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Matching Activities

Heading into Algebra 1 this year, I wanted to add in some different activities that my students grew accustomed to that weren't just book work or IXL's. I know there was a big push away from worksheets when I was in college. It was like "if they aren't doing something hands on, they aren't learning." I can see where this line of thinking comes from, but if your freshmen are like my freshmen, you can't just do all hands on. They don't have the self control for that. 
So I set out to find activities that are still different then problems from a book, but are still keeping them somewhat engaged. These matching activities are one of the simplest ways I came up with. I really like to use them as bellwork the morning after I teach the lesson. The matching itself doesn't take too long, but it gives them the ability to work different problems out and it only requires paper and a pencil. I also know that my class runs way smoother when they have bellwork …
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Hands-On Sorting in Algebra 1

This year my school implemented PDP’s (or Professional Development Plans). What can I do to develop professionally that will make me a better teacher? Well part of what will make me a better teacher is if I teach my students in a way that jives with them. I’m not saying to change what you do every day, but adding in some activities that are hands-on or out of the norm will totally get them engaged – which can be really hard in math. So I decided that this was one of my goals for my PDP – hands-on learning in the Algebra 1 classroom. It isn’t easy to come up with hands-on activities for the high school math classroom, but sorts are one that I have had a lot of success with in my classroom this year.
Y’all. Sorting is so fun and hands on. It does take a little prep to cut the squares out (&& laminate if you want to reuse them), but there are ways to cut down on this. Sometimes I just throw the cards up in a document on the white board and have students create their own sort on…

Spring Breakkkkkkk

Hey y'all. I am currently sitting on the couch between both of my coonhounds getting all of the pup cuddles & watching March Madness (Go Vols, right?). My day so far has consisted of Starbucks, a mani/pedi (because not many things make me feel more like a woman than fresh nails), laying in the sunshine & reading a book, and then helping address invite es to my brothers wedding.

I AM THRIVING.

Guys. I think I am made for this life. I have been making salads, cooking 3 meals a day, eating a TON of greens and sipping on kombucha like its water. Every time my husband comments on how nice it is to have lunch ready when he gets home from work (he works a split shift - personal trainer probs), I always remind him that it would be like this if I was a stay at home dog mom. Obvi, I always laugh because pretty sure I wouldn't be cooking three meals a day or sipping pooch like it's my job if I was a stay at home dog mom, but who knows.

I have a passion to be creative & a …

March Madness Bulletin Board

Are your kids as excited for March Madness as mine are? Not all of them, obviously, but I have a lot of boys who have very little interest in math who are currently very interested in basketball and all the fun that March Madness brings. In order to capture their attention a little, I put together this March Madness bulletin board and we played an activity in class to go with it as a quiz review.

First, let me tell you a little bit about this board. First, I printed out and cut the title for the board. Then I made 100 basketballs with polynomial problems on them for my students to solve. I meant to print it on orange paper, but I forgot to tell my service worker to do that, sooo maybe next time! (oops.) Anyways, I printed out and cut the basketballs also, threw up a portable basketball hoop and used a few sheets of paper to make a scoreboard. 
So here's how the "interactive" part of the bulletin board came about. My students are always trying to shoot their paper wads in…

Pi Day in Algebra 1

Even though pi isn't THAT big of a concept in Algebra 1, can you really let a math "holiday" pass without celebrating it? I didn't think so. I came up with a project for my honors students to complete. I like to leave the window for creation very open because I want them to think outside of the box for their projects. I have had cake and brownies cut in the shape of pi. I have had pie with decorations in the form of 3.14. I have had posters and murals and clay and cups and everything else you can imagine in the shape of pi or 3.14. I love to see what they can come up with when they aren't put in a box. 
* You'll see that I do offer extra credit for the "most creative" project in class. I use this as a small encouragement for students to try something beyond the common Pinterest searches for pi day projects. 
** The only additional comment I made in class is that they can't just but a pie at the store and call it their project because that repres…

St. Patrick's Day Bulletin Board

I'm not sure how observations work at your school, but we have one formal observation each quarter (grading period) and walk-through evaluations at our principals leisure. I know that I am not a perfect teacher, so I really do like when my principal comes in because I think she gives good feedback about some of the things that I might miss in my classroom.

Anyways, one of the requirements (or checklist items to look for) in our classrooms is that we are displaying student work. This year I have THE FRIDGE. I found the idea on Pinterest and immediately fell in love. The students can hang things that they are proud of up on the board. I have lots of A+ math tests, a few tests/quizzes from other classes, some principals list certificates, a college acceptance letter, and even one drug & alcohol class certificate (that one you have to take before you can get your learners permit). All of these are small sentiments of my students and the things that make them proud. I love it &…

Task Cards in Algebra 1

Wow! It's been a while since I have gotten on here, but I am going to try and get better about that. Let me give you a quick update on my career change, and then I'll get into the topic at hand.

Math was my FAVORITE subject as a student. I had an INCREDIBLE Algebra 1 teacher and I was one of those kids who was SO much better at Algebra than I was at Geometry. When I got to college, the upper level math classes seemed overwhelming and I had a heart for reaching all students in my classroom, so I majored in Special Education. At the time there was a huge push towards inclusion, so I chose this major to learn more about how I could reach EVERY student in my classroom. I took the classes necessary to get my K-6 certification and graduated with dual cert. My first job was teaching 6th grade math, science & technology at my old K-12 school. I loved it, but through that year of teaching a technology elective, I fell in love with tech. At the time, I was also getting my masters in…