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Showing posts from November, 2013

Geogebra Sample Blog Post

My geometry students are going to use Geogebra to construct a quadrilateral (based on its definition) for their next blog post.

Problem: I couldn't see the embedded applet when using Chrome when I first started. Then magically, it worked.

Here is a link to the prompt.

Here is my sample:
I made a parallelogram by drawing a line, and then the line parallel to it. I repeated the process and then connected where the lines intersected. The resulting polygon is a parallelogram.

If a quadrilateral has both pairs of opposite sides parallel, then it is a parallelogram.

As you can see above, no matter how you drag around the diagram, the following remains true:
AB and CD bisect each other

BC \\ AD
BD \\ AC
m<CBA = m<CAD
m<BDA = m<ACB

Awesome + Blog = Blossom

My students' correlation examples....

So every year in Algebra when we discuss positive and negative correlation, I tell the same story:

When I was in high school, my stats project was an attempt to find a correlation between the length of a girl's hair and the number of boyfriends she has had... Yes, I was THAT girl. Wouldn't you know, there was NO correlation.

Then we have an entertaining conversation in which all the students share their own examples.

Here are the results from today:
xypositive or negative Correlation# of hrs cutting trees# of trees cutp# of bananas eatenamt of potassium consumedp#of peices of candy eatenpeices of candy remaining nvolume of air in a baloonbaloon's diameterp# of As tests# of As on Report Cardp# of hours spent studyingscores on examsp# of french fries eatenmg of fat consumedp# of energy bars eatendistance ran in x countryp# of rainbows we see

My own symbaloo...

Over the summer I typed up a list of web tools that I am using or that I want to start using in my class. I posted it here.
Yesterday, my student worker got to turn my list of links into this fun Symbaloo of links. I like that I can keep adding to it. I am going to add this to my class website (we use Canvas) so my students always have an interactive list of different ways to show they know. #digitalportfolios

Mindsets, Mindfulness and GoNoodle

Last Fall, we had an interesting speaker, Dr. Dan Siegel, come to speak at a joint faculty meeting. He spoke about mindfulness and how to embrace its tenets to enhance how the teenage brain works. One point he made that spoke to me, was the importance of spending time reflecting and relaxing. After his talk, I started leading my students in mindful meditations (breathing) before assessments.

This fall, our speaker Carol Dweck, spoke to our faculty about fixed vs growth mindsets. While her research isn't directly tied into mindfulness, her focus on the importance of the process and not just the outcome, follows the spirit of mindfulness: balance is key to well being. My (naive) hope is that my students will focus on learning and growth, and not merely on outcomes and grades. I hope that they will leave middle school as good people, and not just good equation solvers. Perhaps an effort driven, balanced-well-being environment is a lofty (hippy-ish) goal, but one I (the hippy algebra t…

I need to remember this: Project Based Learning isn't just doing projects.

Read this.

I do want more real life based, ongoing, STEM related projects through which to teach geometry and algebra. The problem is... I don't have them created. I do have lots of mini projects, that are interesting, on par with students' knowledge base, valuable, strongly related to the content, and most importantly, already in my toolbox!

My plate is already full this year with the whole digital portfolio goal, so perhaps I can find just one unit this year to amend slightly so that it fits this model....


Introduction to Scatter Plot - Quick Class Survey & Desmos

Today in Algebra we discussed scatter plots and best fit lines. It is really handy to use the Desmos online graphing calculator to quickly graph the points as students say their heights and shoe sizes aloud. I had to measure a few kids before we started, which was fun too.

I would like to find more examples of variables that I can ask my students though. The shorter kids tend to say their heights a bit quietly and I am worried that I might be embarrassing them. I give them another data set in their notes (Life Expectancy vs Time in the 20th century), but I feel like a data set to which they contribute is more valuable and memorable.