I totally meant to share these problems a few weeks ago, but I wanted to try it out with my classes first. However, I got so distracted with doing my Capture & Recapture Lab that we never got to the worksheet. Yes, I did a Capture & Recapture lab for my Beginning Algebra Classes to help demonstrate how proportions might be used as part of a method of estimation. Several students told me that without the lab, they wouldn’t have really understood exactly why we even needed proportions. That made me happy. So, here we are after the semester has already ended and I never used these problems. But I thought that I would share them anyway.
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 a sample lesson on Percent Increase and Decrease designed for a 52-minute Pre-Algebra class.
1. Start by watching the video on ‘Percent Increase’. Make sure that students have the handout so that they don’t have to write down the application problem.
2. Have students work on the two ‘Group Work’ problems on percent increase.
3. Follow the same process for ‘Percent Decrease’.
4. Have the students do the Percent Increase and Decrease ‘Matching Activity’. You need to have the tiles cut apart for them already. If there is not enough time to complete this in class (There usually isn’t), suggest that the students take the activity home. If you wish, have the students bring the completed matches back to the next class for credit.
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.
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.
This site then led me to Let’s Play Math, where I found a wonderful post about a Graph-It Game. However, the Graph-It Game only came with one -9985″>Christmas Example.
So, I started searching Google again for “Plotting Points to Make a Picture Worksheet”. Kaboom! A lot of examples came up, all of which I think could be useful in their own way: Mystery Graph (Owl) or click here for even more mystery graphs.
I also found these not so free options, although I am mildly inclined to sign-up for the ‘free trials’ and see what I can pull out of there in my 10 days with them.
1. Math Crush has even more mystery graphs, and even a Battleship activity.
Overall, I think it was a productive 30 minutes or so, and I hope that you found this post useful. I am starting graphing with my Beginning Algebra students at the end of this week, so I will let you know how incorporating this whole Graph-It/Mystery Picture Idea works out. Although, this is not something totally different than the What’s Brewing Worksheet that I have been borrowing from Pete Falzone’s website for a couple of years now. But having more than one ‘picture’ is a good thing, since I am personally getting bored of seeing students draw the same coffee cup semester after semester after semester!
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:
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.