Middle Grades Math
 Within this page, I have found some very useful Productivity Tools
to aid in creating several different artifacts that I could possibly
use in my future teaching endeavours. These Tools have shown me
how quickly I am able to create many documents with ease. I plan on teaching Math and Science in the Middle School and have recently learned how to use the program, Excel. This program can aid the teacher in many ways. First of all, I learned how to keep Attendance and a Grade Book. Rather than individually working out each student's absences and grades, with the push of one button, the program worked everything out for me. I can see how using this program can be very easy and take away the time consuming aspect of tallying each student's report individually. Excel can also be used in the Math classroom by creating Pictographs for the students to manipulate. In doing this, I have found that I can create charts and directions and then allow the students to survey their peers and personalize their different scenarios. I have also learned that Microsoft Word and Powerpoint can really help a teacher get Classroom Management documents in order quickly and easily. I have created a Monthly Newsletter, Calendar, Seating Chart, Business Cards, and Hall Passes using Microsoft's Templates. Also using Puzzle Maker I found creative different ways to create personalized Worksheets for my class quickly. All of these artifacts are crucial in the life of a teacher and keeping on task and organized from the start of the school year. Below are 4 lesson plans in which the Tools introduced above can be used in the everyday classroom:
How Much Water Does Your Family Use?This lesson plans combine a Science and Math approach in the classroom. During this lesson plan, the students will examine the amount of water used in their household on a typical Saturday, record the information in an Excel template, and then anaylze and compare water usage amounts with other members of the class. The students will then undergo an Assessment by creating ideas of how to decrease the amount of water their family used. The Academic Standards this lesson plan fulfills comes in both the areas of Math and Science. The Science part enables the students to recognize the components, structures, and organizations of systems and the connections among them. The Math part enables the students to understand and apply skills related to probability and statistics. Technology is involved in this lesson plan by the fact that they use technology resources to solve problems and make informed decisions. The students is also able to use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from different sources. Finally, the students will be able to use technology to process data and report results. The Classroom Activity begins with the teacher bringing in a gallon of water. This helps the class to visualize the volume of one gallon. Next, the class is to brainstorm about the different ways that their individual families use water ona daily basis. The students are then to make an educated estimate on how much water they think their family uses on any given Saturday. Finally, the students are given directions on how to operate an Excel template and a credible website to research water usage questions. The students end the activity by opening a Microsoft Word document and answering several questions in conclusion of what they have learned about their individual family's water usage and how it compares to their classmates'. A followup Assessment can be the activity for the next day of class by having the students work in pairs or groups in order to create a PowerPoint Project that shows three ways they can use less water at home. Further Extensions from the lesson plan could also include having the class make Excel bar charts of their recorded data, or have the students work together to make a water conservation brochure using Microsoft Publisher.
Math NewsletterThis Lesson Plan is ongoing throughout the academic year for a Math class. The idea is for the students to write, design, and format a Math Newsletter that will be distributed to the entire student body. This Newsletter can contain a variety of different ideas including math facts, problems, mathematician biographies, and personal anecdotes. The Objectives of this project are for the students to review math concepts, write a procedure for solving a math problem or puzzle, and research facts about math and report findings in a newsletter created by the students. The software used in this project could include Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, and the World Wide Web.
Batter Up!This lesson plan can be used as a followup activity to personalize the students' knowledge of fractions and decimals. The students will apply the knowledge the just learned to study the game of baseball. The students will learn to figure out batting averages and hitting percentages of their favorite players. They will also be able to participate in a simulated baseball game through a distance learing videoconference with the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. After completing averages and percentages, the students use their knowledge and interest in at least one favorite player to create their own baseball cards. The Objectives of this project are for the students to convert fractions to decimals, decimals to fractions, decimals to percents, and percents to decimals. They will also be able to calculate baseball batting averages and hitting percents, research and create baseball cards, and participate in a videoconference session. The software used in this project could include Microsoft Word, Internet Explorer, and Encarta Reference Library.
Diet, Ratio, and ProportionThis lesson plan involves the students learning about ratios and a healthy diet while using the Internet, Microsoft Excel, and graphing calculators to collect and analyze data. The students are to analyze their favorite foods and their school menus and then make recommendations to their principal for the cafeteria to provide some healthier menus items. With this project, the students will be able to use math in order to solve real life problems. The Objectives of this project are for the students to use the Internet to research and learn about food labels and what is actually in the food they eat. They will also use ratios and proportions to solve real life situations, understand linear relations between two quantities, and gain a better understanding of what constitutes a healthy diet. The software used in this project would include Microsoft Internet Explorer, Excel, Encarta Reference Library, and a graphing calculator.
