Friday, November 29, 2013

Day 71 and 72... Test Time!

We reviewed and quizzed/tested in all of my classes... nothing photo-worthy :(

Day 70... More Simulations

After the Spelling Bee game (see day 69), we moved to other ways to simulate a situation. You can use cards, dice, coins, or even a random number table. Here, students used a random number table to simulate a "best of 7" sports series.

Day 69... Price is Right

Today we took a bit of a break from the procedural and learned through play time. One of my favorite topics in AP is Simulation, where the students approximate the probability of something happening based on repeated trials. Our task today was to determine the chance of winning a car if you played the Spelling Bee game on the Price is Right. This is math that we haven't learned (and won't learn), but we can estimate the probability by simulating the Spelling Bee game, playing it over and over, recording the number of times they won the car and using that data to draw a conclusion. We had a lot of fun and students realized that it's okay to not know the *real* answer all the time.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 68... Cheerios and a Language Lesson

Today in AP Stat was our final day on non-linear regression. Today's data involved using Cheerios to measure the diameter and area of circles, then using that data to create a best-fit model. I'm a pretty big stickler on no food in my room, so the students are always so excited when we have an activity that uses food! :) The kids are surprised every year by the variety of Cheerios flavors out there and this year was no exception!

Then, in Intermediate Algebra, we had an impromptu language lesson. My school has a large Burmese population and today during class, I overheard a conversation about what numbers looked like in Burmese. I invited one of the students to share with the class about Burmese numbers and it was simply fascinating! I totally want to start writing my "8s" in Burmese! :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 67... Save Fluffy

In AP Stat, we've been working on non-linear regression. Today's task was to use logarithms to transform the data in order to find the best prediction of an alligator's weight based on its length. Working as a group, students created posters on 11x17 paper to show off their best fit models.

On a semi-related note, one of my students in 5th hour asked if we could make the Red/Yellow/Green cups a permanant part of our seating arrangement. I think he was tired of me asking him if he had a question when he was simply stretching. :)

Day 66... Systems Time!

Last week in Intermediate, we started working on graphing systems of equations. However, that also meant that we needed to review graphing in general! Bring on the whiteboards! :)

Day 65... Under the Weather

Please forgive my lack of a photo for today. I am feeling a bit under the weather and barely moved from my desk all day... :(

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day 64... Red Yellow Green

As I've mentioned before, I *love* stations and these acrylic photo frames! However, this year, I've added a new element to group work, namely the red/yellow/green cups you see next to the frame. As students are working in their groups, the Green cup stays on top, indicating that everything this going well. If the group starts to struggle, but are still able to work, they put the Yellow cup up. If they come to a grinding halt and need immediate assistance, they put the Red cup on top. This has been a very useful tool for me as a teacher in prioritizing which groups need assistance and who is working well.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day 63... 4 More

Today was an awesome day! During block days, I try to get the kids up and moving around for a few minutes in order to break up the time. The activity we used today was called "4 more". The students took a few minutes of think time and wrote down two things that they learned today. Then they all stood up and mingled about the classroom, interviewing 4 more students to find out something they learned.

Here is an example from one of my students today:

(Jordan is my great niece and was the focus of one of today's problems)

This was definitely a strategy I will use again! I loved hearing their discussions. :)

Days 61 and 62... Testing Time!

Sorry for not posting... we reviewed and took a quiz, so nothing interesting happened :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day 60... Assembly!

What an amazing day! Due to state law, we are required to have a Veteran's Day assembly and this year's assembly was one of the best I can recall. Our school is too large for all of the students to fit in the Performing Arts Center at one time, so we split our assemblies over two days during Advisory time. This year, my Advisory has typically been seated in the balcony, so I know the photo quality isn't the best, but this man's journey is one that will stay with our students for quite a while. The veteran that came to speak to us was a WWII vet and was one of the most engaging speakers we've ever had. I was so proud of our students and the respect they showed this honorable man. When he was first introduced, the students immediately jumped to their feet to give him a standing ovation in honor of his service to our country. I am very blessed to work with such wonderful students.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Day 59... What a fun day!

What a fun day!

Today we worked on residual plots. The students were mostly working independently, so they used their Green/Yellow/Red cups to help alert me to issues or questions as they occurred. During this part of the day, they had a card sort of matching scatterplots and residual plots, which generated some great discussions.

For the last 30 minutes or so of class, we spent time doing Quiz Quiz Trade as a review. If you've never used this activity, I definitely recommend it! :)

At the end of the day, I worked with my science teacher partner and learned how to mount a slide and use a microscope... it was AWESOME!:) Yay for great days! :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I don't have the opportunity very often to show a video in math, so when I was lesson planning on how to best teach the coefficient of determination, I started scouring the web for ideas. I ran across this video on YouTube. My students enjoyed his enthusiasm and I hope they had a better understanding after this explanation :)

Day 57... Case of the Missing Laundry

First, let me give a shout-out to Fawn Nguyen... I totally have a Math Teacher Crush on Fawn! She's one of those awesome teachers that I hope to someday be more like! Today's activity comes from this post on Fawn's blog.

In Intermediate Algebra, we've been working on Distance = Rate * Time problems. When I read Fawn's post, I knew I could use the Case of the Missing Laundry, but really feared that my students would be on information overload on the way the problem was originally written. In addition, I wanted my students to use D=RT, not graphing (yet), so I knew I needed to delete the last part of the problem. To help scaffold the Case, I separated each suspect into its own clue and only gave students one page at a time. At the end of the 6 clues, they had enough information to determine who had stolen Mrs. Murphy's laundry. Overall, I think it went pretty well and my students seemed to enjoy the puzzle/mystery aspect of the problem.

Day 56... Stations :)

I love Station activities! One of the best things I ever purchased for my classroom was a set of acrylic frames. I now have them in both portrait and landscape formats and use them as often as I can! I felt my students needed a bit more practice on all of the content we learned last week, so today we did some review work. When I do a stations activity, I make 2 sets of 4 stations since I have 8 groups in my classroom. The kids rotate between the four stations, which gives them a good variety of practice during a class period.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Day 55... Regression Line Practice

Today we spent some time practicing on calculating slope and y-intercept using summary statistics, writing equations, interpreting slope and intercept, and using the LinReg feature on our calculators. Busy day! :) You can see in the photo above that we still have a bit of work to do....

Day 54... Collaboration Time!

We had a late start day for teacher collaboration. The science teacher and I had some time today to work on the Forensic Science and Data Analysis class that we are starting in January. We figured out the units that we will be teaching and started on the first unit of study. I'm so pumped about this class!

Day 53... Twisted Words

Today we started Linear Regression, so the students gathered data on tongue twisters. They time how long it takes to say the tongue twister up to 8 times. I love this lab because it always causes some giggling fits, but it also gives some very linear data and is a great introduction to what the slope really means.