Thursday, November 29, 2012

Trashsketball for graphing linear inequalities

This game was a big hit the first time I played it, so here's another set of problems to use with graphing inequalities

Trashsketball for Graphing Linear Inequalities

There are three rounds here.  To see the rules of play, look in my "Classroom Activities" label for Trashsketball.

Another Tic Tac Toe game

This game has really been working well this year.  The rules are in an earlier post, look under the label "Classroom Activities"  Here is a list of equations to use if you want to play the game with finding an equation given a point and a slope

Tic Tac Toe for writing equations of lines

Websites for Common Core curriculum materials

Our department is starting to plan for our transition to a common core curriculum, so I am keeping my eyes open for materials.  I've found two recently, one is Mastery Connect (  This site creates a common place for people to upload assessments that are categorized by common core standards.  They also provide a gradebook for keeping track of student's mastery of the standards.  The service is free, but there is a charge for some of the more advanced features.  The other site I have found is LearnZillion (  The site has lesson plans listed by common core standards.  The lesson plans are typically videos and power points.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Class web page

I have created a web page for my algebra 1 class, here's the link

Algebra 1 Class

It's not that fancy yet, but I'm starting to gather things here.  I've been using a Moodle page, but I find it rather clunky.  I'm not using most of the classroom management features of Moodle, I mostly just want a place to post things.  I was initially thinking of a Google site, but it's inconvenient to post anything but a Google product on their sites.  Our school uses Wordpress to host our sites and I could post any type of document there.  I have also created a space on our school's shared server where I am collecting all of the materials I have found over the years.  We are transitioning to common core and I think it's important to start gathering and sharing.  Hopefully this web site evolves into something nice as the year goes along.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Personal data stream

I'm thinking more about how to personalize the information I get from the web.  Subscribing to blogs has been my favorite way to get teaching ideas, but I'd like to be more plugged into the human voice in general.  I've been looking around at apps for my phone and my two current favorites are Flipboard and Pulse.  They both allow you to customize your sources from a wide variety of topics.  Pulse seems more oriented towards news and Flipboard is more about fun things and social networking, but they are both well rounded services.

Class webpage

I started the year with a Moodle page for algebra 1.  I think I'm going to move it over to a Google site and I've started putting that together.  I'm not using the forum or "turn it in" features of Moodle, math doesn't really lend itself to composing online that way.  I'm mostly using it to post things and I think a website is better for that.  I'm also thinking about transitioning to Common Core and I think that a website is a good place to collect materials as we start to put together resources from various places.  Also, a website is easier to share with other math teachers which should allow for more collaboration

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Internship class

I have not been posting quite as much as I was at the beginning of the year.  That is because most of my creative efforts are going towards designing a new internship class at my high school.  We are starting a STEM Academy for students interested in science, technology, engineering or math careers.  The first class in the new academy will start this spring and I am the teacher.  There will be 12 seniors who participate in an internship during March and April.  They will create an e-portfolio of their activities and we will use many of the social networking tools that I have experimenting with in the field of algebra teaching.  If anyone knows of a similar program, please contact me.  I will also be blogging on this class, the blog will be at

Mind Maps

I posted this back in the beginning of September, but the idea is evolving, so I thought I'd post it again.  I keep track of all of my thoughts on class development using MindMaple.  It's a free mind mapping program that is a regular part of my online life.  There are plenty of others that would work, Richard Byrne just posted a list of ten good ones on his blog "Free Technology for Teachers.

Here's my current mind map. I expanded one of the sub topics, anything with a "+" next to it has more contained within.  You can attached links, notes, whatever.  I'm a big fan.

ALEKS for Differentiated Instruction

I have been using ALEKS in a half block algebra 1 lab since August.  I have recently started using Homework Quizzes to facilitate small group instruction.  I can look through their pie chart reports and see what objectives each student is struggling with.  I put them in groups of three and spend about five minutes with each group.  After the discussion, they go back to ALEKS and they have two chances to complete a 5 question quiz on the topic we just discussed.  ALEKS is very personalized, it is easy to assign custom quizzes to each student for the topic their group discussed.