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

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 many at-risk students that find school very hard. My goal with this unit is to build confidence, and so I created this handout with the gradual release idea in mind.

I created a clean looking workspace for my students to keep them from becoming overwhelmed. While making it repetitive will allow independent success.

In my efforts to move every student ahead every day, I have found this to be a useful tool because I can give different difficulty problems for each student without recreating the practice page.

This past Christmas I received a π cake mold from my oldest daughter. She knew I would love it and she was right! (I added a link to it below. It works great!)

I celebrate the pi day at school and home every March 14, so imagine the fun I have put this day together.

The following video begs the question, how many dominoes is that? Spoiler alert: the second (needed information) and third act (the answer) are at the end. This would be a great way to begin class.

Pi Day In Math Class

Is there any better day in the life of a math geek? Ok, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but it is a very fun day to be a math teacher.

In my class, we always eat pie on pi day. The kids bring it in, and I supply the cups, juice and paper goods. We always have a great time discovering the ratio of pi and enjoying the wonder of the randomness. The students always seem to gather interest in the wonder of numbers. Isn't that what it is all about?

The class is set up as stations with different activities depending on the mathematical level of my students. When they walk in, I am playing Pi Songs. They circulate through stations ranging from creating the music pie to measuring and finding the common ratio of pi, to pinning the tongue on Einstein. Don't forget that he shares his birthday with pi! And of course, the end of class has a memorization of the pi contest.

I always want to try something new with pi day and therefore have made necklaces by assigning each digit a different color bead, found our birthdays within pi and we have sung pi day songs. The next day, when the sugar buzz has worn off we discuss what we discovered and observed, the kids always amaze me at how much they take away from a day that would look like nothing more than high school kids at recess. I hope they have great memories of Pi day and a deeper understanding of pi.

There are some great resources online. Some of my favorites are below

Youtube.com there are some great projects done by students, perhaps have your students do the same.

Do you have a favorite π day activity that you do with your students? Please add it to the comments below! Thanks!

Interesting find while searching online
To type the π symbol, you can use your number pad on your keyboard. Hold down the alt key and type 227 on your number pad. Let go, and you have a pi symbol. Amazing. For more helpful tips on inserting math and science symbols into your documents, you can see my list here.

Where to begin teaching functions to Algebra 1 students?

I love the idea of teaching functions at the beginning of Algebra 1 and weaving them into the curriculum to cement the concept into the minds of my students. There are functions everywhere. And if we can teach kids to see them, it will go a long way to connect them to the math. It is the perfect way to begin the year, connecting Algebra to their middle school years.

Planning

As I have begun the idea of creating a plan for next year, I have started with the scope and sequence created by the Mathematics Common Core Toolbox. And now I am searching for the best lesson plans I can find that will engage and develop an understanding of functions. Some great sites go beyond the repeated questions and algorithms and help students relate math to the real world. This will truly force understanding about what they are doing with the mathematics.

What I want my students to learn in Unit 1

(Common Core Objectives or my Core Common Standards)

Can they identify a function, do they understand the definition of a function

Can compare two functions, even if they are represented in different ways (i.e., table, graph, or situation)

Evaluate the function of a given variable

Create equations in two variables and graph

Give an appropriate domain for a function

Find inverse functions

Keep getting better (Never finished)

I am looking forward to a great year. And the more I prepare and take the great ideas I find and organize them as I find them, the less likely I am going to be regretting finding that awesome lesson a week after I have taught it. I want to force my students to work harder than I do.

I want them doing the work, processing, and thinking!