Monday, April 30, 2012

Turnpike Tolls

I just returned from the NCTM conference in Philadelphia!  I know, I know, those conferences are awesome.  Once I am able to organize my thoughts I will share some of my findings from it.  The purpose of this post is to show you the toll prices from my travels.

I was curious about how the fees are determined.  Is it by exit?  Is it by mile?  Do you receive a discount by traveling more?  Is it linear?  And what about EZ pass?  Are those fees different?  And if it is linear, is the slope for cash payments different than the slope for EZ pass payment?  Looks I have some work cut out for my students.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Row Game

The Row Game is a nice little review game that I use often in my classroom.  I like it because I get a chance to see a lot of students' work in a little amount of time.  It's a great form of formative assessment.  Okay, here's how it works....

  • Teams sit in a row.
  • Teams are not allowed to work together.
  • I post a problem and every individual student works on the problem independently. 
  • Once the students are finished I check their work.
  • I start by checking the first person in the row.  If the first person is correct I give that row/team 5 points.  If the first person is not correct, then I check every single person behind him.  For every correct response, I award that row/team that many points.
  • I check all rows in this manner.  
  • For the rows/teams that have one less student, I count the second person as 2 points rather than 1.
  • The first person moves to the back of the row, everyone else moves up a seat, and we do it all over again.
This game gives me a chance to see where the class is as a whole.  If everyone in the first seat gets a problem correct, chances are the majority of the class is ready to move on.  If I see that all the teams are getting a low score on a problem then I know that is something I need to spend more time on.

I have also used this game to introduce topics.  I will start with something they will have prior knowledge of and build from there.  For example: In my Algebra 1 course we have previously covered Simplifying Radicals and the Pythagorean Theorem with Rational Solutions.  I began the row game with those two topics.  Once I felt the students remembered how to do these problems, I gave them a right triangle to solve where the solution was a radical that needed to be simplified.  

Try this game out....let me know how it worked in your classroom.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hey There!

It's time that I actually start my blog.  Well, I did have a blog called Simplifying Radicals, but then I didn't have time for it and stopped blogging for a while.  Now,  I decided to start blogging again and I can't remember the email attached to that blog.  So, here I am with a fresh start and a new blog.

My name is Nora and I am a high school math teacher.  I truly love my job and nothing gets me more excited than a great lesson plan.  Seriously.

What I Learned from my High School Social Studies Teacher

Back in high school there was this Social Studies teacher (Let's call him Mr. A) that made teaching look easy....almost too easy;  like ...