Algebra 1: Solving Equations and Inequalities

Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Hello all! I feel like it has been forever since I blogged, but I do have a plan this year to blog AT LEAST three times a week. I made a promise to myself at the beginning of the summer that I will finish up my Masters and take a two month break from doing anything work related. It was soooo nice but now I am feeling the stress of coming back to work. Last school year, I was the Algebra 1 Math Interventionist and this year, they are changing my title to "Math Instructional Coach." I am very excited about this new journey and I am really looking forward to it!

We had GREAT success on our Algebra 1 STAAR scores last year and we saw an increase in our scores from 72% to 87%. The past school year was the first school year that the Algebra team used interactive notebooks and we are all in agreement to use them again this year due to our huge success! There have been some changes in our scope and sequence from our district curriculum coordinator. For example, the team decided to teach solving equations and solving inequalities together.

I am still planning to use the following Simplifying Expressions foldable and activity that I blogged about here.  

We are "chunking" this foldable since it lands on a pep rally day and we will complete a matching activity just over combining like terms.

The following pages will be new this year to adjust to teaching equations and inequalities together.

I absolutely LOVE the following pages over solving multi-step equations. A co-worker of mine has used the following acronym for over 3 years now in her classroom and she feels that this is the only thing that has really stuck with her students.

After the multi-step equations foldable, we will complete a "truth or lie" activity on Google Slides. As a team, we are trying to incorporate more writing into our Algebra 1 classes. Students will find the cards that are "lies" and give an explanation. I have blogged about error analysis activities before (Click Here) and I absolutely love the results that I receive back from students. Our district uses Schoology and you are able to easily input the Google Slides link into Schoology for students to submit their work.

After reviewing solving multi-step equations, we are planning to go over solving equations and inequalities with variables on both sides. Currently, I am planning to use an activity that I did last year where students solved 12 problems that had answers as either 0, 1, All Real Numbers, or No Solution. I found this activity to be extremely helpful in clearing up any student misunderstandings. 

Has anyone else taught equations and inequalities together? This will be brand new to the Algebra 1 team this year and I am curious as to any pros or cons. 

You can find several other blog posts over solving equations that I previously wrote about here: 

Here are some of the files that I wrote about in this post. Please feel free to share and use!

Math Clip Art

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Hellooooooo Summer!

If any of you are like me, then you are probably already prepping and planning for next school year. As stated in a previous blog post (Click Here), I create about 99% of my foldables and activities in PowerPoint.

For those that teach secondary math, I have decided to share some math clip art that I use to create foldables and activities. Below are step-by-step instructions on how to insert clip art into your documents.

Step 1: You can either drag and drop the image into PPT or go to Insert --> Picture --> Picture from File --> Select Picture.

Step 2: Once you have your clipart inserted on the document, then insert text boxes to provide more information. You can easily move and rotate text boxes in PPT.

Step 3: If you are a font addict like myself, then change the font and you are FINISHED!

Any other geometry clip art that you would like to see added?! Comment or email me!

Here are the files in PNG/JPEG form:

Algebra 1 Word Wall

Friday, May 11, 2018
This year, I have a separate room for conducting Algebra 1 pull-outs. Even though students have an Algebra 1 interactive notebook, some students will not take the time to "find" the material in their notebook. So, I decided to create a visible word wall in the room in which students are able to easily reference important vocabulary words. This has made such a HUGE difference in working with struggling students and English language learners.

Any time a vocabulary word is mentioned, I will have a student get up and find the word on the wall. After they find the word, we take time to discuss, draw, or act out the word.

Below is a picture of one of our warm-ups for the day (LOW level of difficulty).

Overall, I LOVE how students would reference the wall anytime they were unsure of the meaning of a word. I am currently trying to edit it to make the wall more interactive.

I included part of my Quadratic word walls below if you would like to use!

My 5 Favorite Foldable Templates

Monday, April 2, 2018
This post is dedicated to my 5 favorite foldable templates. I create 99.5% of my foldables and activities in PowerPoint. At the bottom of this post, I have shared a Google Drive folder with the following templates.

If you decide to use any of my foldable templates, then I ask that you DO NOT sell your foldables on any website. Please share with your colleagues!

Template #1: Flip-Book with 5 Topics
Flip-books work great for study guides or as "notes" for a unit. The picture below is an example of a flip-book that I made with 5 topics. I included the directions on how to set up the flip-book in the folder.

Template #2: Foldable with Four Flaps
I like using this template if I am covering four topics that do not require many practice problems. This type of foldable works well with definitions and one practice problem. 

Template #3: Foldable with Two Flaps

Template #4: Foldable with Four Flaps

Template #5: Foldable with Three Flaps

Here are some hints when working with PPT:
  • Use Guides to help line up text boxes and diagrams (Double click in empty space --> Guides --> Guides)

  • Save documents as a PDF so that I have more printing options (File --> Save As --> File Format --> PDF)

If this is helpful and you would like to know more about how I create activities, then please let me know! If you are used to working with PPT and I forgot to add a helpful hint, then please let know so I can add it to this post. 

GOOGLE DRIVE FOLDER: Foldable Templates

Algebra 1 Quadratics Unit

Thursday, March 22, 2018
We are finishing up our Quadratics unit in Algebra 1 and I wanted to share some of my favorite foldables and activities.

Below is a cut and paste activity that we did as soon as we finished going over the basic key terms of quadratics. For the ROXS column, I tell my students that the acronym stands for Roots, Zeros, X-Intercepts, and Solutions to help them with the vocabulary. Students did extremely well on this activity and in hindsight, I did not know how much I would appreciate adding the factors columns.

Here are some Transformations of Quadratics interactive notebook pages that I used. I really liked these pages because students were able to visually see the transformation and explain what was "happening."

 After the foldable, students worked on their first partner activity of the new year. I forgot how much collaboration and communication occurs when students work together on partner activities. Students really enjoy checking their answers with a partner!

We spent two days covering transformations of quadratics and on the second day, students completed the following Desmos Challenge that was created by MathyCathy and Michael Fenton:

I absolutely LOVED this Desmos Challenge and so did students. If there are any more Desmos challenges similar to this one, please send them my way!

This is all we were able to cover before Spring Break so I knew I had to create a review game when students came back. I ended up making a PPT review game where class periods ended up competing for the most point. The class period that received the most points received a jolly rancher and free homework pass. I don't know about your students, but my students LOVE companions!

The following day, we went over the vertex form in their notebook and completed a Google Slides activity in Schoology. Below is a Google Slides activity that I assigned to students where they had to copy and paste the triangle to the correct location.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. If you end up trying some of these activities and foldables, I would love to know!

If you would like to use the activities and foldables, click on the links below: