4 Things Every Math Teacher Should Stop Saying

4 Things Every Math Teacher Should Stop Saying

In today's video, we look at 4 things that every math teacher should stop saying, as well as what to say instead. 1. Does anyone have any questions? Instead - "What questions do you have?" or "I want to hear 3 different questiosn about this topic before moving on." 2. What's the answer to this problem? Instead - "How did you approach this problem?" or "What's something you tried on this problem?" 3. That's correct. ** Instead - "Tell me what you did here and why." or "Convince me that this is the correct answer." 4. That's wrong. ** Instead…
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Building COLLISION AVOIDANCE Robots in Middle School Robotics

Building COLLISION AVOIDANCE Robots in Middle School Robotics

I vlogged our big competition day for our collision avoidance robots in middle school robotics. If students had a head on collision or fell off the table, they were out. https://youtu.be/PtE-7p1rUZw Self-driving cars video I introduce the project with ▷Task: Create a bot that avoids other bots & obstacles in the field. Must utilize at least 3 sensors (touch, color, gyro, ultrasonic) Must incorporate screen text, sound, and lights. Must be autonomous. ▷Rules: If your bot hits another bot or obstacle, you’re out. If your bot is bumped, you’re still in unless it’s a head on collision Starting placement can…
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Keeping Kids Curious In The Classroom

Keeping Kids Curious In The Classroom

Welcome to episode 6 of The Thom Gibson Podcast! In Kindergarten, students are bursting with curiosity; why are doorknobs round, what is carpet made out of, why are my fingers little? Unfortunately, as students progress through their education, they tend to become less curious about the world around them and settle for just asking the questions that will get them the answers to pass the tests that determine their future. In todays episode, I chat with two-time Teacher-of-the-Year science teacher Kelley Janes who takes time out of every class to allow students to ask questions about the world around them;…
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How To Teach Robotics

How To Teach Robotics

In episode 2 of The Thom Gibson Podcast, I recorded the sounds of my robotics classroom for a couple of days while they worked on and presented their final projects. I reflect on some of the observations of going back and listening to the audio. You also hear students working to troubleshoot their creations which included an electric guitar, a whack a mole, an etch-a-sketch, and robotic arm controlled via sensors on a glove connected bluetooth... Music by Podington Bear www.soundofpicture.com https://youtu.be/-Iw3ocfWlc8
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How To Have Better Math Discussions In Class

How To Have Better Math Discussions In Class

Last summer I read a book by the NCTM that was all about how we should teach math.  I wrote about HERE.  One of the chapters was about how to orchestrate productive math discussions in class.  Turns out the NCTM realized a lot of people struggle with this so they created a whole separate book that just focused on that:  5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions.  I read that this summer. I'm really glad I spread these readings apart.  I think if I read both books last summer, it all would have just been jumbled together in my mind.  Having…
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Week 35 – My Teacher Self Evaluation & End of Year Review Idea

Week 35 – My Teacher Self Evaluation & End of Year Review Idea

I thought for this week's reflection I would share my teacher self-evaluation that's due next week.  Quick recap of how things were going in class though: END OF YEAR REVIEW IDEA To help my students study for the final, I didn't really want to create a review sheet so instead I gave them access to all of the quizzes, tests, and reassessments I've made this semester.  I made a folder for each unit and put all the assessments (with answer keys) in those folders and then shared those folders with students and parents on our class website.  Got some positive…
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Week 34 – Good Teaching Is Hard

Week 34 – Good Teaching Is Hard

So my last update talked about how I started teaching circles at the end of last week and into this week.  Did a few things that worked and few things that really didn't. WHAT DIDN'T WORK This YouCubed activity was sort of a bust with all three classes.  First class cut out their own circles and that took forever.  The other two classes just cut out circles that I had already printed out for them.  The general idea was that they cut them into fourths, arrange them into a rectangle, and find the area of the rectangle.  They would then…
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Middle School Robotics – Episode 5 : Students Debate Over Ways To Program ‘Gold Digging’ Robot

Middle School Robotics – Episode 5 : Students Debate Over Ways To Program ‘Gold Digging’ Robot

This is episode 5 of a short series entitled 'Middle School Robotics.' This week, students finished up their second project and I introduced a project where they have to find 3 pieces of paper on a table using the color sensor, without falling off the table. It was originally called 'gold digger' and the paper was yellow but we didn't have the right shade of yellow and the color sensor wasn't reading it. So we're using red...but it's still called gold digger...red gold digger. Filmed at The Khabele School in Austin, TX Most of my project resources were taken from…
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Week 24 – 2 Step Equations Project

Week 24 – 2 Step Equations Project

This week in Pre-Algebra, I introduced a two-step equations project to my students.  Just to give a little context, last year I did this, I had students create an equation for every letter of the alphabet where a=1, b=2, c=3, etc.  It was a bear to grade and stressed students out.  You can see it HERE but I recommend against using it unless you plan on doing some big changes to it.  This year, I decided to just let them create 6 two-step equations. THE PROJECT I gave them instructions on how each problem was to be formed.  For example, the…
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Week 23 – Math Magic To Solve 2-Step Equations

Week 23 – Math Magic To Solve 2-Step Equations

This week I've been really been getting a bit of filming done.  Below you'll find a short film I did for my Pre-Algebra classes on a lesson for 2-Step Equations.  I found the lesson on Julie Reulbach's blog, who modified her lesson from Sadie Estrella's idea.  Check both of those links for some in-depth write-ups. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiWvrU81Czo Here is THE SLIDE SHOW I used to guide our game and discussion.  Also, here are the DISCUSSION PROBLEMS they worked on after our lesson. I got most of my ideas for the classroom economy from MYCLASSROOMECONOMY.ORG. They have everything you need to get started.…
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