I love teaching transformations. It's so fun to get visual with the students and allow them to see the world around them with new vocabulary and new appreciation.
Take a look around for examples
Transformations are everywhere. I like to ask the students to brainstorm as many reflections and then translation and finally, rotations that they can think of in 5 minutes or less.
Once they do this, we can share on the board all their different answers. As the other students start to answer they can add to their lists. After a bit, as their brains are still processing the new information they just learned from their classmates, I like to add have them add to their list again.
With the challenge of not listing something on somebody else's paper, their answers can get very creative. Usually, too creative, and someone will oversimplify the definition. This is a great time to emphasize common misconceptions and mistakes around transformations.
And if they need more ideas, this video shows so many. While I don't enjoy the music during this video, I really like that it is simply a slideshow of images we can use during class as discussion pieces.
I like to put a shape on the board that has undergone a translation to see if the students can recreate it within the program. We always start with easy ones, making sure students are understanding the formulas and patterns they are seeing.
If the class is doing well we can then start combining transformations to challenge their understanding.
And don't forget to ask...
"How do you make it look like this?"
"Is there another way to do that?"
Check for understanding
And in all my lessons, I like to have practice pages where the students can show me independent mastery of the skills we've learned in class. This along with exit slips can give me a clear picture who understands the materials.
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Just for fun!
Common Core Standards:
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSG.CO.A.2 Represent transformations in the plane using, e.g., transparencies and geometry software; describe transformations as functions that take points in the plane as inputs and give other points as outputs. Compare transformations that preserve distance and angle to those that do not (e.g., translation versus horizontal stretch).
Look for and make use of structure. Mathematically proficient students look closely to discern a pattern or structure. Young students, for example, might notice that three and seven more is the same amount as seven and three more, or they may sort a collection of shapes according to how many sides the shapes have. Later, students will see 7 × 8 equals the well-remembered 7 × 5 + 7 × 3, in preparation for learning about the distributive property. In the expression x2 + 9x + 14, older students can see the 14 as 2 × 7 and the 9 as 2 + 7. They recognize the significance of an existing line in a geometric figure and can use the strategy of drawing an auxiliary line for solving problems. They also can step back for an overview and shift perspective. They can see complicated things, such as some algebraic expressions, as single objects or as being composed of several objects. For example, they can see 5 - 3(x - y)2 as 5 minus a positive number times a square and use that to realize that its value cannot be more than 5 for any real numbers x and y.
In this series, I discuss time-saving techniques that are perfect for math teachers. During this episode, I will address how using a system to quickly get feedback on daily student work can work for you.
So if you want to not take papers home, find a fair way to grade students work, and substantially reduce the amount of time spent grading papers so you can have more time in your evening, tune in now!
In this episode, you'll discover:
“The Math Teachers' Guide to Grading Daily Work”
One simple tool for grading daily homework in less time Math Teachers can use to speed up the grading process
The very FIRST skill every Teacher needs when it comes to grading daily homework in less time
Golden tips for time management when it comes to grading daily homework in the time you have during class
So after the last blog post all about functions (if you missed it, you can find it here), I received a few asking about statistics. So I thought I would do another round-up for you. Every resource mentioned is free below. Enjoy!
Before I begin, feel free to email me and let me know what you are teaching and I will do my best to prepare something for you too!
Gapminder is an amazing tool! It worked so well with my students. I just know you will want to use this amazing, free, online tool as well.
The first time I taught this lesson was eight years ago during an election year when political commercials were all over the place. After this lesson, the history teacher (yes, this is also a history standard in most states) pulled up some of those commercials and we had great discussions about the difference between causation and correlation and how advertisers assume we don't know the difference.
Overall my students enjoy learning about two-way tables, and it makes sense to them. It's something they feel very confident with understanding the way that we have structured this lesson so that it builds makes it very easy for students to get this knowledge down in a relatively quick amount of time.
The standard deviation lesson plan is based on the understanding of what standard deviation is calculating. This is done before they ever learn how to calculate it using technology. Understanding that standard deviation is measuring the deviation of the change off of the mean is very important in Algebra 1, and this activity is visual and straightforward for students to understand.
Teaching the concept of the line of best fit can put together a lot of strategies and skills. Today I would love to share with you a couple of my favorite worksheets and activities that engage students.
I have been getting a lot of emails regarding functions. How to teach them in a way that helps students to understand and remember what they are and why they are so important in mathematics (and science and computers and...)
So, I thought I would share some previous blog posts to help you feel encouraged and empowered when teaching functions.
The first resource I would like to pass along will give you ideas for helping students to master all the content in your linear equations/functions in the time you have planned.
I like teaching inverse functions. This inverse functions lesson plan will help you find connections with your students. With the real world context, students understand this concept well by the end of class.
While it may take more time up front to ensure that students understand the concept of functions, in the long run, it will save you time. The ability to see patterns and complete the calculations without help will be priceless. When you give students an in-depth understanding and allow time for processing the concepts, they go into long-term memory and students gain quite an advantage as they continue their math education.
Sarcasm is so easy. It is fun to get a laugh. It certainly had a place in our home growing up and within my extended family too.
I brought it with me as a teacher in my classroom. Humor is good, right?
What I didn't realize is that I was tearing apart the most important relationships that I had with my students. I often thought that the better our relationship the more I could use sarcasm as a humor mechanism and it would be okay. But that meant I was hurting the students that were relying on me the most.
What I came to understand is that sarcasm comes at someone's expense. And even more, with the ever-growing emotional needs of our students, many students don't hear or understand sarcasm and are left in the dark. So what I thought of as bringing humor and connection into my classroom was actually doing the opposite.
So, unfortunately, what I learned, is that the better relationship I had in the fall with my students would often deteriorate by the spring. This was a tough lesson and it's hard to share with you. But that's why I must do it.
In no way would I ever want to hurt my students or allow them to feel left out of a common joke. And no way would I want to deteriorate the relationships that I work so hard to build up.
Learning a new way
The first time this came to my attention, was at a conference. and when they said this I realized all the harm I've been doing. And I have to admit the cutting it out of my classroom was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I had grown up with sarcasm it was valued as wit and smarts and if I was being completely honest I respected kids that could hand it right back.
But what I learned and how my classroom changed spoke for itself. My students begin to trust me more, my struggling students started to open up more, my room became a safe place for all students, not just ones with a quick wit.
So I have a challenge for you, do your best this week to cut sarcasm from your classroom and take note of the difference it makes and your students. I think you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was many years ago.
Want to learn more?
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