Home‎ > ‎Blog‎ > ‎

### Blog 2013-2014

#### Collaboration ... GVSU math students create, 8th graders & teacher benefits

posted Apr 7, 2014, 8:05 PM by Tara Maynard   [ updated Jan 6, 2015, 6:10 PM ]

#### They surprise me ...

posted Jan 30, 2014, 6:18 PM by Tara Maynard   [ updated Jan 30, 2014, 6:21 PM ]

 After four, yes FOUR, snow days in a row (Friday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) we returned to our daily routines at Creekside.  Knowing that my advanced geometry kiddos were bored and itching to get to work, here is what I posted on edmodo.com over the snow days.  It is paraphrased to save space!Monday: "Complete the 6-2 in-class practice (parallelogram properties).  It's on the schedule from last week."Tuesday: I posted the answers to the 6-2 practice and then said, "You might as well watch the 6-3 video and complete your notes." (conditions to prove parallelograms)Wednesday: I posted the 6-3 in-class practice problems as well as the answer key. "Go ahead and give 6-3 a try. Post questions if you are getting stuck!"*I also encouraged them all three days to be completing their quick checks on thatquiz.org. (This is their first "graded" assignment; 4-6 questions on 1 topic.)I knew my students were motivated but I didn't realize just how motivated they were.  Out of my 40 students, 34 were somewhere in the midst of lesson 6-3.  18 had completed everything!  They ROCK!  This would have never happened if I wasn't teaching in a flipped environment.  They had the tools to do the basics outside of the four walls of our classroom.  We've built a strong classroom community and the expectations are there (by fellow students and myself) that we work hard to prepare ourselves for the next step. What I thought would be 4 lost days turned into really, only ONE lost day.  1.  That is something to celebrate!

#### Backs to the Front ... Vocab and Drawing

posted Jan 1, 2014, 8:10 AM by Tara Maynard

Here is a fun, exciting way for students to use vocabulary and communicate in different ways while working on drawing specific parts of mathematics.  I've used this idea of "Backs to the Front" for a few different review activities.

Both activities involve students working in pairs, with one facing the front screen in the classroom and the other with their back to the front of the room.  If you need to have a group of 3, I put one facing front and other two with their backs to the front.

#1: Just Vocabulary
Display 3-5 words on the screen.  The person facing front needs to describe the words, in order, without saying any part of the word.  The person that can't see the words shouts out what term/concept the person is describing.  You can have as many rounds as you'd like, depending on the number of terms/concepts you have for the unit.

#2: Vocabulary & Drawing
In the past I've displayed images, starting basic and moving to advanced, for students to describe.  The person facing front needs to describe the image, using the most specific vocabulary possible.  The person with their back to the screen then draws the image on a whiteboard.  Sometimes I allow the describer to see the whiteboard, sometimes the whiteboard can only be seen by the drawer.  I ask them to not use their hands when talking as well.  That is tough for some!  I try and put a time limit on it so that we can get through a few rounds of images.  Here are some pictures and videos showing this activity in class.

Both of these images would be considered "advanced".  With teaching HS geometry to advanced 8th graders, they need the challenge!

#### Dance, dance, transversal ... Dancing in Geometry

posted Dec 31, 2013, 8:21 PM by Tara Maynard   [ updated Jan 1, 2014, 7:12 AM ]

A few weeks ago I had one of those lessons that you just don't know how it will go.  Lots of time was spent creating, but I didn't know how the students would react and/or participate.  ...  They LOVED it!  I heard comments like, "Best day ever in geometry", "Best math game", "This was fun!".  Isn't that what every teacher wants to hear after the extra prep time?

After participating in a few #MTBoS missions (http://exploremtbos.wordpress.com/), I came across a blog post by Jessica (@algebrainiac1) about this activity, Dance, Dance, Transversal.

First I created a keynote presentation, which I've linked here.    I'm not sure if the "moves" in the keynote will download correctly.  The moves are how the whole thing works as a keynote so that the abbreviations of the angle types are moving up the screen.  The students then "dance" and move their feet to the correct places as the different angle types fly up the screen.  (Feel free to email me if you want the original keynote presentation at tmaynard@zps.org.)  Here is a screen shot of what the students saw on the screen.  I started it slowly, maybe too slow, and then picked up the pace.  We did three rounds, so 6 songs total.  Picking the songs was a harder task than I imagined.  Appropriate, yet fun.  No inappropriate language, yet engaging for 8th graders! Tough stuff!

To start, I had students tape a set of parallel lines cut by a transversal on the floor with painters tape.

The students worked in pairs.  One student "danced" while the other watched for mistakes.  They counted mistakes and tried to beat each other by getting a fewer amount of mistakes.  Here are some images (sorry some are blurry) and a couple short videos.

A few videos for you entertainment.  Fun stuff!

#### If math were a season ...

posted Nov 26, 2013, 5:29 AM by Tara Maynard   [ updated Nov 26, 2013, 5:37 AM ]

 Trying to get some creativity out of my students while having them think outside the box, I posed this question today. If math were a season, which one would it be and why? This was inspired from a google docs of questions put together by Justin Aion (@JustinAion) and the google doc can be found  here.  I asked the students to draw a picture of it and write one sentence.  The sentence needed to be, "Math is like _________, because _______________.Here are some interesting ones.                            M. Draisma                                                          E. Dryden                                                          O. Turner"Math is like spring because like spring the snow is melting whichsoaks into the air and ground and the information soaks into yourbrain and some things you relearn like the birds coming back." - H. Woodwyk                                    D. Chaloern                                                                           V. Rodriguez                                                                    K. Kramer                                                                                 S. Rodriguez

#### Realities - flipclass days

posted Nov 19, 2013, 11:33 AM by Tara Maynard

 Wow - we've had some productive days this past week in 8th grade math.  We've been plugging through solving inequalities!  The students that are focused, able to work on their own without too many distractions and open enough to asking for help, have really figured this whole flipclass thing out.  The questions they are starting to ask amaze me. They ask about why and what if and how.  Very cool stuff! They seem to be more willing to help each other too.  I often catch them explaining things to others or asking questions to others to help them get through a problem.  OK, reality check, this is about 50%-70% of my students on a daily basis.  They are pushing each other!  Just yesterday they were critiquing each other's word problems.  They needed to write two application questions that needed an inequality to be solved.  They were creative and most really understood the parts needed and words that must be included to have an inequality situation versus an equation.  Hearing students say, "You can't have the word same because that tells us it is an equal sign.  We need to change that to minimum, at least, more than, etc."  is exactly what I love hearing!But what about the others?  What about the 30-50% that don't "get it".  I have a handful that everyday, come to class without their video watched, reading done, exploration completed, etc.  No matter what is asked of them to prepare for class, they don't do it.  They then start class by doing it in the hallway or off to the side and miss out on all the group interaction, which I feel is the best part of the hour.  I can poke and prod, sit down right next to them, ask them why they aren't prepared, but none of that seems to help.  Hmmm  ....   Where to next for this group?

#### One Good Thing ...

posted Oct 24, 2013, 8:06 PM by Tara Maynard

 ...  inspired by this blog, titled, One Good Thing.The last three days in our flipped environment in 8th grade math have been overall, great days.  I have had time to work with my lowest achievers who are trying but just not quite getting there.  They are coming prepared to class by reading, taking notes and watching a short video, but they need me to walk through a few more problems with them.  I love seeing their faces after I've encouraged and helped them gain some confidence.  They sit up straighter, hold their head higher and then help others.  One good, actually great, thing that happened today was the look on a students face when I asked him to go help another small group.  He looked at me with the expression of "What, you are talking to me?  I never get asked to help in math class."  He ruffled up his feathers, walked over and explained a problem to another group of struggling students.  I may just have him hooked!

#### Playing Uno - The combine like terms version

posted Oct 9, 2013, 6:40 PM by Tara Maynard   [ updated Jun 12, 2018, 5:54 PM ]

#### Talking math in week 2!

posted Sep 14, 2013, 5:46 PM by Tara Maynard   [ updated Sep 14, 2013, 5:58 PM ]