Posted in Covid-19, Distance Learning, Equations of Circles, Equations of Lines, Geometry, Parallel Lines

Geometric Town Virtual Learning Update

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 hope this activity is something you can use.

 

Geometric Town MMNS
Click here for the activity template
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, Application, Geometry, Surface Area, Volume

Volume and Spheres Application

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!

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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!

Volume Application    Surface Area & Volume with Spheres

Posted in Activities, Application, Geometry, Surface Area

Application for Surface Area

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.

Surface Area Problems            Upgrade your Pool 

I’m currently working on some volume application, which sneaks in some surface area. I will have another one including spheres. Stay tuned.

Posted in Activities, Application, Area, Geometry

Application for Area

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.

Screen Shot 2020-02-24 at 8.30.13 PM

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.

Remodel a Bathroom      area application

Toblerone Repackage    Packaging Cookies.png

Stay tuned for surface area and volume application.

Posted in Activities, Application, Geometry, Scale Factor

Honey, I Shrunk the Classroom

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!

Dilation Project
click on image to see a template of the project

The first photo gallery includes process photos. I documented our progress on Twitter each day.

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The last photo gallery shows the results. They did an amazing job. This is definitely a try again next year project.

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Posted in Activities, Application, Geometry, Scale Factor

Far Side Expansion

I have been doing this activity LONG before computers were a staple in the classroom. (We won’t talk about how many years that’s been!) I love this project now as much as I did when I started.

I used to have a Far Side by Gary Larson desk calendar and each year I would keep the images and use it for this project. I don’t buy the desk calendar anymore, but you can find Larson’s comic’s online.

I take the comics and cut them equally into 3-4 congruent parts (depending on my groups). Students must work in groups of 3-4 to decide on a grid size for their original and a scaled paper size and grid size. Once they’ve worked together to draw this in, they start sketching their drawing box-by-box. We spend about 4 -50 minute class periods on this project.

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The students have a lot of fun with this and are proud of their product when finished. It also reinforces teamwork. When one person doesn’t complete their part, a picture is hung up for viewing incomplete. So sad.

Here is the planning guide I use for this project. If you use it, post about about it on Twitter, and tag me @MandiTolenEDU.

Posted in Activities, BreakIN, Circles, Equations of Lines, games, Geometry, Google Slides

Break-In Game

Matt Miller had a guest post on his blog a while back by John Meehan on a game concept called QR BreakIN. I love to create BreakOUT games so this idea had me intrigued. John’s graphics were amazing and the game boards looked fun. I pondered how to use it in my math classroom for quite a while until an idea finally surfaced.

A few areas had me stumped.  1. I needed the tasks to be sequential and most games boards where you roll dice are random. 2. I didn’t think, unless it was a review day, I could accomplish much in our 45 minute class period using his format.

I used John’s template but with my own twists. I came up with the Donkey Kong idea because jumping the barrels creates the progression of tasks that I needed. I also made this a unit long game instead of one day. Reading more information on John’s blog, I found a post he had about Power-Ups, so I incorporated that into this game too.

Link to Slide Deck  (All graphics were created in Google Drawing)

7th Donkey Kong Equations (3)          7th Donkey Kong Equations (4)

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Since the game would be completed over 2 weeks, I made my game board and game pieces electronic. I also wanted to use Google Classroom to release the tasks instead of using QR codes, mainly because our student laptops aren’t the best and they don’t play nice with QR readers.

Donkey Kong Equations (3).png  Screen Shot 2019-04-04 at 9.27.11 AM

Here are my takeaways from this unit long game.

Game Board

I like that I can open the slide from day to day and update the progress of the game instead of moving it from the board and putting it back for each class daily (I did this in 3 classes). However, I felt like it took me longer than I wanted to get the board updated because I was checking and releasing tasks.

Narrator Cards

GENIUS! I gave my students 3 for the unit. The cards could be used to ask a content question of the Narrator. You know what happened? They asked each other instead, just as I had hoped. We are nearing the end of the unit and NO ONE has used a card. They have worked together as a team to find solutions.

Google Classroom instead of QR codes

This one was tricky for me because of the time issue. I did load each post ahead of time as a draft and then I could release to each group as they were ready. This still took more time than I wanted to spend. It would be much simpler to have the QR codes, but I also like that the tasks are still in Google Classroom if they want to reference them.

Student motivation

Wow, kids are serious about earning Power-Ups. If a student did not complete their practice, the team was ALL OVER THEM.  I had more practice completed this unit than ever before.  Students were also, mostly, positive in their encouragement of their team.

Would I do this again? YES. This has been a fun way to present a short and mostly review unit for my students. They seem to be enjoying it.

Check out the hashtag #QRBreakIN on Twitter and also lurk around John’s blog. He does some amazing things with students.

 

Posted in Activities, App creation, Area, Geometry, Google Slides

Area App with Google Slides

I love when you create a project that students are excited about! This project fits that description. We review area formulas in Geometry before we start surface area. I DID NOT WANT another “look up the formula” day. It’s boring! And, if I don’t like it, students won’t either. Then I stumbled across this post by @micahshippee on Kasey Bell’s website ShakeUpLearning.com. I have the privilege of knowing both of these wonderful people. Micah is part of my Google Innovator Cohort and he is amazing.  And ya’ll know Kasey. If you don’t know them, look them up, RIGHT NOW. You’ve been missing out.

Micah created an activity where student use Google Slides to create an “app” that you can load on your phone or tablet. I decided to use this wonderful idea to review area formulas. My students created an app where you could click a button and find the formula and an example for each shape.

Bonuses: Students were VERY ENGAGED. They were still working when the bell rang and didn’t really want to stop. They were helping each other, critiquing without being prompted, and giving great advice. I was MORE THAN excited when students came into class the day the assignment was due with the app already loaded on their phone. They were soooo proud!  I think, as an extension of this activity, we will share our apps with lower grade levels, who are learning about area for the first time, and have them give us feedback through Flipgrid.

Here is the activity I gave the students. My instructions are taken directly from Micah’s post because they are so thorough. He is cited in the activity.

Create an App for AREA (1)

I’ve also included some of the apps created by my students. OMGee, they make my heart happy. You should be able to click on the phone below and it will open a Google Drawing file where the links are active. If you use this activity, please share on Twitter and tag me @MandiTolenEDU and @micahshippee.

 

 

Posted in Activities, Application, Geometry, Google Slides, Trig

Student Created Trig Word Problems

For the last 9 years, I’ve had students do a Trig project where they use handmade clinometers to measure the height of an object taller than they are. I love this project because it shows the application of Trig and guides students through a thought process to solve this type of problem.

This year I wanted to shake things up a bit. I wanted them to do the same project, but this time I wanted them to write an angle of elevation word problem. Students struggle with the word problems, and writing them helps them understand the process and required information.

As always, I was blown away by the creativity of some of my students. Their word problems were hilarious! They were problems I would WANT to solve. I took a few and used them on our assessment.

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Since we had a recent ice storm, pictures had to be taken inside. It was Homecoming week, so we had some interesting backdrops. Students used the HOCO decorations and wrote their stories around them. Aren’t kids great?

Angle of depression is still giving us issues so maybe next year I’ll have them measure something below them. Maybe from the bleachers or the top of the steps. Hmm… food for thought!