Saturday, April 30, 2011

Talking To Educators #6

Friday, April 29, 2011

Learning The Real Number System With Maps

Learning The Real Number System With Maps

You Will Need:
Construction Paper
Map World (google maps works great for materials)
Map of 2 unconnected Countries
Map of State within one of the countries
Map of County within the State
Map of Town Within the County

Remembering the differences between natural, whole, integer, rational, irrational and real numbers can be confusing for anyone. How can  a natural number be a rational number but not all rational numbers are natural numbers? To remedy to this confusion let's use maps. 

First cut out a picture of a world map and tape it on a piece of paper (you may also draw the pic). Picking two countries on the map that are not connected by other countries (North America and Australia work great)

Now pick a state within one of the countries, cut it out, and tape it to the paper

Now pick a county or city within the state, cut it out and tape it to the paper

Now pick a town within the county or street within the city, cut it out and tape it to the paper

We now get to label each map.

Label the map of the country Real Numbers, since all of the numbers in this article are real numbers

Label the country that you found states and cities in Rational Numbers

Label The State Integer Numbers

Label The City or County Whole Numbers

Label the town or street Natural Numbers

Finally, label the other country Irrational Numbers.

Now using the United States as an example lets ask the question, if you live in New York City, do you live in the United States?

What about the question

If you live in the United States must you live in New York City? 

As you can see, maps can help us learn the real number system

Thursday, April 28, 2011

More Extra Credit Projects From My Students

My college students were offered extra credit for producing a hands on math project on one of the following themes

1) The Real Number System
2) The Commutative, Associative or Distributive Properties

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

You Can Now Download This Whole Site in PDF

You Can Now Download This Whole Site in PDF

Look under 'Math Downloads'

Simplifying Radicals Involving Students Up & Moving

First give each student an index card with a square root that needs to be simplified

Each student will tape the index card to their chest

Have each student write an empty square root symbol on each hand, like the following

Now pair up students and have them face each other  like so

Each student must simplify the others radical by writing the answers in each hand.

The final simplified form should be written under each picture 

Simplifying Radical via Hangman

To simplify the radical by choosing the perfect square and the non perfect square before the radical is hung

The Bonus Question could be to write the two square roots in  final form where the perfect square is written without the radical 

Student Projects For Extra Credit

Students Were asked to create a hands on math extra credit assignment based on one of two themes.

1) The Real Number System
2) The Different Properties

Monday, April 25, 2011

Algebra Sandwich Packet Is Ready

Hands On Math Packet “Creating An Algebra Sandwich”

The following packet offers an awesome hands on way for teaching how to solve equations. Your students will use pre-made sandwich cutouts (bread, pickles, tomato, etc) to make an algebraic sandwich showing each step of their work on a piece of the sandwich. 

The Lesson has lots of pictures, a detailed lesson plan, student directions sheet, printable cutouts, three worksheets-- before activity worksheet, after activity worksheet and homework worksheet and powerpoint slide.

Your students will have a blast learning equations with this activity. Everything is included! 

Please go to to get the powerpoint or email me ( since TPT wont let me upload both a pdf and a power point in the same post

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I've made some adjustments to the page!

I'm working to adjust the column width and add a few things. All should be ready soon :)

Talking To Teachers: Classroom Advice 5

As always, theres a delay :(

Friday, April 22, 2011

I've Added Some Tips For Helping Students Pass The Standardized Test

In the pages section to the right of the screen your will find my "Top 7 Things To Do To Prepare Your Students For The Standardized Test". I hope it helps 

Beads & Math (It's Mardi Gras In The Classroom)

Bring in a few sets of beads and distribute them to each student. The goal is to estimate the number of beads without actually counting them.

Hmm...geometric formulas may do nice here.  What shape and what formula would give us the best estimate of the number of beads? 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Here is My Variation of The Number of The Day

There are lots of resources out there that give free "number of the day" printable's.  I like this type of worksheet if your going to assign homework or extra work. 

Simply provide a number like 2.15 and allow the students to fill in as much information as possible about the number. I should have this up and for free soon. Check the "math downloads section"

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Volume of a Cylinder Made of Jello!

Jello containers make pretty good cylinders! But there's a problem, the jello container is not completely full of jello. Thus, we have two volumes, the volume of the jello container and the volume of the amount of jello. What is the difference?

Well, have your students bring in a container of jello (have extras for those who forget) and have your students find out

Monday, April 18, 2011

Do You Use Box Paper To Help Students Show Their Work?

I created the following box paper keeping two things in mind:

1) Students need help keeping their work boxed together
2) Some students finish faster than others.

You can see that each box represents a place for your students to show their work and the sheet is full of mazes, math questions and other things to keep your students busy if they finish early.

Since i had to outsource the project to someone with better skills at graphic design than i posses. I will need to charge $1.25 for each download. Sorry :(

If you would like a copy you can purchase it through my teacher pay teacher store or you can paypal the money to my e-mail and i will e-mail you the pdf file

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Using A Creative Teacher Printable: Love This Book!

I will continue to mention The Creative Teacher. It is the single best book I have ever purchased for creative classroom ideas and I have surveyed a lot of them. Buy it via your local book store for 19.99 or via Amazon for the price listed to the left. Here is another Creative Teacher math variation of one of their paragraph printable

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Talking To Teachers: Classroom Advice 4

, teacher

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cake & Fractions: Giving Your Students An Incentive

If you place a fraction problem like this in front of your students, some will make the correct decision, some won't. Some were paying attention when you gave your lecture, some weren't.  

Now, if you place the following option in front of each student (a large piece of cake or a small one) you better bet their going to listen to everything you say!

1) My suggestion, buy or bake a cake or cookie, pizza, etc. (ask the manager for discounts since it will be learning related in exchange for sending pizza magnets or coupons home to each parent).
2) Cut Two pieces for each student, a large piece and a small piece
3) Give each student a fraction problem like the one above and explain that by giving you the answer the are choosing which piece they get and you can not go back once your decision had been made.
4) Thus, the students being rewarded with a bigger piece of cake because they got the problem right...THEY are choosing the bigger or small piece of cake when they give you a <, > or = sign!

Your students now have a huge incentive to listen to what you are saying! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Variation Of B-Day Cards: Teaching Perfect Squares

Learning Perfect Squares With Birthday Cards

So, what's this perfect square stuff all about and how do we remember it? Time to create some square root birthday cards

1) Think of five people who you normally write birthday cards and write what age they will be this coming birthday (including yourself)

2) Let's figure out what their birthday is in "square root years" 

     Since we know that a square root undoes something squared, all we need to do is square their age.

Example: If your 10 years old, then your also Square root of 100 years old (10^2 or 10 x 10 = 100)

Therefore, square each age to get their age in "square root years". 

3) Now, create them a happy birthday card but replace their age with their square root 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

D = RT; Using A Remote Control Car To Solve Equations

Got a remote control car (or know someone that does)? Bring it in to class and have your students bring in their own remote control cars so that we can learn how to solve and manipulate equations.

What you will need:
*Remote Control Car
*Stop Watch
*Track or Field
*Pen and Paper

Iron Man Car
Young Mind

Stop Watch

Using Our Distance Formula:

D = RT

1) Measure off a specific distance on the track
2) Have a student be in charge of the stop watch and the remote control car
3) Use the information attained to determine the rate at which the car travels
4) See what happens if you increase the distance
5) Use the information to restrict and solve for the other variables

Have some fun with your Algebra!

Monday, April 11, 2011

"It's Getting Hot In Here" Time For Math Paper-Fans

So, it's getting hot again. We need a way to keep each other cool throughout class while still learning math. My solution? A math paper-fans. Very simple to create and great for learning vocabulary. Emphasize that there will be fan breaks throughout class and therefore you must bring your fan back with you in order to take the break, otherwise you must keep working :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Son Turned The Square Root of 9 Years Old :)

(Square Root of 9)

(My son and my wife)

Is It Standardized Test Time Again? Formula Sheet Help

At this stage in the year educators begin preparing their students for Standardized Tests (and if your schools are like most, your job, raise, promotion, may be on the line).  

Though I'm sure we all have our opinions as to the merits of this system, nevertheless. Hands on Math is here to help :)

First things first! We need to create some buzz for the formula sheets! 

Our formula sheet, what we wanted our students to remember and write down before they began the test, looked like the following

Now, this is slightly too much for one sitting of memorization, thus it was proposed by my old colleagues to break it up in quadrants. Like so...

Not bad, but we can do more. We want students to know something goes somewhere but  where?

I suppose we remedy this with the use of tetris pieces

Are New Formula Sheet looks Like The Following

Now Students can remember shapes to remember where something goes. I will be posting some awesome ways to get your students "pumped-up" for your standardized test as we get closer to May. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Talking To Teachers: Classroom Advice Video 3

Friday, April 8, 2011

Food & Math Indirect Homework # 3

You want your students to starting seeing math everywhere. You want them to have random math thoughts   throughout their day. Give them some incentive. Assign extra credit for the best math photos. Start with a theme: Food.

Whoever submits the best mathematical food picture wins a surprise (for you to decide) and their picture will be hung in the classroom, etc.

Thinking I'm Crazy? Here you go...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Finding Area of Irregular Figures With Rubber Band Shapes

Teaching Area of Irregular Shapes Can Be Confusing For Students 

So, give them a ruler and some Rubber bands with shapes and let have some fun. The goal is not to present them with a testable question so much as to present them with a difficult question to which they must use known concepts. 

Be sure to ask them what strategy they used----->A teenagers mind is amazing!

Possible thoughts of a teenage mind --"Well, that tail on the fish thingy kind of looks like a triangle and his body is like a circle i guess"--

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Buy The Play Doh Algebra Math Packet

After much demand, and personal sweat, i have finally put together the Play Doh Algebra Math Packet. You can purchase the packet for $2.99 by clicking the pics above or the link below.

Here is a product description 
"The following packet offers an awesome hands on way for teaching algebra. Each lesson has pictures, a detailed lesson plan, after activity worksheet, powerpoint and homework assignment.

Your students will have a blast learning equations with this activity. Everything is included (except the Play Doh :)"