Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day 63

Visit from the district, using Legos to explore constraints.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day 62

We looked at this picture:

 And they asked these questions:

Day 61

The true cost of that restaurant food ... at least in terms of time spent exercising...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 60

Systems of simultaneous equations. And how there's only one f in stuf.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 55

Mathilicious! McDonald's and Dominos. Anybody hungry?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Day 52

64% of Americans can roll their tongues. We exceeded expectations in each class. 

What I'm not sure of is how many of us are expected to do this:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day 51

Using to translate parent graphs.

Day 50

Can music kill you? Thanks, Mathalicious!

Also, "any questions" with this one:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Day 49

How big is your model car wash? How big would it be in real life?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 43

Are big Cheez-its really twice the size of regular Cheez-it's? Turns out, yes!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 41

New seating assignments for the new quarter...

Day 40

Possible or not possible?

Sharing scenarios

The winner...

Day 37

Blatantly stole this ... But the goggly eyes make it my own.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day 34

Visual patterns in Algebra ... Lots if work time for everyone else = no weekend homework!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 33

Estimating ... I love how the food coloring swirls. We used a beaker from the science lab because I forgot my measuring cups, but it didn't hurt us to have to convert between mL and ounces.

 We also did a bathtub activity I got from NCTM this summer.  I thought I liked GraphingStories better, but this one has 10 scenarios in the same context which (I think) lends to better compare-and-contrast thinking.

Plus this one had tables mixed into the comparisons.  They had to come up with their own scenarios and related table & graph.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 31

Apparently subtracting rationals in the dark is soothing.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Day 30

or what I like to call "Padlet Disaster."

I showed them this picture (from this website):

and invited them to post questions on a Padlet page that I created.  

Some of them did better on this assignment than others.  We'll try it again.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day 29

Adding positive and negative integers..

"Finding Errors"

Day 28

turns out that if you multiply the suggested serving size by the number of servings, you get 1120.  While there were 1108 cheese balls, there were also 2 "guesses" that just happened to be 1120.  Coincidence?  Hmm...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Day 26

More estimating.  I walked in this morning with this under my arm and the 6th grade history teacher said, "about 600."  I said, "I'll put your name in for the contest," and he said, "Is that really what it's for?"  What did he think?   In any case, the principal thinks she'll win...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 23

Visual Patterns with Algebra, poor, bedraggled M&M's with 6th graders, and a fancy trick from a student.

Day 22

Compound interest is not in the 7th grade standards, but it's in our curriculum.  I'm okay with this, because you're never too young to learn that you end up with more money if you let it accumulate.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day 21

If you're going to estimate how long it would take to drink all the water from an olympic-sized pool, you're going to need to know how fast you can drink. 

To practice conversions, we calculated how long it would take to drink the pool, how many flushes it would provide, and how much it would cost to fill it with jello.  Thanks to for the idea!

I set it up with the story of Olympic Hero Eric Moussambani, who had reportedly never seen an olympic-sized pool until he arrived in Sydney to compete in the 2000 Olympics.  Despite a difficult swim - which he looked as though he might not even finish - he set a personal best and a national record for Equitorial Guniea.  I chose this clip because the clips featuring the actual commentators felt snarky and a little mean.

Day 20

I'm glad I saved these. It seems that every class does percent error eventually...

Day 19

is/of will only get you so far.  We started with that, but will need part/whole to do word problems on Monday.

What is kind of fun about this pic is that I took it with my document camera.  It's the single greatest piece of technology I've added this year!  Well, ok.  It's the only piece of technology I've added this year.  But it makes letting students show their work super easy.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day 18

percent/decimal/fraction foldable was a disaster.  It didn't illustrated what I wanted, and didn't have enough room for process, just answers.

 (I don't know how to adjust the orientation of the photo.  It's not like that when I view it regularly on my computer.)

Fortunately, the second foldable - operations with exponents - went much better.  Great questions in this class, too!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Day 17

Tall square pitcher holds 3 1/4 cups. One kid all day got the estimate exactly right. Everybody else learned "percent error" to find the winner.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day 16

Today two classes were reviewing for a test.  I showed this video about an auctioneer championship.

Then I told them we were having an auction.  Students had 10 minutes to complete a review sheet individually.  Then, each table compared answers and discussed how confident they were about each one.  Then each table was given 1000 "dollars" to bid on the questions.  Once purchased, we went over the answers, and the team that had "purchased" the most correct questions got a prize. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Day 14

Seriously normal day.  depressingly so. 

The Algebra students revolted because "it is too hard" and "you didn't teach us this" - both of which are simply not true.  The first question had four parts.  One girl did the  first three parts right, made a sign error on the fourth part, and threw up her hands refusing to work the rest of the homework.

These are my 8th grade Algebra students; they're supposed to be the brightest we've got.  Where along the line did they learn that they can't do it if the teacher doesn't tell them how?  Very difficult situation.

 The highlight of the day was probably when my principal came into my classroom.  We'd had a discussion the day before and she said I needed a signal to call for their attention.  I told her about "No banana hat - no dinner" and (to her credit) she didn't flinch or look confused when I said it.  But today she came in while we doing group work and she said "No banana hat" in a regular voice.  I think she was genuinely surprised - or amused - when they said, "No dinner" and looked at her.  This was a big deal for me.  She doesn't think I'm funny, so even a hint of amusement is a win in my book!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day 13

Yesterday I brought in my toaster. They drew quadrilaterals on shrink film and recorded side lengths. I shrunk 'em, and today we measured the "after" side lengths. In one class, it worked perfectly and showed the proportion. In the other class, it wasn't as tidy. I just had to shrug and say "real life is never as tidy as the problems in your math book!"

I had a moment of panic when the shrink film started to curl.  Fortunately I decided to "keep calm and read the instructions" that said curling was normal, and it would lay flat before it was finished.

Day 12

For fun, we estimated.  The can was just for perspective.  We also calculated percent error to determine the winning guess.  This was necessary because some students estimated in ounces, some in cups, some in mL - and it was appropriate since percent error is a 7th grade standard!  Absolutely everyone guessed too high.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Day 11

Best part of today? "Mrs. Phillips, do you have a ruler I can use?"

Monday, September 2, 2013

Day 10

In Math 7, we are beginning a unit on ratios and proportions.  Today we did the Mathalicious lesson on ratios of strings.  It starts with this video.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Day 9

Today was m&m's and percents, and percent errors.   It was the first out-of-the box thing I've done with this particular class, and their response was enthusiastic but iffy in the effectiveness department.  It made me think of a day last year when I was whining to my principal about a particular set of punks not being able to handle a less-structured task. She said, "That's why they so badly need to do more of them!"

I thought this was fun:  One group found a half-candy.  I thought it would make for at least a minute of discussion about how to handle it.  Count it as a candy? Discard it as not part of the experiment?  But all four of them looked at me like i was crazy and wrote down 49.5

This was, by far, my favorite part.  One of the students noticed a mathematical anomaly ... soon several had appeared around the room.