Saturday, February 21, 2015

Coordinate Cities

We have been working hard in 6th grade recently, having just finished up our three units that focus on algebra. It has been great to see the transformation of the sixth graders! Most come in to these units barely having an idea of what algebra is and they come out writing and solving two step equations and inequalities! The last couple of years I have introduced a Coordinate City Project at the end of these units. Since the last couple of lessons focus on graphing, this one is a nice review of ordered pairs and the coordinate plane! In the project, students get to design a themed city on the coordinate plane. Once their city is complete, they must ask at least three questions that require ordered pairs to answer. The picture here is my example that I use to show the class!

The students always really get into this one! I think it is a combination of being able to pick a fun theme along with the open ended idea of being able to design a city! It is always fun to see some of the the funny and creative themes that they choose. I think the one that made me laugh the most this year was this Miley Cyrus themed city - including the Mall of Miley, Wrecking Ball Ave, and Sticking Tongue Out Street!

One part of the Coordinate Cities that I really enjoy is the creativity it allows for students. After all of the hard work and practice that we do during our algebra units, this project is a nice change of pace for the 6th graders. For my students who finish early, I give them the option of creating a business card to go along with their cities. As you can see, some of the business cards get pretty creative and funny! I couldn't help but laugh at this 6th graders sense of humor!

Can't believe the year is flying by so fast, but we are already set to get going with geometry! More geometry related posts to come soon!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Math Curse!

This book and activity are just too great not to share! I actually did this with my sixth graders a while back (right before Thanksgiving!) but am just getting around to writing about it. Many of you have probably already read or heard about the hilarious book, The Math Curse, by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. These are the same authors as The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. If you haven't read Math Curse, it is definitely worth finding a copy and reading with your students. It will get them thinking, laughing, and learning about some fun math concepts!

In addition to reading the book, the last few years I have made it into a challenge for my middle schoolers. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of reading it yet, the main character falls victim to a math curse, resulting in everything turning into a math problem! The questions are engaging, wacky, and math related (well...some of them). I decided to put together a worksheet with many of the questions from the book. After reading the book with my students, I let them work individually or with a partner to answer as many of these questions correctly. I give out a small prize to the group in each class that gets the most correct! Click on the picture or link to get a free copy of the worksheet!

This is a great activity if your students just need a break from the normal routine. I usually do this on a day just before a break each year, when a lot of the students are already checked out (or on vacation!). I hope all you math nerds enjoy! And if you're a science sure to check out the Science Curse!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Equation and Inequality Memory

In 6th grade, we are nearing the end of our three algebra units. For us, that means we have had lots of practice writing and solving equations. Recently, we have moved on to writing, solving, and graphing inequalities! To help practice equations and inequalities I decided to create some memory games for my students to use during math centers.
I started with five different Equation Memory games - each focusing on a different type of equation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, two-step). Each game includes 24 cards. Half of the cards have an equation and half of the cards have the matching solutions. Students take turns trying to find the matches! My students have really enjoyed playing these games this week! My Equation Memory Addition game is free, so be sure to grab your copy!

Equation Memory Addition

You can also find the rest of my memory games in my TPT store. Click on the picture below to be linked to the Equation Memory Multiplication game!

After creating the five equation games, I also wanted to create a fun game for students to practice graphing inequalities. So often, my students struggle to remember whether to used a closed or open dot! This memory game practices matching the inequality with its graph. Not only must students recognize which type of dot is needed, they also must understand which direction the arrow points on the graph. I have found that these are the two most difficult concepts for students when graphing inequalities. Inequality Memory is a fun way for students to practice! You can also grab this one for free at the following link!

Yesterday my students were getting creative with how they set up the memory game! Typically they set up the 24 cards in a 6 by 4 rectangle, but these students wanted to set it up like this! If you would like to purchase all six of the memory games as a bundle, click on the picture!