Mission Accomplished

Cohort 7, we’ve made it. Like the original Apollo astronauts, we started full of enthusiasm, though not exactly knowing where we were heading or how it would turn out. https://giphy.com/embed/vooluv4uvvi8g via GIPHY OUR JOURNEY Course 1 had us consider our network and reach out to each other to help it grow. We learned about responsible use of technology and social media in Course 2. Then Course 3 brought us both Zen and CRAAP Design Principles. And we SAMR’d our lessons and considered the what, why, and how of our profession in Course 4. And here we are tying a bow … Continue reading Mission Accomplished

Back on Board

I was so excited for Course 5. I had the opportunity to teach a brand new class at our school. One loosely based on the Math Studies curriculum, but that allowed for more flexibility with use of blogging, reflecting, spreadsheets, collaborative and project-based assessment. My first unit all UbDesigned and planned. All set and ready for my final CoETAIL project. And then one kid signed up. One. It was enough to make me… https://giphy.com/embed/10tIjpzIu8fe0 via GIPHY …or at least give up. Give up on CoETAIL. ūüė¶ I have to give credit to my network for picking me up A personal … Continue reading Back on Board

Curiosity Inspired that Cat

How does life live? Can girls be robots? Why do worms have faces? How do you make water? Are you old, mom? What is mean and nice? Where did you find me when I was a baby? How does food turn into poop?   https://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000004976604 Kids are naturally curious. They ask 1000s of questions. They both annoy and astound us with their questions. To parents, it seems like it may never stop. But then they go to school and it does. And that’s the worst. Why does that happen? I don’t know the answer, but I suspect schools are to … Continue reading Curiosity Inspired that Cat

The Flipping Game

To game or not to game?¬†To flip or not to flip? These are the questions of the week, and well, at the risk of being a COETAIL naysayer…meh. //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js GAMES? Of course play is fun and engaging. I start most days with the New York Times Crossword Puzzle and a game of hearts is such a great way to hang with the family. For a quick fact-checking warm-up, a Kahoot! is fine. It resets¬†students’¬†brains as they walk into the room and gets them excited to do some math. Kahoot!’s new feature of being able to download their results adds to … Continue reading The Flipping Game

Do you Technigrate?

According to my Humanities teacher husband, everything we do is technology. When¬†I use sidewalk chalk in teaching Venn Diagrams or ropes to teach linear equations or even good old-fashioned pencil and paper in the teaching of math, I am integrating technology into my classroom. After all, cavemen didn’t have these tools. But I digress… According to Edutopia¬†what we mean by integration of technology¬†in the classroom is electronic media (computers, mobile devices, social media, and apps) which allow not just for greater understanding, but also for creation, communication, and connection.   “Take out your calculators”, “Google the formula for compound interest” … Continue reading Do you Technigrate?

The Power of Numbers

Numbers when combined with images are powerful and can be used to influence change. This is no big secret, which is why so many people use infographics¬†to spread their message. In Grade 9, we call our exponents unit “The Power of Numbers”. In addition to standard exponent laws and scientific notation, we use dimensional analysis to teach the concept of changing units. Our culminating project¬†has kids researching the recycling problem at our school and educating the school population as to the potential problem in an attempt to increase recycling. We start the project in the school’s basement. The custodial staff … Continue reading The Power of Numbers

Tell Me a Math Story

At first glance I wondered what the heck am I going to do with this? Digital storytelling in math?!? But I started thinking–it doesn’t have to be my OWN storytelling that I share. Have others shared math stories? Oh yeah, there are some good ones. As a high school math teacher, I’m really not interested in “every-day” math videos. Telling time, figuring out tips and sale prices, to be honest, that’s elementary math. The truth is, I don’t use most of the math I learned in high school, except, well, to teach math in high school. Does that mean I … Continue reading Tell Me a Math Story

Clean Up Time

We’ve all died a small death in presentations, haven’t we? Speakers who¬†drone, slide shows that are too busy, too cluttered, haphazardly thrown together with too much or not enough information. I’m certainly guilty of it all, but after reading¬†several posts about design and presentation over the last two weeks from Garr Reynolds’ Presentation Zen, I’ve vowed “never again.” No more of this:   A message that is unclear and difficult to follow A unit title that makes no sense Cluttered text and misaligned images Images that only tentatively tie to the already tenuous main message Haphazardly chosen font size and … Continue reading Clean Up Time

Selling it Visually

I’m starting the Differential Calculus unit tomorrow in my IB Math Studies class. It’s always the last one I teach, it’s always rushed, and I’ve never been happy with my SMART Notebook slides for this unit. This week’s assignment inspired me to give my slide show a necessary facelift. Here’s the process I used. Step 1: Decide on a Message Unpack what you want your students to get out of your unit. We often teach big concepts, which students struggle to grasp, so a simple message can really help them to understand what is going on. For me, differential calculus … Continue reading Selling it Visually

The Koch Snowflake: Infinite Perimeter, Finite Area

Today my students are answering this question: Can a geometric figure with a limited area have an infinite perimeter? They¬†are working with the Koch Snowflake, a simple example of a fractal. Fractals are objects whose essential form repeats itself with every iteration and when zooming in and zooming out. The Koch Snowflake starts with an equilateral triangle in Stage 1. Stage 2 divides each length into thirds and extends additional triangles from those sides, resulting in 12 distinct sides. In Stage 3, each length is again divided into thirds, resulting in 48 distinct sides.   This pattern continues infinitely with … Continue reading The Koch Snowflake: Infinite Perimeter, Finite Area