## Geometry Stars revisited

As promised here are some of the geometry stars my students made. I could post so many pictures because they turned out beautifully, but I concentrated on my 8th period class. They have turned in the most pictures to date. I am impressed with how beautiful some of them are. Below is the display of part of 8th periods pictures. Enjoy.

Nice dimensions.

### Love, love, love this one.

 Blue beauty.
 Nice patterns.

 Blue and bright.

 Red Starburst
 The green background looks great with this one.
 I love how you can see all the different types of triangles here.

 Another red background.

Gorgeous....

Til next time,

Jan

## Friday, April 18, 2014

### Pythagorean Triple Foldable Booklet

I wanted to find some work for my students to do on Pythagorean Triples this year. In the past triples were two questions in the math book. I discovered there really isn't much out there especially for 8th grade. I knew that I wanted the kids to understand that you can multiply triples by a factor and another triple is the result. I also want them to know the slopes of a family of triples are equal. Reviewing perimeter and area seemed like a good idea. They never understand that if you double the sides of a figure that the area does not just double.So here is the booklet I created.

When you cut this booklet, do not cut on the lines. I had a hard time getting the pages to line up perfectly. I don't know why. So I just made a large margin all the way around when I cut it out. It still turned out looking nice.

I like to use graph paper and have students create graphs and tape them into their foldable. At the beginning of the year we have each student bring in a packet of graph paper to their math teacher. We keep the graph paper in the classroom and pass it out as needed. That way the kids don't have to carry it around or forget to bring it to class. I keep a bin on the back table and they can take what they need even if it is for another class. I always have plenty on hand to last the year. And as you know, I save the scraps to be used later.

 Click here for a copy of the  Pythagorean triple booklet.

Now here comes the funny part. I was trying to figure out how to print the pages, front and back to make the booklet. I spent a long time working to get the pages in the right order. Finally, I just gave up. The next day I was talking to Gina, the math teacher across the hall from me and a young techie. I told her my frustration with trying to get the booklet together. She told me that if you save the word document as a pdf, which I do, when you go to print there is a button that says booklet. What? Who knew? Oh my gosh, it just puts the pages in the correct order to make the booklet. (Don't judge me, I was clueless!) So anyway, if anyone out there doesn't know this, when you go to print the booklet, click on booklet. How simple is that?
This turned out to be a wonderful lesson with the class. It did take two periods for us to assemble and fill in the booklet. It was a great review of several different topics as well. Hope you enjoy it.

Til next time,

Jan

### Perfect squares and square roots

In a previous post I shared the flash cards that I had students make to memorize their perfect squares and square roots to 25.

Click here to see flash cards for perfect squares and square roots (make sure to download the document to see square roots as well) and the previous post.

In the past I have had limited success with this because some of the kids would not take home or look at their flash cards to study. Well this year I tried something different. Even though I only have my students for 45 minutes a day, I have them pull out their flash cards and take the first 4 minutes of class to study them individually. Then they work with their partners for 3 minutes each quizzing each other on their facts.   Then they put their flashcards away and we orally recite the facts. I say 1 squared they say 1 and so on. This 10 minutes a day has helped them tremendously. We are working on Pythagorean Theorem and the kids are seeing the benefit of knowing their perfect squares by heart.
Some of my lower level students forget their cards, I think because they don't know them and are embarrassed to work with their partners. I work with them in a small group during that 10 minutes. It has helped them to have the individual attention and we go over some of the square roots orally together. They really like doing this and they are learning some of these facts.
Next week I will be calling each students aside and checking to see how many they know. The students who have them all memorized, so far about 8 out of 87 Pre-Algebra students will have their name put on the wall of perfect square masters. I will have to find something else for them to memorize during our 10 minute period. And as if I am not nerdy enough, I am teaching the students this song to the tune, "We will,  We will, Rock you."  They clear off their desks and do the:
pound, pound, clap -
pound, pound, clap -
on their desks to the song.

Here are the lyrics:

### Refrain:We will, we will, square them!We will, we will, square them!

I am here to tell you that the kids love this and come in everyday asking if we can do the song. Everyone is exhausted by the end of the song and shaking their hands, but they are all smiles. I do have to talk to the teachers in the rooms near me to see if they are testing because we make a lot of noise. My students who need movement have had their sensory input for the next couple of hours and my visual and auditory learners have used their senses as well. A win, win situation. I do lead the pound, pound, clap - at the front of the room to keep the beat the same. Maybe one of these days I will actually be able to record a class doing this.

Til next time,

Jan

## Saturday, April 12, 2014

### Make a Geometry Star

As I promised here are some of the geometry triangle stars that my students made. I'm not quite finished with the display but couldn't wait to show you some of the pictures my kids created. They loved this assignment and it fit in perfectly with our study of triangles. It's a great project to do on one of those crazy days right before a break or when they have been testing and need a break. This is available at Teachers Pay Teachers from Virtually Montessori and it is free. I loved this project and so did the kids.

 One of my favorites.

 The colors of this one matched the background beautifully.

 Because the points were small the glue became an issue. I think I would use glue sticks next time.

I will post more to this post next week when I have the bulletin board completed.I love adding art to our math class and showing the students the beauty of geometry.
Til next time,

Jan

## Saturday, April 05, 2014

### Triangle exploration lesson

This week we started our triangle exploration unit. Students were given a Tupperware that contained enough snap cubes to form lengths of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10. Starting with the three shortest lengths, 2 ,3 and 4 the partners formed a triangle, if possible, using the cubes. If the lengths formed a triangle they decided what type of angle was the largest angle. They also found that some of the lengths did not form triangles.

 These students found the lengths they chose formed an obtuse triangle.

 These students formed a right triangle.

As they worked they filled a sheet to to collect their information. Then looking at the sides that did not form triangles they wrote why they thought they didn't form triangles. There were some interesting observations like: "It just doesn't fit.", "It won't close.", and "they aren't long enough." It was a great visual for the students. On day two when we discussed this we actually lined the two shorter sides next to the longer side to show they were not greater than the third side. We also looked at  sides that did form triangle and the two shorter sides were longer than the third side.They kids did a great job on this activity. Of course, you know they did want to start building towers. I do need to find a building towers activity because they would love it. Suggestions anyone?

Click here to get a copy of the Triangle investigation sheets. This is adapted from
Alexander Sabatino, Jr's Picking Pythagorus Lesson.

Everything went well until "that class" came in. I don't know if you have one of these but I have one this year. They are challenging in every area you can imagine, yet I keep trying to do group work with them. What's the matter with me? Well anyway, one of the students came in, let's call him  "T" and he quickly grabs the Tupperware and says he will pass them out. Before I can utter a word, he has eight Tupperware stacked in his arms and yes, you guessed it, he dropped them. All the snap cubes, 100's of them are all over the floor. At least "T" was busy for awhile picking them all up. Oh the joys of middle school.
This lesson worked well  and the kids enjoyed it. It gave them an great visual for the triangle inequality rule. I will definitely be doing this again next year.

Til next time,
Jan