Trivia Crack X: Quick Questions

Quick One Question Quizzes Using Trivia Crack X

One of my favorite games to play in my spare time is playing Trivia Crack. Now you can create your own Trivia Crack questions with Trivia Crack X with your own pictures and videos. The downfall is that you can only create one question at a time and not a whole game.

Here are the steps to create your own:

1. Find a question that you would normally put in a quiz. Take a screenshot.

2. Add the picture into Trivia Crack X.

3. Insert your answers and non-answers into a quiz.


4. Preview your final video.

You could use your video to play during a lesson, pause the video before it gives you the answer and have the students write down the answer.

Children's Books for Algebra 2

Children's books are are a great way of introducing concepts and to help build a classroom community.  Students love sitting together on the floor and listen to a teacher read aloud a picture book. Letting a picture book and prior knowledge give them a hook into the curriculum.

Here are three great books to help teach some Algebra 2 concepts.

Follow the Line
by Laura Ljungkvist

This picture book goes from the city to farms. Each scene contains questions designed to get children counting, thinking, and observing.  Children would count 5-6 times on each page.

In Algebra 2 class I am going to read aloud the book, but instead of going over the questions in the book I am going to ask different questions.

What types of lines do you see?
Which ones of these are functions?
Which of these are not functions?
What type of slope do some of these lines have?

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers
by Mordicai Gerstein

This picture book is about Philippe Petit who tightrope walked across from one World Trade Center tower to the other. He performed tricks, walking, and dancing for an hour. The book has great and different types of numbers you could number talk during the read aloud.

The way that I am going to use the book in Algebra 2 is to get students use to the idea that mathematical models illustrate the behavior of real world situations.

During the talk I am going to ask the students at specific times to model different situations in the book and ask them about the math being used.

Lifetime: Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives
by Lola M. Schaefer

This book talks about the different animals what can happen in their entire lifetime.

An example, in one lifetime an alligator will build 22 nests and lay 550 eggs.

In Algebra 2 we are going to use this book to introduce students to exponential expressions and how they can be written in different ways.  We are going to talk about If one alligator lays 550 eggs, and then one of those alligators lays 550 eggs. How many alligators in twenty generations?

Parabola Gallery Walk

I am currently take a grad class called Sparking Student Curiosity at Doane College. This week we had to make a gallery walk that sparked student curiosity. I created a gallery walk that introduced students to parabolas.

Here are the images:


Students will be put into groups of three (or you could come up with more images and have smaller groups) and as a group they will take notes from all of the students.  Each student will have a paper, but all students input will be put into each one. They can only record what others in their groups say. On the handout each student will have three columns to fill out:
  • Descriptions of what students see in each image.
  • What math do you see?
  • What is commonalities between the photos?
Students will have 2-3 minutes at teach station (or photo).

Then when all the students have cycled through their groups they will have a short reflection of what they think we are going to study next. Then as a group we will talk about parabolas and introduce them.

Lines of Ballerina Dancers

At the Joslyn Art Museums Thursdays for Teachers we got the chance to sketch 4 ballerinas from the Nebraska Ballet Company. Our workshop first focused on the lines of a ballerina dancer in different poses. It got me thinking about the different lines of a ballerina and in Algebra 2 we are currently going over linear equations. What linear equations do a ballerina make? So I put the pictures in Desmos and this is what I found.

Here are three lines I found.

After I graphed these I thought what a great activity this would be for students. Students could do their own poses and graph them, they could be shooting a basketball, yoga poses, or football poses. 

Then I thought what if we did this every unit and students could reflect on line families and how they relate.  It is one of my big goals I want to student to learn this year: Function families share similar graphs, behaviors, and properties.

Then I tried the same graph with parabolas, which is our next unit. Almost seemed to work better.

Domino's Pizza Linear Math Activity

Mathalicious has lots of great activities, but this one might be my favorite.

Here is the link:

All I do as the teacher is give them this prompt:

Domino's pizza is delicious. The company is tech savvy, you can order online and even track your pizza delivery.  The website is great, but not transparent.  Domino's does not tell you how much the component pieces cost; they only tell you an item's final price after you build it. Your job is to find the base price of a pizza and find the cost per additional topping. You need to have enough information to do a 2 minute presentation to the class.

I don't grade the presentations, but look for slope, y-intercept, a graph, an equation, and an explanation of the graph.  It is a fun 30 minute project that fits at the end of the unit.

Algebra Racecars

There are lots of ways to do this activity, if you want your students to construct the same type of car (which is fine) you can follow these links, then come on back.


One way is I have some of the materials that students may need and some others. These are the items that I bring to school:

  • balloons
  • bottle caps
  • smaller dowel rods (from our shop teacher)
  • cardboard
  • tape
  • rubberbands
I give them 15 minutes to create a car. I normally have them as a group create the straw and balloon together so they have the same propulsion system. They have 15 minutes to create and test their car before we record them with our iPad. I normally have them record 2-3 times just to make sure, during this time other students are collecting how far the balloon goes and the time. 

Our next step is to collect our data. 

I ask students to find the speed their car went and ask them to put a graph on Desmos. We then collect our data together as a class and talk about what each line means who's went furthest who had the top speed.

YouTube Playlists for All Teachers

As almost all schools go Google, one thing you might take for granted is the use of YouTube and your own YouTube Channel.  YouTube is a great place to collect resources from all over to introduce topics or review content.

First thing you need to do to create a playlist is find a video.

This is one of my favorite videos (you can watch it here) to play before we begin our section on unit rates. I won't give students the question, but just let them watch the video. We will watch the video again with this in mind, "How many claps does he get in per second?" or "How many could he do in 5 minutes?"

It could be a bell-ringer for an Algebra 2 class or an extension activity for middle school. It is a great math video.

So, you found a video.

Now you need to click the "Add to" button below the video.

Next there is an option to add to playlist.

You can create a playlist or once you have created one add to the playlist you want to add to.

Here is the link for my math video collection:

The videos I add range from The Opposite of Infinity by Numberphile which offers higher level math videos to Practicing Free Throws to Beat a Pro by BuzzFeed.

I encourage all teachers to use their free YouTube channel with their school Google account. It is a great place to collect resources to use in your classroom.

Project Based Learning

I have been looking at implementing Project-based learning the past year.  I wanted to do a full chapter or section that implemented project based learning, but felt that Algebra 2 is difficult for students, but I think I found the solution.

The project that I have had the past few years is students create their own dice (2 years ago) and 3D print their own dice and find the theoretical and experimental probability (Last year).  I thought this was a good end of the chapter project.  

Now I want to make this my project based learning chapter.

Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills
I want students to work in groups of 4 and use collaboration skills for them to work on the project together.  The standards that they will cover (using the Nebraska Math Standards):

MA 11.4.1 Representations: Students create displays that represent data.
MA 11.4.2 Analysis and Applications: Students will analyze data to address the situation.
MA 11.4.3 Probability: Students will interpret and apply concepts of probability.

Challenging Problem or Question
The students challenging problem is to create a new dice for a nearby casino and find a dice where the "house" wins over 50% of the time, but not more than 60%. Students are to create a presentation with their dice and their data to a selection of students and teachers. Students will share with other students their presentation and questions.  Students will have a chance to critique and revise before doing their final presentation.

The problem I am having is making their learning public.  How can students take their learning global?