Ever notice that the internet is flooded with elementary math ideas, but that finding quality secondary materials is virtually impossible…. LOOK NO FURTHER! I’d love to introduce you to the
Live.Love.Math – Danielle Krantz
Grades 5 – 9
Grades 6 – 9
MissMathDork – Jamie Riggs
Grades 4 – Algebra I
Lessons With Coffee – Jameson Ivey
Grades 5 – 8
4mulaFun – Jennifer Smith-Sloane
Grades 4 – 9
All Things Algebra – Gina Wilson
Grades 6 – 11
Secondary Math Shop
Grades 8 – 12
To the Square Inch – Kate Bing Coners
Grades 4 – 9
Teaching Math By Hart
Grades 5 – 8
Teaching High School Math – Jennifer Lamb
Grades 6 – 12
Hodges Herald – Elizabeth Hodges
Grades 5 – 8
21st Century Math Projects – Clint Clark
Grades 6 – 12
Scaffolded Math and Science – Shana Donohue
Grades 8 – 11
For the Love of Teaching Math – Andrea Kerr
Grades 6 – 12
Runde’s Room – Jennifer Runde
Math Stations Central – Adrienne Meldrum
While you are out looking at some new Mathletes in your grade level (and hopefully adding some great things to your wishlist), what are you looking for in resources? How can we help your further your teaching at the secondary level? We’d love to here from you HERE!
Last but not least – we’re rounding out our ePIc Pi Week guest posts with Jamie from MissMathDork! Jamie is the math specialist/math coach at a middle school with grades 5th thru 8th, so she’s sharing her favorite Pi Day Activities for Middle School – including how to introduce pi to students who haven’t been exposed before! Don’t forget to enter the giveaways at the very end 🙂
Hey there! It’s Jamie from MissMathDork! I’m so incredibly excited to be a part of the ePIc Pi week Celebration!! Jennifer definitely saved the best activity for last (or maybe I’m just a wee bit partial)!
As a self-proclaimed math DORK it should be no surprise to you that Pi Day is basically the equivalent to Christmas in my house (my dad – who doesn’t have a math bone in his body – even calls me every year to wish me happy Pi day!). Each year there has to be a new Pi Shirt (this year I made my own!) and there HAS to be some fun activities! As my school is 5-8 (I teach all 4 of those grades!), and 5th graders haven’t been exposed to pi, I’ve come up with a few different activities to reach all levels of students. That’s when the chains came in! *sings* “chain, chain, chaaaaaaaaaaaaaain” YEAH! Chains….interlocking circles, get it?!!!
For my 5th grade kiddos (and this could easily work with grades lower than 5 – and higher than 5 – without needing adaptation! YEAH EASY!) we needed to VISUALIZE how random pi is! We decided to do that with color! For the Pi Chain, I went to Michael’s and purchased tons of fun color paper! YES, I splurged! I bought fun double sided, double colored card stock and bright, vibrant normal paper. I ended up cutting all the digit strips in half to make them about 5 inches long instead of 10 inches. This really helped make the Pi Chain more sturdy (and having the strips pre-cut meant there was no time wasted!) Last year, the chain was a huge hit. In 4 class periods, with only a portion of class (about 90 minutes total) spent on creating the chain, we were able to join 1000 links together. The kiddos have loved noticing the patterns, errrr… lack of patterns in the digits. We ended up taking the “final” product and placing it in a very public location with a fun sign. Let’s just say the color brought MANY eyes wanting to know what was going on. The chain was a great way to brighten an area of the school, bring PI-awareness, and show off our new creation!
For my 6th – 8th grade kiddos, who have been exposed to pi, needed a bit more math content. They too, wanted to make a chain, they just are being held accountable in a different way! They spent their days working on a Area and Circumference Chain activity. Because the activity was tiered, it allowed access for all students – those who needed whole numbers in their operations, decimals in their operations, multi-step of switching between radius and diameter or a combination of those options. Printing each of those chains on a different color also allowed for students to easily grab the tier they needed OR to add point values (tier 1 =1pt, tier 2 = 2pt, etc.). Using the point variation, you could tell students they needed to complete 20 points worth or problems, or see which team could get to 100 points first. Lots of fun ways to change it up depending on what would work best for your students.
If you’d like to check out some other PI Activities that I have, you might want to check out a post on my blog HERE
Whatcha think? Want to try one or both of my chain activities in your own classroom? I’m going to give away 3 sets of BOTH activities Sunday night! Enter and they could be yours!
Recently I received a question on Facebook that asked: Hello, I am in need of other resources to use for my 7th & 8th math class. Do you have any suggestions of manipulative, programs, resources that you use? After teaching middle school for several years I decided to pull into my past and give a rundown of the manipulatives that I kept handy just for middle school math.
One of the first manipulatives that was purchased at my middle school while I was teaching 8th grade was Hands On Equations. I will say it took me a bit to learn how to use it myself as it wasn’t the way that I was taught but once I hooked on to the concrete way of balancing equations I was hooked! We even created balances in our interactive notebooks so that my students could continue to use this method at home when doing homework or studying.
Another tried and true manipulative that I used was two-color counters. Not only are these great to use as game pieces when playing with two people, they are great if you are playing a review bingo or even to work with positive and negative numbers.
I absolutely loved using Geometric Solids in my classroom. There was no lesson on volume or surface area that we didn’t pull these out. Heck, we even pulled them out when we were discussing transformations across the coordinate plane and we anted to have different shapes that were performing these transformations.
Algebra Domino Links were something that I pulled out during intervention. I used these to help students break down the basics of algebra. We would use white boards to show our work and they would have to communicate to me what they did to determine their answer. This really allowed me to see the needs of some of my students who were low in multiplication and division fluency.
Centimeter Cubes can be used for so many different manipulative type things. In the picture above my students are using them to create similar figures. We have also used them for fractions, probability, and even measuring when a student is struggling wtih the concept of a ruler. It helps to start with something they can manipulate before using the stick they could harm someone with out of frustration (it’s happened…)
And near the end of the year I am always bringing in Algebra Tiles. I say the end of the year because when I taught 8th grade I was doing Pre-Algebra and then I moved to 7th Grade Math. In Pre-Algebra there were times that we did use them early on in the year (equations) but it was predominately at the end of the year when we were starting the introduction to Algebra after all of our state testing. I really like these because they are two colors on each piece and it allows for positive/negatives to be easily visualized.
What manipulatives do you use in your Middle School Math classroom? How do you use them? Please leave a comment below so we can have a grand list for those in need.
Every year when I begin using Frayer Models for vocabulary I have to teach what non-examples are to my students. Students are used to working in a world of creating examples and rationales behind their learning but not defining what their learning isn’t.
What is a Non-Example?
A Non-Example is simply helps define a new term in it’s entirety using the characteristics that are given and determine what the term is not.
Let’s take the word proportional…
Based on the definition and characteristics given by my students it is very easy to see that to create something that is proportional both sides must be equivalent. As you can see in creating a non-example the students created a proportion that did not become equal when cross-multiplied.
Starting lessons with examples and non-examples helps to build a foundation and clear up concepts before you get too deep into the learning. When students don’t start with a foundation of what a term or concept is they can continue to focus on that term and miss out on other key material. For my teaching this was a critical comprehension step for many of my students.
While speaking with some other teachers about using Non-Examples in their classrooms I received some great opinions.
As you can see from these teachers, as well as my experiences, using non-examples is something that we need to do in our classrooms. Non-examples don’t always have to be done in the form of a vocabulary definition. Another way to use them is through a concept sort or Venn diagram. What is one thing? What is another thing? Why is it that way? Get students talking about why they think something can be classified in one area and why not in another.
How do you use non-examples in your classroom? Do you struggle with student’s understanding of what something isn’t? Let’s discuss in the comments.
And, if you are looking for further ways to use Examples and Non-Examples in your classroom, check out the Examples and Non-Examples post over at It’s Academic Tutoring Center’s blog as they give some great insight on how using these techniques can help the foundations of learning.
How is your school year going? Are you working through the first semester and realizing you have already made it over half way through? Are you on fall break? Looking forward to the Thanksgiving holidays?
Well wherever you are in your semester I hope that you take time to share in some of the fun below and view or download some of the great items that teachers are linking up. If you are ever looking for something, leave a comment and I will put a word out to my teachers to link it up JUST FOR YOU!
Now, for the rules of the linky party. This month I’m going to keep it at 1:1 meaning that for every FREE item you post you can post a PAID item. You MUST post the FREE item first and make sure it says FREE in the title. FREE can also be a blog post full of great content and simply put BLOG in the beginning.
Ex: FREE Owl-Some Order of Operations
So link up below! And don’t forget to pin this post so others can find it as well! We would love for you to join our Success in Secondary Pinterest Board as well.
This summer, ten teachers from Teachers Pay Teachers joined together to compile an EXCLUSIVE bundle of math resources for 3rd through 9th Grade Math. The value of all these resources is over $125, and you can grab it for only $25 – 80% off! There is a very limited quantity – once we’re sold out, they’re gone forever! Grab your copy here at 4mulaFun.com
I have a total of FOUR things in this bundle that will definitely help you in your classroom.
The first of these is my Mean, Median, Mode and Range Flippable. This is great for many different levels and also allows you to have a data set created by your class in the center.
My Building Blocks of Geometry Flippable is great for reviewing vocabulary to identify and describe geometric figures. I used this in my 7th grade class to review prior vocabulary but also provide a resource for my students to review.
Problem Solving with the Halflings has been one of my favorite creations to date! These task cards review skills for all operations involving decimals and fractions! Perfect for a review and assessment in your classroom!
And my last creation on the CD is one that I created for a teacher friend who told me what her daughter was struggling with. This Metric Conversions Flippable allows students to create a number using the number cards and then convert the number to another version by simply moving the number cards. Being very tactile allows for students to manipulate and learn at the same time.
The sheer value of my materials is $12.50 which is already half the price of the CD and you still have 9 other teachers to grab some great materials from!
Find out more about the participating teachers and their products at MathTeachersofTpT.com and hop along this link party.
These products included will surely be loved by your students!
But that’s not all… the bundle covers to following topics that you will need to teach this year: