#Made4Math: Weekly Warm-up Sheet 2.0

I LOVE doing these weekly warm-ups with my students.  They have been great! Check here if you want to read about them in my original post. A few reflections:

*Giving them the weekly sheet on Monday of each week keeps me from forgetting or skipping a day.
*I love that it has all the days of the week on one sheet (front & back)
*The layout was easy to check each Friday.
*I’ve been using these as a way to give feedback without a grade. I check to make sure their warm-ups are completed for each day and I read the weekly reflections on Friday before I leave school.
*I’ve been referencing the math practices when giving feedback…be precise, etc.
*I definitely like the Weekly Reflection on the back. It’s a good gauge on the week’s lessons and activities and let’s me know where they still have questions.
*They were told they had to write one thing that was still circling their mind under threat of death. 🙂 Not really death, but if they did write “Nothing” for that part, I googled random trivia and would write a question there for them.
*This gives them something to do when they walk into my classroom and they are picking up on the routine.
*They have mentioned that they like doing these problems!

*Oh boy do they not like to reflect when doing the Estimation problems. We keep talking about how “I looked at it.” is not an appropriate response for listing your reasoning.
*I didn’t like the layout for Tough Patterns Tuesday because they essentially had to write the equation twice, once in the table and again on the line I made for the equations.
*I need to keep reminding them for the What We’ve Been Doing Wednesday and Flashback Friday boxes to draw all graphics and write the original problem.
*Sometimes it takes more time than I intended, even with my music cues, but that’s because we are having great discussions and THAT’S OKAY.
*Sometimes they are WAY too chatty during this time, but I am okay with it as long as they are completing the problem. (walking around does help this a lot)
*I wish we could fit in Estimation each day because it’s fun when they build on each other faster than once a week.
*Because of the style of warm-up problems, it is not easy to have students go over the answers like I have done in the past.

*I made the line in Tough Patterns Tuesday say Correct Equation. This is where I intend for them to write the correct answer when we share it in class.
*Per a student request, I change Thursday and Friday.  They wanted Throwback Thursday (I agreed once I heard it, so much better than what I had.) and told them I would switch it once I could figure out another name for Friday. Tonight I used the online dictionary to find synonyms for mistake and came across Flub and Faux Pas. Initially I liked Faux Pas Friday, but the true definition of Faux Pas (socially awkward or tactless act) made it seem like the mistake was embarrassing to do. So I changed it to Find the Flub Friday and it’s catchy!
*I added “Draw all pictures/graphics and write the original problem.” to both Wednesday and Thursday.
*There was a Friday a couple of weeks ago where I had a really bad, no good, rotten, very bad day and didn’t want to leave the week on a crabby note.  So when they were writing their weekly reflection, I asked them to share one good thing from the week with me, since I had such a bad one.  To be honest, I enjoyed reading about their week and their one good thing more than I thought.  I liked hearing about what was good or bad…a few students said they had bad weeks too. So the next week I asked them to share one good thing again.  Therefore I changed the line in the Weekly Reflection from “Anything else you want to share” to Share One Good Thing from your week”.

So here is my Weekly Warm-up Sheet version 2.0! Enjoy!

Dance, Dance, Transversal

FINALLY, my post about Dance, Dance, Transversal with my Geometry classes.  I tweeted about this and promised I would blog about it, but told myself I wouldn’t until I got through the other draft blog posts I had started and not finished.  Therefore I have published 3 posts tonight and this is my 4th! Please ignore the fact that I should be grading…my quarter ends Friday.

Important Note: This is not my original idea…I got it from a teacher in my district, but modified it to fit my needs. I renamed it Dance, Dance, Transversal from his Dance, Dance, Geometry simply because we were dancing around the transversal.

How to play:
1. Purchase masking tape or painters tape for the floor.
2. Locate a large area to play that also has a computer and projector. Or move the desks in your classroom.
3. Tape two parallel lines & a transversal on the floor, one for each student. OR since I have 38, I did 19 and paired the students up. Here is a picture I took before I finished putting all of the tape on the ground in our house area.


4. Create a powerpoint that moves similar to Dance, Dance, Revolution with the words/locations flying up the screen.  Since this was not my idea, I do not want to share the powerpoint I received from my district teacher friend, but I will share a screen shot to give you an idea. You can do this by using powerpoint & creating a slide with the angles you want them to dance, like corresponding, alt. interior, alt. exterior, vertical. Then type the words of those angles at the top and copy and paste them at the bottom and then animate the words at the bottom in the following manner…. animations-lines-up-as one object. The more words you add at the bottom, the more will fly up the screen that the students have to dance to. Then you need to set the time; you can do different rounds by speeding up the flying of the words through…start after previous-duration. Change the duration to speed it up.  Add music to play during the slide. *

5. Send a text via Remind101 to your students the night before telling them to bring their dancing shoes for Dance, Dance, Transversal.
6. Play! We played in pairs so the student watching could help correct the student dancing.  This became very loud.  We also had a boy vs. girl dance off in each class where the boys and girls each chose their tribute dancer and then the boys judged the girl and the girls judged the boy. 
7. This does not take all period, maybe 20-30 minutes. We went back into the classroom and they had time to start working on their review for the test the next day. 

I did this as a review before a test, but also could see how it would have been a good activity to do right after learning about all of the angles around a transversal.  The students had a blast…it was LOUD, so warn the classes around you. The students had a blast, they were SOOOO bad at getting the angles right. It takes a lot of coordination especially when we got into the faster and longer levels. I would definitely do this again!

*I did not make the powerpoint I used, so my directions in step 4 are as detailed as I could get.  I was trying to figure it out the best I could for you, so you could make it for yourself!

How could this be modified for later concepts in Geometry? They definitely liked the dancing idea, I would love to find a way to harness that!

Explore the MTBoS Mission #2

Continuing in the MTBoS Missions…Mission #2 was all about Twitter.  (I am trying to catch up on the blog posts I should have been writing & promised people I would write, sorry for blowing up your reader.) Here is my Mission #2 reflection prompt:

  • If you’re an experienced Twitter user, describe and reflect upon how you tend to use it.

I wouldn’t say I am experienced, I still think I am pretty new to the Twitter world, but I can’t imagine my educational life without it.  I joined last year during the Math Blogger Initiation because I figured when I started my blog, I might as well start Twitter too.  Little did I know what I was getting myself into.  IT IS FLIPPING AMAZING!!!! It’s my own personal PLN that I can call on at any hour of the day or night and get a response.  It is (now) a mix of people that I have met in person at #TMC13, people I have met during other math conferences, people I have yet to meet and people I secretly stalk.  It is funny, challenging and awesome at all hours of the day.  It is where I start my Google search for a new activity or lesson and where I go when I need suggestions on my own activity or lesson.  It is a group of people that keep growing, creating and sharing together.

I am finding it even more useful this year because there is no one else in my building that teaches Geometry, so I don’t have people I can ask in my office.  I find I am leaning on my Twitter PLN to answer my questions or help me make sense of things shared with me that I don’t quite agree with. (Old school grading mentality from HS teachers)  We have made foldables together (@msrubinteach), we have shared skill lists (@MTchirps), we have presented together (@borschtwithanna), we have shared music routines (@mrvaudrey), we have laughed about the non-stickiness of post-its (@chrisrime) and many others that I am sure I am forgetting to mention.

Twitter is my news, my TV, my drama and my entertainment for the day. Sometimes it’s silly and funny and other times it’s thought provoking and opinionated, but either way it keeps me on my toes and always wanting to learn more, to be better and to continue to challenge myself to be the best I can be. If you haven’t joined or are on the fence about joining…DO IT!! Find educational hashtags to follow and just watch what happens.  You will be amazed and find that you want to jump in.

Twitter is my online PLN and my daily, weekly, monthly math conference. I have learned more since I started lurking and just reading blogs (since sometime in 2007) and then starting my own and jumping on twitter than I have in any of the time prior to that. My educational landscape has changed for the better because of my involvement on twitter.


Explore the MToBS Mission #1

I am late to the game…not because I forgot but because I just got SO FAR behind in grading (need to stop assigning!!), preparing and getting my presentation ready for ICTM. And I couldn’t decide what to write about, sometimes I can be so indecisive!

According to the Explore MToBS blog post for this mission, we are to choose between two blog topic options:

You are going to write a blogpost on one of the following two prompts.

  • What is one of your favorite open-ended/rich problems?  How do you use it in your classroom? (If you have a problem you have been wanting to try, but haven’t had the courage or opportunity to try it out yet, write about how you would or will use the problem in your classroom.)

  • What is one thing that happens in your classroom that makes it distinctly yours? It can be something you do that is unique in your school… It can be something more amorphous… However you want to interpret the question! Whatever!

I want to write about one thing that makes my classroom distinctly mine, yet I don’t really know what that is. I feel like I borrow and take so much from my online PLC and my real life PLC that I am not sure what is really mine anymore.  That isn’t a bad thing, just that I wasn’t sure what made my class different from other classrooms.  So I took @JustinAion’s idea and asked my students. I sent a Remind101 text with a link to the Google Form survey and waited (not very) patiently for the results to come in.

Here are the results in a Wordle from 56 of my 120 students.

I really enjoyed reading their responses. There are a few misconceptions that I need to clarify “we skip around the book, like 3.1 and then 6.5”, but that’s the curriculum not me & we don’t even use the book. Some feel that I rush through lessons so we do more activities and other feel like we spend too much time on lessons and don’t do enough activities. 🙂 Some of them don’t quite grasp the idea of the ISN or see its usefulness, that is definitely something I need to work on if that is the case! One comment really stuck with me “She uses worksheets and the “ISN” to teach new lessons. I dislike the way she teaches for math using worksheets.” because I don’t use worksheets. In fact today was the second day they received a homework assignment that was a worksheet.  I am not quite sure what this comment means, except that I need to clarify and change something about the perception of worksheets. I was also able to see that my prediction was correct for a few comments about wanting to use the textbook (we DON’T have one to use!)…they have only ever learned from a textbook, so not having one and creating our own is a huge change for them.

They identified the ISN as the thing that makes my class unique, along with Standards Based Grading (Skill Assessments) and the MathXL online homework.  This was a great reflection for me as we are coming to the end of a quarter and I usually give them an End of Quarter survey about class. I plan to change a few of the questions before giving it to them. We spend the day after the survey, talking about changes we want to make to the class and clarifying things. I love giving the students a voice in the classroom environment! If you want to read all of the comments you can click here:  Makesdifferent



#Made4Math: VistaPrint Stamps

Waaaayyyy back in the summer I purchased the Vistaprint Groupon when it was $17 for $70 worth of items. I love Vistaprint and have used it for years in many aspects of my teaching and non-teaching life.  I procrastinated (huge overarching theme for me) and waited until the last minute to finalize my purchase.  I had all of these grand ideas of positive note cards and cute things with my name.  That didn’t happen, but I did order the following stamps and items. I am excited to get them in the mail (I did the free shipping that says it takes forever but it never does.) Checked is in red ink, Like and Whoooo’s paper is in blue and the fridge one is the larger stamp because I wanted it in green. I should have ordered the Whoooo’s one larger too and gotten it in purple, but it will be fine in blue.  I also ordered some note cards. I used the Teacher Appreciation Subway Art file from eighteen25. Check out the rest of her cute subway art files for FREE!

checkedin like WhooosPaperfridge

I am already thinking about what other stamps I could order. 🙂 I use them to check in their daily work, so using different graphics, words and colors would be fun!

ICTM Presentation 2013

I attended and presented at the Annual Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference in Peoria, IL today.  My workshop was on Building and Maintaining Effective Cooperative Groups.  I got a test run this summer at TMC13, but this was a lot longer (90 minutes) and participants needed tickets to attend.  I found out a while back that it was sold out, which made me excited and nervous at the same time.  That means that there are teachers out there that really want to learn about Cooperative Groups and I wanted to make sure that I did it justice.

I had a SMALL room with tiny long tables; we were packed in there! I tried making it a little better for teachers to sit in groups of four, but it didn’t work quite the way I wanted.  However, I had a great group of teachers in my session and we made it work! Everything went pretty much as planned, but I ran out of time at the end to reflect with them more and have them share more ideas because it was going so well and we were sharing.  I need to cut something out somewhere when I present again in February (& maybe in WI in April).

Thank you to all who attended! A lot of great ideas were shared that I plan to implement in my classroom.

Anyways, here is my presentation! And a link to the follow up document I sent the attendees (I collected their email addresses as part of their name tags). https://www.dropbox.com/s/dwsvqau5r3lk2mb/ICTM%20Follow%20up%202013.pdf