What Makes Twitter Math Camp so Special? Let Me Tell You…

 

What makes Twitter Math Camp so special? You’re going to a conference that’s referred to as a camp? Wouldn’t more official conferences give you more PD? You’re going to a conference about twitter? One year ago, when Julie Reulbach first told me about TMC, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Although I had been on Twitter for professional purposes I had NO idea how many math teachers were on Twitter. I definitely didn’t know about #MTBoS.

Over the past year, I started blogging and connecting with other teachers via twitter and started to realize what Julie was talking about. I started making connections with educators who lived all around the world that had the same passions as me. I was tweeting with teachers who were influential in the math education world, but also teachers who were just starting out like me.

I was a little nervous heading all the way to Minnesota to meet a bunch of people who I’ve only interacted with on Twitter. I’ve been hearing about Twitter Math Camp, and I had extremely high expectations. I was afraid that TMC wouldn’t live up to the hype. Let me tell you… it exceeded all of my expectations.

Now, what made TMC different from other math conferences?

AMAZING Sessions

The teachers who attend TMC are teachers who are innovative and extremely involved and committed to changing math education. They are evangelists. All of the presenters are part of the community of #MTBoS. Their presentations are interactive and provide teachers with information and content that they can bring back to apply directly into their teaching.

TMC teachers were also given the opportunity to have a Pre-Conference with Desmos. New features of this amazing calculator are presented to these teachers. These teachers don’t only love new features but love to share what they’ve found.

The Schedule

TMC is organized in a way that allows teachers to truly take the most out of the conference

  • 9:00- 9:30 Morning Opening and My Favorites: My favorites is a time for teachers who did not want to do an hour long session/found something cool to share a chance to share with the entire TMC community for 5-10 minutes. My favorites were accepted through out the week and open to ANYONE at the conference.
  • 9:30 – 11:30 Morning Sessions: On the morning of the first day, you got to choose a morning session that you would attend every morning for three days. I chose “Talk Less, Smile More” Given by Mattie and Chris Luz  (Blog post to come). This 6-hour session inspired me to change the entire design and culture of my classroom. This session provided me enough time to truly learn about debating math in my classroom.   We were also able to work on things to implement into our classes during this session. I loved having a focus for three days.
  • 11:30 – 1:00 pm: Lunch: During lunch, we look over restaurants, and talked casually about our morning sessions. This is also a chance to catch up with people who we’ve only interacted with on Twitter.
  • 1:00- 1:30: AGAIN My Favorites: GIVING MORE TEACHERS A CHANCE TO PRESENT.
  • 1:30- 2:30: Keynote Speaker: Daily motivational presentations that left educators in tears by the end. Have you ever been to a conference where you felt so inspired you cried?
  • 2:45- 3:45: Afternoon Sessions: There were about 12 sessions to choose from every day. These sessions were pre-approved before the conference.
  • 4:00-5:00: Flex Sessions: Flex sessions were an extremely cool idea. During the week many people found a common interest and they wanted to know more about it. Flex sessions were a chance for people who were not approved for the afternoon sessions to present. Anyone could present during the Flex sessions.

THREE whole days of Math!

Although the conference technically ended at 5:00 the learning and bonding didn’t stop. At dinner, drinks, 12 am in our rooms the conversations never stopped. There was never an “end” to the conference. Oh, and I did I mention we all stayed in dorm rooms together? I probably only slept about 5 hours a night…

The Community.

 I honestly don’t know how to describe how amazing the community is at TMC. Everyone is extremely welcoming and willing and eager to share any resources and advice with you. I ‘ve never been to a place where it was perfectly normal to go and stand next to a group of people you’ve never met (or idolized) and they welcome you in with open arms to the conversation. I felt that I was connected with plenty of teachers on Twitter, but now I have an even wider network. I know that I can talk to any of the presenters even though the conference is over.

This conference focuses on building relationships and support within the math community. We all went out to dinner together one night where we took up half the restaurant. We also had a Trivia Night ( my team won btw ) where we broke out in song between every round.

We even created a TMC song where we choreographed dances, wrote lyrics, and played instruments (and Desmos Graphs) to represent our few days at this amazing conference. Truly a camp experience

I’ve learned so much at this conference about teaching, math, and myself. The more I learn; I realize that I know nothing. TMC is a conference where the learning never stops. You don’t dread being in sessions and you feel connected to the speaker. I’m part of a community where I can constantly learn and grow.

See everyone again on July 27-30 in Atlanta. Until then I’ll see you on Twitter. 🙂

 

 

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Day 0: #DESCON16.

As if going to my first Twitter Math Camp wasn’t enough, I also got to attend an entire day of Desmos! I just finished my first year of teaching and Desmos has been a staple in all of my classes. To the say the least, I was VERY excited.

The day started with breakfast and a video message from Eli from Germany. Then the Desmos team started showing us some awesome new Desmos Graph features and a Desmos Potluck. One of the  newest features makes Desmos accessibility for blind and low-vision studends. Pressing command F5 turns on the sound narrator which will allow Desmos to audibly describe your graph. You can also HEAR what your graph sounds like! During a session, a group of teachers worked together to create a graphical representation of “Mary had a Little Lamb” https://www.desmos.com/calculator/xdz17jn1rw SO COOL. This new feature is not only amazing for the low-vision students, but also opens up so many opportunities for interdisciplinary projects in Desmos!

During the day, we broke into groups and participated in a Desmos Graph scavenger hunt. During this scavenger hunt, I learned about another great Desmos feature http://learn.desmos.com/. This site provides interactive instructional activities on how to use different features on Desmos. I definitely had fun playing around with polar graphing!

Lunch time! (thanks  Desmos!).

Then we got to hear from our first keynote speaking.  Sara VanDerWerf. She was encouraging us to be “evangelists”!

Now for the best part: The Desmos team introduced two new features to the activity builder.

  • Bundles: Desmos has taken a bunch of activities and “bundled” them into topics. These bundles are not only a bunch of content similar activities bundled together. The bundles also provides  key understandings and  suggest the order in which the activities should be played! This is an example of a Functions Bundle.

 

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  • Create your own cardsorts and marbleslides:  HALLELUJAH!   They now let you make your own marbleslides and card sorts! No more laminating, cutting, missing cards to do card sorting in class! It’s amazing! I made my first one on sorting different types of quadratic  equations.  We also created a collection of our card sorts! To activate the feature, just click on your name in the top right, then go to labs, and enable them.

After a day of Desmos fun, the Desmos team then took us out for Happy Hour!!!  Thanks Dan, Christopher, Michael and the whole Desmos crew for a great day! And Obviously, we had to take a selfie with Dan Meyer!

 

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New Idea for Checking Homework: Math Journals

As the year is coming to an end, I’ve started thinking about how I want to organize next year. I am really trying to include more writing into my geometry curriculum. Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 10.47.57 AM

I have decided that I am going to create a math journal for my students for each chapter. This journal will include:

  • Pre-assessment Essential Questions
  • Notesheets
  • Homework
  • Blank note sheets
  • End of chapter Essential Questions

 

During the chapter, I plan to check homework a few times a week. If students didn’t do their homework, I plan to mark the homework in red pen. If students didn’t do certain problems, I plan to circle the problem in red pen. This is the only recording I will do for homework the entire chapter.

At the end of the chapter, I plan to collect every math journal. Students must turn in a complete math journal. The homework that they did not do/finish must also be completed.

My idea is that  when I scroll through their math journals, I can easily see if they missed  a homework by looking for red-pen. If there is no red pen, they receive full credit for homework. If I see red-pen, but the problems were completed at a later date, they will receive a small deduction from their homework. If they did not complete the problems they missed, they will have a larger deduction taken from their chapter homework grade.

My idea is that this will encourage students to do their homework and make them accountable for doing homework they missed.  It also helps that all of their work will in one place.

Collecting the journals will also give me a chance to how my students have grown from the beginning to the end of the chapter. Looking at the pre-and post essential questions will help me easily see this growth.

The journal will also help keep my students organized. I’ve already started putting my first two unit journals together. A lot of my notes are done their PearDeck, but this journal gives me a chance to put in some guided notes and space for my students who like to take notes by hand.

I decided to break up the journals by chapter, so I’m not stuck with certain material all year. I just have to make the lessons for the unit a week before.

I’m looking for feedback, suggestions for this journaling and homework idea.  Has anyone tried math journals before? Do you think grading homework will be effective? All feedback is welcome 🙂

 

 

Volume of 3D Shapes with Play-Doh and Water

I love when my students are engaged and visually learning.  After Julie Reulbach told me about how she used Play-doh to create 3D shapes with her students, I decided to try it out. I had students work in groups of two to create 3D shapes.

Supplies per group:

  • One fun-sized Play-doh
  • Ruler
  • Plastic knife

Students were given the following instructions

  1. Create a square prism
  2.  Using your ruler, cut your shape into 1 cm pieces. Cut it away that all of your pieces are the same shape. Specify that you can only cut once to make the shape.
  3. Next, we discussed finding the area of one piece and then multiplying it by the number of pieces to find the volume. They realized that the number of pieces their prism was cut into was the “height”.

We repeated this with a triangular prism and cylinder. Students came up with the formula that volume= area base*height.

Next, I had students create a cone and asked them to cut it into identical shapes. They realized they couldn’t. I wish that I had 3D solids at this point in class (I got some later), but I did the next best think by showing them a video.

I first started out by asking if they thought a cone could relate to any of the other shapes we’ve talked about. A cylinder quickly became the winner because they both of circular bases. I then asked how much bigger did they think the cylinder was compared to the cone. After taking classroom bets we watched a video using corn kernels from a cylinder to fill up 3 cones. This helped us derive the equation for the volume of a cone.  We did this same thing for finding the formula for a pyramid.

This play-doh activity really helped my students visualize the formulas and understand that the height of the pyramid didn’t always go from top to bottom. We described the heigIMG_7787ht as the direction we’d slice the shape to create congruent shapes.

The next day, I did have 3D solids and set of stations around the room.

Station 1: Cone and Cylinders

Station 2: Triangular and Square Pyramids and their prisms.

Stations 3: Octagonal Pyramid and Octagonal Prism.

Station 4: Half Sphere and Cylinder

For stations 1-3, I had students first find the volume of the shapes algebraically. They then fill up the shapes with water and measured the volume of the water using graduated cylinders. They loved seeing their math match up (close enough). This also gave us a chance to talk about percent error (spilling water).

IMG_7791For station 3, I first had them fill up the half sphere with water and measured the water with the graduated cylinder. Next, they had to figure out how many half spheres it took to fill up their cylinder. The cylinder was the same height of the half sphere.

It was then up to the students to derive the formula for a half sphere, then a full sphere. The hardest part for them was making the connection that the height was also the radius.

I loved these water stations. Students got to visualize the formulas for the second time, they got to practice finding volume, and they got to derive the formula for a sphere.

After class, I asked my students if they would have liked doing the water activity on the first day. They told me they liked doing the water later in the lesson because they had a day to let the play-doh formulas sink in and they could reaffirm what they knew and discovered something new.

How Yoga has Influenced my Teaching

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To say the least, teaching is exhausting. When I first started in August, I have never been so tired in my entire life. I was climbing into bed before 8 pm! I also started to feel my tension from work in my shoulders, neck, and hips. I typically don’t get stressed, but I could feel the tension taking over my body.

In November, I started taking hot yoga at Yoga One. I’ve practiced yoga a few times before, but my colleagues convinced me to start going with them at 6 am twice a week before heading in for the day. Soon I become a full on yogi practicing every day. My practice became more than a way to exercise but a way of life. Especially within the past month, I have realized how much my practice has affected my teaching.

Getting practice in at 6 am is killer. I am not a morning person, so this only ends up happening once or twice a week. However, when I am able to commit to practice in the morning I start my day energized, positive, and productive.  Starting your day on a good note is SO important for a teacher. I also realized I am more patient with my students when practicing in the morning.

Most days I do not make the 6 am practice and end up going after work. This time on my mat after work has turned some of my worst days completely around. We are taught to breath into the spots of our body where we hold tensionWhen we breathe out, our problems are supposed to go out with it. I know it sounds crazy, but I have learned to direct my breath to places of tension especially my shoulders. No matter how bad the day, I always leave my hour practice feeling better about a situation. This has helped me get rid of anger for a disrespectful student, the feeling of failure for a student I couldn’t help, and anger for a colleague who has views different from mine. The tension in my shoulders, neck and hips are also gone. It’s helped me realize that I shouldn’t take things personally and every day is a new start. It has become my release. 

Learning to breathe has also helped my patience in class. When teaching high schoolers, it is really easy to become frustrated. Once I learned how to control my breathing, I stopped becoming frustrated and created a more welcoming class environment.

Yoga has also helped me inspire and motivate my students. I am constantly listening to my teachers and trying to improve. Yoga teachers are constantly trying to motivate their classes, and a lot of what they say relates to teaching.

“Every practice is a different experience” This holds true in the classroom. No matter how bad the day, the next day is a brand new start. I use this in my teaching, but also to motivate my students. Every day they have a chance to succeed. It’s up to them what experience they take from class.

“Be satisfied with the effort you put in.”   I show up for my students 100% every day. I tell my students that it’s up to them  how much effort they want to exert in class. If they are satisfied with exerting 50% and earning a B then great. They take ownership of their decisions. The teacher can only push them so far and the rest is on them . No one wants to look back on their life and think “Things could have been different if…. ”

Yoga has become a huge benefit in my life. It has helped me find balance. It has helped my focus in work and interactions and has helped me see things through different points of views. It’s crazy how breathing and stretching and exerting energy can have such a positive impact. I highly recommend yoga for any teacher. Since practicing, I have seen a positive change in myself and in my classroom.

 

 

Make Factoring STICK.

When I started my factoring unit, I was definitely a little worried. I’ve seen factoring taught a ton of different ways by using short cuts, but my students have never seemed to remember the “tricks” once the unit was over. They never truly understood what they were actually doing when they were factoring a quadratic or why they would factor.

Although I’ve never taught factoring entirely this way before, I decided to teach it only using the box method.

Day 1

I started the unit by teaching double distribution. Instead of using “FOIL” of the “arrows” I decided to teach dd by discussing area. I drew four boxes all Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 1.18.07 PMconnected on the board and wrote two numbers on the top of the boxes and two numbers going down the left side of the boxes. I told my class that each box what a piece of land and asked how I could find the  total area of all the land.

 

“Easy! FScreen Shot 2016-04-07 at 1.18.27 PMind the area of each piece of land and then add them together!”

Next instead of using all constants, I added in variables. They were then multiplying (x+5)(x

They were then multiplying (x+5)(x+6) and (2x+5)(3x+5)  and (3x^2 +3x +3) (x+5) no problem. I had them notice that like terms were ALWAYS on the diagonal. For every problem, I had them circle the like terms on the diagonal.

 

Day 2

I started out class by having students multiply (x+5)(x+2)  using their boxes. Once combining like terms, they got x^2 +7x +10 as their “area”.  Next, I posed the questions of “what if you were given the area to start… how would you find the dimensions of each piece of land”. They knew that x^2 went into the first box   and 10 went into the last box on the right, but we were unsure on how we could Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 1.21.43 PMbreak up the diagonal. They KNEW that the diagonal had to add to 7x.  But how do we break this up?!!!

We first decided to focus on the area we knew. We KNEW that x^2 only factored into x and x. We then decided to look at the factors of 10. So we had (10,1) (2,5) and thought as a class “DO any of these add up to 7?!!” YES! We then put 2 and 5 as the dimensions and multiplied to see if it worked.

I gave out a template the had a box already created and a space to write the factors of the first and last term. On the diagonal of the box, there is a circle. This circles purpose was to visualize combining like terms. To check to make sure they added up to the correct number.  I put each of these templates in a page protector. This way they could use a dry erase marker and easily erase if they made a mistake. During this class period, we practiced factoring terms where a=1 and had my students get into the habit of writing all of the factors of the first and last terms in order to get in the habit for when we started quadratics of a>1.

I was so impressed how FAST my students learned factoring. It actually made sense to them! Factoring the difference of perfect squares even came easy to them because they knew their diagonal had to add to be zero!!

Day 3

Factoring terms where a>1.. This is where the box method takes a little more time.  However, I’d rather it take longer and have the students understand what they are doing than have them memorize a process.  Went through the same thing we did the day before with filling in our boxes and listing our factors. From here I told them they would have to “guess and check” their different factors. This is where having their templates came into great use. They could check all of their factors and if it didn’t they wouldn’t have to redo everything.

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The template my students recieved 

 

 

My students loved how visual the boxes were. They also saw factoring as a puzzle and had a lot of fun with it. I did a few days of practice with whiteboarding and scavenger hunts  and did a 15-minute review before the test. Out of my 9 students who took the quiz  5 of them got 100%. This NEVER happens in this class. This quiz included multiplying binomials, factoring a=1 and a>1 and perfect squares!

 

Things I would change

  • Practice more with finding the factors of numbers.
  • I want to create problems in my boxes and list the factors of the first and last term and add the like terms to a number that’s given to them already in the box before we start a>1. Then I would have them create the factors and add to that number. AND then introduce factoring for a>1
  • Spend more time on GCF.

 

Circumference: Popping Bubbles!!

Coming back to school after spring break is always a struggle, so obviously I thought playing with bubbles was a great way to start off the week. . I started off class by separating my students into greats of 3 and 4 and handing each group a container of bubbles. The only directions they were given were to start blowing bubbles.  The students were so excited that they could blow bubbles in school! After a few minutes, I asked them to come up with questions they could ask about bubbles. Students were asking all types of questions!

“How far will the bubble move?” “How big is the bubble?” “How fast does it move?”

“What’s the circumference?”  “What technique helps you create the biggest bubble?”

By students asking the questions, they become more invested in the activities in class.

Next, I poured a little bit of the bubble solution on aluminum foil a dipped a straw into the solution. At an angle, I blew into the straw  a half sphere bubble appear on the foil. I showed the students that when the bubble popped you could briefly see a circle in the foil.

I gave each group 1 straw, a large piece of tin foil, bubbles, string and ruler. Using ONLY those items, students had blow 7 bubbles and record the diameter and circumference of the bubble once it popped. They then needed to record their finding and then record the ratio of the  circumference over the diameter. The ratio should be close to Pi everytime!

My students already knew the formula for circumference but this activity really helped them visualize it and was a great, fun introduction to our circle unit! It was awesome watching groups cominig up with different ways to measure their bubbles.

This activity took around 25 minutes and then we spent the rest of the time practicing more complex circumference problems.

 

 

 

My Twitter Experience

I usually don’t write posts like this, but I am feeling inspired and wanted to blog. 🙂

Tonight, we held the first ever #ElonEd twitter chat (my alma mater Elon University). I was first introduced to the educational use of twitter three years ago by Dr. Jeffery Carpenter. In my class (I think Teaching Diverse Learners? ) we were required to tweet a certain amount per week, tweet at others a certain amount, and participate in twitter chats.

Tonight, we held the first ever #ElonEd twitter chat (my alma mater Elon University). I was first introduced to the educational use of twitter three years ago by Dr. Jeffery Carpenter. In my class (I think Teaching Diverse Learners? ) we were required to tweet a certain amount per week, tweet at others a certain amount, and participate in twitter chats.

At this point in my education, I didn’t have too much to say. I only wanted to interact with my peers when I was on my “educational twitter” and didn’t really explore the magic of a hashtag. Throughout my education at Elon, we continued t0 use Twitter for educational purposes. My “required” class tweets started to become easier and I started to use twitter because I wanted to. It was a REAL resource for me to use daily. When it came to applying for jobs, I even put my twitter handle on my resume. My twitter became part of who I am as a teacher. #MTBoS became my daily hashtag and I identified with strangers who became trusted friends in my profession. I’m even speaking at and attending Twitter Math Camp!

Anyhow, tonight was the first #ElonEd chat. Our focus was on Your First Year in the Classroom. I volunteered “as tribute” to co-moderate the chat with Dr. Scott Morrison. I had never moderated a chat before so I was feeling nervous/excited/anxious waiting for it to start. I had two experiences from participating in this chat

Moderator

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 11.33.57 PMBeing a twitter chat moderator is A LOT of work. I applaud all of you. We had around 15 people participate in our first chat. I wanted to respond and retweet and favorite everyone’s tweets! Usually, when I participate in a twitter chat, I don’t get to interact or see everyone’s conversations. This time, I saw EVERYTHING. Even if I was unable to add input, I read everyone’s tweets. It was a great feeling seeing conversations spark from a single question.

Elon Alum

This chat was special to me because I was interacting with past/present/future Elon Alum. The people I was chatting with had the same collegiate upbringing in the world of teaching. No one has the same college experience, but it was cool knowing that we all learned how to be teachers in Mooney. It was also great being able to relate to other teachers and give advice to pre-service teachers and receive advice!

I’ve been parts of twitter chats before, but this one was special. We also had some non-Elon students join which added a different layer to the chat. Honestly, I am looking forward to the next chat.  If you are interested in checking out our next #ElonEd chat join us on 3/8/16 at 9:40 PM. Topic: Technology in the Classroom.

Also check out our last chat on Storify !

As I lay in bed (way past my bedtime) writing this blog post, I’m feeling rejuvenated and ready for a day of teaching tomorrow. For this, I am extremely thankful for Twitter . Twitter allows me to vent, learn, explore, collaborate, and interact. Twitter connects people who have common interests. It gives teachers a way to grow personally and professionally daily.  If you are just starting out on twitter don’t give up on it. It takes a while to build a community, but once you do it can be magical. Tonight, I am thankful for Twitter, #MTBoS and #ElonEd. I am thankful to be a teacher. And I am thankful for being introduced to twitter as an inspired 20-year old motivated to be an amazing teacher.

To sum up this post, I love Twitter… it’s awesome. If you are teacher… USE IT!  On that note, I am heading to bed. Almost midnight on a school night!!!

 

 

 

Snowball Fights!

After reading Sarah Hagan’s post on Snowball Fights, I knew I wanted to try it out in my Algebra 1 class. We are currently finishing up our chapter on solving systems of equations. Although my students have learned how to solve by elimination and substitution, they have not been put in a situation where they had to choose which method to use. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity.

To prep, I created sheets of paper with a system of equations written on it. There were also three boxes, for elimination, substitution, and checking.

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I handed out pieces of paper to each student and told to crumbled the paper into a ball. I told them that we were going to have a snowball fight. However, there were basic rules to follow.

  1. When I say stop the snowball fight stops. You grab the nearest snowball and open it.
  2. If you are the first one to solve the snowball, then you can choose to solve the system of equations by elimination or substitution.
  3. Round 2: You are the second person to solve this snowball! Use the other way to solve your equations!
  4. Round 3: You are the third person to solve the snowball! Check the work of the people before you by plugging in their solutions. If their solutions are incorrect, fix them with a red pen.

Things I had to add to my rules during class:

  1. Do not target one specific student during the snowball fight 😦
  2. You MUST participate and every student must be standing at the start of the snowball fight.
  3. Make sure your windows are shut!! Lots of snowballs were thrown out the window!! I’m on the first floor, so my students climbed out the window to retrieve them.

This snowball fight brought up a lot of good questions such as

“Substitution is soooo much easier in this problem!! Why do I have to do elimination?!”

I love when students ask “why?!” They were curious, and that’s when learning really starts.

This brought up a great discussion question. Why do we use a particular method to solve systems of equations? Is there one method that is ALWAYS easier to use.

Instead of leading this discussion, I decided to have my students explain to their peers why one method works better for certain problems.

For the snowball they were “checking” I had them decide which method would be easier for that problem. They then grabbed a whiteboard/went up to the whiteboard and wrote down which method was best for their problem. They then solve their system of equations using that method.

When every student finished we placed their work around the room. Every student then described the method they used and WHY it was the best way for their problem.

We had some time left at the end of class and my students wanted to have another snowball fight. For this snowball fight, I had them create their own problems.  When it came time to solve the snowballs, students could choice any method they wanted as long as they could explain WHY they chose it.

Overall, this was a pretty fun class. Snowball fights can get a little hectic, but I’m glad  I tried it out .

Dynamic Transformations using PearDeck and Desmos

I decided to teach geometric transformations (excluding rotations)  using a dynamic approach.  I also added in absolute value transformations so they could see transformations in point-slope/vertex/transformation form.

Day 1 – Translations

I started class by having my students sign into my PearDeck presentation for the day. When they signed in they were taken directly to a Translations Desmos Activity created by Andrew Stadel to introduce Translations. I had students sign into their accounts, so they could go back and look at their work on the activity later. Students worked through the activity at their own pace and once they all finished we moved to the next PearDeck slide.

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Instead of standing up at the front  board and “lecturing” about translations and how to do them, we were able to have a discussion! Students already knew how to translate figures! I used the drawing tool on PearDeck to practice translations. Students were asked to describe translations and then actually then translate them on their screens. While they were practicing, I was able to see the work of EVERY student on my Ipad. This allowed me to see instantly when a student was going in the wrong direction or plotted a point incorrectly. If I wanted to sit in my chair in the front of the room, I could still see every students’ progress and work as it was happening.

 

Day 2- Reflections

Reflections started the same way. Once they logged onto PearDeck they were taken to Cathy Yenca’s Reflections Desmos Activity. After students
explored on Desmos, we
came together as a class and practiced reflections on PearDeck.

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 4.04.18 PMScreen Shot 2016-02-17 at 3.34.27 PM

 

Day 3- Dilations

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 4.02.35 PMFor Dilations, I decided to create my own Desmos Activity to start the lesson.  After they worked through the activity we had a great conversation of dilations and scale factors. This conversation helped WONDERS when I introduced similarity the following week. Students then practiced dilating images through PearDeck.

I also created a Desmos Polygraph to practice the transformations we learned so far. Students LOVE playing polygraph. It truly does help them speak mathematically and it’s a lot of fun 🙂

Day 4- Absolute Value Transformation

I created my Absolute Value Desmos Activity by editing an activitScreen Shot 2016-02-17 at 3.59.52 PMy created by Faith. As we did the previous days, students started with the activity and then we moved to practicing and discussing in PearDeck. In class, we called point-slope/vertex form transformation form. I have been introducing this form all year, so my students had seen it before. I think that it’s important to make the connection from geometric to algebraic transformations. We didn’t spend a plethora of time on it, but I think it really helps when they move on to Algebra 2.

 

Anyhow, using Desmos Activities to discover and learn transformations and PearDeck to practice worked out beautifully. Check out my Desmos and PearDeck pages to learn more about each of them!