Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Update! and entering the 2015-2016 school year, Lots of math GOODIES!

It has officially been a year since I have written on my "math" blog. Lots has happened in the past year that I just couldn't keep up. I just had our second precious son in April and we are entering into a new era of life changes. If you want to read about our son's story, go here. Life is full of unexpected, hard things that still hold endless amounts of beauty. Right now, my heart and passion has been in that blog. But, I'm also still so passionate about my work teaching and I have lots of things to share so I just thought I would file dump on you guys here in case anything is useful.

I'm trying out standards based grading in my Pre-AP Algebra 2 classes. Once I figure out how to work it this year, I may move to applying it in my Bridge to Algebra 2 classes next year. My Bridge kids are a completely different set of kids so I'm not incredibly sure how that will play out plus there are really not a lot of frameworks set forth for Bridge. That's something I struggle with. Clear guidelines give me something to hold onto.

Anyways, I created a list of skills that I would like for my students to master. Here is the PDF with the fonts that I used and Here is the editable word document.

Day 1, Monday:
The majority of the schools in our state started on Monday. For both Bridge and PAP A2, I began with Pam's name plate and towel activity explained here. We had plenty of extra time so I finished with my powerpoint "15 Reasons Why I'm Awesome." Pretty good day. I had been so sick Sunday and it carried over into Monday so I've had much better first days of school but I have felt much better since. Glad to be OVER that nasty hump!

Day 2, Tuesday:
We went over the syllabus and I had them give me some ways I could best meet their needs on a little sheet of paper. Then, I decided to get my PAP kids thinking back in Algebra mode so I gave them the "Five Easy Pieces Activity." The fonts aren't showing up that I used but at least it's accessible. I also used this activity with Bridge because I wanted something to get them talking. I forget how much I like this activity--especially for my Bridge kids! They totally rocked it! Proud of how they persevered throughout and worked hard even though most of them have a bad taste in their mouth when it comes to math!

Day 3, Wednesday:
PAP-gave them a few minutes to finish 5 Easy Pieces since classes were at all different parts from Tuesday. Then, I wanted to go ahead and get them signed up and aware of so we signed up and I had them do the "Central Park Activity." If you have not done this activity with your kids, you are missing out! I love this--even for my advanced kids! Some struggled more than others but I loved seeing that! Overall, they really seemed to enjoy this! Desmos--I love you forever. If they finished early, I had them try the Penny activity on This activity is a great snapshot to when we go to parent functions in a week or two.

Bridge- Most needed at least half the class or more to finish 5 Easy Pieces. Then, they moved on to a practice sheet that assesses their knowledge of order of operations that we will start Friday or Monday. Here is the sheet. Got this from my sweet friend, Shelli, over at Teaching Statistics. Here is the file is your interested. I like this because it brushes up on skills they've seen before but struggle with while still really stretching their brains. Many get frustrated with the final part with the "Four 4's." I can relate but it's neat to have something that has all kinds of solutions!

Day 4, Thursday:
PAP--My plan is sign my kids up fro google classroom and do an activity that I saw at a Pre-AP workshop with the College Board called "Charlie the Cheesemaker." I tweaked the title to make it a little funnier because, seriously, how could I resist? I'm nervous about this. To be honest, I seriously considered not doing it and going on to our first sections about Literal Equations. I'm afraid that it will frustrate many of my kids because it is super challenging. BUT, I've decided to go for it because, many times, I underestimate their abilities and I want to see how well they are at detecting patterns and types of equations. HERE is the "Cut the Cheese" file I tweaked a little. I'd love to see what some others think of the activity! It is definitely one that gets you thinking!

Bridge--Finish up and DISCUSS the review of order operations/Four 4's activity from yesterday. Then, sign them up for desmos and do either the "Waterline" Activity on Desmos or "Central Park." Haven't decided yet.

Day 5, Friday:
PAP-- Finish "Cut the Cheese" and set up our interactive notebooks to get us ready to jump all in on Monday into Literal Equations. We are going to talk about having a Growth Mindset mentioned by Sarah at Math = Love.

Bridge--Set up Notebooks and either going to dive into an order of operations activity or do the Aquarium Problem that I've done before but am tweaking the formatting. It's actually an old AP Calc problem that has been adjusted to meet the level of my Bridge kids.

Well, guys! I hope to be around more often now! All depends on our life! Hope some of these files sparked some interest! Please let me know if any are not working or if you would like an editable copy and I didn't attach on. Have a blessed beginning to the school year!

I'll leave you with some pictures of my classroom this year!


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