Fractions Game for Math for Elementary Teachers

This is a game that I made specifically to show to my Math for Elementary Teachers class (I have been making a lot of stuff for the students in that class this semester which is why this blog has been sitting dormant).  However, I must say that I am very excited about this game that I just had to share it.  Long story short, it has been over 80 degrees in my classroom the last week or so, and going outside to demo this game with my students is the perfect excuse to get out of the classroom!  If you are teaching Math for Elementary Teachers, you are welcome.  The only thing I am not sure about is how the People Cards will look once they are printed, but since I have already set them to Gray Scale, my guess is that they will not look too terribly bad. Fraction Cards...
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Videos on Multiplying Fractions

A couple of students in my on-line classes have been asking questions about multiplying fractions.  Should you simplify before or after multiplying?  How should you simplify?  By cross-canceling directly, or by a prime factorization and cross-canceling combo?  Here are some videos I have made to help clarify the situation. View on screencast.com » View on screencast.com » ...
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Teaching Signed Numbers with Zombies, Ghostbusters, and Night Vision Goggles

Here are three new application problems that I came up with while teaching signed numbers this morning.  Remember, I came up with these on the spot, during class.  So, just imagine that the entire class is paying attention to each of these problems as I am writing them, trying to figure out what is going to happen next to Clyde in each of the problems.  I hope you enjoy these! 1.  Clyde was walking down the street and he lost 1/3 of his vodka.  A little later down the street Clyde encountered a zombie who wanted to steal another 2/5 of his vodka.  The zombie agreed not to kill him if he told him the total loss that he incurred, as a signed number. 2.  Clyde was running another scam where he collected $6.20 from people to buy an invisible potion of life.  The local ghostbuster caught wind of this scam and blackmailed Clyde with a...
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Math Games for Integers, Multiplication, and Combining Like Terms

I have some slightly under-prepared students semester, so I suggested to them that they should try to work on their basic skills outside of class.  However, this requires me to provide some recommended resources to them, and these are what I have discovered: Multiplication Factoris - Tetris-style game for multiplication facts. Penguin Jump - Fun Multiplication Game that can be played with up to 4 people from around the world. Dad's Worksheets - For those who just want the traditional worksheets to practice with. Combining Like Terms Combining Like Terms Quartet - This like terms game requires you to match the center term with its the appropriate like term.  Matching Game - Identify the matching terms in two columns. On-line Jeopardy Game - Distributive property, combining like terms, evaluating expressions, solving equations.  Integers and Order of Operations Arithmetic Math Man - Pac Man-style game for Order of Operations. Circle 0 Puzzle - adding positive and negative integers to sum to zero. Circle 3 Puzzle - adding positive and negative integers to sum to three. Circle 21 Puzzle - adding positive and negative...
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Using Post-It Notes in the Classroom

Honestly, I wasn't sure how college students would respond to writing their answer to a problem on a Post-It Note and then sticking it to the white board, but I thought that I would give it a whirl.  As it turned out, most of the students told me that they enjoyed the activity because it was unexpected, as I had given them a Post-It Note at the beginning of class and gave no instruction as to what to do with it until the end of class.  The students also told me that they enjoyed having to get up out of their seat to put the Post-It Note on the board rather than just having to sit and watch me do yet another problem on the board.  I am not suggesting that this should be done all the time, but to change things up once in a while, it's something to consider. See the full gallery on...
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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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