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Vocabulary is essential in mathematics. In the past I have strayed away from it mainly because it is 'boring' and the past methods I have used have been ineffective. Through online research and collaboration with other teachers, I have been exposed to a variety of methods that work. "I have..., who has..." My favorite vocabulary strategy. The first 4 attached files are in reference to this activity. 1416 students each have a different card. The student how has the card that states "I have the first card" reads that statement and then the "Who has...". The student who has the answer to the "Who has..." reads "I have..." and then their "Who has...". This continues till the last student reads "I have..." and then "The end." You can make it shorter or loner depending on if you want each student in your class to have a card. I have an average of 32 students in a class so I shot for half to have a card. I will time each class to see which class can finish in the least amount of time. This game typically takes about 25 minutes depending on the vocabulary. I will start a class with this and then end it with this as well to see how much time each class can shave off their first time. It is also great to use with known vocabulary objectives. I like to use this when teaching logarithms and exponents because it makes each student SAY the proper form. I will have a student at the front of the room time the activity, pass out/collect the cards, and they may write the "Who has..." part on the board. If someone reads the incorrect "I have..." I make the student holding the current "Who has..." read it again. This is to save on complete random guessing. Some classes like to have everyone with a card stand up and then sit down when they read their card. I sometimes tack on some extra points to the class with the fastest time. This has become common place in my teaching. I keep the initial print out as a key and make a copy of it on card stock that I then cutout and hand out. I did not create the blank word document...I found it online. Fly Swatter You do need 2 fly swatters (try to the Dollar Tree) for this game and I think elementary teachers use this one a good bit but my older students enjoy it! Have the vocabulary show on the board in two columns with an overhead or projector. I then read a definition and the 2 students with the fly swatters try to the first student to "swat" the correct word with the fly swatter. It is entertaining to watch but you do need to be clear the fly swatters are only to tap the words and not others. (I do one class of Juniors that I do not do this activity with). You could even have teams and switch out the "swatter" for each word. This is quick and a great closing activity. Crossword Puzzles I see no value in word searches but I do see value in crossword puzzles (with no word blanks...that would defeat the purpose in my opinion). The only completely free site I have found is from Discover Education. It is not the best and I have not figured out a way to save a copy but it works! Taboo I love playing taboo and have always wanted to implement it for vocabulary. I plan on doing this in the future by giving each student a word and having this write the "taboo" words. This would be a great addition to any vocabulary day. I was thinking of using flashcards cut in half and adding the new words to the old words so that students were constantly reviewing previous vocabulary. I think groups of 8 (4 on each team) would be optional. Alright, I have convinced myself to do this. If I am spending a day on vocabulary I will do: 1st: "I have..., who has..." 2nd: Crossword 3rd: Fly Swatter 4th: "I have..., who has..." I would love to hear what other people are using. This is an area I want to continue to grow in!
I introduced (well, this is technically like the 10th time my Juniors have seen end behavior in their math careers) end behavior to my 11th graders in January by showing quick video, going over some notes, and playing a game for closing. The video is short and the guy was entertaining enough where my students mimicked for a few days. Even to this day if we talk about end behavior my students will use this guys expressions. The game was created by Rebecka Peterson. I did not think I would of been able to watch everyone's hands (especially odd functions with my direction facing them) so each student was given a laminated graph and pipecleaner to bend to create an example. I have moved away from my students using dry erase boards because in my tiny room and 33 open markers I was having KILLER headaches (smell is my one strong scent). Pipecleaners for a variety of topics and this is one of them!
I love teaching probability! It is relevant to my student's life. they do not complain about it, and they see the relevancy! (Yay!) And there are super fun techniques to use! BEANO is one of them. Once again, this is not a concept/worksheet that I developed. It was presented to me during the TI Conference in Atlanta, GA during the spring of 2010. Materials: 2 dice (or number cubes as we call them in Georgia) BEANO Worksheets (I give each student their own) Dry Beans (I used blackeyed peas since they were the cheapestthese are great to have for BINGO) I tell my students we are playing a game (insert excited students) and have them place their twelve beans on the front of the worksheet. I usually let them read the instructions on the front and figure it out! Then we play! You can roll the dice and say the sum, have a student do it (I opt for this option), or use a graphing calculator with the probability simulator program. When the dice are rolled by hand I will chart the frequency of the sums on the board for use later! Then we complete the backside. You may have to explain filling in the sum chart for some and I usually will plot the box graph with them. Then answer the questions (it discusses probability and you can add more questions if you want to!) and play BEANO again! The second time around and the questions prompt students to look at which sum (6, 7, 8) are most likely to come up and how they arranged the beans on their boards will noticeable change (see pictures below) or at least they should if they were paying attention. You can play a couple rounds and I usually have the winner be the next roller. The BEANO games played after the worksheet are way quicker then the game at the beginning of class!!! Also, keep track the frequency of the sums and you can use the theoretical chart from the worksheet for use of comparison of the experimental chart you keep track of in class. The more trials, the more like the theoretical the experimental will look like.
I covered solving absolute value equations with my freshman today. It is a concept that students typically catch on quickly to. The only new part is setting the equation inside the absolute value bars to the same and opposite to the number that the equation is equal to. Once again, for these topics I like to end the class with an interactive activity rather then drill and kill problems. I found the game modeled after "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." I divided my class into 2 groups and then showed the site on my projector and we played! To make things easier on me, I assigned one person in each group to be the official answer. I just listened to that person. The game is great and my students enjoyed it. The one snag...it was easy so once a team got picked they got all the questions right and never switched to the other team. I guess it is a good problem to havethe team that won the coin toss got all the problems right! Reflection/Changes: 1) Will have students play against each other 1 to 1 in the computer lab 2) Will have all students write and work out each problem http://www.mathplay.com/AbsoluteValueEquations/AbsoluteValueEquations.html Enjoy!I have attached a copy of the notes that I distributed to my students.
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. Directions: 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 StandardsMM3G2a,b,c. The "Name that Conic" game is on pages 1216. 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! First off, this idea is in no way unique to me. The ideas that love to use in class are typically ones that I "steal" from other teachers. I am starting to cover sequences in my algebra course. Students typically catch on quickly and I try to stay away from drill and kill type practice especially for problems like sequences. A great way for students to get practice of procedural concepts in a "fun" way is Math BINGO. I give each student a sheet at the beginning of class and place 16 numbers they use to fill in each square. After we go over a problem or two (where they will find the first 6 terms of the sequence) I turn to this game. I pass out beans or BINGO markers and we play. When I call out the sequence I will write the rule of sequence on the board and speak what nth term I want them to find. By verbalizing that part, my students have to be able to understand the vocabulary used to correctly answer the question. And any opportunity I can use for them to follow directions is a plus! To make it last longer I will set a certain rule. For example, to BINGO the student will have to have 2 columns filled or 1 column and 1 row filled. I will usually play one more "sequence rule" after someone has won. (They always beg for another round though...be ready for that!) It's quick, it's easy to understand, and it shakes up the ordinary. It also can be edited to fit any topic. I used this with my Math 3 Support students to review solving expressions with logs and natural logs. The possibilities are endless! The file below is of the cards I use. Each page has 4 cards. If you want this to last the entire class, I would double side it so each student could have 2 cards with 2 different set of numbers of each side.
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 cleanedup 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 whoiswho. 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 groupI 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 correct solution. 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 Valentines Day! My students LOVED this activity that I found online 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 68 minute activity. This includes explanation and cleanup. I time each class to see who finish in the least amount of time. I used this is a warmup but it would also be a great summary tool at the end of class. Hope your students LOVE this as much as mine did!
During a session at the Tennessee Independent School Association conference last fall in Chattanooga, TN I was introduced to the idea of 'chalking.' Teachers at Baylor School said that whenever a pretty day came up you could expect to see math problems worked out around the school's campus in chalk. I knew my girls at Hutchison would love this! So this past spring when the weather was nice we would go outside and chalk. I divided the class into groups of 24 and gave each group a different problem and 1 piece of chalk (to cut down on nonrelated ground decorating.) The girls LOVED it!!! I found it helpful to do the problems that got the most 'ughs' with chalk. The joy of being outdoors and writing with chalk got rid of those. For my PreAlgebra 2 students we did triangles and my Algebra kids did DRT problems. The beauty with chalk is that when it rains, its gone! No cleanup. The girls did a great at staying on task and following directions. I also enjoyed the change in scenery and the extra Vitamin D. ___ 
Natalie Turbiville
Educator who loves math and working with students. Archives
May 2016
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