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.