Monday, March 27, 2017

Teaching Transformations

Transformations can be so difficult for students to visualize.  It’s really important for middle and high school students to engage in hands-on activities that facilitate a concrete understanding of the topics, without simply memorizing some rules.  Here are four strategies to consider when planning your transformations unit.
Transformations can be so difficult for students to visualize.  It’s really important for middle and high school students to engage in hands-on activities that facilitate a concrete understanding of the topics, without simply memorizing some rules.  Here are four strategies to consider when planning your transformations unit.

Consider introducing the topic using manipulatives.  To be able to hold a polygon and then move it, flip it, or rotate it can make a big difference for students.  They don’t have to “envision” something happening to the polygon, they get a concrete answer to their “what happens if” questions.  Try this free lesson in your class:
Transformations can be so difficult for students to visualize.  It’s really important for middle and high school students to engage in hands-on activities that facilitate a concrete understanding of the topics, without simply memorizing some rules.  Here are four strategies to consider when planning your transformations unit.Transformations can be so difficult for students to visualize.  It’s really important for middle and high school students to engage in hands-on activities that facilitate a concrete understanding of the topics, without simply memorizing some rules.  Here are four strategies to consider when planning your transformations unit.

Allow students to discover the big ideas.  A few months ago I was working as a math interventionist with a small group of eighth graders who were learning transformations.  I asked a few questions at the start of the lesson to gauge what they already knew.  They could recall some of the “rules” and “formulas” for what happens to coordinates given different transformations, but they didn’t really remember which rules pair with which transformations.  The discovery lesson that I brought was a perfect match for their needs.  We practiced rotating polygons around the origin 90, 180, and 270 degrees.  However, we accomplished this not by stating some rules and trying to follow, but instead by turning our paper, visualizing, and using logic to work our way through the problems.  The goal of this lesson was to make meaning out of the rules that we summarized at the end.  My discovery lessons for Rotations, Reflections, Translations, and Dilations can be found in my store.

Transformations can be so difficult for students to visualize.  It’s really important for middle and high school students to engage in hands-on activities that facilitate a concrete understanding of the topics, without simply memorizing some rules.  Here are four strategies to consider when planning your transformations unit.


Engage students in hands-on learning.  Once students have played with the ideas and taken notes on the concepts, allow plenty of time to practice using different activities and strategies.  Task cards are great because they allow students to focus on one transformation at a time.  Card sorts allow students to work collaboratively to divide transformations into categories.  Cut and paste activities are also really engaging for students!  Also, click here to read about how Brigid from Math Giraffe uses plastic plates to engage her students in hands-on learning such a neat idea!
Transformations can be so difficult for students to visualize.  It’s really important for middle and high school students to engage in hands-on activities that facilitate a concrete understanding of the topics, without simply memorizing some rules.  Here are four strategies to consider when planning your transformations unit.

And, of course, my favorite play a game!  My students and I love to play Old Math Guy to practice matching graphs with the type of transformation shown.  Visit this post to learn more about how to play Old Math Guy in your classroom. 
Transformations can be so difficult for students to visualize.  It’s really important for middle and high school students to engage in hands-on activities that facilitate a concrete understanding of the topics, without simply memorizing some rules.  Here are four strategies to consider when planning your transformations unit.

Thanks for reading!  You can also scoop up a discounted bundle of all of the resources mentioned in this post here.  Now it’s your turn to join the conversation!  What are your favorite activities when teaching transformations?  Any tips or tricks to share?


For more ideas and resources, subscribe to the Free to Discover blog!  You’ll receive a free resource via email just for signing up!



Friday, February 17, 2017

Teaching Two-Way Tables

Teaching Two-Way Tables: Strategies and Resources for the Middle School Math Classroom
When I taught eighth grade math, we used the Glencoe McGraw Hill Algebra I (2010 edition) textbook.  It was awesome for solving equations, writing linear equations, and evaluating with exponent rules!  However, it was missing three-dimensional measurement, transformations, repeating decimals, estimating radicals, and of course, two-way tables.

When two-way tables was added to our standards I spent a lot of time relearning the topic so that I could create meaningful, accurate resources that would help students really understand the importance of the skills they were developing.

First, I started with a review of percent proportion because I needed my students to be able to write ratios and convert to percents.  Here is a free resource you can use in your own classroom:
Teaching Two-Way Tables: Strategies and Resources for the Middle School Math Classroom

A discovery-based approach can really help students see connections between concepts.  When I design an inquiry-based lesson, I want students to do more than just copy and example and try something just like it.  I want them to decipher the meaning behind what they are doing and reflect on these connections.  In the discovery-based worksheets that I designed, students first spend a day constructing and interpreting two-way tables then spend time determining relative frequency in two-way tables.  Scoop up these lessons here: 
Teaching Two-Way Tables: Strategies and Resources for the Middle School Math Classroom


I do believe it’s important to summarize the big ideas in the form of notes once students have had exposure to the concepts.  The notes I use in my class are always differentiated based on the needs of the students.  Most students get regular fill-in notes, but others get a copy with the examples already filled in so that they can focus on listening the lesson without having to write everything down.  The final copy has everything filled, and is perfect for students who have been absent.  The corresponding practice sheets are differentiated by ability level.  There is an advanced version and a basic version.  I also include a one-page version of the basic copy that has less problems but meets the standard level.  Check out notes for Constructing and Interpreting Two-Way Tables and Calculating Relative Frequency here!

Then it is time to practice, practice, practice!  Those of you who are familiar with my store know that my students and I love to play Old Math Guy.  I have a game that is perfect for interpreting two-way tables and calculating basic relative frequency.  This is a great game to use as review once students understand the main ideas!
Teaching Two-Way Tables: Strategies and Resources for the Middle School Math Classroom

These two-way tables task cards from Mrs D’s Classroom were a lifesaver!  My students loved the practice and appreciated the connections to Venn Diagrams.

This two-way tables scavenger hunt from Teacher Twins is very fun and gets students moving around the classroom!

If you're looking for some St. Patrick's Day fun, scoop up these awesome set of partner stations!

At the end of the Bivariate Data unit, you can use this fun BINGO game to review the big ideas!  This format is my favorite way to review and my students love it, too!
Teaching Two-Way Tables: Strategies and Resources for the Middle School Math Classroom

What are your favorite activities when teaching two-way tables?  Any tips or tricks to share?


For more ideas and resources, subscribe to the Free to Discover blog!  You’ll receive a free resource via email just for signing up!



Monday, January 16, 2017

Linear Equation Solving Resources & Ideas

Solving Linear Equations Resources for Secondary Math

Last year I wrote about my favorite tips and tricks for teaching linear equation solving.  See the original post here.  Today I’d like to highlight some fun resources that you might enjoy in your classroom.

Free Resources & Amazing Ideas from Awesome Blogs


Have you checked out my new line of differentiated resources?  I am currently working on differentiated notes and practice for eighth grade math.  The linear equations unit is almost complete, and you can scoop up a FREE comprehensive lesson on Solving Equations with the Variable on Each Side today!
Have you checked out my new line of differentiated resources?  I am currently working on differentiated notes and practice for eighth grade math.  The linear equations unit is almost complete, and you can scoop up a FREE comprehensive lesson on Solving Equations with the Variable on Each Side today!

Mandy from Math Dyal shared an awesome blog post about her favorite activities for solving equations.  Read more about how she uses puzzles, coloring, interactive notes, and more to engage her students in meaningful math practice!

Karrie from Mrs E Teaches Math has an awesome FREE Solving Equations Stations Maze.  This is such a fun way to get your students moving around the classroom and engaged in a meaningful math activity!

Randi from 4 the Love of Math has a super helpful FREE Solving One and Two Step Equations: Basic Guided Notes resource available for download in her TpT store.  Awesome review for Pre-Algebra and Algebra students!

I also have a FREE Solving Multi-Step Linear Equations Partner Practice Activity that I created for Christmas, but can really be used at any time of the year!  This is a great way to ensure students complete their own work, while having the ability to check with a partner.

  
Check out Mrs. Nix's Resource Recommendations for Linear Equations

Multi-Step Linear Equations Sum Em Activity by Mrs E Teaches Math

Multi-Step Equations Discovery Lesson by Algebra and Beyond

Solving Equations Pennant {multi-step} by Scaffolded Math and Science