Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Desmos Art Projects - Algebra 2

I have had my Algebra 2 students make an art project using Desmos for a few years now.  However, now there are so many online, I wanted to remove opportunity to cheat so we made a few changes.  I also wanted to use just tech and not paper. 

I used to have the students find a picture, drag it in and write the equations to make the picture.  Then, they would have to do out two systems of equations - one conic and non-conic and 2 conic intersections.  They had to print out their picture and color it, put it on construction paper and print out all their equations (usually 100-600 equations, although I didn't put a number on them) and then their algebra work to solve the systems.

This year, I had them make original pictures. They had to include some shading.  I didn't teach conics this year, so less emphasis on that although they could/should include some of those equations because they did them in geometry last year.  They did not have to print out the picture or the equations.  I created a google doc and had them paste their desmos link in there.  Then, I took their link and pasted it into my own desmos activity builder (with a little help from twitter - paste it into an equation window in the graph window. 

I did give a little hint at animating them but I didn't require it.  Some students did animate :)

I am very impressed with the results.

I found a rubric online and modified it.  Desmos Project.  (not remembering to whom to give credit, sorry).

Here is the link to my Desmos Activity Builder: Desmos AB Art Project

Friday, May 18, 2018

Proud #mtbosblog18

I am blogging today on May 18th as part of #mtbosblog18 - that is trying to remember to blog at least once a month - on the 18th because it is 2018.

Today I am proud all around.  It's a good day.  It's a Friday.  We have Hiller Day today. (We are Hopkinton Hillers).  It means students have a late start and teacher work.  But, today were the underclassmen awards and my son, a junior, received one.  We get a letter inviting us to the ceremony at 7:15 am but we don't know what award he is to receive.  He received the English award.  I am so proud.

There were about 150 kids in attendance and I have had a lot of them as students (since I live and teach in the same town.)  I was so proud of them all.  It was great to sit there as an audience member and know most of them by name or at least by face and then get to put a name to their face.  It was fun to see siblings that have graduated come back to support their winning younger siblings.  I am in my 13th year of teaching, so I do have siblings.  Fun to see the resemblance in them.  I see a girl walking to school each day, now I know her name.  It is great to find out what areas the kids excel in whether it be robotics or wellness or art, etc.  I am proud of all of them.

Today, I had three geometry classes.  Yesterday's lesson introduced them to graphing sine and cosine.  We "unwound" the unit circle and graphed it on the coordinate plane to discover the shape of the graph and discussed them.  I talked about properties and transformations.  It was too much and a little overwhelming for them to process, so there was not much success on the homework.  When I checked it, they all just looked like random squiggles with no labels on the x-axis.  Today's lesson was supposed to be about writing the equations of the graphs, so I made adjustments.  I went through two problems on the homework to show them how to pull apart the properties and use them step by step to graph it.  Then, I gave them a worksheet that asked for the properties and the graph.  They were starting to see it better now.  I knew that taking the time for them to better understand this direction - equation to graph, they would hopefully more easily be able to go in the other direction graph to equation, so it was worth the time and adjustment to practice.  

My third class of geometry was during lunch block which is right in the middle of class.  They were just starting to get in the groove and when lunch time came, they asked if they could stay! - On a Friday - to graph sine and cosine.  I told them they could but reminded them they could go to lunch and refuel and come back and continue.  That is what they did.

I let them work for a bit longer and they were building their understanding and making the connections!  Then, I had 3 problems I was going to have them do on the board in #VNPS and #vrg but due to time, I just read the problems.  They struggled with the first, used that to figure out the second, and found success with the third and most challenging one.

We usually do an ALLA after lunch (After Lunch Learning Activity) and I didn't want to give them up, so I built the time in.  We played the game Cover Up from Sarah's website which she got from Frank Tapson.  I had all the supplies and figured I would give it a try.  What a simple yet fun game.  I asked some if they had anything they would do differently after the game - taking strategy.  I wish we had time to play it twice.  Check it out here: COVER UP.

Here's a picture of the kids playing:

And, finally, tonight is our Relay for Life.  Ours is run by high schoolers and consists mostly of middle and high school participants.  They are top fundraisers in New England and do an amazing job.  I am proud to have been part of the committee for 13 years since it started.  This year they asked me to speak at the Survivor dinner (my mom beat thyroid cancer).   They have raised close to $100,000 already and the event hasn't even happened.  I am so proud of all their hard work in raising money and awareness to fight cancer.  They are awesome!

It's going to be a long day but I hope the goodness continues.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Geometry: Teaching Composite Figures Vol and SA

Today was a good lesson in Geometry, so I thought I would share.  We are nearing the end of our surface area and volume unit.  Last week we did the project so they had the hands on aspect of learning the formulas.  They will get a formula sheet on the quiz. 

Today's lesson was on composite figures and bringing them all together.  I thought I packed too much into the lesson but the timing was perfect which always makes me happy.

I started off with 2 lesson openers.  They both involving asking the students to make a prediction first.  They are so uncomfortable with this and start digging deeper and asking questions.  Just write a number down.  I did more 3Acts last year in Algebra 1, but haven't done them really in Geometry.

We started with this from Dane Ehlert and which is bigger?  I asked them to write down shape A or B and then I asked what I could give them that might make it easier.  They said the area.  I said I wouldn't just give them the area but I would give it to them on the grid.  I was surprised how quickly they jumped to their calculators and formulas.  I didn't anticipate that.  I just counted the boxes.  It made for good conversation.

The second one was a 3Act from Kyle Pearce at www.tapintoteenminds.com He does a great job on his website explaining the lesson, providing resources including worksheets and videos.  I showed the picture of a house with a lawn and asked them what they noticed and what they wondered?  We eventually got to the lawn but it is a very geometric house.  We could have asked more about the house.  We finally came up with how long will it take to mow the lawn.  I asked them to write down a prediction, but again they wanted more first.  Then, in Act 2, I asked what more I could give them so they could calculate it and they asked for area.  I told them I wouldn't give them area directly, but what could I give them....dimensions.  They asked about the lawnmower, if it was a push (gasp, it was), how wide it was, and they wanted a rate. 

I showed them a 3D diagram of the lawn and explained it was similar to our project last week when we had a challenging time drawing that sort of flattened back drawing.

I handed out the worksheet and asked them to find the perimeter and area of the lawn.  Then, I showed the video of the actual lawn mower so we could get the rate.

Act3 was showing the real answer.  I won't give it away, but our number was a little lower than the actual time and we talked about possible discrepancies.

Finally, we moved onto board problems.  I overheard a students say, "I love board problems; different every time but still fun."  This made my day :)

Usually I make these board problem oral problems in geometry, but the shapes were too complicated.  I had three different shapes and asked for Volume and Surface area of each, in groups of 3 with only one marker at a time, but everyone calculating on their calculators.  It took a bit.  They would check in with me and it felt like the Price is Right again as I told them their answer was too high or too low.  But, they stuck with it.  There were so many great conversations - lots of "I think we went wrong here." "We need to subtract this circle" or "we need to add this cylinder's lateral area."

Here is the powerpoint.
Here are the board problems.

Thanks for reading. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Geometry: Teaching SA and Volume with a project

In Accelerated Geometry, we teach surface area and volume through a project.  I have not taught this class or this project before and I was nervous because I didn't know what to anticipate as place's where students may run into trouble.  I teach three classes in a row, so I learned quickly with my first class and made adjustments for my next two classes.

I did not create this project or rubric, but will share it.

I do like the idea because I am not just giving the formulas and doing worksheets.  It was hands on and fun.  Students had a choice between a pyramid and a cone and they really owned their solid.

We had two full days in class to work on the project and day three involved 30 minutes to finish up anything else and then a 20 minute peer review.  Today is the peer review day.

I will say project based learning can be exhausting because I was running around like I was on The Price Is Right answering questions and helping.

Most people chose to make the pyramid.  The students who chose the cone struggled with finding the angle measure but when they actually built it, it was easier to build than the pyramid.

The abbreviated version:
Day 1: Decide on pyramid or cone.  Pick some measurements to make sure to get in between the required dimensions for base area and volume.  Draw a scaled down, labeled net.  (Most kids did not finish all this in day 1).

Day 2: Finish net, draw a scaled, labeled 3D drawing and start building your solid to scale, using centimeters and my nice cardstock I bought (note: $50 worth for 84 students.  I asked them to conserve paper and they were really good about it.)

Day 3: Finish building. Write up neat calculation paper.  Each student gets 3 rubrics on their desks.  Then, the peer review.  Each student visits 3 other students' projects and completes the rubric and writes something positive and/or something to grow on.  They took this really seriously.  Class was quiet as they milled around.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Spring Break and Conics #mtbosblog18

Yes, it has been a month since I last blogged.  Good thing I have #mtbosblog18 to remind me to keep blogging.  First, Spring Break fun stuff, then a recap on my Geometry Conics lessons.

I am on Spring Break and just wrapped up 3 days in Maine with my sisters, sister-in-law and 7 nieces and nephews.  It was fun, a good, crazy, large family kind of fun.  We had lunch together today at a diner and then they went home leaving me with 24 hours to myself - all alone!  I LOVE being alone.  I find it so peaceful.

Here is brunch at the dinner with this crazy group:

Then, I went into Portland, Maine to the best donut shop in the world - the Holy Donut.  I got donuts for my girls weekend and donuts for my family and donuts for me and donuts for a co-worker who is gluten free.  A man walked past me carrying the donuts and he said, "You are going to make some people happy."  :).

I also went to 2 bookstores.  I had all the time in the world, just me, to browse!  I love reading YA, so I picked up these two.  Just now at dinner, I finished  a great book - The Gentlemen's Guide to Vice and Virture - I highly recommend it.  Not to brag, but it is my 14th book this year.  My goal is 28 and it isn't even summer yet!  That's a pomegranate donut:

On the way home, I stocked at the market and bought worms and did my first fishing of the season.  I didn't have any bites, but it was just beautiful being out there.

Tomorrow, I head to North Conway, NH for a girls weekend with my sisters, cousins, and aunts.  Yep, more girl time. 

Now, some math.  I am teaching Accelerated Geometry for the first time.  I have always taught Accelerated Algebra 2 which follows Geo.  In Acc Alg 2, I used to teach conics again.  It was good to spiral.  Most kids would say it had been their toughest lesson in Geometry and they didn't do so well with it.  By Algebra 2, they had more practice with completing the square needed for conics.  For Alg 2, I had a physical conic card sort to do each day, I folded wax paper to make parabolas, and I used computer paper box tops with laminated graphs, 2 push pins, and floss to make ellipses.  I dove right in, knowing they had it before and we did it quickly. 

However, this year, in Alg 2, we decided not to teach conics but to do limits instead.  Okay, now I can use my Alg2 old stuff with geo and not repeat stuff.  I think it went well.  There weren't too may complaints.  Students liked doing "algebra stuff" again.  I dare say some even liked it.  And, finally they did well on their conics quiz.  They struggled on their circles quiz - the first quiz of the unit and they will be tested on both after vacation.  Let's hope they find success with both. 

Our geometry book does not include conics, so I supplemented for homework from a precalc book.  I did a lot of snapshots.  It was more direct teaching than working at the whiteboards, but we did a little at the boards.  I had planned to on the parabola day but we ran out of time between doing the conic card sort each day, then the discovery activity, then practicing graphing them from standard and not-standard form, it took a while.

Geometry Conics: I hope all the links work and I hope someone finds it useful :)

Equations of a Circle
P. 760 #14,18,20,24,25,35
Circles and Ellipses
P. 438 2-12 evens
P. 439 39-42, 44
Applications of Ellipses
Desmos Polygraph: Circles and Ellipses
P. 438 23,32
P. 439 45, 48ab, 52
P. 440 66
Our book p. 761 31
The Hyperbola
P. 449 3, 12,14, 18, 20, 23, 25, 26, 67, 68
The Parabola
P. 428 1, 7, 15, 26, 54, 55-58
Practice Conics
Desmos Card Sort
P. 429 59, 69
P. 449 11, 22, 33
P. 450 65
Review for Quiz 10 on Conics

Quiz 10 on Conics

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Prepare to Fail & Fail & Fail again #mtbosblog18

I volunteer as our church youth minister in the same town in which I live and teach.  It is fun to be with a lot of my students outside the classroom.  Last night, we had our mystery all-nighter.  We have the kids sign up to go out to 2 unknown sites and then come back to the church and stay up until 6 am.  This year we started with glow bowling and a pizza dinner.  It was candlepin which I remembered I am not a fan of.  I prefer 10 pin (big ball).  I stunk at candlepin.  With the first throw I was surprised to see the bumpers were up for everyone, but good thing, because even with them I got one pin at a time.  Very frustrating, but the kids had fun.

Then, I was so excited to move onto our second site, Boda Borg Boston.  We came up with the idea of doing an escape room but they usually only fit like 8 people.  We had 45 kids and 7 adults, so I googled and found Boda Borg.  I asked where they had others and was surprised to learn this is the only one in the US and they started in Sweden.  Think IKEA, very sleek and minimalist.  A fascinating concept of quests.

(I didn't take any pictures.  I could have brought my camera in but didn't want to drop it.) 

On the website, it says there are 17 quests and you should be prepared to fail.  Most people do not figure it out the first time through.  Okay, how hard can it be?  Well, so hard - no - challenging.

The building itself is so cool.  There are two floors.  The main floor is the lobby with a big area of tables and a taco bar.  It wasn't open for us.  We did it 9pm - midnight.  There are 2 quests on this floor and 15 quests down stairs.  They sat us down for some instructions and the most important thing was to be aware of doors.  There are lots of doors and people will be coming out of them all the time.  This is a very accurate warning, so many doors!  The doors to enter the quest are painted green for a mental quest, red for a physical quest, and black for both mental and physical.  Outside each door is a little frame with the name of the room and sometimes a brief description that may or may not be helpful.  Above the door is a small tv/computer screen with a green triangle on it.  If it is flashing, then somebody is using the room or the room is being reset.  Just the technology was so cool.  Once you enter, you begin.  You don't know if it is just that one room you have to figure out or it might lead to another room.  When you enter the room, it is very simple looking.  Sometimes it seems way too simple and you have no idea what to do and then the buzzer goes off, a red circle appears on the computer screen above the door and you have failed.  You have to exit and then enter again.

I was on a team with 2 other chaperones.  We tried and tried and tried.  We would try a room like 10 times and then decide if we wanted to move on, which we usually did.  You aren't supposed to give others hints, but it is so fun and exciting, it can be hard not to.  We would be waiting in the hall and see other groups of our kids and kept checking in to see if they completed any rooms.  When you complete a room, you get to stamp your passport.  We made it a competition among all of us, but in a fun, encouraging way.  They were excited to give us clues which we needed and gladly took.  It was fun to hear the excitement as they explained what you had to turn or look for or be careful of.  They did better than us, but we stuck with it.

We went into one quest called Rats and a group of our boys were in line behind us.  They asked if we had been in and we said no. They said they had.  They made it to the third room and there were 5 rooms, but they were figuring it out. We walked in and looked around and then the buzzer went off and we failed.  We didn't even have time to do anything.  We could hear the boys laughing at us through the walls.  All in good fun.

The students started to feel for us as we hadn't completed any yet.  They said go upstairs and try the farm one, that is the easiest one.  It took us 3 times and we did it!

But, man, talk about failure.  It was really humbling.  You think are a smart, capable adult who stinks at candlepin bowling and then you go here. Phew!  In three hours, we successfully completed 3 out of 17 quests.  I don't even think we tried them all.  You get stuck on one and keep failing but keep trying.  You exit and you think about what you need to do and then you try that and it doesn't work, so you rethink.  There is so much strategizing! 

We did figure out the quiz show room.  It was three rooms and took us about 25 times.  I'm not kidding, but we were determined.

And, the other one we completed was called Tough, Tougher, and Toughest.  This room was a little different in that when you completed one room, you got a Tough stamp and then next room you would get the Tougher stamp.  It was a physical room with the ground painted red like lava and you had to use monkey bars and mountain climbing knob things to work your way through the room without touching the floor.  We finished the first room and got the Tough stamp. 

I am surprised more people aren't talking about it.  It has been here for 2 years.  I think it will grow in the US.  It is so fun!  Did I say that already?!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Feb 18 #MTBoSBlog18

This is part 2 of my #MTBoSBlog18 series, when I am blogging on the 18th of each month during 2018.

It seems like Jan 18th was long ago and I have been anxiously February 18th since Christmas.  My amazing 4 sons got me an unbelievable Christmas present - a plane ticket to go to Florida to see my parents who live there.  I was shocked when I opened the present and speechless.  One ticket, just for me.  They have lived there for 6 years and I haven't visited.  They come up once or twice a year for special occasions.  I have sent my kids to visit, but I can never afford the plane ticket to visit them because tickets are crazy expensive during school vacation week and I really don't want to visit in the hot summer.  I invited a friend to come along (my husband can't take the time off).

It is a lot to plan to go away for the week - plan for school, for family stuff, and for the trip itself.

For school, I gave 6 quizzes and tests this past week.  My goal was to have them all graded by Friday at 2 pm so it wouldn't hang over my head.  DONE!  My Algebra 1 and 2 classes finished up with tests which means that I need to be ready to go in to Mondays with a new unit which brings a new calendar, new lessons, and in Algebra 1, the catapult project.  DONE!  My geometry class is new to me and I am teaching transformations on Monday and that is DONE!  Boom!

There are two reasons I am still thinking about school on this Saturday night - one I had to get all my class VNPS pictures off my phone to get more room for pictures, so I had to blog along with them.  DONE!  Here are my new geometry blog posts:

Law of Sines
Law of Cosines and bearings
Formative assessment

The other reason is to blog on the 18th.

So, school stuff is good to go and after I type this I will stop thinking about school stuff and recharge - much needed!

My family stuff - I felt like I was nesting when I was getting ready to have each of my babies.  My laundry is done.  I made a huge think of white chicken chili for dinner tonight so they could have some leftovers.  I do my grocery shopping once each week, taking inventory of what I have and what I need and planning dinners for each night.  But, NOPE, not this week!  I am NOT making a grocery list and NOT going grocery shopping.  All 5 of my guys are perfectly capable to doing it, so I am letting them.  It is a rare week about of the last 26 years that I am not grocery shopping!

And, my trip stuff.  I checked in online.  My bag is packed.  I am not leaving until 11 am tomorrow, so I have some more time to pull some stuff together.  My most important things are my books.  Here is my plan.  I am reading Allegedly for our YA adult book club I have on Feb 25th.  It is about a young teen girl who lives in a group home for allegedly killing her baby sister.  Not the light, fluffy, pool/beach book I was looking for.  I am hoping I can make some progress in the morning and on the plane.  Then, I will read the other three.

The week - my parents live in a great neighborhood and my dad is the association's president.  He calls Bingo on Wednesday, so we will go to that.  They live near Siesta Keys beach, so we will go there.  My dad wants to take us to the Riverwalk and to see the manatees.  After that, it is all beach and pool and reading and relaxing!