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I’m not sure if I’ve been absolutely clear on this or not, but my lack of posting lately can be attributed to the fact that I’m now posting a majority of the links I find now on my Scoop.it page (http://bit.ly/mathnews). Nevertheless, here are five quick ideas that just didn’t fit in over there:
1. Create a Magazine Cover (http://bighugelabs.com/magazine.php) — In one of my Pre-Algebra courses last year I had students create a magazine about a chapter in the textbook. This website would have helped the groups easily make a professional looking magazine cover for their project.
2. Create Printable Posters (http://www.blockposters.com/) and (http://homokaasu.org/rasterbator/gallery.gas?937) — In one of my Beginning Algebra courses last year I had students create math ‘movie posters’. Since I was working at a design school at the time, the students had the luxury of having access to industrial poster printers. These websites would help in cases where students do not have access to those.
3. Free Podcast Hosting (http://www.podomatic.com/login) — You would not believe how many times I have said that I want to start podcasting my classes, but I did not have a place to host them. I think that I will definitely be checking this website out in the near future.
4. Math Games for Developmental Math (http://www.aplusmath.com/Games/index.html) — Personally, I loved the MATHO game so much the first time I played it on the web that I was willing to pay $0.99 for the APP to entertain myself on my Android Phone. But that may be because I’m really just not an Angry Birds kind of guy.
5. Math in Everyday Life Videos (http://www.gamequarium.org/dir/SqoolTube_Videos/Math/) — Yes, I know, the last thing we all need is a link to more math videos. The only reason that I thought that this site stood out is because of the organization of the categories, including a category for ‘Math in Everyday Life’.
1. Interactive Slope Applet – Although I ran out of time to actually use this with my own class, this is a wonderful resource that lets students click and drag points such that when the line between the point changes, the calculation of the slope of the line also changes on the screen as well. Very useful!
2. Slope-Intercept Equation Applet – This appears to be the exact same applet I introduced to you a few weeks ago in the Geogebra Tutorial video. It’s a very simple resource that allows students to visualize the slope-intercept equation of a line by using sliders to change the slope and y-intercept.
Here’s the new game I created for evaluating functions. I haven’t played it with any students yet, but it has gotten a couple of test runs, and seems to be a hit among the instructors that have seen it. If you play it, I would love to hear your feedback. Enjoy!
A Sample Lesson on Solving a System of Equations with Two Unknowns
Before you begin, you may want to print the summary sheet below for reference. The sheet happens to have a major typo, but I think that it’s usually fun for the students to discover it themselves. I’ve been generous enough to correct the typo.
Start out by watching this introductory video about solving an application problem using the addition method. I recommend printing out the handout of what is covered in the video so that you can take notes as you follow along.
Go to Wolfram|Alpha and make sure that you know how to enter systems of equations there so that you can check your answer using this wonderful tool whenever you are at a computer. Or even on the go, if you have a smartphone.
This year on Pi Day I was teaching exponents, so I created an activity surrounding many of the common errors that I see many students make when working with expressions involving exponents. I have attached the file to this post, and I would hope that people would know what to do with it, but let me explain anyway:
1. I printed and cut out about 10 copies of the activity (I wanted to have the students work in groups of no more than 3). I also like to have 1-2 extra copies because it has become seemingly noticeable with my classes that there are some students who like to take the activities home with them. Honestly, if a simple game like this gets them excited enough about math that they actually want to do play math again when they get home, I’m all for it. By the way, it worked out best for me to place the cut out pieces in 10 separate envelopes.
2. The activity is simple: The students need to match the problems with the answers. Some answers have more than one correct problem. Some answers have no correct problems (there are two ‘whammies’).
By the way, if you notice, I created this in such a way that it could be used anytime of the year. I hope you and your students enjoy it.
NOTE: I noticed after the upload that you need to actually download the file for it to show up correctly.
2. McGraw Hill Game Zone Resources – This website is full of wonderful games that can be used in the classroom, such as this Measurement Relay Game. Essentially, this is one of those ‘I Have. Who Has?” Activities. But what I like to do with them is cut them out and have the students put the questions and answers together in domino-style format. The students really seem to enjoy this for the most part, it’s less chaotic than having everyone run around the room all at the same time, and it’s conducive to having the students work in small groups.
3. Ratio and Proportion weblinks – This is a list of weblinks that I found from Mathmammoth. If you hunt around their website long enough, you will also find a list of Integer weblinks, among others. I think tha these lists of weblinks would be perfect places to start in putting together a spectacular Web Quest for students. There were definitely resources on there that I hadn’t heard about in the past.
4. BBC Podcasts: A Brief History of Mathematics – Let me just say this… don’t you just love the British? And if a British Podcast doesn’t float your boat, try looking at some videos over at EduTube, this video of a math teacher rapping. Hey, it’s not great compared to some of the impromptu songs that I’ve sung during my classes in order to keep my students interested in the lessons. I’m a big fan of keeping students engaged in the classroom.
5. [removed by request]
6. Best Free Online Applications and Services – This is really great not only because I haven’t heard of many of these resources before, but because they are all on-line. This eliminates the need for pesky downloads and making sure that applications are compatible with various operating systems. I also liked that Wolfram Alpha is highlighted as being the Best Free Online Answer Engine. Any list that gives a shoutout to Wolfram Alpha is a respectable list in my book.
7. The History, Use, and Abuse of QR Codes – This is a fairly in-depth Slideshare that I found helpful in my quest to eventually integrate QR Codes into my teaching. I’m really thinking about putting QR codes on my syllabus, and homework assignments from now on just to try to alleviate some of the complaints that I often get from students about not being able to find an assignment that I’ve posted on the web. And by having to put the assignment on the web before even passing it out, I will also know that I haven’t sent students to a web resource that I might have actually forgotten to post. (It’s happened!)
8. 20 Free Web Apps for the 2.0 Student – I don’t think that all of these will work for every student, but there are a few good resources on the list that I would recommend for everyone, such as Phone Evite, a website that allows you to send out mass voicemails; Mikogo, a website that allows for remote desktop sharing; and Mint, free personal finance software. I’m actually considering using Mint myself since it’s part of the Intuit Brand, which I already highly respect since I’ve been using TurboTax for several years now.