Showing posts with label math. Show all posts
Showing posts with label math. Show all posts

Look -- Book Review & Finding Patterns Activity Round-Up


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

As a math teacher I know that being able to see and recognize patterns is important. When kids are young, we teach them simple pattern finding. When they are older, we teach harder pattern finding that goes into things like equations of lines and other graphs. I know because I just taught patterns to my algebra class. I also teach patterns in geometry. Patterns are important in life and in developing our brains! Patterns are also a huge part of our lives. We see them all around us. We create them in our daily lives. Patterns can be dances, songs, daily routines, fabric prints, bead colors or shapes, spirals, branches, etc. Even our bodies are made with some patterns. They are truly everywhere. Today I get to share a new book about looking for patterns both to learn patterns and to help give you a break when needed. The book is Look by Gabi Snyder and illustrated by Samantha Cotterill. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8.

Pi Day Activities for Different Ages


On March 14, mathematicians and much of the world celebrate Pi Day. Since the approximation of the number pi is 3.14, March 14th was picked for the day. It was first celebrated in 1988 in San Francisco. As a math teacher I get excited for Pi Day, however our school is always on spring break on March 14th so I don't get to celebrate it with my students. This year I thought I would do a round-up of Pi Day activities and try to share ones for different age groups since much of what I see are for younger kids and I teach high school. Be sure to start your celebration with some pi jokes and riddles like these. Some of the Best Things in Life Are Mistakes shares a round-up of free Pi Day decorations! By the way Pi Day is also Albert Einstein's birthday. You can also have a birthday celebration for Albert!

New Board Books for the Spring


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Spring is basically upon us and as everything awakens, I am noticing I know several people who just had babies or about to have babies. It is the perfect time to look at board books to read to little ones or gift!! Today I have four new board books (one being released tomorrow) to share with you. The first is Hey, Little Night Owl by Jeffrey Burton and illustrated by Joy Hwang Ruiz. 

Math Themed Calendars


Disclosure: I was sent these calendars in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

With the new year approaching I have to share something I am excited to add to my classroom. I am sharing two math-themed calendars or what I will call math themed. I have two page-a-day calendars that will work in my classroom. One is Origami Page-A-Day 2024 Calendar by Margaret Van Sicklen and Workman Calendars, and it will be perfect in my geometry class as well to enterain the kids who visit my room for origami paper. The other one is Original Sudoku Page-A-Day 2024 Calendar by Workman Calendars and Nikoli Publishing, and it is perfect for adding some problem solving and logic skills to kids. 

The Big Fat High School Algebra 1 Workbook -- Product Review


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

As a teacher and a mother, I fell in love with the Big Fat Notebook Series. We have shared many of them here and I have the math ones in my classroom. My small Algebra 1 class is a mix of different learners. Most have some sort of special need and work on the slower side. I am always looking for ideas for them and have pulled out Everything You Need to Know About Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 in One Big Fat Notebook for inspiration. Today I get to share with you a companion to this book. It is The Big Fat High School Algebra 1 Workbook by Workman Publishing. 

Algebra 1 Equation BINGO with Leftover Halloween Candy & More Resources from My Classroom


Although I have an amazing math book to share with you, I decided to put it off for a week to share a fun Algebra 1 activity as well as more resources that is perfect with leftover Halloween candy!! In my Algebra 1 class we are solving equations. My students have a mixed background as to what they have seen, so for some solving equations is a struggle. Last week I made them a doodle note with steps to solve equations. 

Bringing Origami to Geometry Class -- Product Reviews


Disclosure: I was sent these products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

One thing I love to do is bring origami into my classroom. Whether using the old patty paper methods to discover theorems and such or doing origami and perhaps an origami project to demonstrate using geometric terms or just to have cool geometric shapes around the room, I love adding origami. I actually have a box of origami paper in my room-- a boot box covered with Asian wrapping paper. Students come in all the time to have a piece or two just to create something for a relaxed moment. Today I am sharing a book full of geometry and geometric shapes all created by origami and two different packs of origami paper (which all will be added to my classroom supply). I have a shelf full of origami books and kits as well. The book is The Art & Science of Geometric Origami by Jun Maekawa. The packs of paper are Origami Paper 300 Sheets Vibrant Colors 4" (10 cm) and Origami Paper in a Box Japanese Washi Patterns

Math Mysteries: The Triple Threat -- Math Monday Book Review


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It is very rare to find a good math novel. I was once gifted The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure by Hans Magnus Enzenberger by a student's family. It is a middle grade novel, so I thought it was a bit strange (to receive as a high school teacher), but then I read it. I loved it. Unfortunately, it is out of print, and I loaned my copy to someone and never got it back. That is my biggest experience with a math novel. However today I am sharing a new math novel with you. It is not a fantasy as The Number Devil, but it has some great math in it and it is explained in ways that kids will be able to understand. The book is volume 1 of the Math Mysteries series. It is Math Mysteries: The Triple Threat by Aaron Starmer and illustrated by Marta Kissi. It is recommended for ages 8 to 12. 

Math Monday -- Parent Graph Transformations Lessons


The start of this year is tough. My schedule is tough. I teach straight through on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with only lunch as a break. I have two prep periods on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but they are usually spent giving extra help to students. Our school requires teachers to be there from 7:30 to 4. School goes from 8:15 to 3:15. I have to say the extra time until 4 is a waste for me because my brain just needs a break before I can really think or function on work. I often have to wait until after dinner to get any more work done. As a teacher I feel it is a little ridiculous for any school to have set hours for teachers besides the required ones when the school is open. Teachers by nature will do the work they need to on their own time. We are not teaching because we want to be rich or famous. We teach because we want to teach and be with the kids. After three weeks in, I'm still getting use to the schedule and figuring things out.

Origami Animals and Origami Paper Review and How I Use It in My Classroom


Disclosure: I was sent these products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I am heading back to school for teacher training and the pre-school year prep. One of the things I always have in my room is origami paper and books. I use them with my geometry classes and pull them out during breaks and students come in to get some when they need a break or something to do with their hands. Today I am going to share with you an origami kit and three packs of origami paper which I will be adding to my classroom collection! We will start with the kit which is Fun with Origami Animals by Sam Ita. It is recommended for ages 6 to 10. I would say it is perfect for beginners no matter the age.

Back to School...Classroom Decor, Things I Learned and Free Resources


It was very different teaching last year versus when I left teaching 17 years ago. So much has changed from technology to expectations. When I taught previously every high school used Geometers' Sketchpad and now there are free and easier to use programs like GeoGebra. Graphing calculators were a huge deal and it was hard to get students to buy them. We actually often had a class set or at least a few for the ones who could not afford them. Now if they do not have the calculators, they can use online programs like Desmos. Although I did not permit Desmos during tests since it was too hard to monitor what they were really doing on their devices with online searches and such. I discovered I liked Desmos better for some things because of the ease to use it. However, I still teach kids to use their graphing calculators because they are able to use them in standardized testing like the SAT and ACT. 

Spatial Math for Little Ones -- Two New Books


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Not-So-Common Cents -- Blog Tour & Giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and being part of the blog tour & giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Today I get to share with you a new National Geographic Kids book all about money and our financial system. I am participating in the Not-So-Common Cents Blog Tour & Giveaway which includes an excerpt from the book. See below the blog tour banner! It also includes a giveaway--good luck! The book is Not-So-Common Cents by Sarah Wassner Flynn. It is recommended for ages 8 to 12.

Fractal Tree -- Geometry Class Project


One of my goals this year is to bring fractals into my teaching, especially in geometry class. Today I am going to share the fractal tree. It can easily be done on a computer but is also great for practicing measuring with a ruler and protractor. Now a fractal tree is probably one of the most basic fractals and well-known or at least its cousin, the fern is certainly seen as a fractal. 

Congruent Triangle Gazebo -- Geometry Class Project


One of my goals now that I'm teaching is to share some of the projects I am doing with my classes. Before break I was teaching my geometry classes the congruent triangle shortcuts: SSS, SAS, SAA, ASA, and HL (for right triangles only). In one class I assigned a congruent triangle project. I gave the kids the choice of building a truss bridge, making a gazebo, or making a congruent triangle picture that had at least five different pairs of congruent triangles (one for each shortcut) and they needed a page showing each of the pairs as congruent with one of the shortcuts or needed to mark them in their drawing. Most of the kids picked the drawing. I wasn't in love with the gazebo tutorial, or the gazebo made in it so I thought I would make my own. Today I am going to share my gazebo as well as a project sheet to assign it. (I am still deciding if I am going to assign it to my other class or not as they are about half a chapter behind the other one.) 

Christmas Fractal Lesson


Over the years I have shared my love for fractals with you. I began with my introduction to frozen fractals after Elsa sings about them in "Let It Go" in Disney's Frozen. A fractal is an object that has self-similarity, or each part looks like the whole. It introduces new ideas of symmetry, dimensionality, and more. Fractal geometry often explains some of the irregularities of our world. It can be a very complex topic to understand, but it is an important one. Fractals are making advances in our medical world, entertainment (movies, computer games and more) as well as science. There are some topics that kids even young kids can understand. Since they were introduced in Frozen, many kids have now heard of them. I feel it is important to teach kids about them and give them a true idea of what they are. 

Dollhouse Scaling Project -- Geometry Class Project


This weekend I found a mini-room box kit on clearance at a craft store. I picked it up and thought it would be great for my classroom when I teach ratios, similarity and scaling. It is 1/24-scale which is also known as 1/2 scale. The 1/24 scale means that for every 24 inches (or 2 feet) an object is in real life, the miniature will have 1-inch. All the dollhouses I have worked with previously have been 1/12 scale or sometimes called 1:1 scale. It is for every 12 inches (or 1 foot) a real-life object is the miniature will measure 1 inch. The kit was easy to put together though I did mess up the wallpaper on one piece.

Sierpinski Gasket -- Math Art -- Fractals


Today I am going to share some fun math art looking at a famous fractal--the Sierpinski Gasket or the Sierpinski Triangle. It is a perfect fractal to have kids create and goes well with geometry lessons. A fun way to introduce it and create it is the Chaos Game. Here is a video showing the Chaos Game with a triangle, square, and pentagon. With the triangle the Sierpinski Triangle will appear with enough iterations of the game. The rule as explained in the video is to begin with a random point. Then randomly choose a vertex. Connect your point to the vertex and find the midpoint. (Erase the line.) The midpoint is your new starting point. Repeat. This is a game you could easily play in a class as well. Don't watch the video first though. 

Exploring Pi with a Fractal & Pi Activity Round-Up


I really wanted to do something with pi for artwork in my classroom plus would love a good pi activity. I struggled with this one. I have seen the pi skyline like this one over at What Do We Do All Day? It is fun but not quite what I am looking for. There are different pi artworks if you google "pi art" but most is based on the digits of pi. To be honest I do not believe in having kids memorize the digits of pi, so much of the artwork is not my thing. As I was searching for ideas, I came across this YouTube video that intrigued me. I decided to make the "fractal" that has an area of pi! It is a spin from the Sierpinski Carpet, Menger Sponge, and the Wallis Sieve. Now fractals are supposed to be infinite, but I cannot draw them this way. I am working on taking this fractal to the third level. If you were able to go on infinitely the area of this picture would be pi. 

Pythagorean Theorem Fun -- DIY Mathematical Art


As I continue to think about my new job in September and plan for what I want to hang in my classroom, I am exploring the Pythagorean Theorem. The Pythagorean Theorem is probably one of the most well-known or well-remembered theorem in math. It is often taught in both algebra and geometry. In algebra it lends to working with exponents and roots and in geometry with triangles. I have seen memes saying how people did not use the Pythagorean theorem today, but I have also been told by many people that they have used it in their lives from building a new deck and woodwork to programming and more. Although math has real life applications and was mostly discovered to explain the world, much of math is taught to help develop the brain of our children. In high school the brain is just beginning to truly develop its logic skills and math is huge in helping with this. The Pythagorean theorem also is mentioned (incorrectly) in the Wizard of Oz. Yes, it is this famous!

Although it is named for the Greek mathematician, Pythagoras, it was known throughout the world before his time. It is referenced in Ancient Egypt and Babylon (around 1900 BC). Apparently, it did not become as well known until Pythagoras stated it. There are many proofs of this theorem and some of them like the one below is a visual proof.