Thursday, May 12, 2016

Properties of Exponents....will they EVER get it?

Even though I teach Algebra 2, I seem to spend a crazy amount of time on Properties of Exponents Rules.  When I say I taught it three times this school year, I am not exaggerating!   This latest time is to help review my students for they all important state tests that they have to take in two weeks.  Although I positively HATE state standardized tests, they are an evil we must deal with.  

Since I had already used two other foldables for properties of exponents and I was now in need of a new one, I did what many of us do....I searched pinterest!  :)  And I found this really cool one at Dividing by Zero.  I love the way it looks.  And it was really easy to  use.  However, my students did not find it so easy to make.  :)   The weaving of the paper might have been a little too much for some of the boys.  LOL!  I got reminded several times that this was math class and not arts and crafts.

I love the different colored papers you can use in this foldable.  I made a sheet for students to cut out of the rules and definitions and had them match them together before gluing them down.  Hoping a little hands-on will help make the rules stick! 

Because I had to glue the foldable into my notebook, I lost the use of one column for the back. I purposefully chose the "smaller" rules for the back so I didn't need as much space but I am already planning to adapt this foldable for next year to add a tab on the end that can be glued down and both sides will have 4 rows and columns.  I just haven't figured out if I can keep the paper weaving too!
(Notice my note to myself for the website I scored the idea from?  :)  )

I am hoping that the 3rd time is the charm!  

Monday, May 2, 2016

I text my students. Do you?

Having taught as an online math teacher for over 9 years, I have learned that texting is the much preferred way for my students to communicate.  They do not want to talk to me but they don't mind texting.  This way they can communicate with me while at a sporting event, or their job.   Frankly, I have learned to like texting as well.  It is not as instantaneous as talking but it gets the job done. 

What is weird is that in the 9 years I have been teaching online I have never given my cell phone number to my students that I teach face to face.  Part of it is that I see them daily so they don't really need it.  And the other part is I don't really trust them not to prank me.  :)   I am in constant war with myself over this. 

But I think I have found my happy solution!  Remind 101.  I LOVE IT!

This website allows me to send out mass class announcements to my students and their parents.  You can use it to "Remind" everyone of an upcoming test, end of marking period, project due date, whatever!   Best of all.... it allows them to respond to me as well.  I have the settings set to text me to my phone so I get a notification immediately and then can respond by text as well.  And if I don't want to have texts sent to my phone, I can turn them off as well.  I love that if they have a question at 6:00pm they can ask me.  And if I have the time and availability, I can answer.  

But my best use of remind was when I took my class to Hersheypark on Friday.  Instead of having students have to find me at 12:30 to check in, the teachers took a selfie and sent it out as an announcement to the students that it was time to check in.  The students had been told to take a group selfie in front of the ride they were at and tell me their names and location.  It was great!  And my principal loved the pictures I forwarded to him of the kids as well.  Here is the selfie the teachers took to start the check-in!