Rigid Transformation Unit and Superhero Transformation Project

I’ll admit, I was really nervous about teaching Transformations in Honors Geometry. It was a topic I didn’t remember learning myself and I had never taught it before. I luckily had the #MTBoS and especially Michele Torres (@Teachmathtorr).

Lots of people suggested using things like patty paper and Miras to help learn the different transformations. Unfortunately, I do not have access to those and I’m trying to not buy a lot of things this year for my room, so I hope to one day be able to use those. Instead, I did a lot more Desmos than I ever thought I would! If you haven’t seen her Geometry Desmos Activity document yet, be prepared to blow your mind here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1m82reYFkQZtjnptTWo0_G0k6Kmbc7jjo-OFjT3l0wMY/edit?usp=drive_open&ouid=104053001916447058622

I also loved the advice to focus on points transforming instead of the entire shape – it really helped my students who were having trouble visualizing the transformations.

We started with a Polygraph. I’ve noticed that in an honors class, I don’t get too many that get it wrong when they’re trying to find the graph. Instead, they just use a ton of questions. I challenged them to try to use the least amount of questions.

We also started off with some Des-Patterns.

Screen Shot 2019-10-09 at 9.57.30 AM

After learning all the transformations, I think my learners would agree that this Multiple Transformations Check Desmos activity made the biggest impact. I had them work in pairs and had them do the worksheet first and then check with Desmos. This was really a turning point for the class. A lot that thought they didn’t know were able to confirm that they really did, and it was also much more apparent to them if a transformation was off than when they did it on paper. My struggle sometimes with having students check in Desmos is that when I try to project the summary, the names have to get so small as I zoom out so I can fit everyone. Sometimes I forget that working in pairs not only helps them learn and have awesome math conversations but also just makes them have fewer names to look for.

I somehow ended up with three free days before Fall Break and they had already taken a quiz over transformations. I wasn’t ready to start a new unit (congruent triangles) right before a two-week break. I had remembered Mandi Tolen’s Global Math Department Presentation and thought to look for anything she shared. She did not let me down.

I modified her assignment a bit. Here’s what I did:

Screen Shot 2019-10-09 at 10.13.05 AM

This was a blast for the learners to work on and for me to grade. My biggest advice is to encourage them to make a plan for their story first. A lot of them spent the entire first day just making their superhero and other images. Even though that really brings the project to a higher level, it also made them have to work on it outside of class and that was never my intention. Also, I learned that demonstrating some of the shape and arrange and grouping tools to the whole class at once isn’t good enough. Instead, make an expert at each group and have them be the ones to ask after that. Also, next year I would like to add a peer review component. I hope that will save some of the ones that decided to wait until the last minute or not do it at all. Any advice on what to do when you’re giving 3 days and nothing is getting done by one or two students? I don’t want to be too hover-y, but I also had my smiles turn to frowns a few times when I had to give a couple learners 3/35…

This twitter thread below has a bunch of pictures from my projects. These weren’t all 100%s and I only included one page of the comics, but I just loved how they were able to show their understanding in a cool creative way that most of them are really proud of.

La créativité de mes élèves m’impressionne!

Advertisements

2019-2020 Midquarter 1 Check-In

I had set a reminder for myself to check in on my goals that I posted about before school starts. So here I am checking in.

  • Stand and Talks: LOVE IT! I have done at least one a week in my two different classes. Not only does it get them up and moving and talking about math, but it also helps them remember a lot better. I am still referencing stand and talks I did in week 2.

 

  • Collection of Work: Haven’t done it yet
  • Birthdays: It’s working! See this post.
  • Instagram: LOVE IT! Check out @MrsGraysonMath. I get way more engagement on it than my class Twitter and the learners want to get on the ‘gram. I haven’t had the learners take pics yet. Maybe will soon.
  • Vocabulary: Falling short on this one. This is a good reminder to think more about it.
  • Family Connections: Yeah the calling every phone number didn’t happen. But maybe it will soon. Also haven’t taken advantage enough of the schedule send in gmail. However, I have gotten a great response through email from families and I have fewer families that do not have an email address. I have made a fair amount of calls, but all were more on the “I’m noticing ___ falling behind” side and not enough on the welcoming to my class side.
  • Language: Need to focus on this more.
  • #VNPS: I’m doing ok. It’s been a lot of individual work at the boards, but that’s ok. I learned from a PD at the MMC Conference of Workshops last year about having learners draw the stem of a flower and add a petal for each problem they get right and I call it garden growing time. It is one of the times I have evidence of 100% engagement. The other time is Stand and Talks. I want to do more tasks where the groups are working together at the boards.
  • Delta Math: Going great. On assignment 2 so far.
  • Puzzles: I had a heartbreaking moment when my first hanayama puzzle that I put out (that I had had since I was in high school) went missing in the first week of school. I made a Wanted Poster for it. It still hasn’t turned up. So I kind of gave up on the posters, but I’m probably gonna go the route of Sarah Carter and make some laminated puzzles.

Screen Shot 2019-09-01 at 8.27.17 PM

  • Working Harder Than Students: I feel like I am accomplishing this. Although I’ve felt more behind than ahead and I am changing that this weekend.
  • Not Blaming: Check
  • Office Hours: Check
  • Google Level 2: Not yet – set a reminder for October Break. Also found out my Level 1 Certification expired. Didn’t realize it was only good for 3 years.
  • More Percussion: I bought a pair of Audio-Technica headphones when they were on sale on Amazon and now I’m playing drumset way more! I feel so much better playing it. I wish I could play percussion in a community band, but I’ll take what I’ve got.
  • More #MTBos: Yeah it’s been better. Could do more.
  • Cooking: I’ve been focusing on cooking what’s in my garden/what’s from my coworkers gardens that I’ve traded for. Made three batches of tomato sauce (no recipes, just blanch and peel a ton of tomatoes, add all the other things like carrots, peppers, herbs, and don’t forget tomato paste!) and discovered how amazing an immersion blender is. Also really sped up the process of making this zucchini blueberry cake with lemon buttercream frosting by using a hand mixer. SOOOOOO YUMMMMMMY!
  • #FitBos: So I didn’t meet my goal for August, but I did get 84% of my goal accomplished. Considering how hectic the beginning of the year is, I’m not disappointed. I know I can do better in September now that things have gotten more into a routine. I’ve been working out in our school’s fitness center a couple days a week with one of my coworkers and it’s been awesome. She’s retiring this year and I will miss her a lot, but she’s a beast. I’ve also lost some weight and feel good!

It has been great to check in and really see what’s been accomplished and what still needs work. This year’s been going well so far. I am excited for the rest to come. I think I might try to make this a regular thing.

Je suis fière de moi. J’ai fait beaucoup!

Recognizing Birthdays!

I love celebrating my birthday (June 4, in case you wanted to know). My family was always great at celebrating birthdays. My husband thinks birthdays aren’t a big deal. He’s wrong. Every person deserved their day to be recognized.

I’ve always wanted to be a teacher that celebrates birthdays in my class, but just never thought it through enough before the beginning of the year. This year, I had a goal to do better.

I still didn’t do it perfectly. I finally remembered to ask my learners for their birthdays on the Day 3 of school. I gave everyone a notecard and asked for three things.

  1. Name
  2. Birthday
  3. Something that makes them smile

On Day 4, I organized all the notecards in order by date. On Day 5, I had my first birthday and realized that I had missed a birthday that was on Day 2. So it was on Day 4 that I realized I didn’t really have a full-fledged plan for this whole birthday thing, and I had a little bit of a night left to figure it out. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Have a “Happy Birthday” section on the board that I keep for the week. I had only done the two daily birthdays on their own this week, but after doing some research and asking about it on Twitter, I think weekly or monthly is better because it will help recognize the weekend birthdays better. I’ll play catchup on the four that I am missing this weekend and I already talked to the one learner that had her birthday on Day 2 and we’re going to do it on her half-birthday.
  • Give a Birthday Bracelet that I printed on gold paper and attached a piece of tape to. This Birthday Bracelet was found on misscalculate here. I’d love to do Elissa’s other brag bracelets, but don’t think I’m at that point yet.

Screen Shot 2019-08-11 at 5.06.29 PM

  • Give a birthday math trick that I found on Eat Play Math here. Lisa gives it with a piece of candy and a sticker, but I just fold it into its own envelope like Sarah does here (this is my favorite and only origami I know) and write a note on the envelope that ties to what they said makes them smile from the notecard. My first one said, “Happy Birthday! I hope you get to spend extra time with your brother and friends.” She had said that her brother and friends made her smile.

Screen Shot 2019-08-11 at 5.05.15 PM.png

Bon Anniversaire!

Helping Freshmen Transition: Advocating Forms and Grade Tracker

 

I teach mostly freshmen. The junior highs have this program where anyone with certain low grades is mandated to this after school study program. Last year, I had the lowest grades overall that I ever had first semester and when I talked to the rest of my teaching team, they were dealing with the same things. There were many teachers starting to play the blame game (including myself), but one thing I’ve learned from the #MTBoS is that we need to teach our learners the behaviors and procedures we want them to use. So second semester I started to add Sara’s Advocating Forms to my Algebra I class. My thought was that I had to teach these freshmen that they need to advocate for themselves in high school. The ones that really needed it had been told when and where to get help up until now.

The way I introduced it was that I was giving my classes a super easy way to not only get points but also to help them help themselves. I told them that there were many of them who didn’t need this assignment because they already did everything they needed to do to get help for themselves. So the only thing they needed to change about what they did was to bring the form and get it signed. Other learners needed to make an extra effort to come in to me or another teacher for help outside of class. I really stressed the outside of class, and that they could only do one in each time frame (like they could do one in Pride Time and one after school that same day, but couldn’t do two in Pride Time in the same day). But I also added a little bit to it that Sara didn’t mention. My Algebra I classes are so mixed in ability levels that I know there are also students that needed challenges that I just wasn’t reaching enough. So I also added that I knew there were learners that didn’t need help at all outside of class, so it was time for them to advocate for themselves that they needed challenges. Those challenges could only come from me, and it was the only advocating form they could work on during class (if it was an acceptable time to do so). Sometimes I had a challenge made up on a printout, sometimes I just asked them a verbal extension question that they would then write down.

I am so happy to say that this Advocating Form assignment helped so much for every single one of my students. I am for sure introducing this again very soon for my Algebra I learners this year. (I didn’t see the need to do this in my Honors Geometry class last year, but will re-evaluate if I need to do it for them after the first unit.)

Here are the files I modified for my use from Sara:

Advocating Form Assignment and Forms (docx)

Advocating Forms (pdf)     Advocating Form Assignment (pdf)

Screen Shot 2019-08-11 at 3.40.37 PMScreen Shot 2019-08-11 at 3.41.45 PM

I was so pleased that my learners did not just come to me for help. I had the football players asking the two math teachers that were football coaches because they already hung out in their rooms. I had learners asking their science and social studies teachers because that was who stayed after school that day (and those teachers came to me later saying they enjoyed realizing that they still knew some high school math!). But mostly, I had students coming to me during Pride Time or after school. We have a 25-minute Advisory period in the middle of the day where 3 days a week the learners can choose what teacher they want to meet with using a website called FlexiShed. Every teacher offers help, but the sessions fill up quickly because only 20 seats are available unless teachers raise the limits. First semester, this time in my class was maybe 50% productive. Second semester, it was 110%. I would have some Pride Times where I’d barely get to everyone for help, and I started to sign off on when I saw them ask other students in my Pride Time while they were waiting for me. Also, in my school all teachers are required to stay until 3:30, but the last bell rings at 3:18. First semester, I spent those twelve minutes monitoring the hallway for a few minutes while learners packed up, and then just went into my room and got work done/packed up. Second semester, I’d still spend those first few minutes in the hallways, but then I had usually 2-5 students come to my room. And they’d rarely be there past 3:30. My learners started to understand that asking a question doesn’t take more than a few minutes! And sure, I had some learners that waited until the last minute to get help and some that didn’t complete the assignment in the end, but overall it made a noticeable difference in attitude and (perhaps more importantly) grades. I had comments from my learners and parents that they really appreciated the little push to get in the habit of asking questions. Their other teachers saw a difference, too!

Another thing that my team did to help motivate learners was to have them track grades. I chose to do this every Friday (or end of the week). I made this Grade Tracker for my team:

Grade Tracker (docx) and  Grade Tracker (pdf)

Screen Shot 2019-08-11 at 3.53.59 PM

I would say that the grade tracker really helped my freshmen who were coming from Standards Based Grading and not being able to fail a class to a traditional grading system really understand their grades more. There were no surprises anymore.

When I first joined the Freshman Academy at my school, I’ll admit that I didn’t quite buy into the belief that the transition from junior high to high school was important to acknowledge. I understand more now that there’s way more to teaching freshmen than just algebra.

Quelquefois, je pense que ces jeunes étudiants sont extraterrestres.

 

 

Learning Google Sheets Coding – Weight Loss Challenge and Merchandise Order Form

I fully believe that if I went through high school/college a few years later, I would be in a career that involves coding. Every time I dabble in it, I am enthralled by it. My CS 101 class was definitely my favorite in college, but that also may have been because my professor had lots of the assignments and assessment questions related to Green Day…

Weight Loss Challenge

Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 11.36.40 PMSo my most recent bout in coding was using Google Sheets to make a Weight Loss Challenge for me and my friends. We all decided we would compete to see who could lose the highest percentage of weight. I loved working to make this spreadsheet do what I wanted to. There’s conditional formatting, if( statements, vlookup(, etc… All sorts of fun formulas that have it automatically calculate the percentage and the winner.

I particularly love that I started with a simple percentage formula and when I realized that I would have to go in myself to change the formula each week, I was able to look up suggestions for how to get the formula to only calculate if a certain cell has data. The hunt for the right formula was exhilarating.

Here’s a copy of the Google Sheet in case you’re interested. If you want to make a copy, go to File –> Make a Copy.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wGUBF4E_xmt0VWi8yQLCjozDGMKtnhOUCMWeSEmXtyU/edit?usp=sharing

Merchandise Order Form

Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 11.35.45 PMMy husband is a band director and was wanting to get his merchandise order form online without having to pay the company for using their website, and he also wanted some sort of receipt to be sent to the buyer that said the total price. He likes Google Forms a lot so I knew the answer was going to be a Google Sheet! I set up formulas with lots of if( statements to make a response turn into a price and then used the Add-ons Copy Down and Form Mule to make those formulas happen for every response and the email with the receipt to be sent out. It was a bit tedious to set up each formula for each item’s price, so maybe there’s a better way to set up the form or the sheet to make that nicer. Something to learn more about for next time.

Here’s a copy of the Google Sheet. If you want to make a copy, go to File –> Make a Copy.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ipPtUr5hObwlYTo4XyPj_9DtveHwv5jQ4ohQBO004HM/edit?usp=sharing

In Class

I’ll be honest, I haven’t really had to do any crazy coding for class. The only way that I can think of that I use Google Sheets in class with fun formulas is with my Weekly Summaries. Usually, I just am doing a simple sum or average kind of formula with something.

My goal is always to have the sheet do its thing without me having to go back in and configure it. Do you have any fun ways to use Google Sheets?

Maintenant, je dois penser de comment je puis l’utiliser en classe!

Intro Webquest and Survey

mtbos-sunfun-logo

So I’m just gonna keep using the 2017-2018 Sunday Funday prompts because it’s fun. I pretty much have done the same thing at the beginning of the year for the last two years because it’s gone really well. One important day is when I have learners get acquainted with my class website and Google Classroom. They also use this time to answer questions for me about themselves. It’s not the first day, but definitely in the first five.

I’m pretty sure I got this webquest idea from I Speak Math but now I can’t find it but it was from at least four years ago…Anyway I’ve set up all my Google Classroom classes to look like this:

Learners will be instructed to find their Chromebook number and I will give them the class code. The rest of the period will be for them to complete assignments #001 and #002. Most will get it done in that period, but I will have some that take longer for various reasons and also absent/not-yet enrolled learners so I made the due date at the end of the second full week of school.

The Pre-Class Survey is compiled of questions I’ve gathered from the #MTBoS over time and things I’ve realized I wanted to know right away. I make it a point to look at this survey right away and again for the next few days and again after a week and again after another week. I don’t want to miss anything. It also really helps me learn my learners’ names because I can start associating them with their thoughts.

The things I look for immediately (after the medical question) are the answers to “I want to get a good grade” and “I will enjoy coming to math class”. If there are any No’s to that one, those are my immediate contacts. I also share with the class the next week what they think the purpose of homework is and what they think their grade should show so we can have a conversation about making that a reality. The question with the character count goes into some of my first class tweets. The language questions also help me plan for if when I need translators for when I send home emails and when I’m making my welcome phone calls. All the questions with the agreement scales will be compared with later results when they get those questions again. I tried not to include questions that were superfluous (one of my new favorite words). Feedback is welcome.

You can copy the survey with this link: Pre-Class Survey

Then, there is the Webquest. I want them to figure out that the class website should be their go-to place for questions if I’m not around (or honestly if I am around but they can answer themselves).

This forces them to go to almost every page on the website. #4 is where I will make sure they have the Share to Classroom extension installed. And the Desmos activity at the end is the Pool Border Problem. In the past, I’ve done Central Park, but I think this one may be better for the first Desmos task because I get to see pretty much the same content, but it explains a little more about using Desmos and has the sketch tool and leads into what we’re going to do when we use Visual Patterns in our warm ups. And it’s more summer-themed!

You can copy the webquest with this link: Intro Webquest

Feedback is very welcome. What should be added/changed/deleted?

C’est beaucoup mais c’est nécessaire.

Goals for 2019-2020 School Year

mtbos-sunfun-logo

So I do this fun thing where I have my Feedly following a ton of #MTBoS blogs and I can never keep up but I’ll read a few a day for a while and I’ll bounce between looking at the newest to the oldest to scrolling to somewhere in the middle. I’m now at all blogs between 3 months ago and 23 months ago. And guess what was coming back 23 months ago – Sunday Funday! I am pretty sure I missed it then, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do it now! So the first prompt was Goals. And here are mine.

(P.S. 24 months ago was #TMC17 and it looks like I missed out on some awesome stuff, but it’s still so fun to see all the excitement in everyone’s blog posts and I really wish I could have gone and seen my #TMC16 friends again because I don’t know if I ever will again and I miss them and that was the best time ever)

START in the Classroom:

  • Stand and Talks (Thank you Amy for confirming that this is amazing in this post and reminding me of it). I am so so so excited about these and I think my students will really be successful with them. Could #debatemath be tied into this?
  • Incorporate some sort of collection of work probably in Google Slides where I have at least one thing from each student. I’m thinking something like Jeniffer’s Review ebook. But I want to have students adding to it all year, maybe?
  • Make a bigger deal about birthdays. Every learner will get a day for them.
  • Class Instagram. Still do the class Twitter, but add Instagram and maybe even have learners be the ones that take the pics. When I asked Twitter about this, I got an overwhelming response to do both!
  • Focus on Vocabulary! I’m teaching Geometry for the first time since I taught it in summer school for a couple years back when I first started teaching. Vocab can really be a killer there, but there’s also a ton of vocab in Algebra I that I should have already focused on. I have a high ELL population and this will help them so much along with helping my other learners. I don’t know where in my room I can do a Word Wall, but I’m also thinking of doing something like Tally Talks from Sara and more Desmos Polygraph with Andrew’s Vocab Jar. I also think just having vocab projected on the board during #VNPS and Stand and Talk time and all the time will be super helpful and super doable.

(RE)CONTINUE in the Classroom:

  • Family Connections. Call every working phone number once at the beginning of the year to introduce to the class. If I get behind, I can not call the five that show up to open house. Last year was the first year I didn’t do this and I definitely felt like there were families I never connected with, even with my Weekly Summaries. And now that my district is using Gmail, I want to take advantage of the Schedule Send to make sure I don’t forget about my unit newsletters. I need to keep family communication a priority.
  • Focus on my language. I’ve done pretty well with changing “students” to “learners”, and I started being good about not using “guys” but fell off the wagon there. Gotta get back on that wagon and also maybe add that I’m not gonna say “point” for decimals (totally agree with Sara here because my biggest setback with using Delta Math this year was rounding). This also makes me think of the “13 Rules That Expire” by Karp, Bush, and Dougherty and I saw their presentation at NCTM Chicago Regional 2017 and it wanted me to change all my words. Also Nix the Trix. But I’m gonna try to start small and go with stopping saying “guys” and “point” this year.
  • More #VNPS. I have a room with a pretty good setup of Vertical whiteboards. They don’t erase very well, but I have students that usually enjoy cleaning them in my Advisory. I need to utilize them more than I did last year.
  • Delta Math. I went a couple years with not really giving practice for homework. But last year I added in Delta Math and we did plenty of it in class but I ended up having a due date because it actually helped a bit with motivation. I learned a lot about assigning Delta Math and how much is appropriate. I also know that most of my colleagues will be using MathXL (we piloted it last year) and Delta Math is way more accessible to my students outside of school because they can do it much easier on their phones. My Delta Math assignments will continue to be unit-long assignments that don’t get graded until the end, but I will have recommended due dates for certain topics.
  • Puzzles. This year I kept a few Hanayama metal puzzles and the year before I had Christopher’s Tiling Turtles. I think it’s a guarantee that at least one thing will end up broken/lost, but maybe that’s worth it for the joy it creates. Gotta find somewhere besides my desk to keep them…or maybe I don’t because it’s good to keep an eye on them. Decisions for later.

STOP in the Classroom:

  • Working harder than most of my students.
  • Blaming their Standards Based Grading history (Freshman year is the first year they don’t have SBG) on their attitudes. I need to focus on what we can do now to help.
  • Feeling bad when I’m not available to help after school every day. I need to set office hours and realize that one kid that was asking for help that one day will be ok waiting a day or two or help them help themselves.

PERSONALLY:

  • Become Google Level 2 Certified.
  • Play more percussion.
  • Be more involved in the #MTBoS because the times when I am, I am the happiest.
  • Learn to cook 1 new thing every month. I can no longer say I’m a terrible cook like I used to 🙂 but I still would like more variety and after getting married and getting stuff from the registry I have all the kitchen tools to make more cooking happen!
  • Stay in #FitBos. The Married 15 was no myth. My biggest fear (no joke) is having to shop for new clothes because I hate shopping for clothes.

I already set a reminder in Google Keep to check in with this post to see how I’m doing in a month. There’s a lot of goals here, but if I keep checking in, I am confident I can do a lot of them this year.

Je suis la plus heureuse quand je suis avec vous, le #MTBoS.