Posted in Activities, Algebra 1, Distance Learning, Functions, Geometry, Google Slides, Notability

Multiple Representations for Leaners

This summer I have spent some (a lot) of my time writing curriculum for our Virtual Academy. One thing I have focused on is multiple representations of the content for each concept. I’m hoping to better meet the needs of all my learners. I broke by options into two categories, Read and Watch (Listen). Students are given the choice of which way they would prefer to learn the material and it provides additional resources if they need reinforcement.

Remember, this doesn’t have to be limited to virtual learning. Students in your classroom will benefit from multiple representations too.

Videos (Watch, Listen)

There are many options for using videos in your lessons. I have listed a few of my favorites below.

Make Your Own

I like to use Notability on my iPad. I have some tutorials on how I create my videos and upload to Google Drive and or YouTube, (YouTube adds closed captioning). If you watch your students, you will notice many of them watching videos with closed-captioning on. This not only meets accessibility needs for students, but also meets their learning style.

Videos from Others

You can find so many videos that are already created. I like this option because students need to hear information multiple ways. You are teaching it one way and videos from someone else may say the same thing in a different way. For my lessons, I used Kahn Academy, CK-12, and Delta Math, and YouTube. You would think this saves time, but you do have to watch the videos before you post them so it works out to be about the same amount of time.

Infographics (Read)

I created an infographic for each lesson. This allows a student who like visual representations an option for learning. A few are shared below; feel free to use them. Please do not sell these. Some of the examples are from various resources I have so I do not want any of us violating copyright laws.

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click for template
click for template

I have also adapted a few of my classroom posters into virtual “posters” or infographics. This one is based on a bulletin board set from Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove). I love this set, so I updated it for my virtual classroom.

click for template

Notes (Read and/or Watch)

One of the things I LOVE about Notability is the created PDF file for each note I write. I have these set to save to my Google Drive and I can easily share them with students. I include written examples as part of my visual learning options. Sometimes I also make a video of the examples (if the videos I select don’t have examples) and sometimes I just post the written version.

Check for Understanding

If I were in the classroom, I would walk around and check for understanding with each student. Virtually, I wanted a way for students to check their own understanding. I did not make this worth points and I had students self-report instead of returning the check for understanding to me.

Online Resources

I use checks from Kahn Academy, Delta Math, and CK-12. All three of these offer short checks for understanding with links to additional resources. I also use Desmos and Geogebra activities, making sure I provide the answers within the activity so students don’t need to rely on me to check their work.

Google Slides

I have often used self-checking slides in my classroom so I have a nice supply I can use for virtual learning. In the classroom, these allow me to differentiate based on student needs while I walk around the classroom and help individual students. Virtually, it’s a great quick check for understanding. I have shared a few below.

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click to open

Here is a quick tutorial to create your own. You can also use step 1 of this tutorial for more elaborate instructions on using the Master Slide.

click to view

This is all just one step for each of my lessons. I also have launch type activities such as Which One Doesn’t Belong, Number Talks, Puzzles, and Open-Ended Question. I try to include some kind of activity, a reflection, and practice for each lesson too. I’ll share some of these resources soon.

I would love see anything you create or use from the ideas you see here. Tag me on Twitter @MandiTolenEDU.

Happy creating!

Posted in Algebra 1, Digital Manipulatives, Geometry, Google Slides

Digital Manipulatives

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.

Balancing Equations MMNS                     Algebra Tiles MMNS

Measure Angles with Protractor MMNS

 

 

Posted in Activities, Algebra 1, Covid-19, Distance Learning

Algebra Practice for Virtual Learning

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.

Manipulatives

Algebra Tiles           Balancing Equations

Solving

Equations             Inequalities       More Inequalities       Literal Equations

Linear Model      Absolute Value    Absolute Value with Notes

Systems

by Substitution         by Elimination         Which method?

Systems of Inequalities            Systems Word Problems

Graphing

Identify Functions   Function or Not    Linear, Inequalities, and Quadratics

Parallel and Perpendicular Exploration        Parallel and Perpendicular

Transformations of Functions

Quadratics

Factoring and Adding Polynomials    Quadratic Formula     Polynomial Area &  Volume

Teachers are amazing! Be well, be safe, be sane!

Posted in Activities, Algebra 1, Choose Your Own Adventure, Circles, Geometry, Solving Equations

Choose Your Own Adventure *Updated*

A lesson is only as good as the updates you make. This activity, which I first blogged about here and here, came from Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller. I love this idea and now use it as an alternative assessment activity. Please go back and read how this started for me.

One reason I love this activity so much is because it gives students choice and freedom of topic, they become the teacher so they learn the content more deeply, they peer edit which is a very crucial skill, and this year I added a Flipgrid component in collaboration with another school.

I have updated my planning documents a little. They are posted on the posts, but this will be the most up-to-date document I have. I have also created a Google Slide presentation so very little teacher direction is needed. Another update I made this year was to increase the level of peer editing. Students do not intuitively know how to do this, so I updated the document so they have a little more guidance. Lastly, and probably the most exciting part for me, was creating these CYOA stories for a sister class in another district. We sent them our completed stories and then each student left feedback via Flipgrid. We’ve sent our stories to this district before but having video Feedback through Flipgrid was amazing and meant a lot more for my students.

I’ve included some fun examples from this year. I encouraged my Geometry students to create circular images as part of the story.  You can check the links above for examples from previous years including some Algebra 1 examples.

Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 7.26.53 PM           Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 7.29.53 PMScreen Shot 2018-06-22 at 7.32.39 PM

Including the Flipgrid responses from our sister school was an amazing addition. My students loved seeing the faces and hearing their reviewers. It also made the audience “authentic” to them. We did get permission from their parents for my students to view them but we did not include releasing it publically so I can’t share the link to the grid. I’ve included a screenshot of the grid below.

Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 8.10.36 PMScreen Shot 2018-06-22 at 8.10.08 PM

You can find a link to my resources below.

Planning Guide – 2018 CYOA Scoring Guide-Algebra

2018 Choose Your Own Adventure Planning Guide-Geometry

Slide Presentation –

Student Peer Review Document – 2018 CYOA Scoring Guide-Algebra

2018 CYOA Scoring Guide-Geometry

Here is an example of a peer review. In my experience, you need to model this for your students. I have, in the past, peer-edited my own story with the class so they see what to look for.

Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 8.20.25 PM

Please give credit to Matt Miller and me if you use this idea. It has been a fabulous learning experience in my classroom and I look forward to the next update!

 

Posted in Activities, Algebra 1, Bitmoji, Google Drawing, Parabolas

Fly Swatter, Parabolas, & Math Snaps

Key features of parabolas are important to understand the why behind quadratic graphs. It seems intuitive, and it is provided an image, but often the situation is represented as a graph with only words to guide students. My students can graph them but seem to struggle with where things are on the graph. We approached quadratics much differently this year, using only Desmos and graphing calculators to graph. We started with an idea from a colleague at another high school in my district. She uses fly swatters on day one to review key features of a parabola. This is not in the context of a situation but a good place to start. Student LOVED this activity.

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This is played relay style (picture was taken on pajama day for homecoming, hence the jammies) and students run up and smack the parabola on the key feature selected.

Fly Swatter Key Features

link to slidedeck

I also gave an exit ticket in Desmos activity builder to see where we still needed to remediate. I really liked this one because it was open-ended. They moved the parabola around to meet each requirement.

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 12.32.11 PM

I’ve included the link to the Desmos activity if you would like to use it as well.

Lastly, we worked with real situations. I gave them an Angry Birds picture and had them label, with their elbow partner, initial height, maximum height, time to max height, and time to the ground. It went pretty well and they got everything but initial height, which led to great discussions.

Our last activity was giving them a situation with an equation, they graphed it in Desmos and used their graph to make #mathsnaps. Bitmoji has updated so it wasn’t as easy to use since the beginning of the year (sad face). Students must now create an account on their app (iOS or Android) then link that to the Chrome extension. For students who didn’t have access to the app, I provided a link to clipart and emojis they could use. Here are a few of the math snaps I received this year.

 

This is without feedback so some of the information isn’t correct. We’ll be conferencing about it soon.

 

We learn from mistakes and some of mine will have some learning opportunities. YES!

Posted in Algebra 1, Functions, Questioning

Math Talk – Functions

I am always trying to include student discourse and critical thinking in my lessons. This activity started as a sort that we would do AFTER the lesson was completed. This year I decided to change it up and created this slide deck as a lesson opener. The students were told which ones were functions and which ones were not and they had to talk at their tables and determine WHY they were functions. I asked the “What do you notice?” and “What patterns do you see?” type questions.

Function not Function

Both Algebra 1 classes came up with a pattern they noticed and they were able to narrow their pattern down to the x-axis, which is awesome. I continued with this discussion using tables, then function maps and asked if their pattern worked for those as well.  When we started the formal note section, they were already comfortable with their idea of a function and I could use their words to tie into math vocabulary. I love when they create their own ideas and knowledge from questions instead of simply writing down what I give in notes. It means so much more to them.

I followed this activity by giving each student a relation and they had to defend on Flipgrid if it was a function and why. I love to have students explain on Flipgrid!

I’ve included a link to the slide deck I used for this activity if this is something you would also like to use.