Showing posts from November, 2014

Look for and Express Regularity in Repeated Reasoning… in Math!

My class was working on coming up with the "rules" for multiplying integers.  First, they used what they know about repeated addition (and rules for adding integers) to answer these problems.

Next, they cut apart the cards and sorted them into 3 categories… those that resulted in a positive answer, negative answer, and answer of 0.  Then I had them look at each category (one at a time) and report out anything they noticed in the problem that they could use to predict if the answer would be positive, negative, or zero.  My goal was to have them discover the rules that I used to just tell them:

positive x positive = positive
negative x negative = positive
negative x positive = negative
positive x negative = positive
anything x 0 = 0
0 x anything = 0

In the past, I might have just wrote this on the board, talked a lot, and expected student to apply the rules.  Having students do this "card sort" and come up with the rules themselves really helped them to make sense of the r…

What's In A Daily Agenda?

Here is a picture of my white board from today:

Here's what's what on my white board:
1.) I list "office hours" for the week.  It's the time I set aside to give kids extra help outside the regular school day.  I know a lot of teachers that let students get help from them before school, after school, and even lunch.  Those teachers are so kind-hearted, but I can't help but think they are going to get a little burned out soon!  You have to take care of yourself and sometimes boundaries can help with that.  Therefore, I give students specific times that I can commit to giving them help.  I also thinks it helps them get better at planning and time management if they know they can't just come whenever the mood strikes them!
2) The date-- yep, we are learning about integers.  So today's date was written as -1 x -7.  One of my favorites to throw in there is anything to the zero power for the 1st of the month (like 5^0).  It gets them every time… until it sto…

Meet Steve and Stu

At first I thought this post has little to do with math or teaching.  But then I was thinking, that as educators it is important to keep a balance in our work/home lives and manage the stress our jobs brings.  Therefore doing things that make you happy and reduces stress is important.  So there, that is how I am justifying showing you pictures of my cute new cats! :)
My cat, Lily, that I had for 12 years passed away at the age of 14.  I miss her everyday and my house was feeling empty.  So my husband and I went to the shelter and adopted these two brothers and named them Stu and Steve.  

Halloween Math Talk

I hope you had a fun Halloween!  Here is an idea for a math talk that I did yesterday with students.

First, let students know that you are going to put an image on the board, but only for a few seconds.  Their goal is to figure out "how many there are."  With only a few seconds, they won't have time to count them all individually.

Next, display this on the board for a few seconds… not long enough to count all the pumpkins.
Record answers before you reveal the image again.  The answer is 39.
Have students share how they got their answers.  If they got the wrong answer, they can share where they went wrong.  If they got it correct, they can share their strategy.  This is a good way to encourage the idea that there is more than one way to approach  problem.
Some ideas I heard in my classes: 1. Group the top left 12 and the bottom left is the same.  That makes 24, then count the remaining pumpkins to equal 39. 2. If there was a pumpkin in every "space" there would …