Math = Love: March 2018

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Sum to Twenty Puzzle

In Math Concepts, we ran out of That's Logical puzzles a few weeks ago, so I had to find a new source of daily warm-ups. Instead, I've started using puzzles from "THINK ABOUT IT! Mathematics Problems of the Day" by Marcy Cook. This book was published by Creative Publications in 1982, and for once I would not recommend ordering a copy off of Amazon.


If you already happen to have a copy, cherish it and don't let anyone borrow it!

Wednesday, I put this puzzle up on the board. And, I challenged my students to solve it on their individual white boards.


This. Did. Not. Go. Well.

Students were confused by the fact that there were already two fours in the puzzle. Students were confused whether they had to use each number between 0 and 9 only once or if they could use some more than once and others not at all. I ended up encouraging my students to write the numbers 0-9 on their dry erase board so that they could mark off each number as they used it.

This still did not go well. Students were bringing me their whiteboards to check their answers, and it was clear that they had misunderstood the instructions. Many had made each row sum to twenty without worrying about the columns. These students do tend to struggle more than most. This is part of the reason they are in Math Concepts, a class created for our 9th graders who are not yet ready for Algebra 1.

After telling student after student that their answer was incorrect, I eventually decided we needed to stop this activity and regroup. I told them to put their dry erase boards away with the promise that we would tackle this puzzle again the next day.

A few minutes on the computer and some quality time with my laminator led to a version of this puzzle with moveable pieces.


The next day, my students seemed reluctant to try the puzzle again until they realized that it was in a slightly different form. With the moveable pieces, they jumped into the puzzle with a bit of excitement.


Within only a few minutes, my students started announcing that they had solved the puzzle. It was adorable to watch them attempt to cover their solution from the prying eyes of their classmates. I've had issues with this class sharing puzzle answers, so it was especially good to see this.


This was no longer an impossible puzzle but a puzzle with a solution worth working towards.


There's another variation of this puzzle that sums to 21 in the book that I look forward to trying with my students after this whole strike business is over.


Want to try this puzzle with your own students? I've uploaded the file here.

This puzzle would be a great addition to a puzzle table, as well!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Double Letters and Cover the Shape Puzzles

This whole potential strike business and the frustration of not knowing if I will be teaching next week or marching around the capitol building has left me extremely exhausted. As a result, my motivation to get blog posts written has almost disappeared. This is especially sad because I've been trying out several new activities this week that deserve to be blogged about!



Let's start with some puzzle table adventures of late. This week, I chose another cover the shape type puzzle this week because those always seem to be popular with my students. Last week (the week before Spring Break), I put out a double letters puzzle, and my students haven't seemed to want to even try that type of puzzle. I think that their lack of success with the last double letters puzzle (which many of them did try) led to their lack of any interest in this subsequent puzzle.

I've uploaded the file for this NEW double letters puzzle here.

I'm wondering if I put these puzzles on the board with magnets like Lisa Richardson (be sure to check out her blog here!) if my students might feel more inclined to try the double letter puzzles.

Image Source: http://mrsrichmath.blogspot.com/2018/03/puzzle-pizzazz-1.html?m=0
If you've been following along with my puzzle table adventures, you'll be happy to know that this week's puzzle uses the same pieces as Cover the Duck, Cover the Camel, and Cover the Heart.


I couldn't figure out a clever name for this week's puzzle, so it's got the so-exciting name of "Cover the Shape." I'm open to changing the title if you've got any great ideas!

The goal of the puzzle is to use the five puzzle pieces to perfectly cover the puzzle board. I had several students solve this puzzle in a few minutes on their first try. But, there were also plenty of incorrect solutions left behind by students who didn't finish as well. You can download the file for this puzzle here.


These puzzles are from (affiliate links) Puzzle Box Volume 2 (Double Letters Puzzle) and Puzzle Box Volume 3 (Cover the Shape). I cannot recommend this series of puzzle books enough for classroom teachers. Every time I flip through one of these books, I end up bookmarking ten more things I want to create for my students!

   

Monday, March 26, 2018

Monday Must Reads: Volume 35

Well, Spring Break has come and gone. Instead of spending my days hiking in the mountains and dipping my feet into a rather freezing lake, it's time to embrace factoring polynomials. To help get back in the teaching mindset, I'm once again compiling some of the awesomeness I've seen recently on twitter and in my RSS reader. Be warned: this is an epic volume of Monday Must Reads due to the fact that I took a week off due to Spring Break.






Lee C. Dawson shares an awesome image to use for a number talk/dot talk.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/CDawson18/status/977966587503288321
Mrs. Piacente-Cimini shares a photo of an awesome hallway mural at her school.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/spiacentecimini/status/977322783259557893
Mr Winstanley inspires with an awesome trig-inspired sun dial lesson.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/mrjwinstanley/status/571634731944701952
I absolutely love these classroom decoration pics shared by Jodie Green!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/mathsmissg/status/694475045306023936
Image Source: https://twitter.com/mathsmissg/status/698152727956865024
Miss Green has inspired me to add "Research Columbus Cubes" to my never-ending to do list.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MissGreenMaths/status/887679183970852869
Laura Goetz combines calculus with Play-Doh in an awesome lesson.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Laura_D_Goetz/status/968945556528730112
Laura continues her use of non-traditional materials with this calculus lesson involving stickers and dental floss.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Laura_D_Goetz/status/969365442497273867
Linda Antinone poses an interesting question involving a koala and balloons.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/LindaAntinone/status/840649798378217474
Jean Annette Jones shares a photo that would be perfect for any lesson on converting units.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/mathtrjones/status/767728536660606977
Jennifer Hooker inspires with an algebra-themed Graffiti Party.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/HeyCoachHook/status/657300823974658048
Image Source: https://twitter.com/HeyCoachHook/status/657707348547387392
Shana Coker takes a different twist on graffiti in the classroom - geometry style this time.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/scokernut/status/692439192991842305
Image Source: https://twitter.com/scokernut/status/692795926180528128
Also from Shana Coker: an awesome growth mindset bulletin board!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/scokernut/status/778589751259439105
Becky Pickett shares a brilliant way to form lines of best fit using string and stickers!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/BPickett0715/status/788867063192236034
Jennifer High shares a great way to introduce angles of elevation and depression.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/jhigh12/status/765918420764196870
And, now I need to add striped straws to my shopping list thanks to this awesome graphing linear inequalities lesson from Jennifer High.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/jhigh12/status/789278903529418752
Jennifer also shares an awesome geometry lesson involving shrinky dinks.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/jhigh12/status/866773846648647681
Jennifer High shares a new-to-me use for pattern blocks involving exponent rules.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/jhigh12/status/895668150758502404
Katie England shares an intriguing exponent task.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/EnglandKatie/status/787041588853743617
Kevin Spry shares a math-y gift that I know most of my readers would love to have!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/kspry/status/961433715007217665
Fawn Nguyen shares an awesome visual for sparking a great discussion.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/fawnpnguyen/status/977645701671759872
Looking to engage students? Check out this straw and tape activity from Erin Dwyer.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/ErinDwyer20/status/977307004665393152
Suzanne von Oy shares an intriguing book recommendation, Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty (affiliate link).

Image Source: https://twitter.com/von_Oy/status/977568977630228480
Stephanie Nichols combines polynomials with an egg-citing egg hunt.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MsNicholsMath/status/971745571752030208
How adorable are these inequality valentines from Daria Resnick?!?

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MsResnick16/status/963788482492715009
Mr Stackhouse shares an awesome alphabet based math project that I am definitely stealing either for next year or for the end of this this year!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/StackhouseBHS/status/973909412912992256
Mr Stackhouse also shares an awesome surface area project.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/StackhouseBHS/status/977249255374155776
Sabrina Grasso shares a brilliant use for a hula hoop while celebrating Pi Day.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MrsGrassoAPHS/status/973964537220214784
I've seen skylines made of pi before, but Sarah Gyimoty takes it a step further with the first 180 digits of pi!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MrsGyimotyAPHS/status/973991894530306049
Sarah Gyimoty also shares a fun activity where students describe parabolas for the other student to draw. I always tend to forget about this powerful activity structure.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MrsGyimotyAPHS/status/977244669020200960
Mr. Topp has an awesome quote on his wall that I believe deserves sharing. "If you don't like where you are, change it. You're not a tree."

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MrToppMath/status/921830948605329408
Carrie Persing shares an awesome order of operations task where students must figure out where to place parentheses to make true statements.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/CarriePersing/status/845357397715697665
Henrico County Math shares some great bulletin boards to improve mathematical communication.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/HenricoMath/status/905477102182563841
Image Source: https://twitter.com/HenricoMath/status/914887177695358976
Image Source: https://twitter.com/HenricoMath/status/914902806494109697
I also really like this sorting task from Henrico County Math. I feel like this could be easily adapted to other math topics.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/HenricoMath/status/920953052428988416
Simon Cox shares a photo of an inspiring math classroom in Azerbaijan.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MathsMrCox/status/567956148629975040
Shaun Kennedy inspires with an escape room that he and a few other teachers built in his school.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/shaun1386/status/976938707872870402
Toni Madison took her lesson to the next level with Project Runway Geometry Edition. I love these quadrilateral inspired looks!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MATHwithMADISON/status/977280257513357313
McSteiger Science shares several awesome projects for the STEM classroom.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/mcsteigersci/status/868114701993091076
Image Source: https://twitter.com/mcsteigersci/status/869355814531870720
Image Source: https://twitter.com/mcsteigersci/status/829437346005278722
Image Source: https://twitter.com/mcsteigersci/status/878054053103759361
Image Source: https://twitter.com/mcsteigersci/status/955895569033113601
Image Source: https://twitter.com/mcsteigersci/status/977522711256813569
Mr G James shares a link to an awesome website that creates Mathonyms.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MrJamesMaths/status/977222075239817217
Check out my Mathonymn.

Image Source: https://mathonyms.xyz/Sarah%20Carter
Thanks to Christee Joesten, I now have plans to celebrate World Compliment Day next year.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/ChristeeJoesten/status/969355757555736576
Christee Joesten also shares a creative lesson for finding the foci of an ellipse.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/ChristeeJoesten/status/976476913161134082
Ms. Ferraro shares some awesome posters that every graphing calculator using math teacher needs!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Ms_Ferraro_D122/status/968833334511112192
I also love this idea from Ms. Ferraro to having students justify their preferred way of multiplying polynomials.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Ms_Ferraro_D122/status/975869193861165056
Lisa Edinger shares an inspiring photo of her sister's math classroom which she turned into the set of Cake Boss to introduce their new unit.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/YouCreateTheJoy/status/975915455692013568
Allison Hartwig shares a great engineering challenge using index cards.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/ahartwigmath/status/976867523009433600
Mrs. Lambert inspires with the use of washi tape to create pythagorean theorem problems.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Mrs_K_Lambert/status/863166785633349632
Mrs. Lambert also shares a great systems of equations task involving skittles and starbursts.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Mrs_K_Lambert/status/938880019849535492
Leslie Byrd has me wondering, "How do I get myself a coordinate plane rug?"

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MrsLeslieByrd/status/909041868926853126
Colin Pettegrew shares a new-to-me visual for the real number system involving cups and ping pong balls.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/colinpettegrew/status/900799798722392065
Jennifer shares a fun, brain-break style activity that only requires some determination and a piece of paper.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/JennSWhite/status/976956276277153792
Jeff Hottel shares a fun activity for the first week of school.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/jhottelmhs/status/884799752021397504
Jeff also shares a creative challenge involving Jenga blocks.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/jhottelmhs/status/902301355854966785
Mrs. G's radian aerobics activities makes me miss teaching trig!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/kgerdeshhs/status/656492326446092288
Mrs. G inspires with a brown-bag trig challenge involving trig identities.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/kgerdeshhs/status/926492644167077888
Mrs. G also shared an awesome linear investigation activity involving marshmallows.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/kgerdeshhs/status/732570995727294465
MrsPop shares an activity called "Wall of Lies."

Image Source: https://twitter.com/apopowskihhs/status/664524658834845696
MrsPop also inspires with end behavior dancing.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/apopowskihhs/status/668781223800647680
MrsPop continues her awesome twitter sharing with some parabolic curves.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/apopowskihhs/status/678938844583075840
I love MrsPop's idea of challenging students to come up with a set of systems with a specific solution generated by playing cards.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/apopowskihhs/status/776436246029692928
Check out this awesome work on birthday polynomials from MrsPop's students.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/apopowskihhs/status/948274293603033094
Greta Bergman shares a WODB for exponent rules.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/g_brgmn/status/976272741056897027
Mariah Bailey shares a fun review game involving a suction ball.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/teachbailey/status/976154197237403650
Kay Kubena shares a great stats activity involving da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/KubenaKay/status/976120651130994688
Lana Steiner shares an awesome yet unconventional manipulative for working with circles.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/LanaSteiner4/status/975400407336763392
Stacey Travis shares a great hands-on lesson that only requires a tire.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/stacey_travis/status/966800636892401664
I am amazed at Lisa Rode's creativity in creating these Pi Day trophies.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/roderunners/status/975541426112159747
Henk Reuling shares an awesome interactive task he created. Isn't this just a gorgeous activity?!? Check it out here. Be prepared to change the language, though!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/HenkReuling/status/974923476799770624
I love this bulletin board from Taylor McGaughey!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/T_McGaughey44/status/974722084382355456
Needing some ideas to encourage your students to complete their assignments? Check out this competition from Kjersti Fried.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/KjerstiFried/status/974726585411551232
I really like how Matthew Oldridge has posed this question to be multiple choice.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MatthewOldridge/status/858428226586202112
Simon Gregg points out that playing card suits are a natural WODB. How cool!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Simon_Gregg/status/858324606339477510
Already thinking about next year's Pi Day celebration? Make it a school wide celebration with this idea from Pep Anton Vieta.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/pquimic/status/974383028221939718
Madelyne Bettis encourages sword play when introducing systems of linear equations.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Mrs_Bettis/status/973681463760773121
Mr Knowles shares another great sequence task.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/SK18Maths/status/973637476559523840

Image Source: https://twitter.com/SK18Maths/status/973637476559523840
Until next time, keep up the awesome sharing of ideas!