Super Math Teacher

The thoughts of a middle school math teacher

Christmas Card

It is just a few days left until Winter Break.  This year, I am flying to the US, for one night, before joining family on a cruise through the Panama Canal.  I am so ready for this break!

This has been a challenging week.  Not because of what I am teaching .  I love teaching linear equations.  IT has been challenging because the students are ready for break, and are also overwhelmed with their tests, projects, and school stuff at the end of the quarter/semester.  Needless to say, I have been frustrated a great deal this week.

My day was made with the arrival of a Christmas card from a cousin.  Since mail is unreliable to have delivered to my apartment, things are sent to me at school.  Of course, it came during homeroom.

 

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My students were fascinated by the mail.  THey weren’t curious about who it was from.  Their comments were more along the lines of “Who sends mail?”  and “How much did it cost to send?”  I messaged my cousin top let her know I received the card, and that it took about two and half weeks to arrive.  I shared her response with the kids.  “It cost more to mail than the cost of the card.”

The card was a great pick me up after a frustrating week.  Tomorrow should be better.  It is Friday, casual day, an A day, and the opening of the new Star Wars movie (which I already have tickets to go see, with a group of friends).

I keep telling myself…It is only a few more days!

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Slope and Linear Equations

I like teaching about linear equations. Over the years, I have started using more hands on activities in order to help students make connections with the different types of equations.  Desmos, if you have not used it before, has a wealth of activities that are available.  This year, I created my own introduction to slope activity.

 

Students were definitely engaged!  They remember What Slope Dude says. (I personally, cannot stand the Adventures of Slope Dude, but my students loved it!

In addition to introducing slope, 2 classes were able to use the activity Land the Plane.  Or, as they called it, Crash the Plane.  This was more challenging, since it had to be EXACT, but students had fun.  They also played polygraph and which is steepest.  All of these are available from Desmos.

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In the room, we do a version of Simon says, only with slope.  Students are very competitive, and it was fun to watch the students who usually struggle actually be the winners, while top students were more likely to get out in the first few rounds.

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We also did a matching activity with slope intercept form.  It was easy to match the equation with the slope and the y-intercept, but then they had another point that was on the line.  Students had to determine which point was on which equation, without graphing!  The discussions among pairs of students were incredible!

Coming up: Point Slope form and Standard form….stay tuned.

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