Matching Activity using Hot Potatoes

This week I was asked about an easy way to make an interactive activity in which students would be able to match equations with graphs or descriptions with graphs.  I knew that there had to be an easy way to do this that didn’t involve having to know anything about java or any other type of code.  My first thought was to use Sharendipity.  However, that didn’t work out because I couldn’t figure out how to build a game from scratch in which I would be able to upload my own images of graphs and equations. After a week-long search, I remembered about a program called Hot Potatoes.  The only other time I had used this program was when I was creating an online course using Moodle in graduate school.  Moodle has Hot Potatoes integration, but the integration didn’t work the way it should have worked.  Thus, I abandoned Hot Potatoes. However, after revisiting Hot Potatoes this week,...
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Rotten Tomatoes, Linear Equations, Ratio and Proportion

This problem came about because I was talking about solving the equation 4x + y = - 14 for y and there was a little confusion about how I could  subtract 4x from - 14.  Although this was really a problem with combining like terms, I figured that now was as good of a time as ever to reinforce the idea of combining like terms. "Yaletta bought an unknown number of tomatoes at $4 each, but when she got home, she found out that all of the tomatoes were rotten.  In addition, she checked her receipt and realized that the store had charged $14 to carry the tomatoes to the car.  Write an equation to model Yaletta's total losses." (as a signed number) The students seemed to come to the consensus that an appropriate answer would be y = - 4x - 14. Then I asked these questions as well: What does y represent? What does x represent? What does -4 mean? What...
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Miscellaneous Links

After a recent afternoon meeting about statistics, I needed to find a few old links that I had buried away.  Well, here are a few odds and ends I found while looking: 1.  Virtual Math Lab at Texas A&M - This is a very good resource for College Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, and Beginning Algebra.  When I opened my link, it actually opened on 'Absolute Value Equations', which means that's probably what my students were struggling with when I initially discovered this website back in 2009. 2.  Quick-and-Dirty Guide to the TI-83, TI-83+, TI-84, and TI-84+ - Although it seems like it would be most useful for the beginning calculator student, I have to say that the time I used this website the most was when I taught Calculus, and I couldn't remember many of the calculus-related functions. 3.  Pete Falzone's On-line Office - I have been borrowing handouts from this guy for the longest time. The pre-algebra resources are especially good for...
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Cities as Math Equations

I must have an insane mind or something.  I just found out that Posterous will embed Google Maps right into my posts, like this: View Larger Map But then, I started searching around to see if there is actually a city named 'Math' anywhere in the world.  I couldn't find one.  If I'm wrong, please correct me, as it would be really awesome to live in a place like, 'Math, Michigan'. However, the whole search wasn't a total loss, as I found an interesting article about Cities as Math Equations. ...
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Teaching Equations to Pre-Algebra Students

I got in a heated discussion the other day with a couple of colleagues about how to teach equation solving to pre-algebra students.  The equation x + (1/2) = (3/4) came to mind because generally I start a discussion of equations by showing examples of one-step equations.  However, this equation (or most equations with fractions for that matter) is special because the quickest way to solve it may not always be the easiest way to solve it.  This can cause a dilemma if I am discussing one-step equations, but NEED to show the students two step equations in order to make the problem easier to understand for the students.  Does anyone else have an opinion on this?  Any input would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks. ...
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Pre-Algebra and Algebra Resources

A few months ago I had students in my Basic College Math class create a game about fractions.  One student created "Fraction Bingo".  I decided to search the web to see if there were printable bingo sheets available.  Well, there were, along with some other activities that I found on the same website from Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.  And below is a list of a few of my favorite ones, appropriate for college-level basic math classes (organized by topic): Operations on Numbers Zero Sum Card Game  Adding Whole Numbers Tic-Tac-Toe Order of Operations "24" Fraction Bingo Fractions, Decimals, Percents Fraction/Decimal/Percent Percent Bingo Ratio Concentration Percent Tiles (HARDER) Geometry Polygon Rummy Pythagorean Triples Rummy Algebra One Step Equation Bingo What's Your Function? (Includes Exponential Functions) Statistics Mean/Median/Mode Permutations ...
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Factoring Activities and More

A few weeks ago a colleague of mine was in need of an activity for Factoring.  He was ahead of his pacing chart and wanted something to fill up some class time with.  I referred him towww.ilovemath.org, which has hundreds of free activities to download.  Here is a list of a few that I have successfully used the in the classroom:Solving Equations Writing AssignmentTwo-Step Equation Concentration Partner Problems SlopeLinear Relationships Sudoku Wartime Battle (Solving Systems of Equations)MATHO! Logarithm Game Cutout - FactoringPowers of i (This is a student favorite) Unit Circle Trigonometry (Follow the White Rabbit)The Game of Greed (Basic Statistics) ...
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