I have been using the Geometric Town project for years. You can read about it from my original post and also obtain the non-digital version. During this crazy Covid-19 quarantine, I’ve been updating my activities to make them more virtual learning friendly. In this situation, I gave students the choice to complete this activity digitally or on paper.
There are components of this project that I like on paper, like graphing equations by hand and students using their creativity with their buildings. Other benefits became evident when I created this digitally. The use of Desmos to create the graphs and the use of digital icons made correcting misconceptions much easier.
Either way, this is still a fun project that reviews many of standards from the year.
I LOVE GOOGLE DRAWING!!! If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know how much I use Drawing or the Drawing features in slides. This post is dedicated to how I use Google Drawing to create my own images for activities and assessments.
Google Drawing will download as a transparent .PNG image. It’s vector based, so if you make a large image it will scale without much degradation of the image. I once create panels for a tri-fold display board, printed them and glued them to the board. The images were crisp and looked professional.
Here is a tutorial on some basic features of Google Drawing.
These are just a few of the images you can make with Google Drawing.
These are just a few of the VERY MANY images I’ve created in Google Drawing.
This tool will allow you to create your own AWESOME looking content. Enjoy
Have you seen a teenagers backpack? Three weeks into school and the protractor I asked them to buy is already in pieces in the bottom of their backpack. Books, binders, and a computer have been shoved into that backpack and the protractor is now broken. Or maybe they couldn’t afford school supplies to begin with. Protractors are not usually among the free supplies students can get. There are many reasons to use digital manipulatives, this is just one example, and inspiration behind my measuring angles activity. Created in Google Slides with a transparent protractor (google transparent protractor), students can move and rotate the protractor to practice measuring angles.
The balancing equations activity and the algebra tiles were created out of need for manipulatives but no funds to purchase them. Creating them digitally allowed me to have a set of manipulatives for every student.
A third reason to use digital manipulatives, blended and virtual learning. In this crazy Covid-19 time, we can’t send algebra tiles home with students, and not everyone has a protractor or ruler at home, but we can provide them with one digitally.
I create my manipulatives in Google Slides, but Google Drawing will work too. You can set any piece that you don’t want to move as the background so students don’t get frustrated. I may have learned this that hard way. Design the parts you don’t want to move. When you are ready, go to File – Download as PNG. Then click on the background button in the toolbar and choose an image from a file. Once the image is uploaded, you can delete everything. Your background will be behind it all. After your background is set, start creating the moving parts or parts you want the to type in.
Here are three digital manipulatives I’ve created for my classroom. If you use these in your classroom or with virtual learning, I would love to hear how it goes.
This is one of those activities I do in my classroom every year after we learn about equations of circles. Well… most of my kiddos don’t have a compass at home so I came up with a Google Slides way to do this. I even included an animation on the 2nd page to show students how to make the circles and change them to transparent.
My friend and colleague learned how to make digital escape rooms from me. You all don’t have me next to you everyday so you can learn from my post on Ditch That Textbook. This is the second escape room she has made. She’s getting pretty good at them!
I plan to use this one as a self-assessment during our distance learning time. I’m so grateful for colleagues who are willing to try new things and then share when they do.
Feel free to use this escape room. It includes a review of equations of lines and equations of circles.
I created this activity last year to review equations of lines and learning about equations of circles. It was completed in groups by table but the delivery was mostly work at their own pace. Well, this was perfect for distance learning. I changed from groups to individual, added some Google Forms practice checks that students could complete as many times as needed until they were 100% correct, and some video notes where I would normally have given a few notes.
So far it has been a huge success. I love giving individual feedback for each student and I love to see the questions they have when they get stuck. I feel like they are learning a lot AND having fun.
Wow, what a crazy time! Covid-19 has turned our world upside down. I saw a post today commending other teachers for providing their resources for free during this time. It shouldn’t take a pandemic for us to take care of each other. I have always provided everything for free. We need to support each other when we are not in crisis just as much as we do now. Ok, stepping off my soap box.
Below are many of the Algebra 1 activities my team and I have created for our practice days. These are days when students can work on whichever standards they need additional practice with. A few of the resources are virtual manipulatives.
Maybe you are looking for review material. Maybe you want to supplement an online activity. Please use these to make your life a little easier.
Installment three of the area, surface area, and volume application problems. I know some of you have been using these and I hope they are working out well.
Area application can be found here. Surface area application can be found here.
In this post I have included volume application problems and application for surface area and volume of spheres.
I also provide students with candy in boxes and have them calculate the wasted or empty space in the box. This gives them hands-on application and allows them to use their tools. And, student LOVE to eat candy!
The Life Savers box is an amazing find! It’s a trapezoidal prism and we calculate the Life Savers as cylinders with a cylinder removed in the middle. The Mike and Ike’s are also fun because we calculate them as a cylinder with hemispheres at each end. The Kisses container is a triangular prism and we use the cone formula to estimate the volume of each Kiss. Gobstoppers are less fun, just spheres inside a rectangular prism, and the Tootsie Roll container is the least challenging of all with cylinders inside of a cylinder. I have each group work these problems on poster paper and then present them to the class. Giving students the opportunity to share in front of the class is something I try to work into each unit. Please make sure you have a culture of trust and respect in your classroom before you do this with students. It can be damaging to their fragile egos if they are ridiculed or made fun of. And if you chuckled at fragile ego, remember back to high school. What others thought of you mattered at lot!
Here are the application activities I promised. Please let me know if you find them useful. It makes me happy when others can benefit!
I love taking boring problems from the book and turning them into fun learning experiences. A boring word problem was the beginning of this task.
The actual prompt (which I can’t seem to find anymore) gave two popcorn containers, one a cylinder and one a cone, and asked the relationship between the volumes.
I saw an opportunity to construct three-dimensional figures AND eat popcorn. Oh yeah, we could discover the formula for the volume of a cone and have some great mathematical conversations too.
I’ve been doing this project for quite a few years. I originally posted it on my Infinitely Teaching blog. I have updated the Google Slide I give to students and I now encourage them to begin with the cone and move to the cylinder. This simplifies the process significantly.
Here are some pictures of our recent process. My favorite comment overheard by a student was “This is so much fun!” I want math to be fun so this is a success.
Here is a link to the Google Slide I give students with instructions and a scoring guide. If you use this, please let me know about it. It makes my day when others find my contributions useful!
I posted some area application problems last week. You can find that post here. I also promised some surface area problems, so here you go. One page is many different problems that you could use as an assignment, assessment, or problem of the day. The second one is one problem broken up into 5 days, perfect for a daily warm-up. This idea of taking one prompt and using it all 5 days, called Focus on the Question, comes from Sue O’Connell in her Putting Practice Into Action book. It’s written more for elementary but the idea can be used with high school. I’ve found this strategy to work better with struggling learners. They have conversation time and it breaks the task down into smaller parts. I always call on a table, and not a person, to allow them to share what they discussed, discovered, and concluded.
I’m currently working on some volume application, which sneaks in some surface area. I will have another one including spheres. Stay tuned.