Giving Thanks!

Friday, November 29, 2019
I hope everyone had a relaxing Thanksgiving with family!  I wanted to share my thanks for you with a $10 TpT Gift Card giveaway!

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One of the entries is a comment on this blog post.  I would love to know your favorite TpT resource type-do you like digital resources, escape rooms, task cards, math centers, etc.  Let us know below!

Daily Math Warmups

Monday, November 18, 2019
Happy Monday!  I wanted to take some time today to go over the daily warmups that I use in my classroom.  My students come to learn what activities happen on what day and it gives us structure and variety!

Monday Mathematician: This is our quiet keep to yourself week starter (Mondays are hard, aren't they?).  Math Giraffe has this great weekly mathematician resource in her store and it works well to do it on Monday as she posts the info on Friday on her Instagram.  Then, at the end of the semester, the crossword is a great sub/low energy day activity.

Tiling Tuesday: I love tiling activities so much!  Initially, students think that it will be incredibly easy, and maybe even babyish, but once they try one they realize it isn't so easy.  These activities by Teacher Thrive come in a variety of skills and you can build your own bundle saving money and personalizing the skills you want to work on in your room.  Students not only work on relevant skills to the lessons being taught but work on perseverance and problem-solving.  I bought a set of number tiles from Amazon and kept each set in a snack bag in a storage container.

What's Going on Wednesday:  The New York Times displays a graph every Wednesday and provides prompt questions for a classroom discussion.  There can be inline interaction if you so choose, but I don't do that with my class.  We look for patterns, make inferences, and come up with other questions to ask each other.

Thoughtful Thursday:  Ted Ed has a fantastic series of math riddles that I show on Thursdays.  This is another discussion activity as each video provides you with information and rules, time to talk and come up with a solution, and the answer.  Sometimes they even have extras at the end.  I have found that some concepts are pretty difficult but I still let my students try them so they get the exposure to more difficult concepts.

Fun Friday:  This usually takes us a little longer than the 5-10 minutes I usually use for warmups!  By Friday, we need to blow off some steam, get a break from the difficult tasks of the week and do something fun.  A class favorite is 20 Express.  A seemingly simple game, it actually requires a lot of strategies and deals with probability.  I like to play along because it is just that fun!  Sarah Carter has a really great explanation of the game and free printable game boards at Math Equals Love.

I hope this gave you some ideas and resources to use in your classroom!  These are all super low/no-prep activities that help me feel like I always have something planned even when I am running around last minute trying to get my content lesson ready.  Let me know in the comments some of the ways you use routine warm-ups to make your classes go smoothly!

It's sale time!

Monday, February 25, 2019
Have you been eying up some resources on Teachers Pay Teachers and have a full wishlist? Tomorrow and Wednesday are the days to save some cash!  Head over to TpT now.

Want to win $10 to spend? Enter here anytime on Tuesday the 26th and be entered to win! Winner will be notified on Wednesday morning so you still have time to use it during the sale.

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Fractal Christmas Tree

Saturday, December 1, 2018
Welcome to December everyone!  I wanted to take you through an ongoing activity that my freshman math class is doing.  We are working on geometry up to the winter break since we have been hitting some pretty difficult algebra topics for my students.  One thing I always spend time on is fractals, mainly because they are fascinating.  We will spend a few days and move on.  This year, however, my very hard to please, high behavior students actually said they were enjoying the activities, so for my sanity's sake, were are extending this part of the unit!!

There are two websites that I want to highlight to help you with your fractal activities.  The first one has a lot of great information and some activities.  It is the Fractal Foundation and they focus on the integration of science, math, and art.  The other focuses more on the building of 3D fractals.  I have started a project in my class using this website to create a fractal Christmas tree.  Then we will talk about other shapes (using nets) for the ornaments, and create snowflakes (which they have been begging to do)!

We started on Friday building the Sierpinski tetrahedrons while watching a NOVA video about fractals.  Then whenever we have some free time, or someone finishes an activity early, they can make more and grow the tree.  By the time break rolls around, I am hoping for a decent sized tree.  If not we may just make a winter scene with a forest of Sierpinski trees.  The students will be learning about at least three types of fractals, classifying geometric shapes, symmetry, and even some basic mathematical reasoning (how many triangles are there, etc) so I find this a worthwhile activity.

Have you ever used fractals in the classroom?  What did your students think?  Check back for photos of how our project turns out!

Monday Motivation

Monday, November 5, 2018

Monday Pick Me UP

Monday, October 29, 2018
A quote by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson embellished with a swirling tile illustration: “Who needs me today?”

Using I Have, Who Has in the Classroom

Saturday, October 27, 2018
There are some activities that can get even the quietest and disinterested students participating in your lesson.  I have, who has is one of those.  If promotes listening, cooperation, speaking in front of peers, and patience.  Today I want to explain two ways that I use I have, who has in my classroom.

The first way is the most generic and what most people think of when I say I have, who has.

  1. Hand out all the cards to your students so all are used.
  2. Pick one card to start with (or use the card that says start if that is included in the set).
  3. Have either yourself or the student read the card aloud while everyone is looking to see if they have the answer on their card.
  4. The person with the answer reads their entire card and everyone looks for the answer.
  5. Repeat step 4 until you are back to the beginning (or the card that says stop in certain sets)! 

This activity only works if everyone is listening, paying attention, and has a good grasp on the content.  To teach this game in my room I use a multiplication fact set so that most of the students can quickly figure out the answer.  This helps them get the procedure down and then we can move on to current topic sets.

The second way I use I have, who has in the classroom is as a center or group activity.
  1. A set of cards is given to the group or placed at the center.
  2. Students pick a card to start with, place it on the floor, then look through the pile for the answer.
  3. They place the card with the answer next to the first card, then look for the answer to the card they just put down.
  4. The cards should be placed angled as we want the last card to be next to the first card.
  5. If you have a set of cards that have a start and stop card, they can be placed in a line on the floor and not a circle.
Whichever way you use this in your classroom, your students are sure to get more practice than they realize, in a fun and low prep way!  If you are interested in some sets that I have created, click the store tab up top.  How have you used I have, who has in your classroom?
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