If Sameera, Bobby, and Jose buy ten Snickers bars and then chase their dogs around the neighborhood for seven minutes, how many donuts will the monkey need to bring to the zoo in order to celebrate Javi's birthday? Raise your hand if this seems totally normal for a math class... Right. Well... this "word problem" … Continue reading Math = Gibberish: The UPSC Approach to Teaching Word Problems

# It’s All Fun & Games Part 1: TRASHKETBALL

Really?? Yes, really. For me, math class really is all about the fun and games.... or at least I'm constantly *striving* to structure my classes in a meaningful and entertaining way. As math teachers, it's so easy for us to come up with questions on the spot. We KNOW the material because we've been teaching … Continue reading It’s All Fun & Games Part 1: TRASHKETBALL

# Factoring Part 0: Factoring Prep!

I decided it was time to steal from another post (Part 2: Factor by Grouping) because really, I should have started with Factoring Prep before delving into Greatest Common Factor. There's a reason and a process for everything I do in the classroom. Being that factoring is probably the MOST COMPLEX topic we'll broach all … Continue reading Factoring Part 0: Factoring Prep!

# Multiplying Polynomials *with boxes*

If you can't tell... I LOVE PROVIDING STRUCTURE (!!!) in math class. I use boxes and circles to combine like terms, squiggly lines to indicate equal signs, and tables to work through transformations of functions. While these structures are not necessary for the honors or highest level students to achieve success in math, I've found … Continue reading Multiplying Polynomials *with boxes*

# LESSON PLAN: Tackling Trigonometric Graphs & Transformations

Tomorrow I will be "introducing" graphs of trigonometric functions to my IB Math Standard Level 1 class, so I've got Trig on the brain. Yes, yes, they already learned it in Algebra 2/Trig Honors, but I find that it's best to build from the ground up when it comes to Trigonometry. Sometimes students catch something … Continue reading LESSON PLAN: Tackling Trigonometric Graphs & Transformations

# Graphing Functions: A Table Approach

Algebra 1: Graphing's a cinch! (For us... maybe not so much for our students) We teach linear and quadratic parent functions... and often fail at inverse variation We begin to help them understand the usefulness of finding the vertex and substituting values for x. We show the connection between evaluating and the graphing calculator table … Continue reading Graphing Functions: A Table Approach

# The Power of Positive Reinforcement

You just spent a good 30 minutes cleaning the kitchen - washing dishes, emptying the dishwasher, and sweeping the floor. It's the little victories, right?? Then your roommate/significant other/kid walks in, greets you, and dumps a bunch of crap on the counter... then grabs a snack from the fridge, and walks out. Ouch. I don't … Continue reading The Power of Positive Reinforcement

# Factoring Part 3: Trinomials

Good morning! Isn't summer vacation the best?! Clearly my writing goals didn't happen so much this past school year, so I'm hoping to use some of my free time this summer to blog and add to my Teachers Pay Teachers account. Factoring... Do you find that Algebra 1 kids stare at you with blank looks, … Continue reading Factoring Part 3: Trinomials

# Factoring Part 2: Grouping

Happy Thursday everyone! We're just 6 short weeks away from the end of the year, which just blows my mind. There is a *whole* lot to do between now and then. ...BUUUUUT since my last blog post, my Algebra Part 1 students have learned to FULLY FACTOR! I am amazed! These rock-stars are factoring the … Continue reading Factoring Part 2: Grouping

# Factoring Part 1: GCF

I won't lie... Quarter 3 completely got away from me. My last post was almost 4 months ago and Quarter 4 starts tomorrow! But better late than never, right? Tomorrow I will begin factoring out the Greatest Common Factor (GCF) with my ESOL Algebra Part 1 kids. (You're probably thinking... what?! Is she crazy?!) So … Continue reading Factoring Part 1: GCF