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.  I don’t have these notes formally typed up for my Teachers Pay Teachers store yet, but I will within the next month or so.  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.

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?


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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






Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Homework in the Middle School Math Classroom

Homework in the middle school math classroom - steps to a positive routine and other benefits
I am not a big fan of the latest pendulum swing against homework.  I have always had a 100% balanced-approach attitude toward education, and to me, no homework seems like a bit of an extreme measure.

Homework, when done correctly, is a positive thing.  Here are some things I keep in mind when assigning homework in my middle school math classroom.

Reinforce Classwork
Homework should involve targeted practice that reinforces the work done in class.  I always make sure that it directly relates to what we are currently working on.

Easier than Classwork
If I have two versions of practice, I send the easier of the two versions home with students.  I would rather the struggle occur while they have me available as a resource, as well as their peers.

Homework facilitates development of responsibility, time manangement, perseverance, and self-esteem




Start in Class
Why does starting homework in class get such a bad rap?  It’s a great way for students to try a couple of problems, ask questions if they realize they are not sure what to do, and go home with some problems modeled for themselves (or parents if they try to help).

Time Limit
Impose a time limit.  I tell my students at the beginning of the year that if their homework ever takes longer than 30 {focused} minutes, they should stop and have a parents sign a quick note.

Provides Healthy Routine
Being responsible for a moderate amount of homework provides opportunity for a healthy after school routine to develop.  Having a set time and place where students can do their homework is instrumental to their success.

Develop Time Management Skills
The development of time management and organization skills will impact student learning in high school, college, and beyond.

For additional information, check out this great article from Concordia University about how homework benefits students.

Join in the conversation, and let me know what you think!


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