Sunday, March 16, 2014

Twitter Talk on Pi Day

We had a professional development day on Friday, Pi Day.  I gave a presentation on my love affair with Twitter.  I shared my tweeps and treasures.  I was like a salesperson for Twitter.  I showed them all the good stuff I have been finding and told them how it was the best PD ever.  I created the #PiDayPD but was mostly talking to myself.  I also showed them the relationship between twitter and blogs.  It went really well.  I had fun presenting and I think the two groups of 8 learned something new.  It was interesting, the first group was made up of people who had twitter accounts for the most part and the second group, no one had an account.  But, after lunch, I helped 3 math teachers create twitter accounts.

Since it was pi day, I made pi for my attendees:

And, here are all my props I pulled out to talk about:
I included #tlap, the book Teach Like a Pirate and gave it such rave reviews, one teacher bought it online during my presentation.  I hope he likes it!
I handed out twitter exit cards.  I asked two questions: What is one question you still have and what is one thing you learned today.  Some of the lingering questions had to do with the student/teacher twitter interactions.  I told them that I use mine more to be connected with math teachers so I can find all my goodies.  But, I do put my handle out there so kids can follow if they are interested.  However, I do not follow students because then I would have their stuff coming up in my feed.  I think it is a good balance.
Finally, here is the presentation itself.  Hope it works through dropbox:  Twitter Blog PiDayPD 2014 ppt  I apologize it is so long.  I had 45 minutes to present and just kept finding more and more goodies to add to it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Web - Easy and powerful

I heard about webs a while ago at a conference and have used them since.  They are so easy to make and powerful.  You can just create a blank one and add in whatever you want.  You could put the answer in the middle and have the kids come up with the rest.  For these two, we are learning graphing quadratics in standard form and vertex form.  They were to tell me everything they know about the equations and the graph.  They would start with something simple like the vertex and that it opens up.  I try to pull more out of them and get it.  Then, I give them time to work.  As they are getting more on the paper, I ask them to go and write it on the board.  Here are the results:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My conics unit

This was the first time I have taught conics in my Algebra 2 class.  I loved creating a new unit, finding all the good stuff on the internet and putting it together.  Now, I will need to do the same for all the trig stuff.

Anyways, I almost had too much for conics, but here are a few fun things we did with conics:

When we did parabolas, the idea of focus and directrix was new, so we used waxed paper to create our own parabolas.  A quick and easy, yet powerful activity:

When we learned ellipses - why do they have two foci?  This drawing activity helped them grasp it.  I love setting up activities like this that will last over the years.  I took graph paper and laminated it.  I collected the box tops to our copy paper to use as little tables.  We put the graph paper on top and put 2 push pins in for the foci.  I used wet erase markers.  I was going to use string but couldn't find it at Lowe's.  I found something else but it didn't work so a colleague recommended floss - perfect.  I cut them out and tied them ahead of time.  Don't make them too big or it will go off the box top.  I had my spray bottles to clean them.  Here is my box of supplies and a finished result. 

I mentioned conic cards from Cindy Johnson.  We sorted a different conic each day.  This picture shows the kids doing all 4 conics in groups of four.  They were really good at it.
I think putting all of these together did the kids well.  We have a day of review and then a quiz, so we shall see. 

Now, to find lots of goodies for trig, trig graphs, and trig identities....hint, hint....