Author: Lisa

Why I Organize TMC

I was coming home from working at school on Saturday as I am getting ready for students to return on Wednesday. The TMC Party Anthem came on my iPod playlist. I pretty much took the video and pulled the audio from it and wasn’t really paying attention to where the song actually started and finished. When I got to this point in the audio track, I pretty much lost it as I was driving home. I knew what was on the screen at that point and what was happening in the room at that moment. (This post is very much a post about me. Very unlike me. I won’t be offended if you move along to read something else.) You see (if you didn’t go and watch), at that moment, not only were people applauding our phenomenal crew who put together and performed the song, people were applauding me for having created this space we call TMC (paraphrasing the words on […]

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Algebra 2 Learning Targets Revision

Well, I did it. For as long as I have been thinking about it (pretty much since I was told in April that I would be teaching Algebra 2), I finally took the learning targets for Algebra 2 and rearranged them (if you wish a little more detail, check out my recent blog post on what I’m changing this year). If you’re wondering what the inspiration was, head off to Jonathan Claydon‘s blog and read through his Pivot Algebra 2 posts. It wasn’t without struggle. I’m finally ready to hack my Alg2 curriculum to pieces & I find myself stalling. Doesn’t help that my computer chose to have probs now. — Lisa Henry (@lmhenry9) August 3, 2016 @stoodle I’ve taught Alg2 like 19 of my 24 years and mostly the same order / “way.” Really struggling with the final doing the change. — Lisa Henry (@lmhenry9) August 3, 2016 @stoodle And I can’t figure out why I’m struggling with putting it […]

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My Version of Interactive Notebooks (INBs)

This blog post is in response to Matt Baker: @lmhenry9 how much do you do with your INB? I do a bit of @rawrdimis’s thing but I need to tweak — Mattie B (@stoodle) July 24, 2016 This had started from a tweet I sent out looking for suggestions about what Elissa Miller had requsted: a unit summary sheet for the end of each unit in her class’ interactive notebooks (INBs for short). Continuing our Twitter conversation: @stoodle @lmhenry9 what tweaks are you thinking? — Jasmine Walker (@jaz_math) July 24, 2016 @jaz_math @lmhenry9 kids were …sloppy with them. Didn’t see the point. I need more structure (but I’m not a foldables guy) — Mattie B (@stoodle) July 24, 2016 @jaz_math @lmhenry9 also I assign homework so it’s difficult to leave in the room — Mattie B (@stoodle) July 24, 2016 @lmhenry9 @jaz_math do you have homework? — Mattie B (@stoodle) July 24, 2016 @stoodle A lot. I’m more like @rawrdimus than […]

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What’s in my 10%?

Another TMC in the books. It still amazes me that we have now done this 5 times. Like Sam, I’m struggling to process TMC16 in a way that I can make coherent sense of. So, also like Sam, I am blogging this one definitely for me. Dylan Kane, quoting Steve Leinwand in his keynote talked about how we as teachers should be changing 10% of what we do in our practice yearly. No more, no less. Without further ado, here are things that will be in my 10% this year (and a few things I am bringing back): As I’ve already mentioned in my last post, I am going to bring more real-world mathematics into my classroom. Denis Sheeran talked about I See Math. I am going to be more conscious of what I see in my world that may be interesting mathematically and/or to my students. I am going to make a more deliberate effort to include the real world […]

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Standing on the Precipice

On a last minute persuasive pitch, I decided on attending Denis Sheeran‘s session – Instant Relevance: Day by Day Statistics for Non-AP Courses.  I decided to go to Denis’ session because what he said about looking for the mathematics in the everyday and figuring out how to use it in your classes spoke to me. I’m hoping to do some of that this year. Here are some of the notes I made of what caught my attention: Students learn when they care about answering the question and they care about you. Don’t separate what you do every day from what you do every day. You asked the question, I’ll provide the (mathematical) tool you need. Over the course of the day, I figured out some things about myself as a teacher. I think that I have been standing at the precipice of a cliff trying to convince myself to dive into the pool of water of really integrating the real […]

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#Descon16 Reflections

Normally, I don’t blog during TMC. In fact, it’s the night before we start and I really ought to be headed to bed. But I had some thoughts and connections I had made while at the Desmos Preconference. After our kickoff to the morning, we separated ourselves into groups based on comfort / ability level with Desmos (beginning, intermediate, or advanced). At first, I thought I may be a beginner plus but not quite advanced, but once I saw the document that Michael Fenton created, I realized that I was a solid intermediate. After some discussion of where to head, Julie Reulbach made the point that if I went to intermediate, I could end up helping others whereas if I went to advanced, I would be pushed and would be learning from others. I definitely wanted to be pushed a little bit, so I went to advanced and promptly figured out I was over my head. But I stayed anyway. What […]

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Weeding

With the school year being so busy, many things get left to do until summer hits. One of those things was weeding. I hate weeding. Well, maybe not the weeding part. Before I began weeding, I thought to myself, I hate thistles. As I was weeding, I thought to myself, I don;t hate the thistles that much. They come out of the ground easier (although I can never seem to get the full root structure). What I really hate is, well, I hate dandelions.     Dandelions are a bugger to get out of the ground. You think you have the root and as you pull, you don’t seem to have it all. Since I waited until early June, some many of my dandelions had gone to seed. So, now I’m trying to pull out the dandelions and not get the seeds into the ground. UGH. Did I mention I hate weeding? I’m kind of at the same point with my teaching. I know there are things I do […]

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Factoring Flowchart

On the afternoon I was digging through my Evernote archives, I stumbled upon this gem of a post by Elissa Miller. She was talking about checking to make sure they knew the difference between each type of factoring. I had just given an assessment on factoring and solving quadratic equations by factoring to my Algebra 1 students and they did poorly on it. I knew that part of it was they just didn’t practice enough, but I also recognized that they didn’t know how to figure out what kind of factoring to do. After looking at Elissa’s flowchart to help her students, I decided to create one of my own for mine. I printed these 2 to a page on card stock so students could put them in the folder in their interactive notebooks easily. What I decided to do is to offer feedback on the assessment to the students to help guide them in making better decisions on what […]

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Together we are better.

I  miss you all. It has been a difficult year in many ways for me, so I have not been as active on Twitter or on my blog. In the last few days, I have come to realize that I miss it. A lot. This has not been my best year of teaching. I’m not going to go into all of the reasons, but one of the conclusions I have come to is that part of it is that I have gotten away from the MTBoS (Math Twitter Blog-o-Sphere for the uninitiated). I haven’t been reading blogs, I haven’t been keeping up with Twitter (I’m still trying to figure out how to do that…) and I haven’t been looking at the awesome resources I have compiled from the MTBoS over the last few years in my Evernote. I need to go back to doing that. In fact, I have started to do that. I’ll share some of that in other posts. I do […]

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Systems of Linear Equations Scratch Offs

An activity I’ve done with my Algebra 1s for the last two years (and is reusable) is scratch off cards. I think I originally saw the idea from Kristen Fouss but after trying to search her blog, maybe it was from Sam Shah. Regardless of where I saw it, here’s how it worked for me. Step One: Create problems with a box to place the answer. Step Two: Laminate the cards. THIS IS IMPORTANT! If you don’t laminate, you will need to put clear packing tape over the answer. I found it much easier to laminate.   Step Three: Mix 1 part dish soap and 2 parts acrylic paint together. (I got those directions from here.) Step Four. Paint the mixture over the answer. This may take a couple of times depending on how heavily you paint the mixture over the answer. The first year I did it, it took me several coats because I painted too lightly. This year, it went […]

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