Take That Technology!

I haven't blogged in a while but I was so excited about today's lesson that I had to stop and write it down. In Algebra 1 we have just finished graphing systems of linear inequalities and the next unit is on exponents. I am a big fan of @SweenWSweens and he just blogged his lesson plan for exponents and I loved it. I was positive the students had seen this material before so I thought it was something that would work well. I changed his handout because I'm an organizational freak and I love charts and tables. So here is my handout but using his same instructions.

What I did differently is that I knew computer access was not going to work out for my classes and they wouldn't have access to Wolfram Alpha. So I wrote out the correct answers on Post-Its and hid them throughout the room. So first, students had to go through each problem and make their guess on what the answer would be. Then they had to search the room for the post-it with the correct answer. My eighth graders loved it so much that they asked if I would hide post-its with their names on it tomorrow [even though I will be out for a meeting] just because they enjoyed looking.

After finding the Post-It , they had to figure out the rule. The downside to this is that when they made up their three example problems, if they included variables, they couldn't check them on the calculator. I had them just call out their answers and I told them if they were right or wrong. Now with an advanced class of only 8 students, this worked great and most of them caught on [or remembered] the rules pretty quickly. I will be trying again with a nonadvanced class of 5 and then a regular Algebra class of 20 this afternoon, so we'll see how it goes with them.

After they finished the discovery type activity, I had them fill out this graphic organizer that I stole and edited. (The site also had tons of exponent activities and review games.) I printed them on brightly colored paper and had them put it in their binder to use as a cheat sheet.

Here is my version of the mini quiz.


Looking Ahead

Things I Will Do Next Year:

Standards-Based Grading

Things I Want To Do Next Year:

Organize my desk drawer (It's too late for this year.)

Actually pass back graded work.

Reading time at the end of class.

Offer math puzzle worksheets for students to turn in for bonus points.

Ask an ACT question every day on my warm ups starting from day 1.

Put more emphasis on using what you know as clues to solving what you don't know. Can I set up my entire class as a mystery?

Not collecting homework but giving homework quizzes to formatively assess.

Rearrange my room.

The Idea Box!

Folders for Absentee Quizzes

Review games other than review basketball

Way more writing about concepts, processes, and basically everything

Celebrate Pi Day in class

Math T-Shirts

Introduce TI-83 calculators in every class at the very beginning of the year.

Things I Will Do Again Next Year:

Two nice things for every mean comment

Making students pay for each cuss word (except that I will use the money to buy classroom supplies)

Celebrity/Student Baby Trivia

Folders for Absentee Work

Streamers in the door way

Pictures on the bulletin board

Have students tell me about their weekends on Mondays

Review Basketball

Be Recommended for Rehire!


Week 27 and 28

I like teaching graphing systems of linear inequalities.

I don't really know what it is except maybe I like the coloring. Anyway, here is my intro to graphing a linear inequality, which I am really proud of by the way. It's nothing exciting but it worked well and looks good, which is an excellent combination. Here's the link to the homework I assigned from a website I really like and use a lot.

From there, we moved to graphing systems of inequalities (here is the notes without the shading and whatnot). I stole these Powerpoints and modified them and I ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY love them. Whoever made them did an excellent job and made my life so much easier! Next time, I will use this idea for my intro to graphing a linear inequality. I was worried about this unit because I'm still not sure they grasp graphing lines (which is terrible, I know) but I think this actually helped them. Because graphing wasn't the main focus, it was a step they had to take to get to the finish line, so they didn't really notice it and did it by accident. Which is a great way to re-enforce those skills.

And because my kids needed those skills re-enforced, here is part 2 and part 2 notes. And homework again.

And the mini quiz.



I am still alive.

I am lazy right now at school and in blogging.

I could blog right now but that would only be to escape my lesson planning.

So alas, I will not but I will try to do that soon.

In the meantime, check out my friend Morgan's blog: Ms. Mathemagician

She was my cooperating teacher when I was student teaching and is pretty much the coolest teacher I know in real life. Except myself of course. She loves games and has a million of them and she's super funny and creative, which is why we get along.

The end.