Resources for Teaching Integers

I was recently contacted about whether or not I had any resources for teaching about Integers.  Of course, my answer was a resounding, "yes!"  But I was actually a little embarrassed when I had to admit to the person that I had never taken the time to organize them all into one easy-to-find place on the Internet.  So, that's what this post is all about.  I hope that you enjoy the resources that I've collected for teaching integers. Card Games Zero Sum Card Game - This is a card game in which students need to collect cards in order to reach the sum closest to zero. Integer Bingo Bingo Master Template - This is an easy to use Bingo Master Template in which all you have to do is enter the clues and the answers.  The only limitation I've found is that it only prints 25 cards.  So, if you have more than 25 students in your class, you're going to have a problem. EDU Bakery Bingo...
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The Mathematics of Weight Loss

The picture below was taken in college when I was around my heaviest weight ever of 314 lbs.  I've always been a big person and I there is a lot that goes into why this is the case as well.  Was it the way I was raised?  Was it genetics?  Was it just me eating myself into a hole?  Well, this is not the place where I'm going to talk about that. What I will say, though, is that this is the most recent picture of me a little over 70 lbs lighter than I was at my highest weight.  This is a blog post about math, so I'll let you figure out my approximate current weight on your own. With all of that out of the way, I'll tell you what this blog post is really about.  I don't really like talking about myself because I'm generally a very self-conscious person.  But this weekend I was thinking about what I might...
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Upcoming Conferences for 2013

I've been getting a lot of questions lately from people about what conferences and events I'll be attending soon. Here is a list of them for 2013 and I'll try to update it if I know I will be attending any other events: Michigan MAA Annual Meeting Friday, May 3 - Saturday, May 4 Sault Ste. Marie, MI TedXGrandRapids Thursday, May 9 Grand Rapids, MI Calculus In Action Saturday, May 18 Warren, MI register at: bit.ly/cia2013 WebAssign User's Group 2013 Thursday, June 27 - Friday, June 28 Raleigh, NC MCTM Conference Wednesday, July 31 - Thursday, August 1 Traverse City, MI Screencast Camp 2013 Friday, August 2 - Sunday, August 4 Okemos, MI Midwest Institute Monday, August 5 - Friday, May 9 Kalamazoo, MI BloggyCon Friday, September 13 - Sunday, September 15 Sandusky, OH MichMATYC Fall Conference Friday, October 4 - Saturday, October 5 Farmington Hills, MI A4EOE Conference Friday, October 11 Rochester, MI AMATYC Conference Thursday, October 31 - Sunday, November 3 Anaheim, CA...
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I’m Not a Lazy Teacher!

I recently read a blog post by a student named Justin Strudler that has me really fired up!  In his post he explains that he thinks most students would rather be sick than go to school because they hate it so much; he then implies that many people discredit this attitude as laziness on the students’ part and calls for change in the educational system. I’m not opposed to change at all, but I want to set the record straight on several things: 1.  I have not once cancelled a class because I was ill.  I will go into class and teach my heart out every day because I love my students and I love what I do.  Some may argue that it’s my own fault for not taking a day off to recover if I’m sick.  However, the truth of the matter is that whenever I have taken a day off of school for anything, it has been more work than...
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Free PDF Conversion Online

Recently, I learned about a relatively new website that allows for free PDF Conversion Online, www.pdfconverter.com. You can convert any file to a PDF or you can convert PDF to Word, PDF to Excel, or PDF to PowerPoint. As a math instructor, I have learned to take everything with a grain of salt when it comes to converting a PDF full of equations to a Word Document. However, knowing these tools are all available to me online for free is a big relief in situations when I am working on a computer at my college that doesn’t allow me to download the full-featured PDF Converter tools that I usually use on my home computer. The thing I like best about the free PDF Converter tools is that is very simple and quick. You simply select the file you want to convert, enter your e-mail address, and wait for the converted file to be e-mailed to you. This is a lot more...
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New Factor Pair Spoons Game

The Factor Pair Spoons Game is a new game that was inspired by participants in the Professional Development Series that I'm conducting every month this semester at my college.  Last month's topic was 'Playing Games to Learn Math' and I asked the participants to come up with a game for a topic that they felt was a difficult topic for students.  This game is a variation on what they came up with.  The spoons game was one of their suggestions, but they ended up turning it into more of a rummy-style game because they thought that the spoons might become too chaotic for some students in the classroom. Factor Pair Spoons Game...
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New Logarithm Mania Game

Logarithm Mania is a new game for students to practice solving logarithmic equations when the base, the argument, or the value is missing.  I have always struggled with teaching this concept because although the basic equations included in this game are easy to solve, if they are not mastered, then solving more complex logarithmic equations becomes extremely difficult (you know, the ones where we ask students to do factoring and apply the properties of logarithms).  I hope that someone finds this game useful.  As always, any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Logarithm Mania Game...
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Spring Break 2013

I will be using this post to document my Spring Break 2013 activities from Friday, March 1 to Sunday, March 11 and Tuesday, March 26 to Sunday, March 31. Friday, March 8, 2013 11:30am - 12:30pm Dentist appointment and lunch at the newly opened "Ken's Country Kitchen" down the road from where I live.  Going to this restaurant was a major mistake.  The portions were huge, just like I like them.  However, the food was awful - especially the hashbrowns.  They were burnt and crispy on the outside and mushy and absolutely horrible on the inside. 12:30pm - 1:30pm Worked on typing up new 'Factor Pairs Spoons' Game that was based off of the ideas that the participants at one of my recent professional development workshops came up with.  I'm very proud of them that they came up with such a fun game in the limited amount of time that I gave them to do it. 3:30pm - 8:30pm Worked on getting some of...
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