teamwork and collaboration. I based this on the idea of participation quizzes from Mathematical Mindsets by Jo Boaler. I adapted the rubric from the book to this situation, and went over these expectations before we began. Click below to download what I used with my class as I introduced this activity. I was REALLY pleased with how this helped. I talked specifically with my classes about the fact that I didn't want them to "divide and conquer" the puzzles, but to work together. I only had groups in one class that split up....most groups worked together as I asked them to!<br /><a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v2Rt4YYBE5es1okhJ4Ynes8q4jHvXbKyTdWrep6pFSs/copy" target="_blank"><br /></a><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v2Rt4YYBE5es1okhJ4Ynes8q4jHvXbKyTdWrep6pFSs/copy" target="_blank"><br /></a><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v2Rt4YYBE5es1okhJ4Ynes8q4jHvXbKyTdWrep6pFSs/copy" target="_blank"><img alt="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v2Rt4YYBE5es1okhJ4Ynes8q4jHvXbKyTdWrep6pFSs/copy" border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="400" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fNAnMyJjAIA/WsFQOK76RSI/AAAAAAAAhZI/nh7wB0Ama7YYS197gJpTgsyzc0Uhr2nHACLcBGAs/s400/Escape%2BRoom%2BReview%2BCollaboration%2BGoals.png" title="" width="266" /></a></div><br /><br />Teams that finish all of the boxes can earn additional money by completing the final puzzle, which they get the pieces to when they break in to all of the boxes.<br /><br />At first I thought I was going to plan all of the puzzles...but then I realized that I could use stuff that I already have. So I've created a few puzzles from scratch, but for several of them, I've just used existing worksheets or puzzles and found a way to turn them into an escape room style puzzle. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kmwbZV7lZzU/WsFRxnuPpRI/AAAAAAAAhZQ/gUuHQY-9ZGQtU2h6Q4pJNHssmEeFoc2pgCLcBGAs/s1600/Untitled%2Bdesign%2B%25286%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="escape room encourages collaboration" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="400" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kmwbZV7lZzU/WsFRxnuPpRI/AAAAAAAAhZQ/gUuHQY-9ZGQtU2h6Q4pJNHssmEeFoc2pgCLcBGAs/s400/Untitled%2Bdesign%2B%25286%2529.png" title="" width="266" /></a></div><br /><br />I used these puzzles as several of the games:<br /><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Graveyard-Scale-Drawing-Scavenger-Hunt-Activity-2780439" target="_blank"><span id="goog_446865029"></span> Graveyard Scale Drawing Scavenger Hunt</a><span id="goog_446865030"></span><br /><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Percent-of-a-Number-Warm-Up-Activity-2650738" target="_blank">Percent of a Number Warm Up Activity</a><br /><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/No-Prep-7th-Grade-Math-Review-Puzzles-3148495" target="_blank">7th Grade Review Puzzles</a><br /><br />Some of these were ready to go as puzzles. Some of them needed some minor adjustments to make into a puzzle. I'll write another post about how I made some minor adjustments to turn things I had into a puzzle.<br /><br /><br />Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-7048781521716228292018-03-19T08:39:00.000-05:002018-03-22T09:13:26.547-05:00Oh, how I love Basketball in March! I sit on my couch, watching the last game of what has been an insane weekend of basketball. I am a college basketball fanatic, and since Thursday I have watched a LOT of basketball. What a weekend of basketball it has been....I've watched a #1 finally lose to a #16. I've seen buzzer beaters, 20 point comebacks and 20 point losses by really good teams.<br /><br /> And as I watch all of this, one of the things that I keep thinking is....I can't wait to talk to the kids about this! We did a fun simulation of the first round of the tournament, so I think they will get a kick out of the unexpected things that have happened in March 2018.<br /><br /> The simulation was super easy to set up, and only took about 10 minutes in class. Plus it was a great way to introduce the idea of simulations to my class the week before spring break when it was hard to get them to care about anything!<br /><br /> I based it all on these statistics:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nXcAOdHsvyM/Wq8m6HWzbQI/AAAAAAAAhDg/HgCKSjqY15sUhZIjNsP2hZdmcvYidYCfgCLcBGAs/s1600/Basketball_%2Bby%2Bthe%2Bseed.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="400" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nXcAOdHsvyM/Wq8m6HWzbQI/AAAAAAAAhDg/HgCKSjqY15sUhZIjNsP2hZdmcvYidYCfgCLcBGAs/s400/Basketball_%2Bby%2Bthe%2Bseed.png" width="266" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> I used a variety of materials to create simulations for each of the games. Here was what I used:</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><ul><li>1 vs. 16--bag of a bunch of colored blocks with just one white block to represent the 16.</li><li>2 vs. 15--bag of 19 red blocks and 1 blue block to represent the 15.</li><li>3 vs. 14--rolled a 6-sided die with 5 sides for the 3 and 1 side for the 14</li><li>4 vs. 13--rolled a 10-sided die with 8 sides for the 4 and 2 sides for the 13</li><li>5 vs. 12--rolled a 6-sided die with 4 sides for 5 and 2 sides for the 12</li><li>6 vs. 11--spun a spinner with 5 spaces for 6 and 3 spaces for the 11</li><li>7 vs. 10--spun a spinner with 3 spaces for the 7 and 2 spaces for the 10</li><li>8 vs. 9--flipped a coin</li></ul><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-s6f1Lc_B9ww/Wq_ARHbmKqI/AAAAAAAAhD8/XReoahRQhNAaomODeWsQOVk_5nA_me4EQCLcBGAs/s1600/Design%2BYour%2BOwn%2BSimulation%2Bof%2Bthe%2BFirst%2B32%2BGames.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="400" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-s6f1Lc_B9ww/Wq_ARHbmKqI/AAAAAAAAhD8/XReoahRQhNAaomODeWsQOVk_5nA_me4EQCLcBGAs/s400/Design%2BYour%2BOwn%2BSimulation%2Bof%2Bthe%2BFirst%2B32%2BGames.png" width="266" /></a></div><div><br /></div><div>Then the kids filled out the form below, and then we simulated the entire first round. We went through each of the trials listed above 4 times, and I made it clear that students had to have them in the correct order. I made everyone stand up, and as soon as their bracket was no longer perfect, they had to sit down. In every single hour, every kid was sitting down by the time we got to the 4-13 games! Click on the picture below to download this form.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IJSroIKvQka-eXbRyc1TG6iUr-wJoQ-J58jdGtJIrNU/copy"><img border="0" data-original-height="390" data-original-width="723" height="215" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kXKJb5s6AF8/Wq8rfnCDKyI/AAAAAAAAhDs/wHia6EqVBHwmvQ-vMlP6-oi_MWFvs5b-ACLcBGAs/s400/download%2B%25284%2529.png" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> This was really fun. I know I'll do it again next year. One thing I think I'll do differently next year is have the KIDS design how to test the simulation. I will demonstrate how to pick your materials with one of the games, and then assign each table one game to decide how to simulate. Since each table will only have to come up with 1 part of the simulation, I still think it will be fast. But since the kids will have to make some decisions about how to set up the simulation, I think they will get more out of it.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> After we finished the simulation, I showed <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6Smkv11Mj4">this short 3-minute video explaining the odds of getting a perfect bracket</a>. The professor in the video does a great job of explaining the math behind why a perfect bracket is so hard to get. </div><div><br /></div><br />Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-28182504903490437972018-02-24T21:22:00.003-06:002018-02-24T21:24:31.584-06:00New Twist on Task Cards: "Be the Expert" I like task cards, but I feel like I'm always looking for some way to make them better....more exciting or fun....or something. Well, I finally found what I was looking for. For the moment, I'm calling this version "Be the Expert" task cards.<br /><br /> It's a pretty simple twist on task cards, but for me it was just what I was looking for to take task cards to the next level. I made the task cards with the idea that you would fold them in half, kind of making them into a tent. On one side is the task card. On the other side is the answer, along with space for students to work out the answer.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sGuRXTES624/Wo1XFUY2SRI/AAAAAAAAgos/vdgkHUjAq-w1-GMlfgfUKmFfvKzmsGuqwCLcBGAs/s1600/Task%2BCard%2B%2528with%2Banswer%2Bon%2Bthe%2Boutside%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sGuRXTES624/Wo1XFUY2SRI/AAAAAAAAgos/vdgkHUjAq-w1-GMlfgfUKmFfvKzmsGuqwCLcBGAs/s320/Task%2BCard%2B%2528with%2Banswer%2Bon%2Bthe%2Boutside%2529.png" title="task-cards-middle-school-math" width="213" /></a> <a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-cSoCuz7c0gQ/Wo1YLG20VQI/AAAAAAAAgo0/kKgELJw5Dv0u42i0MWsiqWQTMlxmDIK6wCLcBGAs/s1600/Untitled%2Bdesign%2B%25284%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-cSoCuz7c0gQ/Wo1YLG20VQI/AAAAAAAAgo0/kKgELJw5Dv0u42i0MWsiqWQTMlxmDIK6wCLcBGAs/s320/Untitled%2Bdesign%2B%25284%2529.png" title="math-task-cards" width="213" /></a></div><br /> Each student gets one card, and they keep that card for the entire activity. Each student must work out the problem that they got on their card, and "be the expert" for that problem. Students then walk around, partnering up with different students, and completing each other's problems. As students try to work each other's problems, they can help each other through it.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-U_Is7hlwP9M/WpHs0Bq5jXI/AAAAAAAAgvA/Cr04dMhNJrgZC4lZfT5mPKsZ07B7NP3PgCEwYBhgL/s1600/Ideas%2Bto%2Buse%2Btask%2Bcards%2Bto%2Bencourage%2Bgood%2Bdiscussion%2Band%2Bmore%2521.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-U_Is7hlwP9M/WpHs0Bq5jXI/AAAAAAAAgvA/Cr04dMhNJrgZC4lZfT5mPKsZ07B7NP3PgCEwYBhgL/s400/Ideas%2Bto%2Buse%2Btask%2Bcards%2Bto%2Bencourage%2Bgood%2Bdiscussion%2Band%2Bmore%2521.png" title="task-cards-equations" width="266" /></a></div><br />Here are 4 things that I loved about doing task cards this way:<br />1. It got kids moving. This was an easy way to incorporate some movement in my class, as students moved around to change partners.<br />2. It helped all kids feel successful, and be successful. Each student was in charge of understanding one problem and being able to help others. This gave my quiet students and struggling students a chance to gain confidence.<br />3. It led to great discussions. As I listened to student discussions, I was impressed at the quality of help that I heard them giving to each other. They weren't just giving answers, but really helping each other figure out what went wrong when it was not correct.<br />4. Easy way to make sure kids get instant feedback. Students had the answers when needed, so they could monitor their own progress...plus help was built in when they missed problems!<br /><br />Tips if you plan to try this:<br />1. Have some kind of "waiting place" for students that are waiting for a different partner.<br />2. Make sure kids know that they can't work in the "waiting place". The first time I did this my "waiting place" area kept moving around because kids would start working itthere!<br /><br /> One of the great things about this idea for task cards is that you could do this with any task cards that you already have.....just print them on paper, write the answers on the back, and you're ready to go. When I made mine, I decided to fold the task card like a tent (so the answer would be on the back) this left the inside available for some more questions. I decided it would be a great place for an exit ticket! If you're interested in some ready to go "Be the Expert" two-step equations task cards, <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Two-Step-Equations-Task-Card-Activity-3664337?utm_source=WWBlog&utm_campaign=BeTheExpert">click here to see them</a> in my Teachers Pay Teacher store.Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-16162659280327500602018-02-06T21:51:00.000-06:002018-02-24T21:24:56.192-06:00Ideas for Celebrating Pi Day Pi Day is a day we all love as math teachers, right??? A chance to shine light on math in a fun way. So here are some fun ways you could celebrate Pi Day this year. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uOHBf2X52ss/Wnp2WBoMz0I/AAAAAAAAgPo/h57BV09F-jw3lJeGLaSub4UKTEGznOWrwCLcBGAs/s1600/12%2BFUNIDEAS.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uOHBf2X52ss/Wnp2WBoMz0I/AAAAAAAAgPo/h57BV09F-jw3lJeGLaSub4UKTEGznOWrwCLcBGAs/s400/12%2BFUNIDEAS.png" title="pi-day" width="266" /></a></div><br /><br />1. Do a Pi Day Breakout. Breakouts (like an escape room for the classroom) are lots of fun, and great to teach those "soft skills" we're always hearing about, like collaboration and perseverance. A quick Google search for Pi Day Breakout turned up lots of free resources. <a href="https://sites.google.com/view/pidayrosales/">Here's a link to a digital Pi Day Breakout,</a> but you can find more pretty easily!<br /><br />2. Play Rolling for Pi. This quick game is a fun way to start things off for Pi Day, or something you could do if you just have a short time to celebrate. I give each student a six-sided number cube. Then I have everyone roll together, and you get to remain standing as long as you are rolling the digits of pi (in order!). So on the first roll, only those kids that rolled a 3 would remain in the game. Then they would roll again and try to get a 1, and so on. The kid that rolls the most digits of pi is the winner. This game works fine with 6-sided dice for the first several digits of pi (3.1415), and you could just declare anyone that got this far the winner. Variations of this game include using 10-sided dice or having students create a spinner to use.<br /><br />3. Pi Day Puzzles. I have a fun (FREE!) <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pi-Day-Sudoku-Activity-Game-3553231">Pi Day Sudoku puzzle</a> in my Teachers Pay Teachers store that would be fun. There are two puzzles; one has Pi Day trivia, while the other other has students calculating problems with circumference and area of circles.<br /><br />4. Pi Day chain contest. This is another great way to get kids working collaboratively. Divide your class up into groups of 3-5 students. Each group is supposed to make a paper chain with the digits of pi in the correct order. The group with the longest chain of accurate digits in the time given wins.<br /><br />5. Pi Day Trivia. Take a quick break and play some trivia. My kids love to play trivia when we have a few extra minutes. A quick Google search can find lots of free trivia.<br /><br />6. Pi Day STEM Challenge. I'm going to have kids create the smallest circular "landing pool" for a daredevil to dive into.....but it has to be big enough for the daredevil to hit the pool 10 times in a row! My "diving board" will be a ruler, and my "daredevil" will be a simple pencil eraser. You can see the set up below. After the kids create the pool, they have to find the surface area. <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/STEM-Challenge-Math-Activity-Circumference-and-AreaSurface-Area-of-Cylinder-3613774">Click here</a> if you're interested in full supporting materials for this lesson!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-qFb3IEI2Tak/WnpuAlbc8xI/AAAAAAAAgPQ/qsJ4LEUAZgo46eQMrs96CLJ4OOCuZzUQwCLcBGAs/s1600/STEM%2BChallenge...great%2Bfor%2BPi%2BDay%2521.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="400" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-qFb3IEI2Tak/WnpuAlbc8xI/AAAAAAAAgPQ/qsJ4LEUAZgo46eQMrs96CLJ4OOCuZzUQwCLcBGAs/s400/STEM%2BChallenge...great%2Bfor%2BPi%2BDay%2521.png" title="pi-day-stem-challenge" width="266" /></a></div><br />7. Write a Pi Day story. Want to get your English teacher involved in Pi Day? Here's a fun one for them! There are two ways to do this. One way is to have kids write a "story"....the catch is that the word lengths in the story have to follow the digits of pi. So you start with a 3-letter word, then a 1-letter word, etc... Another variation, is to have the kids write a normal story, but they have to work in the digits of pi in order. This one gets fun because words like "to" count as a two, and "won" counts as one.<br /><br />8. Make pie!!! The science teacher on my team gets involved in the day by having the kids make a cream pie as a lab, using Bunsen burners. We have parents donate ingredients, and have half the kids make chocolate cream pie and half make butterscotch cream pie. Then of course, at the end of the day, we eat!<br /><br />9. Pi Day problem hunt. Give your students a printout with one page of pi digits printed out. Have them look for problems within the digits. The problems can be simple (1 + 4 = 5) or more complicated ones using order or operations.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RPtf7o5FLxs/Wnpxq5Y2O7I/AAAAAAAAgPc/ETwLb0zje_o7Q7wiFIWBFXyJfd0kV6rlwCLcBGAs/s1600/Pi%2BDay%2BProblem%2BHunt.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="400" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RPtf7o5FLxs/Wnpxq5Y2O7I/AAAAAAAAgPc/ETwLb0zje_o7Q7wiFIWBFXyJfd0kV6rlwCLcBGAs/s400/Pi%2BDay%2BProblem%2BHunt.png" title="pi-day" width="266" /></a></div><br /><br />10. Pi Day Hopping Races. If you are able to take kids outside or to the gym, this one might be fun. Have a race where students have to hop the digits of pi. 3 hops on one foot, 1 hop on the other foot, 4 hops on the other foot, etc....<br /><br />11. Pi Day Goose Chase. Ok, I have to admit that I haven't tried Goose Chase EDU yet. It's like a digital scavenger hunt. It looks super fun, though and I'm dying to try it some time. Here is one I created that would work for Pi Day. <a href="https://gsch.se/game/8256e8f4b2984571a36f4debebdd4981/share/">Click here</a> to see the one I made.<br /><br />12. Pi Day Scavenger Hunt. Speaking of scavenger hunts, a paper scavenger hunt is a more traditional option. Last year my class had a great time with this. I had pictures posted of all kind of circular objects with the radius or diameter labeled. Their scavenger hunt list included things like "something edible with an area of 15" or "something hot with a circumference of 20 in". The kids got a little creative with it, and it was fun! <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Area-and-Circumference-of-Circles-Scavenger-Hunt-great-for-Pi-Day-Activity-3646656">Click here </a>to get one that is ready to go from my TpT store..<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-47886706839862938652018-01-11T05:24:00.001-06:002018-02-24T21:25:20.961-06:00Student Issues with Complementary and Supplementary Angles One of our first units of the year is Shapes and Designs. Part of this unit involves teaching angle relationships, such as complementary and supplementary angles. As with any topic, there are a few things that can cause issues for students when learning about angle relationships.<br /><br /> <b><u> Issue 1: Remembering the vocabulary. </u></b> One pretty obvious issue is that students have to remember the definitions of complementary and supplementary. I have a pretty effective (although geeky) way that I help my students remember this.<br /> For complementary angles, I ask my students, "You all like compliments, RIGHT?". At first they look at me confused. Then I ask again, and I start to get a lot of "I see what you did there" kind of nods as students realize way I said RIGHT so loud! So this becomes a mantra in our class for a week or two. <br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JlI0WBKjGl4/WlNWnHbXLcI/AAAAAAAAgBs/mb9TsHAWpJ4Q8TpZhKlcW6WDT_WxxpcjACLcBGAs/s1600/super%2Bteacher.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="400" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JlI0WBKjGl4/WlNWnHbXLcI/AAAAAAAAgBs/mb9TsHAWpJ4Q8TpZhKlcW6WDT_WxxpcjACLcBGAs/s400/super%2Bteacher.png" title="angle-relationships-complementary-supplementary" width="266" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Getting silly often helps my kids remember things!</td></tr></tbody></table><br /> Now if you thought complementary was a geeky way to remember, hold your socks....supplementary is even better! :) For supplmenetary, I tell my students that I'm going to introduce a new "mathematical" way of greeting one another. You walk up to someone, with both arms held straight out (the straight line in supplementary angles) and say "WSUP?". At this point, I get quite a few groans and eye rolls, but as I walk in to class for the next couple of weeks, I will be greeted by a chorus of WSUPs!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MX9t3SeMK_A/WldFOV_aNvI/AAAAAAAAgEE/fMekovHLpEknxRthng7_2KV3v1h32en3QCLcBGAs/s1600/download%2B%25285%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="468" data-original-width="579" height="322" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MX9t3SeMK_A/WldFOV_aNvI/AAAAAAAAgEE/fMekovHLpEknxRthng7_2KV3v1h32en3QCLcBGAs/s400/download%2B%25285%2529.png" title="complementary-supplementary" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div> <b> <u>Issue 2: Understanding what the vocabulary means</u></b>. This issue was less obvious to me at first. I was working with a student at study hall, and he could tell me the definitions of complementary and supplementary, but he couldn't do much else related to complementary and supplementary angles. At first, I was struggling to figure out the problem. Finally, after telling me what complementary meant, I told him to draw me a picture of what complementary angles looked like. This kid looked at my like I had grown another head! In all of our work with complementary and supplementary angles, the pictures had been provided. When I had him draw his own set of angles, a light bulb went on and he really made that connection to what the definition really meant. The longer I teach, the more I realize that having students create or even just visualize their own models of situations is very powerful, rather than always providing them for them.<br /><br /> <b> <u>Issue 3: Arithmetic errors. </u></b> Now this one is pretty silly, and pretty easily corrected....but can we just take a moment and groan for all of the times that my students told me that the complement of a 32 degree angle would be 68 degrees. Students rush and forget to borrow when they subtract. The good news here is that usually a simple question like, "So 32 + 68 is 90?" and students quickly realize the mistake.<br /><br /> <b><u> Issue 4: Setting up the equations.</u></b> I had a few students that could easily find the complement or supplement, but going from that to a problem with an equation was difficult.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-K6y9oh1SYYA/WlQv3eqsGAI/AAAAAAAAgB8/YCGUQR9BWeslgi04i-vD7gvFjvyFmcp0QCLcBGAs/s1600/complementary-supplementary.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="439" data-original-width="552" height="252" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-K6y9oh1SYYA/WlQv3eqsGAI/AAAAAAAAgB8/YCGUQR9BWeslgi04i-vD7gvFjvyFmcp0QCLcBGAs/s320/complementary-supplementary.png" width="320" /></a></div><br />I found that having the student repeat the definition, and then use their own words to frame a question was really helpful. It would go something like this:<br /> Me: Are these complementary or supplementary?<br /> Student: Complementary<br /> Me: What does complementary mean?<br /> Student: Two angles that add up to 90.<br /> Me: So what two things add up to 90 in this picture?<br />For many of my students, this was enough to help them make the connection and set up the equations.<br /><br /> <b><u>Issue 5: Understanding what the answers meant</u></b>. When we started working with equations, many students were confused about solving for the variable in equations like above, and the actual measure of the angle. We had many class discussions about this, and I made it a practice to ALWAYS ask for both the value of the variable and the measure of the angle.<br /><br />What issues have you had with angle relationships, and how did you help your students? Comment below!<br /><br />If you need some stations, notes or games to teach angle relationships, <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Wilcoxs-Way/Search:angle+relationships?utm_source=WilcoxWayBlog&utm_campaign=CompSupp" target="_blank">click here </a>to see what I have in my TpT store. There's a free angle relationships golf game, as well lots of other stuff!<br /><br /><br />Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-80726353413579150702017-12-07T17:36:00.000-06:002018-02-24T21:25:55.513-06:00"Math-y" Christmas! Ok, this will be a short post.....but I just have to tell you how excited I am about my classroom Christmas tree this year.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UPkrYIhp_90/WinPYC2XzpI/AAAAAAAAfRM/0CalFs7UCxw718M9fpMSoDnuaU_1XZCLQCLcBGAs/s1600/Christmas%2BDecorations.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UPkrYIhp_90/WinPYC2XzpI/AAAAAAAAfRM/0CalFs7UCxw718M9fpMSoDnuaU_1XZCLQCLcBGAs/s400/Christmas%2BDecorations.png" width="266" /></a></div><br /> We decided on a 3:1 ratio of green pyramids to other colored pyramids for the "decorations".<br /><br /> I'm excited. The kids are excited. What a win-win! And it's been pretty easy. The only supplies I've needed are colored copies of a net for a triangular prism and tape. One day for my warm up, I reviewed surface area and had every kid fold up one pyramid. And that is the only class time I've taken to do this. The rest was kids taking these home to work on, or kids that wanted to work during our advisor/homeroom time at the end of the day.<br /><br /> I will definitely do this again next year. I think one thing I will change is that I will use the chance to more fully review surface area and make kids draw the height in on the base of the pyramid. Then I'll have them find the surface area. I'll probably also give them 10 minutes or so to decorate their pyramid, but you wouldn't have to do that.<br /><br />Patterns. Geometry. Math. Art. Beauty. Creativity. Christmas Decorations. It's perfect!<br /><br />NOTE: When I get a chance, I'll post a pattern for the pyramid, but you can Google search and find one pretty easily.Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-14688995480525678892017-12-03T18:57:00.002-06:002017-12-03T20:45:23.843-06:00Math in Movies Lesson Ideas There are lots of great scenes from books and movies that can be used to launch math activities. Today, I'm going to focus on a few of my favorite ones from over the years.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gNTcwxkHLpo/WiSEs17PfqI/AAAAAAAAfKU/ur5NDUadoocJoxqPnkPBHeaclnev2cGbQCLcBGAs/s1600/Movie%2BClips%2Bto%2BLaunch%2Ba%2BMath%2BLesson%2B%25282%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="400" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gNTcwxkHLpo/WiSEs17PfqI/AAAAAAAAfKU/ur5NDUadoocJoxqPnkPBHeaclnev2cGbQCLcBGAs/s400/Movie%2BClips%2Bto%2BLaunch%2Ba%2BMath%2BLesson%2B%25282%2529.png" title="real-world-math-ratio-area-scale-factor" width="266" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br /> Probably my favorite all time movie connection actually comes from the special features of the first Lord of the Rings movies. There is an awesome documentary where they talk about how they use forced perspective to make Frodo look shorter than Gandalf. The clip shows how they use the actors' distance from the cameras as well as the size of sets and props to accomplish the visual illusion. If you<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVzVpluvg9s" target="_blank"> click here,</a> it will take you to a link on YouTube. The video is 15 minutes, but the first 5 minutes are the best part.<br /> After watching this clip, we've had some fun projects based on this. One year, I typed up a "script" for a short scene between Frodo and Gandalf. Then I had students in class plan out where each person needed to stand so that they could make Gandalf look taller than Frodo in our scene.<br /> Other times when I've done this project, I've also had the students make easy props (such as teacups) that were normal size for Frodo, but tiny for Gandalf. The props are identical in every other way except the size. This way, when Gandalf picked up his tiny teacup that otherwise looked exactly like Frodo's, it helps sell the illusion that Gandalf is larger. These activities force students to use measurements, scale, as well as reinforcing student understanding of reciprocals.<br /> Forced perspective is also used in the movie Elf (at the beginning when Buddy is a huge Elf at the North Pole) and some in Harry Potter, to make Hagrid look larger than life.<br /><br /> Another fun (and similar) project could be based on the movie Ant-Man. There is a fun scene in the movie where Ant-Man and YellowJacket are fighting in a briefcase. During the course of the fight, you see giant LifeSavers, IPhones and keys flying by our tiny hero. We are finishing our Stretching and Shrinking unit right now....so what better time to make giant versions of classroom objects! Yesterday, I challenged my students to take an object that would fit inside a briefcase and use a scale factor of 10 to enlarge it. When they finish, I plan to post them on a wall as a backdrop for some fun Ant-Man pictures. We will be working on this when we have free time between now and winter break, so I'll post pictures as we finish some props! <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o25MQV17u7w" target="_blank">Click here</a> to get a clip of this scene. You only really need to show from 2:00-3:00 to see what is needed for this project.<br /> To get a Google Slides presentation to launch this project, click the graphic below.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1-wtCgry4_5zEciH_0J-UO35OpAMylPOUR63zm8ISTW0/copy" target="_blank"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="400" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gKVi4S4bCvg/WiSDAPuW0TI/AAAAAAAAfKI/EkuP-MBjh6caYaE8yziLVLbNew6XWjd7ACLcBGAs/s400/SCALE%2BFACTOR%2BPROJECT%2BIDEA%2B%25281%2529.png" title="scal-factor-math" width="266" /></a></div><br /><br /> Mythbusters once did an episode on zombies, and one of the tests that they did was whether it was realistic to be able to outrun a horde of zombies. They tried different population densities and had someone see if they could run a certain distance without being "caught" by a zombie. One of our units, Comparing and Scaling, has a huge focus on unit rates. So I used this clip to introduce the idea of population density. We figured the population density of our classroom, gym, and cafeteria. Then we looked at the population density of several cities. Finally, I took my kids outside to the football field, and we tried it ourselves.....with most of my class playing zombies and the a couple trying to outrun them. The kids LOVED it! <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLAQiOi1N0Q" target="_blank">This clip </a>is a short version....it just the simulation for one population density. It gives the dimensions of the field and the number of zombies. To find the rest of the episode, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5hiGvEW0Gk&t=1759s" target="_blank">here is the clip </a>I found. The quality is not great, but you can see it from 26:30-29:00 where it explains the other populations densities they tried.<br /> To get a copy of an editable lesson to go along with this video clip, click the graphic below.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mX_if8Bc7BpuIMm1fHd58yEDLmRJVMlf7p_RbF_adE4/copy" target="_blank"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-m_9ryPQSNkI/WiR742Nlm1I/AAAAAAAAfJc/eKmSPIu2f9gEw92pZ9rYjYsmt-GtGiqdQCLcBGAs/s400/ratio-table-area-zombie-math.png" title="ratio-area-math-zombie" width="266" /></a></div><br /><br />I hope you enjoy trying these movie-themed lessons in your classroom!<br /><br /> <br /><br /><br /><br />Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-32339152687042864872017-11-12T21:25:00.001-06:002017-11-12T22:11:43.640-06:00Celebrating National STEM Day by Putting the M in STEM November 8 was National STEM Day. When a colleague came in my room a couple of days before that to ask what I was going to do for National STEM Day....I'll be honest. My first thought was, "I'm so far behind my pacing guide....I can't afford to do ANYTHING!". But as I sat and thought about it, I came to the same conclusion I've come to several times since attending Space Camp....my job is not only to teach kids math skills, but to inspire them to want to learn math. My job is to show them that math could be a part of their future, and that it could be a good thing.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JLmPu-UPSic/WghUVBaTMXI/AAAAAAAAdHU/7DKFnLnl4yQ8U_G4nYZC9HknDcQh4Tp1ACLcBGAs/s1600/irthday%2Bparty.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="400" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JLmPu-UPSic/WghUVBaTMXI/AAAAAAAAdHU/7DKFnLnl4yQ8U_G4nYZC9HknDcQh4Tp1ACLcBGAs/s400/irthday%2Bparty.png" title="STEM math" width="266" /></a></div><br /><br /> So I decided that I would do a STEM activity, because my students needed that chance to be creative, and work collaboratively, and do so many other things that STEM can do in the classroom. And I did work in some important math from my standards (even if it wasn't exactly what my pacing guide said I should be doing!).<br /><br /> The challenge for my students this time: To build a tower with a shelf at the top that could hold at least two quarters. Students had a limited amount of "credits" to spend, and they got bonus points for unspent credits. They also got bonus points if their tower could hold more than two quarters. Each group had to draw three cards that guided their building. The cards had inequalities that gave students criteria they had to meet for tower height, base area and shelf area.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1F5iwfEBuX4/WghVHC7tP3I/AAAAAAAAdHg/jLboc_gWJvwyMogDqdDhX65QrSIA70ZHgCLcBGAs/s1600/Untitled%2Bdesign%2B%25281%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1F5iwfEBuX4/WghVHC7tP3I/AAAAAAAAdHg/jLboc_gWJvwyMogDqdDhX65QrSIA70ZHgCLcBGAs/s320/Untitled%2Bdesign%2B%25281%2529.png" width="213" /></a> <a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-F_wyYow2VE8/WghVn2FuGCI/AAAAAAAAdHs/MNfvPTnwZukXDm6Ch6IebXuzK7aV1RpGgCLcBGAs/s1600/Untitled%2Bdesign%2B%25282%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-F_wyYow2VE8/WghVn2FuGCI/AAAAAAAAdHs/MNfvPTnwZukXDm6Ch6IebXuzK7aV1RpGgCLcBGAs/s320/Untitled%2Bdesign%2B%25282%2529.png" width="213" /></a></div><br /><br /> I don't know about your students, but in 7th grade, many of my students still struggle with inequality symbols. There were many discussions throughout the day about the meaning of the cards. "Does this mean our tower can be 5 inches, or does it have to be taller?" "Does the area of the base have to be more or lesss than 6 square inches?" "How big is 3 square inches?" I find the open-ended activities like this are a great chance for formative assessment for me, if I listen to the students having conversations with each other. For this lesson, I could definitely tell that many of my students didn't fully understand inequality symbols, as well as the difference between inches and square inches.<br /><br /> After a short introduction, my students ended up with about 30 minutes to work on this STEM challenge. That seemed to be just about the right amount of time. Because students got extra points for unspent credits, they were very careful about material use. That was one nice thing about this STEM challenge....the materials ended up being really cheap! The things I had available were graph paper, index cards, tape, staples, straws, foil (cut in 2" squares) and pipe cleaners.<br /><br /> My student creations were AMAZING! I had one group that used a single piece of paper, and built a 5 inch tower that held 15 quarters. I had groups in every hour that build towers so sturdy that 30 quarters wasn't enough to topple them (I realized in 1st hour that I had to put a limit on how many extra points they could get for sturdiness....one group of boys built a tower that held 5 huge library books and still hadn't toppled!). Students were engaged, creative, and working hard....STEM for the win!<br /><br /> The next day, I used this as a chance to teach kids how to graph inequalities on the number line. In each class, I had a handful of students that remembered learning this in 6th grade, but the majority did not. Using the cards from the STEM challenge, student quickly understood how to graph inequalities. I feel like this made it well worth it to have take the time to do the STEM challenge.<br /><br />If you're interested in this <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/STEM-Challenge-Math-Activity-Inequalities-Expressions-and-Area-3360801?utm_source=WilcoxWayBlog&utm_campaign=STEMInequality" target="_blank">Inequality STEM Challenge lesson</a><span id="goog_789300985"></span><a href="https://www.blogger.com/"></a><span id="goog_789300986"></span>, you can get it at my TpT store.<br /> Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-78105351818104154012017-11-07T19:33:00.000-06:002017-11-07T19:39:02.917-06:00Homework Part 2 A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about why I switched to giving weekly homework. Over the three years that I have done this, I have definitely made a couple of adjustments that have helped this system work better for me.<br /><br /> One of the adjustments that I've made has to do with grading. In my class, I hand out the homework on Friday, and it is due the following Thursday. The day the homework is due, I pass out red pens, project the answer key on the SMART Board and kids check their own work. When I enter homework in the grade book, I enter a completion grade, rather than grade the assignment based on the number correct.<br /><br /> One reason I like this system is because I feel like it lets me focus on the big picture. When I'm entering the regular score for a homework assignment, I don't have to look closely at every problem for every student. However, I give each paper a quick scan to make sure that it was completed. As I grade, I look for patterns. If I notice that one problem was skipped or missed frequently, I know that this is an area that needs more attention in future assignments, as students did not feel as comfortable with this content. Because I'm only having to enter homework grades once a week, I have time to look for these patterns. I also can look for students who are struggling with multiple concepts.<br /><br /> However, this system was frustrating for me (and my more studious students) at times. I know that there were a few students who put little effort into the assignments, knowing that their grade was not necessarily determined by the number correct. This year, I have implemented a second part to my grading system. Each individual homework assignment is still entered into my gradebook graded on completion. It is usually 5 points per week. Each week, I randomly choose about 6 students whose assignment also gets graded based on a "Homework Quality Rubric".<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-31j1d1lMrtY/WgJf9mq_GjI/AAAAAAAAc7M/Vehbh0-ATtIHSDrN_QopNj4qawoKwYGwQCLcBGAs/s1600/Encourage%2Bstudents%2Bto%2Bcomplete%2Bquality%2Bwork%2B%25283%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="400" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-31j1d1lMrtY/WgJf9mq_GjI/AAAAAAAAc7M/Vehbh0-ATtIHSDrN_QopNj4qawoKwYGwQCLcBGAs/s400/Encourage%2Bstudents%2Bto%2Bcomplete%2Bquality%2Bwork%2B%25283%2529.png" width="266" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br /> This rubric looks at several characteristics of the assignment. The rubric is based on six categories: Assignment Completeness, Accuracy and Knowledge, Work Quality, Math Language, Legibility/Organization, and Student Reflection. I feel this gives me a chance to reflect important characteristics on how students are doing at completely a quality piece of work.<br /><br /><ul><li>Are the answers correct? </li><li> Did they complete every problem? </li><li> Did they show their work? </li><li>Is their work organized and easy to follow? </li><li>Did they label their answers? </li><li>Did they use correct vocabulary? </li></ul>Because I'm only having to grade about 6 of these per class, I can take a little bit more time to look in detail at these factors.<br /><br /> At the beginning of the quarter, I put student names on all of the rubrics. Then each week I can randomly pull some from the pile to use. Students get very specific feedback about how to improve the quality of their work, and since they don't know when it will be the week that they will be graded, there is an incentive to put quality effort into the assignment.<br /><br /> The second adjustment that I've made to my homework system is new this year, and I love it! This year, I started adding some student choice and differentiation to my homework assignments. Each assignment is a worksheet, front and back. Everyone is expected to complete the entire front side. The back side of the assignment is divided into three sections. Two of the sections focus on skills practice. The third section is usually called "Open-Ended Problem Solving". This section is intended for students that don't need skills practice, as a way to push them.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nxLfdtjxJME/WgGeg1oAGcI/AAAAAAAAc6Y/ka_jup6pkikWpvgyWeVSR-HyDpoCu5axgCLcBGAs/s1600/homework.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="367" data-original-width="552" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nxLfdtjxJME/WgGeg1oAGcI/AAAAAAAAc6Y/ka_jup6pkikWpvgyWeVSR-HyDpoCu5axgCLcBGAs/s1600/homework.png" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">This was part of the choice section on the back side. At the top of the page, students indicate what section they are choosing and why. During the couple of weeks prior to this, I had noticed many students confusing finding percent vs. percent change after a lesson we had done. We were working on complementary and supplementary angles at the time, and I know some students were still struggling with this. </td></tr></tbody></table><br /> This is probably the best adjustment that I've made. The skills sections on the back are a great way to address common errors and misconceptions that I'm seeing in class or on the homework. At the beginning of the year, I used it to review 6th grade content. Now as the year has gone on, I am using it more to address class needs. I love that this makes me pay more attention to what my students need. Each week, I know that I'm going to need a couple of skills to work on for the homework, so I'm always on the lookout. If I notice a problem that lots of students skipped, or a problem that lots of students missed on a quiz, these become the skills practice areas on my homework. I feel like this has made my homework more relevant to students, as the practice becomes an adjustment to their area of need.<br /><br /> When I hand out the homework each Friday, I briefly go over the three sections. Sometimes I might do a quick review based on the skill. I also let students know why they might want to choose a particular section. "If you missed #5 on the quiz yesterday, you'll probably want to complete section B". In my experience, middle school students are not great at knowing their needs academically. This gives this a chance to practice self-assessment and work choice.<br /><br />If you're interested in copies of a sample of my weekly homework or the homework rubric, click below.<br /><br /><a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Oy3uEd8cE4w0S-uoW_hMHK3meVTpqqhEm1DfUODBlIY/copy" target="_blank">Sample Homework</a><br /><a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Vw_Vm6OEVF3WwA0Pw2Pq6s_WFk3vxOa2UGYeIp1ltEs/copy" target="_blank">Homework Quality Rubric</a><br /><br />Note: My school uses Connected Math curriculum, so my homework follows the pacing and examples of CMP.<br /> Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-45812318505794651112017-10-28T11:43:00.002-05:002017-10-28T13:17:11.468-05:004 Ways to Give Feedback to your Class There is so much research that supports the effectiveness of giving feedback to improving student performance. In order to be effective, feedback needs to be both specific and timely. That makes perfect sense, but that can also be a real challenge. Here are a few ways that I like to give feedback to my class.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Y4Lxu1hfdT8/WfSyKM82k7I/AAAAAAAAcyw/82QyMMbx8gAqx1SaY5VULhW8Y8saliMLgCLcBGAs/s1600/Feedback%2B%25281%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="320" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Y4Lxu1hfdT8/WfSyKM82k7I/AAAAAAAAcyw/82QyMMbx8gAqx1SaY5VULhW8Y8saliMLgCLcBGAs/s320/Feedback%2B%25281%2529.png" width="213" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><b>1. Games</b>--Games are such a great way to get students engaged, but also a great way to give feedback, especially when answers are wrong. There are so many fun games to play. One simple game I played last week I called, "Get 5". I decided to do this in the middle of class when my planned lesson was NOT going as planned. Anyway, it was pretty simple. I challenged my class to get 5 questions in a a row correct. I put a problem on the board and gave everyone a chance to work with their partners to answer the question. Then I rolled a 30-sided die to randomly call on a student to give me the answer as well as how they got it. If the class could get 5 in a row correct, I gave them a stamp for our school-wide PBIS program. It worked great....lots of conversations, and students knew that everyone at their table needed to understand. Kids were giving each other feedback, and I could give feedback based on conversations I heard or answers given.<br /><br /><b>2. Partner activities-</b>-I love to do self-checking partner activities, and it allows students to give each other feedback. Since students are checking each other's work, it frees me up to listen to student conversations and intervene as needed (or to have small group instruction). They are fairly easy to create....the idea is that you assign each student to either be partner A or partner B. Each student has a different set of problems. I usually like to have about 6-8 problems, depending on what the topic is. The key is that although the students have different problems, the answers are the same. For example, student A might have the problem -13 + 8 and student B might have the problem -4 + -1. Each student gets practice, and students know if they don't get the same answer that they need to check over their work. I like to take my partner activities to the next level by creating a "second part" for each activity. So after the partners have completed the problems and agree on the answers, then they have to use their answers together to complete another task. For example, I might have the students from above show each of their problems on a number line, or create a story problem to represent each problem. This is a great way to handle students working at a different pace, or just to extend the learning opportunities for the partner activity. I have several sets of partner activities available in my store if you're interested.<br /><ul><li><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Proportional-Relationships-and-Unit-Rates-Partner-Activity-2935037?utm_source=wilcoxwayblog&utm_campaign=PartnerFeedback" target="_blank"> Proportional Relationships and Unit Rate Partner Activities</a></li><li><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Integer-and-Rational-Numbers-Operations-Partner-Activity-3207514?utm_source=WilcoxWay&utm_campaign=PartnerFeedback" target="_blank">Integer and Rational Numbers Partner Activities</a></li><li><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Measures-of-Central-Tendency-and-Variability-Partner-Activities-3374414?utm_source=WilcoxWayBlog&utm_campaign=ParnterFeedback" target="_blank">Measures of Central Tendency and Variability Partner Activities</a><span id="goog_566648095"></span><a href="https://www.blogger.com/"></a><span id="goog_566648096"></span></li></ul><b>3. Dry erase</b>---This is certainly nothing new, but having kids work problems on dry erase boards is certainly a quick, easy way to gather information about my class thinking. It's easy to address common misconceptions using a simple feedback tool. To do this, I'll think about the common errors that I know may happen, and I create a comment with a symbol for each, to guide students toward their error. For example, if I was teaching adding integers, I might put the following information on the board.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7jBxNpjdV6Y/WfS1G9HAsYI/AAAAAAAAcy8/XTB-Q8eQCdgQHMWBOedMyBb0QNDEadKdACLcBGAs/s1600/feedback.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="712" data-original-width="1085" height="261" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7jBxNpjdV6Y/WfS1G9HAsYI/AAAAAAAAcy8/XTB-Q8eQCdgQHMWBOedMyBb0QNDEadKdACLcBGAs/s400/feedback.png" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br />Then with each problem, I could call out different answers, and tell them which feedback was appropriate for each answer.<br /><div><br /></div><br /><b>4. Use technology to give feedback</b>--Technology truly can help us understand what everyone in our class is thinking, and give productive feedback to them. One technology tool that I love (and so do my kids!) is Kahoot. Kahoot keeps my students engaged, and I get all kinds of information about how many in my class understand. Additionally, if you plan the incorrect answers carefully, you can sometimes customize your feedback to students, such as "If you picked green, you might have forgotten to line up your decimals. If you picked red, you may have forgotten to carry."<br /><br /> Another tool that I love to use to give feedback to my students is the website quia. I LOVE using this to give short, formative assessments to my students. My absolute favorite thing about quia is that you can customize the feedback that students get for correct or incorrect answers. In addition, you can change the settings so that students get feedback after each answer, instead of having to wait until the end. I love this feature! I know in Google Forms, you can give students feedback, but I don't think they get the feedback until they are done. I much prefer to have them get the feedback as they work, so they can be learning as they go. Quia does have a subscription cost of $49 per year, but for me it's worth every penny.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div><br /></div>Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-44847362022010040772017-10-08T16:25:00.001-05:002017-10-28T12:33:33.131-05:00Beginning of Class Routine Revamp: Part 2A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my new beginning of class routine: Wonder Monday, Two Way Tuesday, What's the Question Wednesday, Number Talk Thursday and Quick Draw Friday. This routine has gotten me through the first quarter of the year, and I have really enjoyed each of these days. I have enjoyed the different aspects of math that they encourage.....from geometry with Quick Draw to number sense with Number Talks and Two Way Tuesday. I've enjoyed seeing the power of What's the Question Wednesday both as a formative assessment tool, and to encourage creativity. Wonder Monday has sparked many great discussions, and even led a student to actually find the cost of filling a pool with jello....which was over $800 by the way!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0WPcDDdaKRk/Wd3zffWToXI/AAAAAAAActs/FzKxaRsXswwgexObUCRrX41WiyVVCwqqACLcBGAs/s1600/liveout%2Bloud%2B%25282%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0WPcDDdaKRk/Wd3zffWToXI/AAAAAAAActs/FzKxaRsXswwgexObUCRrX41WiyVVCwqqACLcBGAs/s400/liveout%2Bloud%2B%25282%2529.png" width="265" /></a></div><br /><br />But, I have also discovered some other cool resources that would also make great warm-ups. So I'm thinking I may introduce some of these other ideas from time to time. Here is my next set of ideas for an interesting way to start class.<br /><br /><br /><ul><li>Math at Work Monday: I found this <a href="http://mathforgrownups.com/category/math-for-grownups/math-at-work-monday/" target="_blank">awesome website</a> that has a section called Math at Work Monday. There are interviews with all kinds of people about how they use math at their jobs. What a great way to open my kids eyes to the power of what we're learning! I also found out about this cool Chrome extension called <a href="https://insertlearning.com/" target="_blank">Insert Learning</a> that lets you put questions, videos and other content into a website for students to access. Tomorrow, I'm planning my warm up to be Math at Work Monday while I use Insert Learning!</li><li>Use a Picture to Prove....: I was inspired by Jo Boaler's book Mathematical Mindsets for this idea. One of the ways that she recommends opening up a task to make it richer is to have students make a visual to go with it. I think this could have some real power to get at the heart of some difficult topics...like fractions!</li></ul><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nJZreTa6JVs/WdqY4QrWjWI/AAAAAAAAcoE/h_Cjm2yC9GoPdDldEDzJ-kQ7l7s6EfotgCLcBGAs/s1600/Beginning%2Bof%2Bclass%2Broutines%2B%25281%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="540" data-original-width="960" height="225" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nJZreTa6JVs/WdqY4QrWjWI/AAAAAAAAcoE/h_Cjm2yC9GoPdDldEDzJ-kQ7l7s6EfotgCLcBGAs/s400/Beginning%2Bof%2Bclass%2Broutines%2B%25281%2529.png" width="400" /></a></div><div><br /></div><ul><li>Would You Rather?: The idea is to give a choice like, Would you rather have a 1 foot stack of quarters or a $20 bill? I got this idea from the <a href="http://www.wouldyourathermath.com/" target="_blank">Would You Rather Math</a> website, which has lots of great examples. However it's also really easy to come up with your own!</li></ul><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kHLOCfsOPqU/WdqY_KeJ2_I/AAAAAAAAcoI/f1NqtChEqc4ZBA5I1zUpFFMxAhjPP7C_wCLcBGAs/s1600/Beginning%2Bof%2Bclass%2Broutines.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="540" data-original-width="960" height="225" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kHLOCfsOPqU/WdqY_KeJ2_I/AAAAAAAAcoI/f1NqtChEqc4ZBA5I1zUpFFMxAhjPP7C_wCLcBGAs/s400/Beginning%2Bof%2Bclass%2Broutines.png" width="400" /></a></div><div><br /></div><ul><li>What's the Story (version 1): I was so excited when I found the <a href="http://graphingstories.com/" target="_blank">Graphing Stories</a> website. This is sooooo cool, and I think the practice graphing would be so helpful and spark tons of great discussion!</li><li>What's the Story (version 2): Find a graph, and have the students write the action that matches the story. Seems like this would alternate well with What's the Story version 1....going back and forth between seeing the action and then making the graph, vs. seeing the graph and describing the action.</li></ul><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8pUrMOKpaPg/WdqZGBE3zOI/AAAAAAAAcoM/7DJPvNbbOtkNuTUZokVZxtXobM1QlucKwCLcBGAs/s1600/Beginning%2Bof%2Bclass%2Broutines%2B%25282%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="540" data-original-width="960" height="225" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8pUrMOKpaPg/WdqZGBE3zOI/AAAAAAAAcoM/7DJPvNbbOtkNuTUZokVZxtXobM1QlucKwCLcBGAs/s400/Beginning%2Bof%2Bclass%2Broutines%2B%25282%2529.png" width="400" /></a></div><div><br /></div><ul><li>What's the Story (version 3): Find some data, and have students draw the conclusion or decide on the caption from it. We are in a world with so much data, but how much practice do we give kids at deciding what the data is actually telling us?</li></ul><div>If you would like a template for these routines, <a href="https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/13nVVtn2WvCubWMsebcCQV3DXL2YNOF6D56aEeJbkgRg/copy" target="_blank">click here</a> for a simple Google Slides that has a slide for each idea (including the ideas in my <a href="http://wilcoxsway.blogspot.com/2017/06/beginning-of-class-routine-revamp.html" target="_blank">Beginning of Class Routine Revamp: Part 1</a> post!)</div><div><br /></div>Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-32051061075701492792017-10-07T19:00:00.003-05:002018-06-14T10:59:08.207-05:00Homework About three years ago, I completely overhauled my homework system. I switched to a system of a single weekly review assignment, rather than the short daily assignments I had been accustomed to giving before that. Here are the four reasons why I'm so glad that I changed to weekly homework.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rVLyhPC2pdI/WdlqgMDGn2I/AAAAAAAAcnk/QslFB797u60dSovi_UaBnG_goDYX99hYgCLcBGAs/s1600/middle-school-math-homework.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="800" height="400" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rVLyhPC2pdI/WdlqgMDGn2I/AAAAAAAAcnk/QslFB797u60dSovi_UaBnG_goDYX99hYgCLcBGAs/s400/middle-school-math-homework.png" width="266" /></a></div><ul><li>#1: Students have a chance to get help on homework. When homework is due the next day, students really have no chance to get help if they don't understand something. Currently, I assign homework on Friday and it is due on Thursday. I feel comfortable that students have plenty of time to ask questions if they have it....and if something is left blank, I feel totally comfortable telling them that it is their responsibility to make sure they ask for help. </li><li>#2: This lightens the load and gives students a chance to practice time management. As the mother of a student who works VERY slowly, I know what it is like to face a homework assignment every night....and it is not a good feeling. Weekly homework gives students and families a chance to figure out what works for completing homework, and to build in plenty of time instead of knowing you only have one chance to get it done on time. 7th graders are notoriously bad at time management, and I feel like this is a good chance to start learning. I can still remember the student I had many years ago who always struggled to finish anything that wasn't due the next day. I remember him saying, "If you would just make it due tomorrow, I would remember to finish it." I could practically see the light bulb go on for that boy when I told him that he could decide to make it due for himself the next day, even if my deadline was later. </li><li>#3: I like having a built in chance for spiral review. Since the homework is not just over what we did in class that day, it gives me a great chance to frequently spiral back and review skills. I really think it helps keep the skills fresh. </li><li>#4: I don't lose as much time grading homework, since we only have to check it once a week. This is huge for me. My class periods are only 46 minutes long, so losing 5 minutes every day is a lot. But taking 10 minutes one day is much better.</li></ul> Now that I have done this for a few years, I have learned some lessons to make it work better in my classroom. I will talk about those in my next blog post! But I will say, I have finally figured out a way to do homework that I love and think is good for my students.Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-80802824340467253922017-09-19T20:59:00.002-05:002018-02-24T21:26:19.732-06:00Talk Like a Pirate (and Practice Order of Operations!) Today was the best day. One of those days that your lesson goes exactly like you want it to, the kids are amazed at what you're doing, and it all just falls into place.<br /><br /> The first part of the day that was so awesome was related to the fact that is was International Talk Like a Pirate Day. I've been looking forward to Talk Like a Pirate Day for awhile for two reasons. Reason #1...my son has an awesome pirate hat that I looked forward to wearing to school. I also had an old Pi Day shirt (Pi-Rate, When Good Numbers Go Bad) to wear...so perfect!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-D8wHcLR4_gY/WcHFIMxGiWI/AAAAAAAAcY0/esdlYI7fhdYM84GNfAWnyxW9lyz2KBwgACEwYBhgL/s1600/IMG_20170919_161437_1%2B%25281%2529.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1200" data-original-width="1600" height="300" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-D8wHcLR4_gY/WcHFIMxGiWI/AAAAAAAAcY0/esdlYI7fhdYM84GNfAWnyxW9lyz2KBwgACEwYBhgL/s400/IMG_20170919_161437_1%2B%25281%2529.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />Reason #2....I had this idea this summer of making a pirate name generator. I figure I could make up a problem (I used an order of operations problem) and the kids could roll dice, and plug the numbers into the problem. The answer to the problem then generated the kids' pirate names. So for example, in the first problem, the kids rolled 4 numbers and plugged them into this expression (___ + ___)^2 + ___*___. So let's say you rolled 4, 2, 3 and 5 then your answer would be 51. Then I had a table that told them different names for different number ranges. So 51 meant the first part of your name was "Thieving".<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><span style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pirate-Order-of-Operations-Scavenger-Hunt-Activity-3241487" target="_blank"><img border="0" data-original-height="1026" data-original-width="1600" height="205" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VW2RxjWAidk/WcHLEVKOIPI/AAAAAAAAcZQ/Aln1jTyUwEcHFAHag4idCUWzYJU8IbP_QCLcBGAs/s320/order-of-operations.png" width="320" /></a></span></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pirate-Order-of-Operations-Scavenger-Hunt-Activity-3241487" target="_blank">Click on the picture if you're interested in purchasing this pirate name generator.</a></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">My pirate name generator had two parts. My absolute favorite nickname of the day was Salty Fishlips! Some of the other awesome nicknames: Parrot Plankwalker, One-Eyed Devil, Jolly Dog, Bearded Cutlass, Gold-Toothed Buaccaneer....it was a blast! And the kids got a little bit of <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pirate-Order-of-Operations-Scavenger-Hunt-Activity-3241487?utm_source=WilcoxWayBlog&utm_campaign=PirateNameGenerator" target="_blank">order of operations practice</a> in. As I walked around, I really enjoyed hearing students explain to their classmates how to do the problem as they tried to get their pirate name. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">The only disappointment was that I really wanted a name that involved Scurvy Legs or Plankwalker, and the dice never let that happen for me!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Now, the other really awesome part of today's lesson was the part where I showed the kids how to use a spreadsheet....and they got it, and they were as amazed as I thought they should be at the power of spreadsheets. But I'll leave that for another post!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br />Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-58381433241294129632017-07-07T15:10:00.000-05:002017-10-28T12:46:16.315-05:00Area Model in the Middle School ClassroomIn my last post, I talked about using the multiplication chart as a tool in the middle school classroom. I really love this idea of building on elementary tools and techniques in our middle school classrooms. Making these connections to prior knowledge is important for students, and it makes our lives easier. So, today I want to talk about another elementary tool that can be useful in the middle school classroom: the area model. When students are first learning multiplication and area, the area model are foundational for building understanding. Here are a few ways that I like to use the area model to help teach middle school concepts:<br /><br /><b> 1. Distributive Property</b>--We all know that this is an important concept moving forward, but it can sometimes be tricky for students to wrap their minds around. I use lots of different strategies to help kids understand the distributive property, but the area model is definitely one of them. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">The representation below can be seen as two rectangles, a 5 x 8 with an area of 40 and a 5 x 12 with an area of 60. Or you can see this as one rectangle, a 5 x 20 with an area of 100. This is a concept that is understandable for students, and it is a good way to reinforce our abstract ways of showing this concept.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-v8VV-wylrFw/WV-fgtEn_5I/AAAAAAAAa5s/QKqOXqlu8Dsn-mMm32peBfiaZ6MYXzSGACLcBGAs/s1600/Picture4.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="area-model" border="0" data-original-height="661" data-original-width="1276" height="329" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-v8VV-wylrFw/WV-fgtEn_5I/AAAAAAAAa5s/QKqOXqlu8Dsn-mMm32peBfiaZ6MYXzSGACLcBGAs/s640/Picture4.png" title="distributive-property" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fDB_-HLldxw/WV-dlfUocMI/AAAAAAAAa5c/fO4ry9qnW_Ym6I8WfaWXzFjYx4LWZwzMACLcBGAs/s1600/Picture2.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="area-model" border="0" data-original-height="283" data-original-width="1050" height="86" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fDB_-HLldxw/WV-dlfUocMI/AAAAAAAAa5c/fO4ry9qnW_Ym6I8WfaWXzFjYx4LWZwzMACLcBGAs/s320/Picture2.png" title="distributive-property" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Learning abstract representations of math can be one of the major challenges as students transition from elementary to secondary math, so connections like these can be helpful.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b>2. Factoring</b>--This is the natural extension of using area model to teach distributive property. By simply leaving out the shared side length, we encourage students to factor, and help them see the connection between factoring and the distributive property.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">It's good to start with an example that only shares one common factor, like this one.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EK4oYNIEHvM/WV-i4PErkDI/AAAAAAAAa6E/nwzkGk3Uf-YlSsWIGiIBkhWRcovXHLyNACLcBGAs/s1600/Picture6.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="area-model" border="0" data-original-height="722" data-original-width="1191" height="386" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EK4oYNIEHvM/WV-i4PErkDI/AAAAAAAAa6E/nwzkGk3Uf-YlSsWIGiIBkhWRcovXHLyNACLcBGAs/s640/Picture6.png" title="factoring-area-model" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;"> Students can see that the side length has to be the same number. Next, we want them to make the connection between the same side length and a common factor of 35 and 56. Student thinking might be like this: </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> What 5 times what equals 35? 8 times what equals 56? </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;">Finally, we want to students to make connections between the picture and the to the abstract work: </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">35 + 56 = 7(5 + 8). </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Now, you can move to examples that have more than one common factor that could be factored out. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-si2Ij6Upswg/WV-fDfEaAAI/AAAAAAAAa5o/PmuQ8Um3Au8RxWlkja8e8-TnQxABHJuPgCLcBGAs/s1600/Picture3.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="area-model" border="0" data-original-height="648" data-original-width="1281" height="323" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-si2Ij6Upswg/WV-fDfEaAAI/AAAAAAAAa5o/PmuQ8Um3Au8RxWlkja8e8-TnQxABHJuPgCLcBGAs/s640/Picture3.png" title="factoring" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">40 + 60 = 5(8 + 12). </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Connecting the drawing back to the work is important....where do you find the 40, the 5, the 8, and so on in the picture? <span style="text-align: center;"> </span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: center;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: center;"><b>3. Battling Common Misconceptions</b>--If you give your students the problems (8)(4.5), would you be surprised to have some students give the answer of 32.5? Me neither! But the area model can again help us out. </span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5q2qZO8bOTE/WV-mEYsvoQI/AAAAAAAAa6M/6obtE2q7ZvctvpT44xVhh22VLTBFaCybACLcBGAs/s1600/Picture7.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="1276" height="360" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5q2qZO8bOTE/WV-mEYsvoQI/AAAAAAAAa6M/6obtE2q7ZvctvpT44xVhh22VLTBFaCybACLcBGAs/s640/Picture7.png" title="area-model-multiplication" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: center;">If students have been using area model to show the distributive property, this representation should be familiar. This shows that the area is 36 and gives a visual illustration of why we can't multiply 8 x 4 to get 32 and simply add 0.5.</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: center;"><b>4. Reinforce proportional thinking</b>--If I had to pick one topic that was the most important thing we do in middle school, it would be proportional reasoning. Every chance I get, every way I get, I want to reinforce proportional reasoning with my students. I want to give them different ways to see it. So what about this?</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UOcjSNF55Sc/WV-ntXB7ixI/AAAAAAAAa6Y/1gFAD1hITAYrGLFhbJaVvNokWmfDsq8DwCLcBGAs/s1600/Picture8.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="558" data-original-width="1241" height="286" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UOcjSNF55Sc/WV-ntXB7ixI/AAAAAAAAa6Y/1gFAD1hITAYrGLFhbJaVvNokWmfDsq8DwCLcBGAs/s640/Picture8.png" title="area-model-proportional-reasoning" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Since the side of 3 is the same for both rectangles, if you double the 4 to get 8, it also doubles the area from 12 to 24.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b>5. Move towards algebraic thinking</b>--Ultimately, our middle school students need to be ready for the demands of algebraic thinking. The area model can also give us another way to get students using variables in middle school. Consider the progression of the examples shown below.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ATuQul-awHs/WV-q0NPovbI/AAAAAAAAa6o/J9s7j6zfK2oiu3yRAkAEXQH-e3xPxL41gCLcBGAs/s1600/Picture9.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="648" data-original-width="1280" height="324" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ATuQul-awHs/WV-q0NPovbI/AAAAAAAAa6o/J9s7j6zfK2oiu3yRAkAEXQH-e3xPxL41gCLcBGAs/s640/Picture9.png" title="area-model-algebraic-thinking" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">If students are consistently using the area model as a representation in our middle school classrooms, hopefully the jump to the last two representations will be easier. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> So we've looked at multiplication charts and area model...what other elementary models and tools can continue to be helpful in middle school?</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: center;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-17248066055313393582017-06-22T23:25:00.000-05:002017-10-28T12:47:34.002-05:00Multiplication Charts in the Middle School Classroom Every year when I put up my posters, I put a multiplication chart near the front of my room. Until a few years ago, it kind of bugged me. You know how it goes...kids coming in to middle school should know their multiplication facts, why should I need this, etc.... But then I finally realized I needed to start looking at the good old multiplication chart not for what it might have been in elementary school (although, yes, some kids still use it like that), but for what I could use it to show in middle school. Because now what I see when I look at that multiplication chart in the front of my room is patterns, patterns, patterns! That's what math is all about. Here are some of my favorite ways to use a multipication chart in my middle school classroom.<br /><br /><b>1. Equivalent fractions-</b>-The multiplication table is filled with row upon row of equivalent fractions. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UX8Ofpk8EYQ/WUyLMaDXMQI/AAAAAAAAalU/IVF1yJ2IR-gdBziHIKh_LgcMCtG4QcqKQCLcBGAs/s1600/mult%2Btable.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="341" data-original-width="895" height="241" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UX8Ofpk8EYQ/WUyLMaDXMQI/AAAAAAAAalU/IVF1yJ2IR-gdBziHIKh_LgcMCtG4QcqKQCLcBGAs/s640/mult%2Btable.png" width="640" /></a></div><br />Here you can see a simple multiplication table that I created on Google Sheets. The thing I love about my Google Sheets multiplication table is that I can customize it in whatever way is useful. So if I want to talk about equivalent fractions for 3/8, I can highlight those rows. But then I can easily change to something else. What a great way for my students that may struggle with equivalent fractions to have a quick reference to find them, but also a visual way to see that the reason by 12/32 is equivalent to 3/8 is because both 3 and 8 were multiplied by 4! These realizations that may at times seem to be no big deal for teachers can absolutely blow the minds of our students.<br /><br /><b>2. Equivalent ratios/ratio table--</b>Just as we can use the multiplication table for equivalent fractions, it can also be used for scaling ratios up and down to find equivalent ratios. So now our students are trying to answer some proportional reasoning question: "It takes James 4 minutes to solve 7 problems. How many problems can James solve in 12 minutes?" Again, this idea of using the multiplication chart flexibly, even attaching a label or meaning to some quantity, can be a stretch for kids at first. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Z15odEwFmF4/WUyOSqOuJ1I/AAAAAAAAalo/coJIPI3Uxo0v-AqoYdx1D4GjmrzYzvr1wCLcBGAs/s1600/mult%2Btable.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="340" data-original-width="894" height="242" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Z15odEwFmF4/WUyOSqOuJ1I/AAAAAAAAalo/coJIPI3Uxo0v-AqoYdx1D4GjmrzYzvr1wCLcBGAs/s640/mult%2Btable.png" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>This would also be a great way to teach students to think about if the answer to a proportion question like this is even reasonable. For example, what if the question had been, "It takes James 4 minutes to solve 7 problems. How many problem can James solve in 11 minutes?" Now the answer is not actually on the multiplication table...but a sense of what is reasonable sure is. If 8 minutes is 14 problems and 12 minutes if 21 problems, then the answer must be between 14 and 21 (but closer to 21!). That sort of amazing proportional reasoning can be supported by a great visual tool like the multiplication chart. <br /><br /><b>3. Proportional relationships versus non-proportional (but linear) relationships</b>--Let's say you were focusing on the proportional relationship of 6x = y. What about showing the multiplication chart as a place to see this?<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FDxiWz7HVu0/WUyQ_WZGgUI/AAAAAAAAal0/K6K0IvoVEyknwZ0rg_e6GwmMzM-FaradQCLcBGAs/s1600/mult%2Btable.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="343" data-original-width="892" height="246" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FDxiWz7HVu0/WUyQ_WZGgUI/AAAAAAAAal0/K6K0IvoVEyknwZ0rg_e6GwmMzM-FaradQCLcBGAs/s640/mult%2Btable.png" width="640" /></a></div>The multiplication chart can show the table of values for a proportional relationship by simply looking at the column with the correct constant of proportionality. This gives another way to think of a proportional relationship....it is a relationship that if you had an infinitely large multiplication table, it would have a row on there. You could also build the connection between 6x = y and 6x + 1 = y by having students add one to all of the values in the 6 column.<br /><br /> Ok, and honestly, some students will use the multiplication chart because they don't know their multiplication facts. As much as I wish this weren't true, it just it. So rather than fighting against it, I've decided to help all of my students see that the multiplication table can be a great tool to help us learn about a lot of middle school concepts far beyond simply multiplying. After writing all of this, I think this year, we just may create a digital multiplication table in the first few weeks of school to establish right away what a great tool it can be.<br /><br />How do you think multiplication tables can be helpful in middle school? What other "elementary" tools do you rely on to make your classroom a better place?Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-4565855756368931682017-06-14T19:39:00.002-05:002017-10-28T12:48:26.276-05:00Beginning of Class Routine Revamp At NCTM, I got several ideas that I wanted to incorporate into my beginning of class routine, and I've been finding others as well. Here is my beginning of class routine for next year.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rnb0KNhQ7z8/WUHbXEDIBSI/AAAAAAAAaPA/w45HdkvFADU1uo_dMbacX0O-1t8zuvnFACLcBGAs/s1600/Slide35.PNG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1102" data-original-width="735" height="320" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rnb0KNhQ7z8/WUHbXEDIBSI/AAAAAAAAaPA/w45HdkvFADU1uo_dMbacX0O-1t8zuvnFACLcBGAs/s320/Slide35.PNG" width="213" /></a></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><b>Wonder Monday:</b> This idea is the culmination of a lot of reading and listening that I have been doing. Jo Boaler's Mathematical Mindset, as well as her growth mindset course have really opened up my eyes to the need for math to be an open and creative field. I've also been reading "Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had", which talks about the importance of a "notice" and "wonder"...what do kids notice about a problem? What do they wonder about? <br /> So this is my thought for how to get kids thinking creatively, as well as how math is woven in to so much that we do. My plan here is to find a crazy or interesting picture each week, and just letting the kids start to wonder about it. I think it will get their creative juices flowing, and hopefully start to see math as an open subject, with a place for interesting questions. I think this will be a fun way to start each week!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-keyfWaNSf7g/WUHNlVuRBAI/AAAAAAAAaOo/7w8-VWcCFwAX2iEvspzCeFGdICx1bWeOACLcBGAs/s1600/Beginning%2Bof%2Bclass%2Brountines%2B%25281%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="540" data-original-width="960" height="180" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-keyfWaNSf7g/WUHNlVuRBAI/AAAAAAAAaOo/7w8-VWcCFwAX2iEvspzCeFGdICx1bWeOACLcBGAs/s320/Beginning%2Bof%2Bclass%2Brountines%2B%25281%2529.png" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br /><b>Two Way Tuesday:</b> This one came directly from a wonderful session I went to at NCTM. The idea of the two-way puzzle is that you add going horizontally and vertically. I think the puzzle aspect of this will keep kids engaged, and I can see it being useful for all kinds of review content....fractions, decimals, whole number, integers, and combining like terms are the first few that come to mind.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fpLs1m3THYI/WUHMyhtyC-I/AAAAAAAAaOk/6Q_NFYU4fdgzCBOZpeME2T25L93YDcQcQCLcBGAs/s1600/Beginning%2Bof%2Bclass%2Brountines.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="540" data-original-width="960" height="180" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fpLs1m3THYI/WUHMyhtyC-I/AAAAAAAAaOk/6Q_NFYU4fdgzCBOZpeME2T25L93YDcQcQCLcBGAs/s320/Beginning%2Bof%2Bclass%2Brountines.png" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">In this example, the missing box in the top row would be 22, since -8 + 22 = 14. The bottom left square would be -5, since -8 + 3 would be -5. From there, you can fill in the rest of the squares.</td></tr></tbody></table><b>What's the Question Wednesday:</b> I got this idea from another blog I was reading. Basically, you give the answer, and the kids brainstorm what the question might have been. Again, I think this could encourage creativity and help kids see that there are all kinds of ways to get to any given answer.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-92zCQvE3MIU/WUHN8TExHTI/AAAAAAAAaOs/PSgZcikpsAQxpiErl1AjOcwkrFCj8rjUwCLcBGAs/s1600/Beginning%2Bof%2Bclass%2Brountines%2B%25282%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="540" data-original-width="960" height="180" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-92zCQvE3MIU/WUHN8TExHTI/AAAAAAAAaOs/PSgZcikpsAQxpiErl1AjOcwkrFCj8rjUwCLcBGAs/s320/Beginning%2Bof%2Bclass%2Brountines%2B%25282%2529.png" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br /><b>Number Talk Thursday:</b> This is something else that I've been reading about, and something that I heard about at NCTM. The idea is basically that you give kids a problem to solve mentally, and then you let kids share their strategies for how they solved the problem. I tried this out a couple of times toward the end of last year, and I was amazed at what a great use of class time it was. The kids were highly engaged, and had tons of great strategies. It also allowed for great discussion as we compared strategies.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YaBnxOpxmtg/WUHOByyqhEI/AAAAAAAAaOw/QstHLCOIk944cB6yQSNzji68bwqXUz18gCLcBGAs/s1600/Beginning%2Bof%2Bclass%2Brountines%2B%25283%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="540" data-original-width="960" height="180" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YaBnxOpxmtg/WUHOByyqhEI/AAAAAAAAaOw/QstHLCOIk944cB6yQSNzji68bwqXUz18gCLcBGAs/s320/Beginning%2Bof%2Bclass%2Brountines%2B%25283%2529.png" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br /><b>Quick Draw Friday:</b> This is also something that I got at NCTM. The idea behind it is that you give kids a short look at a geometric drawing, and they try to reproduce it. Then you give them one more look, and a chance to revise. Then let kids share their vision for how they saw the picture, and how they re-drew it. I think this one can really lead to some great vocabulary, and my artistic kids will love it! The idea comes from this <a href="http://www.mathematicslearning.org/index.cfm?ref=10100" target="_blank">e-book</a>.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-puR7QShkcNQ/WUHOJBXK97I/AAAAAAAAaO0/dZqUboWAivAxxkqH0dOFIUa-yN5jNhWlACLcBGAs/s1600/Beginning%2Bof%2Bclass%2Brountines%2B%25284%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="540" data-original-width="960" height="180" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-puR7QShkcNQ/WUHOJBXK97I/AAAAAAAAaO0/dZqUboWAivAxxkqH0dOFIUa-yN5jNhWlACLcBGAs/s320/Beginning%2Bof%2Bclass%2Brountines%2B%25284%2529.png" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br /> So these are the ideas that I plan to use next year. If you would like a copy of the Google Slides shown above for this beginning of class routine, <a href="https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/13nVVtn2WvCubWMsebcCQV3DXL2YNOF6D56aEeJbkgRg/copy" target="_blank">click here.</a><br /><br />One other idea that I would also love to incorporate (but ran out of days!) would be to have a day each week dedicated to looking at a graph and focusing on what story it tells. I think this is really important as we live in a world surrounded by data, with graphs everywhere trying to convince us of one point or another. I may try to work this in somehow to my routine, but I can't decide what to give up! Why is there always more to do than there is time?????<br /><br />What routines do you use at the beginning of class that you love?<br /><br />NOTE: I did a part 2 to this part with even more ideas. <a href="http://wilcoxsway.blogspot.com/2017/10/beginning-of-class-routine-revamp-part-2.html" target="_blank">Click here</a> to see the rest!<br /><br /><br />Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-33565547770383408082017-06-11T18:05:00.002-05:002017-10-28T12:49:18.074-05:00A Good Math Class Discussion: Part 2 In my last post, I talked about my presentation norms that I use in my class. Today, I'm going to address another important part of a class discussion: listening. For most kids, listening is a passive activity. It is our job to teach them to be active listeners. These are the strategies I use to teach my students to be<a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Listening-Norms-Posters-2591055?utm_source=MyBlog&utm_campaign=ListeningNorms" target="_blank"> active listeners</a> in class.<br /><br /><b>1. Listen carefully. </b> The first one is pretty obvious and speaks for itself. If you're not paying attention, it's hard to hear what someone else has to say!<br /><b><br /></b><b>2. Write down questions, comments or notes.</b> I think we all fall into the trap of thinking that we will remember what we want to say, what question we wanted to ask, etc.. when it is our turn to contribute. The reality is that if we jot down notes to ourselves, we are far more likely to remember things. Making sure that students always start with a piece of paper in front of them, even if it's just a scrap of paper or a post-it, is very important in making sure that students are active listeners.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Listening-Norms-Posters-2591055?utm_source=MyBlog&utm_campaign=ListeningNormsPicture" target="_blank"><img alt="" border="0" data-original-height="1056" data-original-width="816" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-78N2I9Ekl_s/WT3L2zxDmTI/AAAAAAAAaL8/RPWsfrP1ZZIdSFz18Y9GeTyXxwuiNNc7QCLcB/s320/Slide6.PNG" title="active-listening-math-practices" width="247" /></a></div><b><br /></b><b>3. Be ready to summarize what the speaker said... </b> This requires a focused kind of listening. This requires that students be more ACTIVE in their listening. As students try to do this, I think it also requires them to really think about whether or not they understand the explanation that is being give. This leads to the second half of this expectation.<br /><br /><b>4. ......or ask the speaker a question.</b> It was really important to me that my classroom listening norms leave room for students to NOT understand. I always want to send the message that it is OK to struggle and not understand, as long as you're still trying and working. At the same time, I want students to know that not understanding doesn't mean that you don't participate. This expectations gives students a way to stay active and involved even when they don't understand. <br /> <br /><b>5. Think about how your strategy compares.</b> I want a classroom that is open to many strategies. By comparing strategies, students can see more clearly how strategies compare. The more students get used to comparing strategies, the more likely they can start to pick the best strategy for the given problem.<br /><br />Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-83591302583491096.post-90866976316624407872017-06-11T12:13:00.000-05:002018-07-07T07:37:18.943-05:00A Good Math Class Discussion: Part 1 Good discussion is so important in class, and it supports the standards for mathematical practice. Yet, we all know that good discussions don't just happen by accident. Over the years, I have learned that I need to spend time teaching my class how to have a good discussion so they can really get the most out of it. In this post, I'm going to focus on the <a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Presentation-Norms-Posters-2591035?utm_source=MyBlog&utm_campaign=PresentationNorms" target="_blank">presentation norms</a> that I use in my classroom.<br /><b><br /></b><b>1. Speak loudly enough for everyone to hear. </b> This one is pretty obvious, and yet we all have students that seem to speak at a whisper.<br /><br /><b>2. Speak at a reasonable pace.</b> Again, seems obvious, but I know that students really seem to struggle with this for a variety of reasons. For one thing, when kids get excited, they often rush when they are talking! Unfortunately, that can really get in the way of other people getting understanding what you're so excited to share with them.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Presentation-Listening-and-Discussion-Norms-2592022?utm_source=MyBlog&utm_campaign=PresentationNormsPic" target="_blank"><img alt="math-practice-smp6-critique-reasoning" border="0" data-original-height="1056" data-original-width="816" height="320" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NSLukrTOqRw/WT15oxkfOxI/AAAAAAAAaK0/t9ZFAQ-uz9Qy0FrLrP8ejSZqcu00tYgHwCLcB/s320/Slide7.PNG" title="math-presentation" width="247" /></a></div><br /><b>3. Pause after each step and make eye contact.</b> This one goes hand in hand with speaking at a reasonable pace. I can't tell you how many times I have had students completely lose everyone in the room (even me!) trying to explain their method. I find that there are two common reasons why kids get lost during another student presentation. One reason is that presenters give all of their steps at one time, and this puts everyone's brain on overload if they're still trying to process the second step, and the presenter is talking about the fifth step! The other common reason that happens is that a student doesn't understand something early on, so they either stop understanding or stop listening. <br /> For these reasons, I teach kids that they need to pause after each step and make eye contact. This way, the listeners have a chance to process what you're saying as you pause. Hopefully, when you make eye contact it will be obvious if the people that you're talking to are lost!<br /> I also find that it is very important to tell my class that this helps everyone....including me. I like having my students see that I also have to ask people to slow down, repeat a step, or answer a question to clarify their method. I think it is so important to normalize the process of understanding, and that needing someone else to slow down does not make you "dumb". <br /><br /><b>4. Ask for questions from the class</b>. This one closely follows the last one. If you are pausing after each step, it is a natural time to let people ask questions. Hopefully when you continue, there is a better chance for your audience to understand what you're saying now. Also, if you have more chances for questions, there is a better chance more people will understand by the end.<br /><br /><b>5. Show visuals.</b> This can help for different kinds of learners. It is also helpful to have it as a reference throughout the presentation.<br /><br />At the beginning of the year, we spend time talking about and practicing these norms. In my next post, I'll look at the other side of the discussion: listening norms.<br /><br /><br /><br />Jenny Wilcoxhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09269377269377241862noreply@blogger.com3