Thursday, January 31, 2013

Betta Math Effective Strategies for Teaching Fraction

I had grappled with teaching fractions before thinking about the methods that I now use in my class. I start with the MAGIC ONE. The MAGIC ONE shows students how to make equivalent fractions. The lesson that accompanies this can be downloaded from the e-book entitled Betta Math's Survival Guide for Teaching Fractions at:

The video shown below can be downloaded in 2 parts at the following links.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ratios and Proportional Reasoning Unit Plan for Common Core

    I am in the process of putting together a comprehensive unit for the RATIOS and PROPORTIONAL REASONING common core standard. I am currently putting it together and should have it completed by the end of this week.
     It will include a pre-assessment, mid-unit assessments, post-assessment, tiered workbooks at three different levels for the student that needs to begin learning the very basics of RATIOS to students that are ready for more challenging work dealing with RATIOS, TAPE DIAGRAMS and UNIT RATES. It will also include some project ideas for you advnaced students.
    To help you determine where to place each student, I have completed student tracker cards that will help you decide where each student needs to start.
   I am very excited to be working on this new project and feel it will be a great resource!

Preview of Upcoming Unit

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Great Way to Help Students Discover the Sum of the Interior Angles in Polygons!

Hello again, I thought I would share another great discovery lesson that worked really well! I completed this lesson Wednesday with my 7th grade students and it was very successful. In order to get my students to understand the concept of finding the missing angles of various polygons, I started with a short activity dealing with triangles. It is not a new idea, and I do not take credit for it, but it was a great starting point for this lesson. This lesson would be very easy for you to recreate on your own, however if you want the pre-made UBD Lesson Plan and all necessary templates, you can look for it at my TpT store at:

Once the students have finished discovering that ALL triangles have three angles that add up to 180 degrees, they then investigate how many triangles are in each polygon. I created a quadrilateral, pentagon, hexagon, haxagon, heptagon, and octagon for them to investigate. They should arrive at teh conclusion that there is a pattern. The number of sides a polygon has minus 2 equals the number of triangles. They know that a triangle equals 180 degrees, so to figure out the sum of the interior angles, you just multiply the number of triangles by 180 degrees.
Students started with a random triangle that they cut out. They
labled and highlighted each angle.



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Motivational Game Ideas for Reviewing Material

If you are looking for some good class game ideas to review content, you may like to check out this resource. This e-book includes 6 class games that can be applied to use ANY review content and the kids love playing these games. I have used these games numerous times in my classroom and what is nice about these is that all needed templates and game cards are already made for you to just have to print out and prepare once. I have these games on hand and can pull any one of them out anytime my students need to review for an assessment or practice a certain skill. You can find this e-book at my TpT site: 

If you choose to download this e-book you will receive a ZIPPED FILE containing a PDF of all directions, quick glances and templates, an interactive flipchart with all game boards as well as a Microsoft publisher version of the games.

Baby Steps into the Common Core

Today is a glorious SNOW DAY here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and my excitetment has gotten me out of bed early to share this post with you. I have been thinking quite a bit about how I will begin implementing the COMMON CORE CURRICULUM into my classroom this Spring. One of my favorite movies is "What About Bob?" and if you are familiar with this movie, one of my favorite lines was when Bill Murray's character uttered, "Baby Steps...Baby Steps...". I believe this is the way to go when implemeting the COMMON CORE CURRICULUM into your classroom. Confidence needs to be built and instilled in our students that they are capable of thinking for themselves. If you try to give them too many expectations, too quickly you willl lose them forever. This is why I have titled today's ramblings "BABY STEPS into the COMMON CORE". Here is a task I created as an example of one of my confidence building ideas. You can download it for FREE at my TpT store if you like it :o).


Here is the video animation. It basically has students analyze a simple pattern. It is a confindence builder because it is an easy, problem with a concrete answer and can be solved by the students through pictures, symbols, maniuplatives etc. This FREE resource can be downloaded at TpT

Common core Interactive Geometry Flipbook

Here are some pictures showing you how the Interactive Geometry Flipbook looks when completed. This is a student example. I have omitted the actual definitions because the students should be allowed to explore and compare the various figures to create a deeper understanding of these figures that will be used frequently to describe what they are learning during the Geometry Unit.

You can download this resource for free from my TpT site:

Students were exposed to a real angle that they could
manipulate. They were able to create their own
definition of this figure.
This page took a little time to complete, but gave them a line
that actually has arrow pieces that can be extended out
to show that a line goes on forever on a straight path in
both directions.
Students could clearly understand that the distinct
difference between a line and a line segment is that a
line segment has end points on both sides and will not
extend forever. It was neat to hear them come to this
conclusion without much direction from me.
Students thought about what a ray was by using
the interactive example of a ray.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Common Core Geometry Flipbook by Betta Math

 This is an idea that I came up with that will help students be able to communucate about Geometry Topics easier. I tried it wil my 6th graders and they loved it. I will be having them refer back to this flipbook through out our GEOMETRY UNIT as we discuss properties of polygons and area further. You can download this resource for FREE at my TpT site.