Saturday, July 28, 2012

Math Support Class: How To....

This year I will be teaching a Math Support class again. This time it is Math Support for Algebra 2, as I have previous done it before for Algebra 1. The purpose of Math Support of course is to help those kids who would otherwise struggle in Algebra 2, brush up on pre-requisite skills and get extra practice. 

The best way I plan to do this is by having everyday as a theme. For example, the first unit we teach in Integrated Algebra 2 is System Of Equations.

The way I am teaching the class it will be easier to understand if I work backwards.

Friday- Lab Day/Study for Quiz or Test Day
The students will go to the lab and work on the internet primarily at  if you have never been to this website, I encourage to you go now and sign up your school and your class. It is an interactive game based math site. That allows the students to play games and practice problems from easy to hard based of CCSS and you get to set what each student works on. The best part about this is that is FREE. (I plan on blogging on this site itself later) Those students who need extra help preparing for a quiz or test that day can come have group time with me. I have these kids 1st Period so it works out perfectly. Any child in this class who has me for a Regular Algebra 2 teacher and has not scored 7.5 or higher on SBG quizzes will get extra work.

Thursday – Quiz Day.
On Thursday they will partner up, partner’s will be selected at random, and take a 20-25 question multiple choice quiz (Level 1 questions make up the majority). What I will do is select one student’s from each pair to grade and circle the wrong answers, I will give them there quizzes back on Monday for 15 minutes for a chance to correct those answers.

Wednesday – Activity Day
On Wednesday, we will do sometime of practice day. Ala, Relay Races which can be found here, or Trashketball, etc… This is a way for the students to review the main topic of the week in a fun like matter.

Tuesday – Graphic Organizer - Note Day
Today the students will use their Interactive Notebook’s which I plan on using for this class, to take notes, do practice problems, complete a graphic organizer/foldable on the weeks main topic. So for the first unit, it will be all three ways to solve a System Of Equations.

Monday – Pre-Requisite Day
Students will start of class with an eight quiz (Do you remember quiz), on other topics that you need to know to be successful doing the week’s main topic. I will be able to do this using clickers. While I tally up the data, I will give the students their quizzes back from Friday and give them up to 15 minutes to make corrections and changes. After that we will review and discuss the answers to the do you remember quiz and they will complete a ticket out the door to leave class.

This is my process of Math Support class, if you have any questions or comments to help make it better, please feel free to let me know.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Writing in Math Class! - Higher-Level Thinking

In a field with many buzz words we are all familiar with one that sticks out, Bloom's Taxonomy and higher level thinking. One exercise that I picked up from a seminar that has proven to be a keeper is writing a letter to a friend who missed class. 

In this activity my students write to a peer who has missed class. They are to summarize what they missed, tell them 3 important things to remember, and finally do a sample problem. This forces the students to have a deep understanding of what is important to solve a concept, and it makes them articulate that understanding to a classmate. In other words it makes them become a teacher!

I didn't do this enough last year, but I have decided to take the ones I did 1st semester that are good and scan them into pdf's to share with my students who missed class or need extra help this year. I plan on doing this a lot more this year. This will help me answer the question, what did I miss yesterday and where can I get notes.

Here are a few for you to use and I promise to upload the template as well, as soon as I find it :).

System Of Equations

Circles and Tangent Lines


Equations Of Circles

Sunday, July 1, 2012


I asked the question to a few of my fellow math tweets last week about what was one thing. They wanted to START doing next year..CONTINUE doing next year…and STOP doing next year. As you can imagine the response was to long for Twitter, but it got me thinking about doing a post on my ideas and hopefully others will follow suit :).

School is approximately a month away for my school district. Summer where have you gone? I made the blog post a few weeks ago about my dilemma evolving around the homework/classwork grade which amounts for 10% of my students’ grade. 

So I think I have come up with a better solution hopefully. There are two things that I would like to START this year.

The first one at my wife’s suggestion in conjunction with @druinok, I will attempt to structure my student’s notes better using CORNELL NOTES. 

I think a huge problem that my students had 1st semester especially the lower achievers was note taking. Hopefully this will increase the ability of retaining info for those students who chose to use them.

The second thing on my start list is INTERACTIVE NOTEBOOKS, which is where the classwork, homework portion of the grade will come from, I hope!

These are great places to start if you want to know more about Interactive notebooks to start. I plan on taking up the notebook during every test and basically performing a notebook check. I need to come up with a way to remediate this I believe so stay tuned for comments on it.

I want to CONTINUE planning my lessons using the best Math Lesson Formula ever and I didn’t need my district to waste 200 dollars on training! 

If you just follow the steps prescribed by @k8nowak all your lessons will be great in no time! 

For me the STOP part is easy, I work best when under pressure, BUT I am going to attempt to start off good, staying ahead of the curve and finishing strong. Since I am teaching the same thing I taught last year I just need to tweak items instead of making whole sale changes, i.e., I make notes to problems I want of the test and quiz, but will write them 2 days before I want to give them and make copies first thing in the morning. I want to stay organized I start that way and then fall off. Let me know ur list either through comments, email or own twitter to @tbanks1906