Sunday, August 9, 2015

A new link

Today, a link was shared with me on a collection of books for math enthusiasts.  I thought that sounded fairly apropos, so I am adding it to my links at the bottom of the page.

5 Days of Bellringers

The first challenge we examined for my husband's classroom was what to use for a bellringer.  Even when he was substituting, he loved the bellringer concept - the idea of getting the students straight to work.  In addition, teaching 8th grade pre-algebra, he will have the eight grade students who are not taking algebra.  However, these students will be taking algebra next year.  As a result, he wanted to strengthen their core math concepts, while not holding up the subject matter he was supposed to be covering.  And there is a chance for literacy and class building at at the same time.

For Monday, he varied an idea we saw on Math=Love, and he is having "Memory Monday" as a theme.  He will have a question on the board designed to elicit a positive reflection.  The student is to write down a few thoughts to help them prepare.  Then they will each share one answer they have to the question.  These questions will be of the nature of "What was your favorite thing you did this summer?"  I will post a list, when he has finalized it for the first nine weeks.

Tuesday, he decided to go with "Tumble Tuesday." (No, he is not letting his eighth graders somersault around the room.)   The first four students to arrive will each roll a die and write the number in a square on the board of the same color as the die.  (Later in the year, he may make certain colors negative, total, etc. so he is getting them in the habit of writing them in the appropriate color box from the beginning.)  He will have written a number that is the solution to the equation.  The students are to use various operations: + - X / ( ) and the order of operations to solve the equation.  They will start the year with 4 dice whose numbers are on the board.  The student must use 3 of the 4 numbers, and if they use all four there is a prize.

Wednesday, he is calling Wanderlust Wednesday.  For this, he is using real world photos or art that illustrate a mathematical concept.  He will have the image showing and the problem relating to it on the board.  Students try to figure it out, then they discuss it. Again, as the list and images come together, I will post.

Thursday is Tricky Thursday.  He will perform a math magic trick and see if the student can figure it out.  On many of these, there will be an initial part where the student has to perform mathematical operations

Friday is Fortune Fraction Friday.  Students will view a fortune from a fortune cookie on the board.  (Or possibly be given a fortune) The first set of lucky numbers will act as the numbers in the problem.  He is to use these to form a fraction that falls between two of the numbers in the right hand set of lucky numbers.

He has created cool posters for each day, which I will post later.  However, we have a tentative plan for the start of the year, at least.  We discussed being able to change these out at the nine weeks mark if something doesn't work or if he runs out of ideas for a concept.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it works!

Why a New Math Blog?

I started my teaching career as an English teacher.  I moved to teaching gifted English, then gifted enrichment, which covered a variety of subjects.  Although I have long been certified to teach high school math, I have never been called upon to teach it...till now.  This year, I will be coteaching an Algebra class, though it may move to me working with all the students who need extra help.  In addition, by some cosmic coincidence, my husband will be teaching eighth grade math at a different middle school.  He is a first year teacher with wonderful ideas, so I may bounce between things we end up doing in both classrooms, especially because mine may not end up very typical. And my younger son is taking Algebra this year, so we will be doing an interactive notebook.  (I may do one with my students as well, depending on how regular my group is.)

At the bottom of this blog is a list of useful math links.  I have visited numerous sites to gain inspiration, and as I begin to pull ideas, etc. from them, I will add them there.  The first one I have listed is Math=Love.  This is a fabulous site for classroom posters, interactive notebooks, and even ideas on how things can flow in a math classroom.  The major idea I have already borrowed was the ideas of different kinds of bellringers for the different days of the week.  My husband had ideas for a couple of different kinds of bellringers, but he wasn't sure whether he had enough of a single idea to use that throughout the year.  By making each day have a different theme, he can take it in several different directions.  We looked at the warmups she had used and played with his other ideas and ended up with 5 solid themes for his warmups.  But I will discuss these in my next post.