Friday, 21 March 2014

Skill Drill in Disguise! BINGO!

We had explored the exponential graphs of growth and decay from two investigations and followed up with a calculator investigation in previous lessons. I felt it was time to, as my colleague would say, do some "skill drill". With long lessons I am hesitant just to list questions on the board for students to do.

This isn't very inventive startergy but it allows students to do the drill but with elements of choice. The bingo board is made-up of selected questions from the text or questions inspired by the the questions. Students can choose to work in whatever order they like and there are also some options within a box, i.e. Multiple Choice. The boxes have been grade with one star ("plug and chug" type questions) to three star (questions that might require something, but by no means strenuous!).

It keeps students motivated as they get gratification of crossing off a box and don't feel pressured to do questions in order. It's also good for me to get visual feedback on students progress during work time.

This was a surprisingly successful lesson. I also learnt that there are many types of Bingo (according to my students) - as some took the liberty to re-title their page "Australian Bingo" after they discovered it was not just 3 in a row (!!). They told me this type of Bingo where they have to get all boxes is often called "Blackout" in the US - I guess you learn something new everyday!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


Warning - This can be addictive!

A fun little game has emerged out of the blue called 2048. If you try, you can stretch to say it can link with mathematics and exponential growth (hey, I am a math teacher!)….slightly!

The premise is simple: pressing the directional keys will shift all the tiles on the board in a given direction, then add a new tile. Every time two tiles with the same numerical value collide, they merge into one, with a value equal to the two previous tiles combined. The aim of the game? Reach 2048.

Seems harmless enough….. haha

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Math Project Menu and WWW EBI Feedback sheet

Problem solving and worded problems can be one large mountain to climb!

Had a pretty fun session with my Grade 8's exploring Linear Functions and Models through a menu board of sheets.

We started by doing a class problem, 'The Growing Cube', to explore the steps of working mathematically in practice and encourage group work and collaboration 

We used a range of materials to explore, collect data and investigate a pattern.

After The Growing Cube, problem students started the menu board sheets. Students liked being able to do the activities in their own order and have some overall some choice in relation to the problems. As well as, optional bonus credit problems.

Then it raised the question for me  - how can I give constructive feedback and have some sort of record also. Yes, I could of just written ll my feedback on each sheet and taken some notes, but having a feedback form I thought might be useful to see patterns and a "one stop shop".

I produced a simple table, similar to a PMI to structure my feedback and ensure I am giving some balanced comments:

Then lightbulb moment - why, oh why didn't I think of this earlier?!?!?!….WWW EBI!! Such better language to use! It was too late or my class but not for my teaching colleague! Take 2 is much better! :D

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Teacher Appreciation Flower

I received a beautiful flower. 

No it wasn't a rose. Or a tulip. Or lilly. But one from the students to show appreciation for their teachers. Simple and sweet idea. 

The teachers name goes in the centre or stem. Then students can write messages on the petals or even leaves if need be. 

Monday, 3 March 2014

KWL Chart from Teachers Pay Teachers

I haven been meaning to write a post on the website Teacher Pay Teacher (TPT), but yet to get to it (it's coming soon!). I found this through another one of my favouite sources of inspiration, Pintrest.

I was partially drawn to this KWL chart as its quite visual and clear about each individual section.

Creator, Rebekah Benson, writes "It is designed to get students thinking about how the things we know, want to know, and have learned are connected. Coming out of the mouth, you will find a space for students to write what they already know, or can tell you about. In a thought bubble above the head, is a space for what a student might want to know, or be thinking about, but not sure yet. Finally after the lesson, the student can write the information directly into the brain, simulating the act of filing the information away in their own brain."

Well Done Rebekah and looking forward to using it! :)