My support classes are about to take their test/quiz on all conic sections in their Math 3 classes. I let my classes divide themselves into groups of 3 and then they had to get a large sheet of paper and 1 parabola question from me. They completed a total of 3 problems where their where either given the equation of a parabola and answered questions and graphed or the graph of a parabola where they answered questions and wrote the equation of the parabola.
1) Happy with the overall result and it helped that in order to get the next problem, they had to have everything correct on the current problem.
2) Will have students work in groups of 2 next time. I feel it makes each student more accountable for more of the work.
For an overall review, I am using the model but with 4 problems addressing parabolas, circles, hyperbolas, and ellipses.
Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store to download. You are able to customize the product for your student's needs.
In Math 3 Support a big goal of mine for the Conic Unit is that students will be able to quickly identify if a given equation is a parabola, circle, ellipse, or a hyperbola. If my students can identify that quickly they will know what the standard form should look like before they begin the process of completing the square.
As I was goggling conic activities, I ran across a great 16 page link that will just conics (yay!) and tied every topic to the GPS standard (double yay!) The last pages have a "Name that Conic" game. I enjoy using games in support since it breaks up the ordinary and all my students like to complete against each other. I let my students break themselves up into 8 equal groups and then rearrange the desks into groups.
1) Each group is given 1 small envelope with 5 notes cards. They get 2 minutes to "Name that Conic" and write their answers of the corresponding line of the answer sheet and place the index cards back in the envelope.
2) After two minutes say "Rotate". Each group will pass their envelope clockwise and receive a new envelope.
3) Repeat the cycle until each group has seen each envelope.
4) Collect and score the answer sheets.
Link to 16 pages of great conic activities/handouts linked to GPS Standards--MM3G2a,b,c. The "Name that Conic" game is on pages 12-16. http://www.ciclt.net/ul/okresa/Math3Unit%202Lesson%204%20plan.pdf
To extend the activity into an entire class, I included 6 problems in which the students had to identify which conic section was represented and then write the equation in standard form.
Warning: There is a good bit of prep work for this activity. It would be a great one to have a student aid or a student who finishes early to cut/label for you!
Teaching conics is awesome! I really enjoy that this topic allows me and my students to be creative in numerous ways. I was discussing with a fellow teacher that I was having my students identify if a given equation was a parabola, circle, ellipse, or a hyperbola. She suggested creating a flowchart for them--in order for to write an equation in standard form it is beneficial to know which standard form it needs to be in based off the given equation. What a great idea!
But instead of me creating the flowchart for my students I started them off and had them finish it. I wanted this to be something that they created and therefore took ownership. I am also always up for fun colors and decorations so this meet that wish as well! I quickly realized after my first support class that my students were not that familiar with how flowcharts were created and lacked the background to make one. I did not expect this obstacle. For my next support class I took more of a class approach and started to walk through it more together. That worked a little bit better.
The flowchart was a somewhat crash-and-burn activity
Obstacles I did not expect:
1) Students unfamiliarity with reading flow-charts
2) Student unfamiliarity with creating flow-charts
3) Some students were not real sure the differences between the 4 conic sections
If I do this activity again, I will introduce the idea of flowcharts with an example from a teen magazine. There are silly ones that get the idea of how to read a flo-chart. Then I would have my students create a silly flowchart with a topic they are familiar with (example: how to tell what Twilight character you are, what your favorite sport it, etc...). Then I would have them create a flowchart for conics.
Technology has changed how we all receive information. Learning is no exception. While there are some annoying parts of technology-constantly having to tell me students to turn off their cellphones--there are many great teaching strategies to use.
YouTube is my favorite source!
1st: If a student is absent I can send them to a YouTube video to watch to learn the lesson (reserve learning-which I do plan on trying at some point this school year)
2nd: Use it to re-teach a lesson--this is especially beneficial to my support students
3rd: Introduce a topic or make a problem more interactive to support a lesson in class
How I use YouTube in each of those 3 categories...
1st and 2nd: YayMath is produced by an energetic teacher that has enertaining videos on topics covering Algebra, Algebra II and Geometry. I also encourage students who are gone to watch other videos when they missed a day or do not understand an objective and cannot come in for extra help. For my support students, YouTube provides another way to address an objective in a more exciting way then me writing on the board. It provides a 3rd presenter (1st: Math 3 Teacher, 2nd: Math 3 Support Teacher) on a topic.
3rd: I will use YouTube videos to introduce the Quadratic Formula Song, my Barbie Bungee Project, and the Fibonacci Sequence
YouTube is awesome! Just make sure that you watch a video completely before you show it to your students. This source provides a great way to make math a little more interactive and my students enjoy hearing a different voice (and especially when I do not sing for them, they really really appreciate not having to hear me sing!)
My juniors have started their venture into conics. In my support class, we have started to cover circles. I wanted a quick, decorative activity that would take less than 15 minutes but would still have my students solving problems.
I allowed my students to either work by themselves or with one other person. Each grouping got a plate and had to label/find the following on it:
1) Label the radius and center of the paper plates
2) Find the radius and center of the circle described by the equation: _________________
3) Write the equation of the circle with a center of _____ and radius of _____
4) Create an equation for a circle and identify the center and radius of it
I had each group tack their finished plate to my board and my class votes on the prettiest one--that group received a 120 on the assignment
Pictures are below:
I love the idea of my students having fun in class but I find it hard to develop/find games/activities that are productive to learning or practice. It takes a good bit of trial and error and reflection. For me, I use short games that can be explained, completed, and cleaned-up in less than 15 minutes (it may roll into 20 minutes depending on the day.) I really really want to use JEOPARDY games in my class as a review but I have not been able to successfully pull that off where all students learn/practice/benefit from the game.
The activity I am attaching (I in no way deserve credit, I found it online) is GREAT! Students are in groups of 3. 1 moderator and 2 players. I will assign who-is-who. I usually have the strongest student out of the 3 be the moderator. I have the moderator come up and get the board, instruction sheet with the answers on the reserve side, two dice (or "number cubes" as we call them in Georgia), and a handful of two sided coins. The beauty of this activity is that I have the moderator read the instructions to their group-I rarely have questions, it is pretty self explanatory.
The Game1. Decide who goes first by tossing a die.
2. The first player tosses both dice and locates the corresponding box on the
game board. For example, if the player tosses a 3 and a 4, they may go
to the 3rd row, 4th column, or the 4th row, 3rd column.
3. The player factors the problem and asks the moderator if he/she is correct.
If the solution is correct, the player places his/her marker in that box. If
the solution is incorrect, the other player can steal the box by giving the
4. If a player tosses the dice and the box indicated is already occupied, the
player rolls the dice again.
5. The winner is the player who has four of his/her game markers in a row(row, column, or diagonal).Materials NeededGame Board (I laminated my)Instruction Sheet with copy of answers on the back for moderator Two diceChips of two different colors (Georgia gave all high school teachers a box full of goodies)I also reserved this and made the answer sheet the game board and the game board the answer sheet to have my students play a game when we learned to multiply binomials with FOIL (I know some people dislike FOIL).If one group finished quickly, I will have them switch moderators and play again!Hope your students enjoy it as much as mine did!
Happy President's Day!
Apparently I remember to post on holidays! In Fulton County we had Friday and today off. We had a school shooting threat on Thursday which meant in my 2 Math 3 Support classes I had 5 students in each class-I opened their eyes to Dilbert and helped some study for their upcoming Math 3 Test. Thursday really felt like a teacher workday and I got a good bit of stuff completed. Nothing happened on Thursday and honestly with all the police and undercover detectives (used very loosely since we all could tell who was undercover) I have never felt safer.
On to the post...
Georgia introduced Math Support classes during the 2008-2009 school year. These classes are meant to be an extra period of "support" for students who struggle with the material in their gen-ed math courses. The structure of the classes are typically open to each school. Some schools have students with the same teacher for their gen-ed and support class, some have one specific teacher who teaches all the support, some have a mixture. It is only in its 4th year and schools are still experimenting with different approaches to the course. At my first teaching job I was on traditional block scheduling (kids had the same 4 classes for a semester and then switched) and only taught one Math 1 Support Class. I had some overlapping students in gen-ed math and the support math. Which, I was okay with. It did mean those students spent half their day with me for a semester but fortunately, they were students I had a great relationship with. I was at a Title 1 at the time and all the students I had overlapping passed the EOCT and did great!
When I moved to CHS this past fall, I knew I would have 2 sections of Math 3 Support. A big struggle with support classes is how do you engage students who probably get easily frustrated with math/do not like the subject? Instead of a final last semester, I broke the students up into groups of 3-5 and had them teach the class. I let them pick a topic that was covered in Math 3 and then I had to approve it. This gave the opportunity to redirect their choices into doable topics. For example, a group choose matrices and I had them narrow it down to finding the dimensions and the determinant of a matrix. I had groups go over three 5-minute classes periods. It went okay. The key is not to give too much class time and have assignments due every day. I learned that in the middle of the project. Also, next time I will require all groups to make a video lesson. I will attaching both the files/rubric and videos once I am back at school.
These were fast to grade-I love rubrics!
I do plan on editing this project and trying it on my 9th graders in May. I will break them into groups and then give them a list of topics that need to be re-visited before 10th grade.
Happy Valentines Day!
My students LOVED this activity that I found on-line last Friday. (The credit is on the first page of the activity!)
There are four pages total. Print each page in a different color. Each page has either 12 equations in vertex form, 12 graphs, 12 axis of symmetry, or 12 vertexes. The goal is to match the aos, vertex, and graph to each equation. It is a great and FUN activity that students can work on together instead of writing the problems down. The different color paper helps students realize what information is missing. It is a quick 6-8 minute activity. This includes explanation and clean-up. I time each class to see who finish in the least amount of time. I used this is a warm-up but it would also be a great summary tool at the end of class.
Hope your students LOVE this as much as mine did!
Educator who loves math and working with students.