Saturday, December 5, 2015

12 days of Goodness/Christmas

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.  I love the food, the family, the entire experience.  I even love prepping for Black Friday shopping.  My family loves Christmas.  The kids love the time we spend with family, singing Happy Birthday to Jesus and of course, the presents.  This year there are so many bad things happening in the world.   The news is filled with shootings, fires, and terrorism.  And let's not forget all the political name-calling and nonsense.  Frankly,  it is depressing.

I read Facebook for the fun.  I hate that it is often filled with the negative news items.  I look to the TV and news websites for that stuff but I go to Facebook for relaxation.  So what I would like to do is start a new holiday trend.  We need to bring some goodness and happiness back to the world to combat the sadness and badness.  I want to hear about the good in everyone's lives.  I want to hear about the happiness and the love. 

So I challenge everyone around the world to participate in the 12 days of Christmas.  I challenge you to post something you love every day on Facebook or your blog.  I also challenge you to do a Random Act of Kindness or an RAK.   It can be something as simple as holding the door for someone or something as thoughtful as buying coffee for someone.   Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, you can participate anyone and call it the 12 days of Goodness.  We need to bring Goodness back to this world.  We don't pray in schools anymore but maybe, just maybe, if we start to spread good will, we will start to hear about it as well.   And maybe we can change the world.

And why wait until 12/13 to start.  Do it today.  You won't regret it.  

signed, hopefully optimistic

Friday, December 4, 2015

Every person is smart......

Every person is smart.  I truly believe that. What makes us unique is "how we are smart".   What makes our world go round is the fact that we are all intelligent in different ways.  Do you ever wonder how in the world your mechanic can take a car apart and put it back together?   Or why someone's cookies always taste better than yours?  It's because they have a level of intelligence that you don't possess. (Frankly, I don't either.  I'm lucky I haven't burned my house down baking.....but that is a story for another blogpost.)

Most people think I am smart because I have a degree in math.  But frankly, I'm no smarter than anyone else.  I just like numbers.  They make sense to me.  But ask me to write a paper and I am at a loss as to where to start.  The reason I blog so little is that writing my thoughts down is just too hard sometimes.   But I don't think that makes me stupid either.  It is just not my strength.   And that's ok.  

I am a firm believer in Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. I first learned of him in graduate school but I have to say he is the one Philosophy of Education that I have fully embraced.   You can see in the image above the different intelligences that he has identified and he believes there are more.   If you are curious about which one is yours, you can go HERE to take a short assessment.  I'm not sure how reliable the test is but I consider myself Logical-Mathematical and as a teacher I think I have good interpersonal skills so these results are pretty accurate for me.  My linguistic is my lowest and that may explain my aversion to writing.  :)     Try the test and see where you are smart!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

my kids....

I love this quote because it is so true and I think most teachers would agree with me.  I am a mom and a mathematics teacher.  Between both of these "jobs", I have between 83 - 103 kids.  This number changes with each new school year.   I may have only given birth to three of those kids but for 9 months I feel like I have closer to 100.   I care about these kids.  They matter.  Every year I meet a new group and every year they make an impact on me.  I get to know them.  What they like/don't like....which is usually math, but I don't hold it against them.  :)   By the end of the year, they know what I like and don't like as well.   I don't like Minecraft so I hope they don't hold that against me.   LOL!

So if you hear me say "my kids", you may need to ask me to I mean my three red-heads, or do I mean my students?  Because often in my mind, they are all the same.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Introducing Systems of Equations

Every year I attend NCTM and every year I come home excited to try new things.  This year was no different.  I am willing to try new things in my classroom, but sometimes just the planning time is overwhelming with all of the other duties we have. 

This week I am teaching systems of equations to my Algebra 2 classes.  So I went to the internet for inspiration on introducing the topic....something along the lines of Dan Myer's Three Acts.  In my search, I stumbled upon his Makeover Internet Plan blog post.  You can find it HERE.    He took a textbook internet cafe word problem and changed it to choosing between gym membership plans.

I did just a bit of tweaking to help it match my teaching style but I really liked the way my intro went with my students.  I especially liked putting their choices on the board as a graph for them to see the turn over point for the plans. 
My students were more engaged and were able to see how linear lines could help in business planning.  (I also teach business math so I often make my "where will I use this" a little more business oriented.)    They were easily able to write the equations of the lines then and engaged in some great discussions about the three plans, why they never intersected, etc. was a great aid for showing why the change occurs.

I liked the idea so much that I then followed it up with using Beth Ferguson's makeover for independent practice for my students. (Go HERE.) Although my students picked up the gist of the math, they have some work to do on their letter writing.  ;)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Algebra 2 INB - Complex Numbers

Complex Numbers

I love teaching Quadratic Equations.  I think it may be my most favorite unit to teach all year.  I'm not sure the kids always enjoy it but I sure do.  :)  I am a terrible blogger.  I do lots of things in my classes that I'd like to write about but never seem to take the time.  (Kids are taking a test right now!)

I teach both a college prep (honors) class and a regular class.  I sometimes do things differently with the regular as I've had time to "tweak" my lesson before I get there with them.

This is the foldable I created to help me teach Complex Numbers to my regular Algebra classes.  I use ALOT of frayer models in my class.  I've found it is a great way to show students what something is or isn't....HOWEVER....A frayer model isn't just for vocab anymore!   This was the way I decided to have my students organize their notes for Complex Numbers. So far, I'm liking the way it is going. 

I made this on a full piece of paper and we will fold it to make it fit in our book.  You can fold it in half, or in quarters to have it open up.  

If you like it and can see a use for it in your class....go HERE to download it for free.