Drones and the Coordinate Plane

The school year is wrapping up and with just three days left I realized I hadn't used the drones I received for Christmas this year.  In Algebra we are looking forward to their next year, so I rearranged the desks and made a giant coordinate plane on the floor of the classroom.


There was some great build-up since it took me a couple days in advance to lay it all out.  Students from all my classes were wondering what we would do.

I had a bell-ringer about graphing coordinate points.  Then I pulled the drones out and since our students had to turn in their iPads the day before I used my iPhone and iPad as the two driving devices. (It also turned out that is why I have very few pictures.)

Here is the game that I laid out for each team.  


It was a learning curve since I didn't tell them how to fly, but students got the hang of it and it moved pretty quickly.  Here is a picture of one student's drone landing and another's trying to find the spot.


Next year I will have students graph the coordinates who are not flying the drone on a separate sheet of paper and help give directions on which way to fly the drone.  It was a great end of the year activity, will definitely use this in the classroom next year.


Law of Sines: Google Cardboard

Earlier this week I created my next Google Cardboard activity with Law of Sines.  I taught law of sines earlier in the year and this was a good way to get students engaged with just a few days left of school.

Here is the worksheet: https://goo.gl/1BY83U

I wanted to take pictures, but my phone was being used during the lesson.





The basic concept is that students are given a distance from the Eiffel Tower.  Then they have to find the angle of measure to the top.  The next thing they have to do is move around (I said 5-6 spaces), but could be moved around further or put in a different location.  They then have to find the angle the second time.  Using the law of sines they can find their new distance to the Eiffel Tower.

They proceed through the activity with a partner and switching half-way.  The math is more difficult than the first Google Cardboard activity I created, because students in order to find the other angle, must use some critical thinking and know that the angle you are measuring is the outside of the triangle you are looking for.


Here is the first example sketched out:



#15: Conic Section Cartoons

One of my favorite parts of the end of the year is the conic section test I give.  I give students a blank comic section of Calvin and Hobbes and they color and have to describe one of the conic sections. (Circle, Parabola, Ellipse, or Hyperbola)  They use vocabulary and teach the subject to another in 8 frames. I also gave the students a chance to make their own comic strip and got an excellent response this year.

I wanted to give students a chance to show what they know in an unique way.






I also gave students a rubric and directions.

Students had to create a comic strip that explains the thought process involved in one of the following: Parabola, Circle, Ellipse, or Hyperbola.  The comic strip should explain the characteristics of the conic section, and it should show an understanding of the process.

Here is what the rubric looked like.  I gave students two days in class to work on it and it was due by the end of the second day.


Block Craft 3D and Orthographic Projections

I have wanted to use Minecraft in the classroom for a couple years now, but Minecraft is a paid app and I have found a free alternative. I was surprised to find out how many already had Minecraft on their iPads already and already had made wonderful buildings.

We are using Block Craft 3D for an end of the year geometry unit to get students ready for full time Geometry. I pre-taught orthographic projection, area, perimeter, and volume.

Students were given two days to make their own building or house using the app.  Students could update and use their Minecraft creations as well.


When students create their building they have to find the sides, front, and top.  The had to take screen shots of the sides and find the orthographic projection of each side.




The final product will look something like this.  This is a great culminating project for students and also a great introduction to next year where they will be more experienced with Geometry.


#14: Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a learning management platform where students and teachers can interact in an online space.  This is a good tool, but our district uses eBackpack where students are already loaded in and students feel comfortable using the tool.  I am sure in the future we will go to Google Classroom, because it is free.

If I had all my materials in my google folder it would be easier to use, but since they are on my computer it makes eBackpack easier to use.

The only other thing that makes Google Classroom lower of a priority is that I want to use the blogging platform SeeSaw more in the classroom next year which will take the place of Google Classroom.

Curious Ruler

There is a new app for finding the measurements of things with the iPad, called Curious Ruler.  There is a paid app that costs .99$ or there is a free one, which works just as well.  This ruler uses reference objects such as a dime, penny, lego brick, CD, or an iPhone 5s.  With these it uses a proportion tool to find the height of the reference object then finds the length of the object.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ruler-a-curious-tool/id895167573?mt=8

Here are some things I measured from my iPhone 5s.



It is a quick and easy tool to find measurements on the iPad.  Will definitely be downloaded as one of the apps I use most for next year.  Finding the measurement of objects has been a hassle, because rulers are becoming more obsolete with more companies going to laser measurements for exact results.

#13: Blogging

I like blogging, I think my students enjoy it and using SeeSaw for the first time gave me some insight on how it will change my teaching.  I gave students a chance to blog using SeeSaw's note feature and this is what they came up with:


I liked the simplicity of them sending me pictures or just a quick note of what they have learned.  

Students had to write two paragraphs explaining the similarities and differences between circles and ellipses.  


I will keep using SeeSaw next year.