Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Functions, Domain, and Range Foldable

Recently, I've gotten pretty excited about foldables.  I'm not using them exclusively for notes, but I'm using them to summarize big topics here and there.  Pretty colored just makes me happy (after all, my other blog is all about paper crafting) and I love that foldables keep students from being overwhelmed by having too much information on a page.

I went crazy today and made two three foldables for use in the upcoming days.  This one summarizes functions, domain, and range.  I've dabbled briefly in these topics before, but this is the first time I'm teaching it full-out since this is my first year teaching Algebra I.   

The completed foldable will be stapled to notebook paper so students can store it in their binders.

To make your own foldable like this, you need three sheets of paper.  I chose to use different colors but you could easily use white for everything.  Hold all three sheets in the portrait orientation.  On one sheet, measure 3" from the top and fold (green paper).  On the next, measure 4" from the top and fold (white paper).  On the last, measure 5" from the top and fold (blue paper).  Nest these sheets together so you have six flaps sticking up.  Secure with staples along the fold.

Want this file?  Or a blank template perfect for any subject?  Just click the links to download them and be sure to print them two-sided with short edge binding.  If your printer can't print two sided, you want the dotted lines to match up when you copy the sheets.  The blank template includes my notes to help you fill it in right the first time; we don't need to be frustrated! 

Happy folding!  If you find this helpful or have any suggestions, please let me know!  I love to hear about what other teachers are doing.  

Mathematically yours, 
Miss B

P.S. - Better late than never, I'm linking up to #Made4Math even though it's not Monday.  

If Barbie were as tall as me- Update

Over the past week, my students worked on the group portion of their Barbie proportion project.  Here are a few shots of the works in progress!  Please forgive the photo quality; I think I left the flash off. 

Now, students are beginning their letters to Mattel.  They're surprised I actually offered to mail them and they don't think the letters will really be read.  I am crossing my fingers that the good people at Mattel will reply (even with a form letter) so my kids can understand that their views matter and their correspondence is read.  Despite their disbelief in corporate American, I barely heard any grumbles from students about having to write in math class once they realized their letter was for more than just my eyes. 

I had a comment asking for the files I used.  Get them here.  If you make any modifications to suit your class or find these files useful, I'd love to hear about it! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

If Barbie Were as Tall as Me- A Lesson in Proportional Reasoning

This lesson idea isn't new; it's easy to find many versions of it all over the internet. In fact, I was inspired by a post from fellow teacher Fawn Nguyen.  Here's my spin on it.  My students need to review proportional reasoning this year, so I wanted to focus on application since they got the basics of how to cross multiply and solve last year.

I started by collecting some Barbies and Kens.  Thank goodness for generous teachers in my district and our fabulous e-mail network!  I got 5 Barbies and Kens in no time.  I bought one more at Goodwill for $1 and now I have enough for each table in my classroom to have one.  I'll try to pick up a few more when I can find them (clothed) for $1 or so.  :)

Students will work in their table groups of four on this project.  They'll need to select one student in their group to serve as the human reference.  That student's height will be used and their silhouette will be traced on bulletin board paper.

Next, students will carefully measure and record data on Barbie's body measurements.  I selected six data points I'd like them to collect and superimposed them on a coloring page of a Barbie doll.  They'll write proportions to find out how large these body parts would be if Barbie were enlarged to their height.  Then, they need to work as a group to make a scale drawing on chart paper.  I'm planning to have them place their scale drawings next to the silhouettes to show off how unreasonable Barbie is.  I'm also curious to see if this pans out in a similar way with Ken or if he's more reasonably made.  His abs are unusual, that's for sure!
A screenshot of a portion of the diagram students will use. 

The individual portion of the project asks students to write a letter to Mattel explaining their findings and requesting changes in Barbie's physique so that it will be more true to life.

Since it's Monday, I'm posting to made 4 math.

EDIT: There's a follow-up to this post here that contains files you can download.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Laws of Exponents Foldable

We've been working on radicals in Intermediate Algebra since before Christmas.  The next item on the agenda is making the connection to rational exponents (and thereby also reviewing the Laws of Exponents).  My students are fairly confident with Laws of Exponents, but I thought they might like a foldable to summarize everything in one place once we add in the rules for rational exponents and have to apply all the old rules.

If you'd like a copy of the foldable I made, click here for a pdf download.  There is a small 2x2 area on each flap where you can include extra notes or an additional example problem of your own.  The inside lists a synopsis of the rules and at least one example for each type of problem.  If you use it, I'd love to hear your comments!

I submitted this as my first entry to  Go over and check out the other great resources linked there if you haven't already done so. 

Mathematically yours,
Miss B

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Simplifying Radicals Cootie Catcher

Back in August, I used a simple cootie catcher with my Algebra I students to help them review measures of central tendency.  I wrote the original by hand, so all I had to offer was a blank template.  The template is now available for you to download directly AND it includes folding directions.  You'll still need to write in your topics/problems/questions by hand. 

Tonight, I spent some time typing up a version for simplifying radicals.  It includes a summary of rules for simplifying single radicals as well as radical expressions involving the four operations.  There are 8 practice problems included.

You could use this a few ways in your classroom:
1. Have students complete the problems, check their work, and keep the cootie catcher as a study guide.
2. Have students work in pairs to "play" the cootie catcher game, taking turns to answer the problems.  Once both students agree that the work is correct, they can record the solution in their own cootie catcher.  They continue until all problems are complete.  This will work best if students write some numbers on the outer flaps and color the inner flaps so they're not directly choosing the problems they'll complete and there's a little bit of chance involved.   
3. Combining the ideas from above, split the class into two and distribute two versions (perhaps copied on two colors of paper).  Students solve their own problems and check with the teacher's answer key or another student who did the same version.  Two students with different colors then pair up and play the game.  As one student solves, the other student praises and coaches.  This is a version of Kagan's Rally Coach structure.  If your students need additional support, they can be teamed up with another student with the same version for the initial solving and then get a new partner for the second portion of the activity. 

We'll be doing method #3 in my classroom, but I know that not everyone is comfortable with or feels they have time for this sort of cooperative learning. 

Want your copy of two versions of this cootie catcher?  I'm trying something new to me, so bear with me and please leave a comment if it doesn't work properly.  Here's a link to the pdf file in Google docs.

Mathematically yours,
Miss B