Sunday, September 28, 2014

Two Buck Barbies

It was a beautiful New England Sunday and I wanted to do something, so my husband and I headed to a local flea market.  We hadn't been in about 20 years. 

Time warp, it was the same stuff junk as 20 years ago.  I felt like we were on the set of the TV show The Goldbergs.  Wow, the people were the same, the stuff was the same, just wow. 

We weren't looking for anything in particular and then I saw some Barbie dolls.  I have four sons, but I loved Barbies when I was a little girl.  But, more importantly, I was thinking about my Barbie Bungee lesson.  I did it for the first time last year.  You can read about it here.  It was such a fun lesson.  Barbies aren't cheap though and I cheaped out last year.  I went to Kmart and got two packs of 3 fake barbies for $5.  I did hang a Wanted sign in my room for kids to bring Barbies in, but no one did, so I had to rely on these cheap ones.  It worked, was a great, fun lesson, but their arms, legs, and heads kept falling off and they really didn't have any weight to them.

The flea market today had real Barbies!  I walked by two different vendors who were selling them for $3 each and I passed.  Then, I found some for $2.00, yeah!  I bought 4 of them even though I needed six, so back to the other vendors I went.  While walking a different path, I found one real Barbie in a $1.00 pile.  (Below she is the best one in the big blue gown).  Yeah, grabbed her up.  And, off to find one more.  She was $3.00.  I told the woman that I was a math teacher and what I was doing with her and I must have gotten her flustered because she couldn't make my change.  I gave her a $20 bill for a $3.00 doll.  She had mostly ones and apologized as she gave me a $5 bill and 6 ones.  She said, "Check that and make sure it is right.  I am done to all ones."  I said, "This is only $11," to which she gave me one more dollar.  I politely said, "I need $5.00".  Phew, that was a tough sale, but her are my new real Barbies:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Disney Project Time

I love doing the Disney Project in my Algebra I class.  It is my favorite class of the year.  I blogged about the details of it here last year Disney 2013

It is early in the year.  The kids get to pick their groups of 3 or 4 and they are off to work.  They are excited and engaged and the conversations are just priceless.

They get $8000 to plan a week's trip to Disney.  Some groups drive and some fly.  You would think I was asking them to go on $200.  Some of the conversations overheard today:

"We will eat all our meals at McDonald's.  For breakfast, we will all get Egg McMuffins.  For lunch, we will split a four piece chicken nuggets."

"Let's get a Prius so we don't have to pay for gas."

"The parents are old, so they get a senior citizen discount."

"Do they all have to go to the park or can someone be sick?"  (to save money on park tickets)

"Let's stay in the cheapest, dingiest hotel on the way down."

"Can we use our airmiles?"

I reminded them to account for parking if they needed to.  "Do people actually plan that way and have to plan for parking ahead of time?"

"Can a friend drive us to the airport?"

The kids are ages 10 and 15.  When looking at park ticket prices - "Oh, so age does matter?!"  When looking at airfare, "Age doesn't matter?"

Lots of funnies today.  I can't wait to see the final products.  They only get 1.5 weeks to do this.  I told them some people can plan for 6 months to a year and I didn't want them to get too carried away.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thursday and Friday Activities

I was concerned about keeping up the fun activities, but it was another good day.

I have a small class of 6 in an alternative math class with all different math backgrounds.  We are doing Estimation 180 each day.  I let the one student come up and play teacher to lead the discussion and enter the answers into the computer.  I am enjoying watching them. 

Next, we did cheesemonkey's number bootcamp here: Bootcamp game.  It is a board game.  I used a coin to flip for heads to be positive and tails to be negative, then a dice to tell them how many spaces to go, a numberline as the board, and cards with problems.  I thought it might have too many parts but they did great.  And, I learned that they are better with negative numbers than I thought.  Some good feedback. 

In Accelerated Algebra 2, I am continuing with the activities.  I introduced piecewise functions.  First with a cut and paste Piecewise Investigation (sorry, I borrowed it, but can't remember from whom).  And, then we did an Around the World Piecewise thing with the kids given a piecewise function, then find its matching graph.  The kids were up and moving and answering each other's questions.  It was a fun Friday activity.

What did you do this summer - play do style

I have 12 kids in Advisory.  We met for the first time yesterday.  Rather than just talk about what we did over the summer, they each got a new can of play do and had to make something. Then, they explained it.  Ahhhh, the smells.  It brought all of us right back to childhood.  And, it was harder than they thought.  Here are some pictures:

Here is our exchange student with her plane:
 This girl went to Bermuda with her palm tree:
Here we have a sailboat and Mt. Acadia:
 He went fishing:
 These guys worked together.  The bottom is the lake, the top is the boat.
 And, another boater:
 And, a biker:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fun Activities

I am so much more comfortable when I have previously done an activity.  They are fun activities and I only hope I can continue to find great activities:

I have a small class of alternative math class and we did the marshmallow challenge - 20 pieces of spaghetti, 1 yard of string, 1 yard of masking tape, and 1 marshmallow.  The kids get 18 minutes to work in groups to build the tallest freestanding structure that will support the marshmallow on top.  There is a TED talk about it too, so we watched that afterwards and had some great conversation.  Often, it is difficult to come up with anything that will stay standing but both groups found success.  They made some prototypes along the way and eventually 1 group got it to 17 inches and one got 17.5 inches.  Here are some pictures:

In Algebra I, we were starting problem solving so we did a 3Act - Taco Cart from Dan Meyer using big whiteboards.  The kids did great:

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What I learned from my students - week 1

I assigned an autobiography to my Accelerated Algebra 2 students and a few things stood out:

I will try NOT to do too much talking this year.   Algebra 1 students had a different homework and theirs asked what they liked about math teachers.  A lot of them said "patient".

So = less talking and more patience:

They also like teachers/math who are organized. I think I am pretty good at this:
This autobiography asked students to be creative.  I thought it was interesting that that meant using acronyms:

And, a few said that the unit circle was scary.  I told them, not when they see my pretty garland unit circle later in the year - they will love it!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

#1st Day of School

Yeah, Me!  I am starting my 10th year of teaching.  It has gone by fast....

Finally!  I think we are the last school to start.  I have been working hard to get my room and lessons ready, so I was ready when the kids came.  Here is a look:

My agenda as they walk in:
1st up: I greet them at the door and give them an index card that they can write on and solve a 1 variable equation for x.  The solution is the numbered desk they should sit at.  I have done this for 10 years and really like it.  Gets the kids working right away and talking to each other and asking me for help:
Little tour of my room, what the kids saw:  1st, a work station, my cups are set up for the cup challenge:
My teacher desk:
A little table I made last summer and pink chairs I found this summer - all picked from the trash and recycled:
Here are some conics problems via @desmos from last year.  And, my Mindset poster:

This is my pencil sharpener, sign out area:
 I love color coding.  Here are my notes for today:
In Algebra I, we did Bucky Badger.  In Algebra 2, we did the cup challenge

 After a quick explanation of rules/policies/syllabus/communication, we played 31-derful (arrange 5 rows and 5 columns so they each add to 31) and I showed a video of 8 Awesome Things About My Summer. (I made this in keynote but can't figure out how to share it).

I have 2 preps now before 5 in a row tomorrow, so back to work.