I wanted to share with you a quick update to Road Kill Kafe that I use in my Geometry class to discover congruent triangles. It was shared with me by my friend Craig Klement (@CraigKlement) and you can read about all of my Triangle Congruence activities here.
We are hybrid this year and it usually takes 2 days to complete the activity. That’s 4 class days with both classes and we simply didn’t have the time to do that.
So… I turned it into a digital activity. It worked out ok. I did model some skills for them regarding the drawing tools in Google Slides and that made things go more smoothly. I also pasted a reference segment so we could make sure our side lengths were what they should be.
Here are some images of our completed triangles.
If this is your original activity, let me know! I would love to give proper credit. If you want to try Road Kill Kafe goes Remote, just click on the links below. The first one is the activity to send to students. Make a copy for EACH student. The second one is the collaborative slide with the reference segments for students to paste their completed triangles. Make sure you set it so EVERYONE has access to the same slide.
I am not a paperless classroom. As I say in my book, use technology if
it makes your job easier
it makes the learning better for students.
So why a digital flipbook? Well, it’s actually not just one reason.
We have to go remote this fall, not because of Covid but because we have “spores” in our building that required them to close the building, throw away all of our porous material (i.e. books, saved foldables and student work, 20 years of personal books and memories).
I know some of my students won’t have paper at home to make a foldable while remote.
Umm… my foldables are all gone (see reason 1). They were thrown away 😦 If they had been digital, it would still have them.
I saw this idea in a TikTok by @adungan and knew this was my solution.
I recreated one of our foldables that was destroyed. I plan, with all of my digital lessons, to have students take pictures of their work and paste it in the foldable (or notes or practice, etc). I don’t want them to have to draw every image, but I also don’t want phantom floating notes so when they look at them there is no image or problem to reference.
I made a little tutorial that I am posting in Canvas/Google Classroom (this has been another huge debacle) to help them create a good scan and clip their images. (This is a Slides Mania notebook template)
Here is the foldable as the students will see it. I will put it in Google Classroom and set it to make a copy.
If you are putting this in Canvas, make sure you force a copy. Here is a gif from Jake Miller (@JakeMillerTech) to help you with that.
And here is a completed copy with student work snipped and uploaded into the document.
If you want the template, here is a link. You can also snag a copy on Slides Mania in the By EDU for EDU section. Paula is AMAZING and creates great stuff. She is also kind enough to share what others teachers create.
Now, if you are adventurous and want to make your own, I created a tutorial posted on InfinitelyTeaching. You will also find a 6 topic template posted there ;-).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
In Geometry, we teach area as a quick review before surface area and volume. This year, I wanted this topic to be more of a life skill than just a review. I taught students how to use Google cards to find the area of common shapes. A quick search will pull up the following card for almost any shape.
The more important skill I wanted to help my students with was using area. In life, if we can find the information we need and know how to use it, we can solve almost any problem we have. I created some tasks, some based on actual activities I’ve done, to help them use area. I’m sharing them here so you can use them too. Teachers have limited time and sometimes finding a good activity that you don’t have to create is just what you need.
If you use these activities, please share with me on Twitter. It makes my day when someone finds value in what I’ve created. Happy mathing!
Click on the image to view the template.
Stay tuned for surface area and volume application.
I saw this activity on Facebook last year. I don’t know who the teacher is, but the project is posted on North Central Parke Community School Corporation Facebook page.
I created the instructional slide below to facilitate the process with my students. Students had to select an object in the classroom to enlarge or reduce. They needed at least 5 measurements (many students took a lot more than that) and they had to select a scale factor. I provided some supplies but they were welcome to bring others from home. The project had to be completed in the classroom and they had to collaborate with at least one other person.
My students were so engaged, they worked very hard, and they were so proud of their results. Not to mention, they had some a-ha moments during construction. One student in particular made the connection that angles are the same in scaled objects even though the sides change. Now we had investigated and discussed this learning target, but it became evident to her when she was working on her object. YAY!
The first photo gallery includes process photos. I documented our progress on Twitter each day.
The last photo gallery shows the results. They did an amazing job. This is definitely a try again next year project.