iPad Apps for Number Sense

Calculator the Game (Free)

You and your calculator gang up to complete different levels. The Game where you'll manipulate numbers by adding them, subtracting them, converting them, reversing them, and stuffing them through portals. You also can change the language now for EL students. 

The best part is for students it helps build number sense and the order in which you can do the problems from front to back or the opposite way. Promotes number sense.

You can find the link here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/calculator-the-game/id1243055750?mt=8


Factris (Free)

Factris is a game just like Tetris, but you move each of the blocks in the number of factors of that number. For example, if you got the number 8, you would be able to get the block in a 1x8, 2x4, 4x2, or 8x1. Factris is a classic risk/reward high score game. Resize the dropping rectangles according to their factors and pack them together. Factris is challenging (there is no undo) and you need to pay close attention to the size of the rectangles coming next. Improve your numeracy, packing and knowledge of factors with Factris.

The best part is that students get use to factors of numbers, especially for primes.

You can find the link here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/factris/id1248555092?mt=8

Shape Fix (Free)

Shape Fix is a game where you need to identify the center of the larger shape and try to estimate. This is a good number sense game where students try guess the center.

You can find the link here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/shape-fix/id1227483776?mt=8


Eclipse: Math Class

Since we are not exactly in the path of totality we are in the 98% range, I have bought 50 Eclipse glasses through Rainbow Symphony. I want students to enjoy the eclipse, this is my first solar eclipse, but I am also an astronomy geek. Below is what Schuyler, Nebraska will look like at that time.


Day Before Eclipse

I will use this video as an introduction to the eclipse: https://youtu.be/BmOR4XSZoIQ

On that day we are going to be citizen scientists, we are going to be measuring the temperature change during totality. On this day we will talk about what the temperature drop will look like and what type of graph might that be for the entire day? We will take guesses and put them up on the white board. Each student will be given one of the worksheets below and ask them to fill it out and be as specific as possible.

Here is a link to this graph: Graph Worksheet


After all of the students have recorded their own answers, I will show them the air temperature in Lusaka, Zambia during the June 21 solar eclipse. Ask them how it will differ


I will ask the students how this will be different or the same from their graph, and what the change in air temperature was and how they think they measured air temperature.

We will go outside and test our Eclipse Viewers to make sure all students know how to use them.

You can find the activity here: Temperature Change during Totality

Eclipse Day
For the 2 hours before and after the eclipse we will go outside on the soccer field and measure the air temperature every couple of minutes. For the time that the eclipse is happening, I will take the readings so the students can enjoy the eclipse.

Students will have their own recording sheet, since we are doing our more frequently than the one in the worksheet. I will have to change it.

Here is the link with all of information and this worksheet above attached here: Citizen Scientist

Day After Eclipse
I will compile all of the data that the students took and import it into GlobeObserver for the Citizen Scientist project. Also I will give all of the students the raw data and ask them to extrapolate. I want students to ask questions at the beginning of class and answer them to the group at the end of class. Example questions would include: What the graph looked like? How far were we off? What was the temperature drop? Did the air temperature drop faster or increase faster?

I want to make August 21st a learning experience, but also a chance to see something they may never see again. Some students might not see another eclipse until April 8, 2024.

What are other math teachers doing during or for the eclipse?

Orthographic Projects with Blueprints

Blueprints is a board game where you try to score the most amount of points by constructing a building out of dice, first person to win 3 games wins. That was the short version.

There are lots of different ways to incorporate this game into any math classroom. First is the way you score points, it would be a great way to review order of operations.




Basically there are four color dice, when you use them they have different point values. The orange ones increase by two by the
number that touches that specific orange one. Green ones increase by the specific number of green ones you have. Black ones increase by a specific number according to its height. Lastly, clear ones are the top number on the dice that is rolled. When you have a variety of different dice, you get a number that needs to be added in a complex way.


The next is one that I use in my classroom. I bought 4 copies on CamelCamelCamel for about 18.00$ a piece. Students were placed in groups of 4, students were taught how to play the game with a mentor game. In the game you get extra points for completing a specific build. I added extra points if they could draw an orthographic project of their build from the top, side, and front.  On the right is one of mine mid-board game night with the wife.  The cards have a unique view like most of the worksheets when searching orthographic projection, but this makes a good review game. 

Geometry Project Runway

One of my favorites lesson this year was Project Runway. When I think of teaching and learning geometry I think of the most boring lessons, some of the theorems can be hands-on, but to me patty paper is not hands on. It's visual, not interactive or engaging.

We were finishing the very first lesson in circles. Students just learned about chords, radius, tangents, centers, and secants. We reviewed to start the lesson what each vocabulary word was and what it meant.

I put students in groups, you can have them choose their own groups, this class couldn't handle that though. Plus, I was still in my visibly random groups phase (#VRG).

I played the introduction to Project Runway on YouTube. https://youtu.be/cqQrdkv-WTo

I told the students you are given 20 minutes to put together a piece of clothing for a fashion show on Project Runway. You will need to include different vocabulary words from our circles unit as your creation makes its way down the runway. You need to include: secant, tangent, chord, radius.

The second part was that they needed to select a model from their group to model down the runway. The two other designers will point out each of the properties of a circle. At the end they needed upload a picture of model on Seesaw and label each of the parts.


 All of the students finished in the 20 minutes. They worked extremely hard the entire time and even though they had trouble finding a path to go down and work as a group, it was a learning experience for everyone.

Here are some of the models as they go down the runway. The students convinced me to play Beyonce softly in the background.

 


One of the things I need to work on this activity for next year is to give students planning time in the beginning for them to gather their thoughts. Secondly, tell students that they can not write on their project runway clothing.

Cutting Geometric Solids with Crafty Cut

I knew there was a better way to teach what cutting geometric solids looked like and wanted it to be more hands-on and visual. I felt the normal stand-up lecture or worksheet wasn't enough for students to learn. The first thought I had was a hands on activity with Play-Doh and forming shapes. Then I stumbled across Crafty Cut.

(P.S. Make sure to use the link above or get the one with the P in the bottom right hand corner.)

Crafty Cut is a gamified version of cutting geometric solids. There are a bunch of different modes, but the free "unlocked" version only gives you Cut Mode (Most Important), Combine, and a Create Mode.

The way I did it was 1st day students played all the way through Cut Mode on their own or if they got stuck they could ask their neighbors. If they finished early they could work on combine mode, which is a little more difficult to get all 3 stars. But in Cut Mode they are given different 3D shapes and have to make different 2D shapes cutting it. Students liked the problem solving in the app.

One of the first ones you get in Easy Mode is to cut a rectangle from a Cylinder, here are some screenshots from the game.






It was a different app that let students explore cutting geometric solids instead of the typical lesson.

Is it Linear? With Fidget Spinners

Fidget spinners are all the rage right now. At my school I would say maybe 10% have them, one thing with fidget spinners that my students are using right now is an app called Finger Spinner. The point of the game is you get 5 tries to reach the highest number of spins. With each number of spins you get certain coins which you can upgrade your fidget spinner such as increasing speed or greasing the wheels.

Introduce the topic is by having out an actual fidget spinner and spin it twice and ask the students were there the same amount of spins both times? Some will say yes since it is the same fidget spinner and some will say no, because it determines how hard you spin it.

Then do the same thing with the app, projecting it on the whiteboard. Spin it once and then twice. Since it counts the number of spins it will be easier to ask if they were the same.

The next question is how many times would I have to spin it to get to 100 spins?

 

I have been using this handout from Estimation180: http://www.estimation180.com/blog/estimation-180-handout to have students record their answers in one place.

I want students to look at the data and see that each one is about the same in number of spins and looks linear. Using the whiteboard I want to project some student work start from the basic ones to the student work where they have a linear graph sketched (w/ average). Then have the student explain the processes they went through.

The last part is to get students using the app. My question to them is once you upgrade a part of the fidget spinner does it stay linear? What if you keep upgrading? What if you alternate upgrading? How does it effect the number of spins?

My goal next year is to incorporate more modeling and more hands-on uses of math concepts.


Geometrical Dodgeball

I am not the worlds greatest geometry teacher. In fact I am not the best in the school that I teach at.

One thing I dislike about teach geometry are the number of theorems and how old school geometry is in the way of teaching it. I know I hear it coming already about patty paper and all the things you can do with it, but it's not the same. There is no real life situation when you have to know the Central angle theorem. 

One thing I have been trying to do more of is getting students outside and playing games. Right now we are learning about polyhedra and their surface area and volume. Right now we are trying to remember the names of different polyhedra with different sides, triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, etc. Some students remember it from 7th and 8th grade, but those have become high school standards now in Nebraska. The way we learned this was by playing two groups of geometrical dodgeball, we played this outside, but would work much better in a gym.


The way the game is played is everyone is assigned a number and stands in a circle, one person throws the ball up into the air and calls out a number, when that person touches it they yell stop. All players stop and they get 2 free jumps to get closer. If they get hit, they are out, if it is caught or misses the thrower is out.

The way I mathematized it was at the beginning of the round they had to name the polygon they formed if someone was out and named it first they got to jump back in. I played it with two groups outside and worked well since there were shortened periods.