Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2014

More Digital Portfolio Love: Time Lapse Videos

I have not added to my blog in a while. Too busy getting ready for the end of the year, grading, traveling, parenting, etc. I am still feeling overwhelmed, but I spent this morning grading my Students' blog posts for chapter 12 on rational expressions and equations and I had to share the results.

For this post, I wanted them to try creating time lapse videos. I quite enjoy Vihart's videos and I am also a bit tired of watching looooong videos. Hence, the sped up effect increases "watchability" ten-fold!

Here is the prompt.

Here are a few of my favorite submissions:

File Cabinet!

Today's task - Surface Area.

We had more fun by using Mr. Stadel's lesson - File Cabinet. They had a post it to measure, rulers, paper and a calculator. They started by making a guess. Some of them got pretty close (960!)

My students are still not used to doing these types of tasks... their questions going into a 3 act tasks hint to a bit of insecurity in being asked to think outside the box, or outside the filing cabinet.

Still we got to the key question: How many Post-Its does it take to cover the filing cabinet?

Other questions:

"What did he spend on post its to do this?"
"How long did this take him?"
"Are you going to tell us how many squares inches is in a post it?"
"Does he have a life?" (Sorry Mr. Stadel)

Their answer: 936

"Does this mean if we take one post it and cut it up, it would cover all the spots he left blank?"


Basketball in Algebra

Thank you to Kate for sharing Solve-Crumple-Toss. My students were focused on practicing, I got to do multiple, individual checks for understanding and they got to get up out of their seats. Win-win! I made a quick playlist on Spotify with basketball themed music to add to the mood of class. I didn't get any good action shots, but rest assured, there were plenty of jump shots, bank shots and even one baseball pitcher who consistently scored. I was happy that there was no gender bias in this game. Any edge that some of my basketball boys had going in was quickly reduced by bravado. :)

Distance Formula and Midpoint Formula Scavenger Hunt

My resolution to have more fun in math continues. Today was a hit! While it was REALLY rushed, my students were troopers. After a short bit of direct instruction, introducing the distance formula (as an extension of Pythagorean)  and the midpoint formula, they were set loose to work through a problem set in pairs.

What made this a fun and engaging day, is that the answers to the problems corresponded with coordinates on a map of our school.
They worked quickly and accurately. They pealed out of class and ran outside to find my clues. This morning I hid 4 slips of paper, taped out sight, with riddles written on them. The answers to which were things that only my students would know. :)
I can't wait to do this again next year! Though I think I will dedicate one day to the lesson and the next to a longer, more difficult scavenger hunt.
Thank you to all my tweeps for the help and motivation to pull this lesson together, especially KateLisa and Pam
Link to handout and map.

Taco Cart

I really like this task. I like spending the class period working on a worthy, layered task together.

My students, however, were not impressed:

"Why would I do this to when I'm on the beach?"

"I'd just find some place else to eat."

"You seriously want me to square that?!"

The issue is NOT with the task. The issue is that I am new to this way of teaching and despite my mantras on growth mindset and posters on grit, I am still having trouble getting them to work through failure. In every class I have a handful of fixed mindset, afraid to fail kids whose first response is that the task is too hard. I might be seeing the cup only as half empty. There were lots of students who dug in, overcame obstacles, collaborated with classmates and got the answer in triumph.

Is there a magic spell I can say to increase grit?

I love this blog post on grit and this video on grit, BTW.