I love my interactive notebook, I really do. But sometimes I think we can have soon many foldables and colorful notes that it really distracts from what we are trying to accomplish and sometimes wastes time. This coming from someone who love the color and the activity of the notebook but sometimes, sometimes it's just too much.
Equations is a place where I feel that way. I love having tons of steps and I found tons of amazing foldables with multiple pages and steps. However, at the end of the day, I really just want my kids to remember 5 steps. I think, if we think of GEMDAS instead of PEMDAS and think of parenthesis as operations below the vinculum as well as those with other grouping symbols, that 5 steps are really all we need. Sometimes you will need to complete all 5, and with utilizing order of operations the procedure may take more than 5 steps total, but sometimes like with one step equations you may only need to complete the last step. I'm sure this idea will evolve over the years as I teach, but as I find myself contemplating more foldables for this section I keep coming back to the fact that I really want to KISS it - keep it simple, stupid! :)
So sometimes I will write a nice long blog post but sometimes I'm just trying to get my pictures caught up for my kiddos to make sure their notebooks are current with class..... this is one of those posts! The Fraction foldable did not come from the Math Equals Love blog - one of my amazing team members found it so I'm not really sure where it came from but enjoy!
We've all heard and been taught "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally" when it comes to learning order of operations. And while that may work in elementary school, it starts to get a little more difficult in Algebra and beyond when students remember the saying but not the logic behind the steps.
Sarah Carter (was Hagan but she got married) does an amazing job with posters and explaining concepts. So I loved her explanation here of using GEMDAS so I am utilizing this in my classroom. The walls have GEMDAS just as her blog shows and we completed a page in our INB where we discussed the logic and reasoning behind the steps!
So I know most would assume that by 9th grade a number line is no longer needed. And that's fine make your assumptions, however it still is. As we work with positive and negative integers I find that my students very much struggle with how to reconcile these problems in their heads. I had read on Sarah Hagan's blog about using the number line last year and then at a PD (Professional Development) this summer, I was convinced that this was something I needed in my classroom. So my dear, sweet momma put my number line up in my room after working all night one night helping mommas with their new babies. It's a little crooked but but every time I look at it, I am thankful to have a family to support me and my classroom.
Anyways, I digress. I have not yet included the number line for my kiddos in their notebooks, I need paper and keep forgetting to get it. But I did include instructions on how to use the number line. We talked about how to use the number line when solving their problems and how there is no shame in using the tools that are available to them. The only shame comes when you don't use those tools and don't succeed because of it (we talk a lot about life and overcoming obstacles in my class as well!).
We also worked on Integer Operations. And this is the area where I see my kids struggle the most and my biggest reason for using the number lines. Adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers seems to be a huge struggle so I'm hoping by reviewing this at the beginning of the year instead of next week after we struggle thru equations will help!
Yes, I understand I'm teaching freshman and that coloring and cutting and glue sticks are usually reserved for elementary school buuuuuuutttttttt, WHY CAN'T MATH BE FUN?
We had sooo much fun this past Friday as the "Broke The Code" in a completely interactive game day based upon the Breakout Games. That to me is what math should be like - problem solving, logical thinking etc. So I like to color and have fun in my class.
Now that hat being said, I truly believe in the INB as a tool that we are building for student success. Not just in my class but possibly the rest of high school and into college. So breakout the glue sticks because here we go!
Below is an example of what my students did today. Files are predominantly available thru Sarah Hagan's Math Equals Love blog as she is phenomenal and I follow her religiously!
Some of this didn't come from Sarah's blog (usually if it's not as pretty, it's mine!) but most of it did. She does an amazing job of explaining it all. If I have a chance I will try to explain how I use it if differently!
Students/parents - we build these in class and extra papers are available in the make up work bin should students be missing a page!!!
Ok, I couldn't help myself! Every time I say this I have to sing it and sometimes I get side tracked singing the rest of the song - it's a problem, I know.
Anyways, its that time of year when all of the kids are getting back into a routine and getting back to school. In our home, and in my classroom, that means I need routines and checklists. I've got 3 kids plus a high school exchange student and 3 of the 4 are involved in at least 1 after school activity. Which means my husband and I are outnumbered physically and with vehicles. Not to mention he and I are involved in church, both still attending school, etc. So staying organized and having the kids help around the house we have found is VITAL to our sanity and marriage.
I got these calendars off of Amazon and right now they are giving some order to my crazy life. I've color coded them by kids and or activity - in fact I screwed them up at first and Rose made me go back and update them so that they were matching the way that they were supposed to.
You can find the monthly calendar here , the weekly calendar here, and the meal planning one here. I don't get paid for mentioning these, I just love them!
The other thing that we have found that helped save our sanity and keep the house clean over the past year was our kids chore charts! This really was helpful as our first bonus daughter joined us and set a great example for the kids on what needed to be done. Dividing the home into zones also was amazingly helpful because then I just really needed to remember who had which zone and not the specific zones.
Here is the editable link to the files - click here - I laminated them so that I could use a dry erase marker for the kids to mark off as complete. My older child, in green, has less because they don't have to be reminded to do simple tasks like brush their teeth and hair. On the subject of allowances, they don't get them for doing what's on their checklists or in their zone - that's just part of being in our household. If they want allowance, they have to do something from the Extra Chores list. My pink and blue charts are for 9 and 7 year olds and the youngest doesn't have one yet - it will come this next year!
Questions? Let me know!