### A Better Way To Teach Math

This episode was recorded and edited before the coronavirus & distance learning was front of mind for educators. Valuable takeaways though regardless if you're virtual or in person One of challenges of teaching math is being able to satisfying answer the question 'why'? Before we can even answer the question for students, we have to answer the question for ourselves. Why does the math work this way? It's much easier to teach a student how to do a problem. It's a bit harder to explain to them why it works the way it does. It's even more challenging to help…

### Entry 27 – 6th Grade Fractions Project

Tried a new project this year to close out our fractions unit.  I talk about how I set it up, how it went, and feedback from students on what worked and didn't.  It involved finding fractions in recipes and converting them up to 3 1/2 times the amount of ingredients for a big family gathering as well as cutting them down to half the amount of ingredients for a smaller party for friends. Here's the rubric: https://goo.gl/T6BhXn

### Entry 15 – Thanks For The Feedback?

It's was the first week back after break.  I really had a refreshing break!  I finished a video about a retreat that my school goes on called The Forward.  I took about 50GB of footage for it; one of the largest amounts I've had for a single video.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  You can check it out HERE. In other news, I won a presentation software competition!  A little while ago I wrote a review of a platform called Visme.  In addition to reviewing the platform, I also entered into a presentation contest they were holding.  Last…

### Entry 07 – Teaching Budgeting In Middle School

I haven't mentioned it here yet but a handful of teachers and I have been participating in a weekly writing group.  Often, those reflections have revolved around a particular prompt, which I've been including in my reflections.  Many of those teachers have been posting their reflections to a community Tumblr.  Feel free to see those reflections HERE.  It's been so awesome to get to have these 'conversations' that we don't normally get to have, and sometimes these digital conversations continue in person. This week will just be a general best lesson / worst lesson reflection. BEST LESSON I think of 'best'…

### Entry 06 – Projects In Class

We have wrapped up week 6 of school.  Here is the prompt that several teachers and I reflected on this week: How do you incorporate project-based learning into your class? This depends on which class I'm teaching.  Robotics is basically all project-based while in math I've really only done one or two projects in the last couple of years. ROBOTICS PROJECTS I don't really know how robotics can be anything but a project-based class...unless we just took a bunch of notes on how the robot works without actually building the robots.  I'm in my fourth semester of teaching robotics (it's…

### Teaching Square Roots Using Cheez-Its

I share my thoughts pre-lesson, vlog the actual lesson with two of my classes, and reflect on what I'd change next time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_1g7ycPsRo Here's the slide show I created for the lesson. I talk about KenKen puzzles in the video as well. These puzzles are an option in my class for students who finish their work early. Find the puzzles HERE. I originally got this idea from a teacher named Julie Reulbach. See her write up HERE. __ Music by Podington Bear - http://soundofpicture.com

### Entry 2 – Dealing With Inappropriate Moments In Class

We are at the end of our second week of school.  I'm much further along this year as I've decided to introduce elements of our classroom structure as they arise instead of frontloading everything (waiting to get into Khan Academy until our first Khan Academy assignment instead of doing this big period-long scavenger hunt on day 2).  I'm also spreading out the Week of iMath activities from YouCubed over a few weeks instead of just doing that for the first couple of weeks.  It's helped. What I'm really excited about this year is that several teachers have jumped on board…

### Week 28 – Let’s Talk About (Proportional) Relationships

It seems it was all about proportions in both my 6th grade and 7th grade math classes this week.  I've written about this in the past but I find that these classes tend to have a bit of overlap.  Partly because I have some 6th graders that are placed in 7th grade math so while they have a pretty solid foundation, I don't think it would be wise to just assume they know everything that I teach in 6th grade math.  Let's see how things differed this week. PRE-ALGEBRA This has been one of our quickest units yet.  These are the three…

### Week 25 – Pre-Algebra Inequalities

I'm having trouble remembering exactly all that happened this week.  I know we had some good lessons and I think it's perhaps nothing sticks out as a negative experience; that's good!  We started exploring inequalities in Pre-Algebra, fractions actually went better than anticipated in Math Skills, and Robotics...well you can see how that's going through my weekly episodes of Middle School Robotics :) PRE-ALGEBRA Reflecting on the 2-step equations project the students did last week, a good amount of them have done fairly well.  It was a test grade but I treated it as a learning experience as well; I…

### Week 7 – \$600 Bouncy Balls, Building Robots, and Decimal Division

It's been a fairly good lucky number week 7.  Had our first auction and started to build robots.  Content has been going well for the most part, with exception to some pretty dull 6th grade math lessons. AUCTION We had our first auction in our classroom economy. Each class has an auctioneer who goes around to businesses to fundraise items for the auction.  Didn't have a ton of amazing items on this first one but last year I had students who got the entire Hunger Games hardback trilogy donated, iTunes gift cards, \$50 toy robots, and a few dining gift cards.…