Friday, January 31, 2020

My Gift to You: A Factoring Goldmine

I am excited with the way my polynomial unit has turned out and I wanted to share.  I am glad I tried everything out first because my first class found all my mistakes. They are my editors!

We started Polynomial vocabulary, add, subtract, multiply, long divide, and synthetic divide.  That was the first part of my unit before midterms.  Then, we took a break and did midterm review and a week of midterms.  That meant I actually had time to make some new activities for the second half of the unit.  I did not want to just direct teach factoring and do a bunch of worksheets.  So, I took the worksheets and turned them into activities.  We had 4 days of factoring this week.  Next week we will have two days of graphing factoring polynomials.  You can see I included the Pizzazz joke puzzles.  We didn't really have in class time for that but if kids wanted more practice, those were good self-checking problems.  I assigned homework from the book.

Feel free to use any of these if you are factoring.  This was how I developed my plan.  I love when I have time to actually sit and plan and create. 

I made the activities, then I decided how I wanted to teach it and made my Google Slide.  I wanted to do quick check ins, so I had a couple of exit tickets in there.

For the Board problems on day 63, I had the kids at the boards #VNPS for quick check in.
For Day 64, I used Sarah Carter's Factor Stack - worked really well.

8.5 Distributive Property with Polynomials
Factoring by Grouping
8.6 Factor all trinomials

8.7 Factor Special Products

Practice Factoring
I Have, Who Has (for class of 18 - could do 2 teams vs each other)
Factor Bingo    Bingo maker
Bingo Set 1 (8 cards)
Bingo Set 2 (8 cards)
Bingo Set 3 (8 cards)
Bingo Set 4 (8 cards)

Poly Lab Graphing
Worksheet to go with Desmos Activity
Review graphing practice

Review for Quiz 8

Then, I just bought a new laminator and I put it to use for the first time.  I asked Twitter if I should cut first and then laminate or laminate first.  I tried both. I think laminating first saved time. The pieces came out sharper and I think they will last for a good amount of time.  I only wish I tried my activities before I laminated because I had some mistakes.  I just fixed them with a sharpie.

My favorite activity of the week was 4 in a row.  I have seen teachers on Twitter use the idea before so I thought it would work well for focused practice on factoring perfect square trinomials and difference of two squares.  I did laminate the board and had the kids write on it with highlighters but that didn't work so well.  For my second class, I just printed it out on paper and had them use pencils to do Xs and Os, much better. 

We have an early release today so we did "I Have...Who Has...?"  I have done this before with other content and really enjoy it.  My first class is smaller, so we did it as the whole class putting themselves in order.  My second class is bigger so we did two teams and did a competition. I was happy with both ways.  Below was BINGO which was also a lot of fun. 

I will say I haven't tried the two graphing ones yet with my class.  I had a 12 page worksheet that goes with the graphing calculator that I have used for years and I finally had time to turn it into a Desmos activity.  I still wanted the kids to record on paper so they were actually drawing the graphs and hopefully seeing the patterns.  I hope it goes as I envision it.  

Thanks for reading.  Let me know if you use any of these ideas or if you make them better or if you find any mistakes. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

First Post....A Good Year?

This is my first post of school year 2019-2020 and my first post of the year 2020.  It is also my 1st post in a series for a blogging initiative I started called #MTBoS2020.  If you are reading and you blog, sign up here.  If you are reading and don't blog - thank you - but read here (the same link) and find some other writers taking part in #MTBoS2020. 

What is MTBoS? It stands for Math-Twitter-Blog O Sphere.  We started some while ago, kind of when Dan Meyer starting blogging.  We are just a group of educators who are active on Twitter and also like to blog to share ideas.  There is no official membership card.  If you want to be part of MTBoS, then you are part of MTBoS.  If you are on Twitter, consider including the #MTBoS to meet more amazing educators and you can start following them.

Why 2020?  I thought it would be helpful to remember to write a blog post on the 20th of each month of 2020.  We can use this as a motivator.  Back in the day, everyone was blogging.  I started by reading blogs and then I wanted to start my own blog just so I could add other people's blog to my blog roll so I could find them more easily.  I took off with it.  I love to blog about my lessons and include pictures and links to worksheets.  I love to look back and reflect (and maybe cringe) at old lessons.  I can use blog posts in my end of the year portfolio.

Back to why my first post of the school year?  This school year has been great. I kind of didn't want to type about it because I didn't want to jinx anything and I didn't want to sound braggy.  Last year wasn't so great a year, school wise, so I didn't write a lot then either.  So, I don't write when things are good, and I don't write when things are bad???? I just need to type.

What makes this a good year?
  • My classes are small.  I usually have 5 classes of at least 25, sometimes 29 kids.  That is 125 students.  Our town is growing so fast and our classrooms are swelling, however, for whatever reason, I only have 80 kids.  I can really feel the difference, especially when grading assessment, when I make my monthly seating charts, and best benefit is small classes are comfortable and starting to feel like a family.
  • I love my classroom.  I am lucky to have a lot of great technology - apple laptop, apple tv to project my google slideshows in lessons - lots of whiteboards all around my room for VNPS and #thinkingclassroom.  I have a corner classroom, so lots of windows.  Everything has a spot in my room, I even have a jigsaw puzzle table.
  • I love the content I teach.  I have a variety of classes and levels.  I teach 2 Accelerated Algebra 2 class, 2 Accelerated Algebra 1 classes, and 1 College Preparatory Geometry.
  • And, shhhhhhh, but I do not have any discipline issues.  They are all really well behaved.  Some can be immature here and there but it's all good.
  • I have all five classes in the same room.
This may not sound like a lot but it IS a lot and it makes a huge difference and making a school year go more smoothly.  I am really appreciating it for all it is.

What's next?  Thank you for reading, especially if this is your first time to my blog.  I am currently worked on 4 days of lessons of factoring lessons.  I am reinventing our Accelerated Algebra 1 curriculum this year, so I am building the raft while I am trying to paddle down the river.  I got a little big ahead as last week was review for midterms and this week is midterms.  When we start 2nd term, I am doing 4 lessons on factoring polynomials.  I didn't want to direct teach and then have them practice with worksheets, so I am creating some new activities.  Stay tuned......