Which new worksheet concept do you like the best?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

21st Century Math Projects Philosophy

Many people have asked for some advice to develop their own 21st Century Math Projects so I thought I'd
Check out some stuff!
try to articulate what I try to do to help with your own project planning!

I believe that three key elements need to be in place for a super strong math project or lesson. Real World Authenticity, Mathematical Rigor and 21st Century Swagg. If there is a hearty balance of these three things in my experience that's when I bring the learning to the next level. A traditional classroom would fall into the Mathematical Rigor category, but lacks Real World Relevancy or 21st Century Swagg. 

Having students design a car on a computer, without a solid math foundation (or for an appropriate grade level) is a prime example of Real World Authenticity absent Mathematical Rigor or 21st Century Swagg. 
21st Century Swagg Personified!

A lack of 21st Century Swagg may be the product of using a blurry ditto from 1981. Presentation matters. The look of the assignment matters. Humor, if possible, matters. Student interest matters! I can't count how many problems I use from textbooks that start with "In 1991". Most of my students this year were born in 1998. While what happened in 1991 may be important, there are also important things that happened in 2011 that textbook companies just can't keep up with.

Of course there is not necessarily an Authentic Real World project for each math topic you teach. That doesn't mean it's impossible to make one. You just may need to up the dosage of Mathematical Rigor or 21st Century Swagg. My popular CSI projects are examples of this. With the engaging CSI puzzle solving framework (extra 21st Century Swagg) and Mathematical Rigor, a project for any topic is possible. Of course there are Authentic Real World problems in these puzzles, but perhaps nothing meaty enough to expand to a full-blown project. 

I would argue you can't do without any of these ideas. Many might say you can cut out the 21st Century Swagg. Perhaps that's possible, but if student interest isn't there, student engagement may not be. 

Real World Authenticity -- Mathematical Rigor -- 21st Century Swagg. Your might be your new bff. Or it might not be. Go make cool stuff for your kids!

Friday, March 7, 2014

New Elementary and Middle School Lessons and Projects

March has barely begun and already lots of cool things are happening this month! Late last year, I shared how my lessons were going Interactive on NextLesson.

I’m excited to share the news that I will be further collaborating with NextLesson by offering some of their math lessons and projects on my TeachersPayTeachers Store. My store has historically been primarily for secondary school. With the introduction of these new pieces, folks in late elementary and middle school will have more to things to choose from.

These lessons and projects from NextLesson are rich in resources and many are multi-disciplinary. They also meet my key philosophies on Real World Authenticity, Mathematical Rigor and 21st Century Swagg.

I hope you enjoy these projects and lessons as much as I do. Math it Up!


Monday, February 24, 2014

TPT Winter 2014 Sale!!

Another humongous TPT Sale is coming your way February 27th and 28th. Use the PromoCode: TPT3 to take up to 28% off everything on the site!

A few of the participating stores include: 
Danielle Knight http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Danielle-Knight
Juggling ELA 
The SuperHERO Teacher http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../The-Superhero-Teacher
The Creative Classroom http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../The-Creative...
A Space to Create http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/A-Space-To-Create
Teaching High School Mat hhttp://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../Teaching-High...
4mulaFun http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/4mulafun
All Things Algebra http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/All-Things-Algebra
Miss Math Dork http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Missmathdork
James Whitaker http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/James-Whitaker
For the Love of Teaching Math http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../For-The-Love-Of...
The Classroom Sparrow http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../The-Classroom-Sparrow
Teaching Math by Hart http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../Teaching-Math-By-Hart
2 Peas and a Dog http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/2peasandadog
Addie Williams http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Addie-Williams
21st Century Math Projects http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../21st-Century-Math...
Michele Luck’s Social Studies http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../Michele-Lucks...
Margaret Whisnant http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Margaret-Whisnant
Created by Mr. Hughes http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Created-By-Mrhughes
Making it as a Middle School Teacher http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Making-It-Teacher
Tracee Orman http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Tracee-Orman
Science Stuff http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Science-Stuff
Teaching FSL http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Teachingfsl
Krystal Mills http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Krystal-Mills
Kate’s Classroom Café http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../Kates-Classroom-Cafe
Nikki Kersbergen http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Nikki-Kersbergen
FisherRena Education http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../Grade-Level/9-12

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Gridiron Glory -- "The Big Game" Data Analysis Paper Football Project

I have heard that Americans like Football. I have also heard about an important game that happens in February. I have heard that it's a day that nachos dread. In this 21st Century Math Project, students will investigate this cultural phenomenon in the best possible way (with data!)

Buckle your chin strap, here comes math in your face and
there is no such thing as unnecessary roughness in my class
Name: Gridiron Glory
Suggested Grade Level: 7-12 (assignments are aimed at a variety of age groups)
Math Concepts: Data Analysis, Regression and Expected Value
Interdisciplinary Connections: Sports, Advertising
Teaching Duration: 3-5 Days (can be modified)
Cost: $8 for a 21 Page PDF (1 project, 4 assignment and answer keys) 

PDF Version: Gridiron Glory @ TPT

The Product: Students use expected value to guide their decision making in a Paper Football Tournament.

I realized when I first started teaching that students liked three things. Food, Sports and telling the Teacher about all the drama in the school. Luckily I liked food, sports and hearing about all the drama in the school. Actually that's a lie -- my class was a drama free zone. 

Huh? Food! What?
Since I know a number of teachers would be interested in hosting a Paper Football Tournament, I decided to write preliminary assignments for a wide range of learners. All of them could be used in high school, but some would be review. The assignments break down like this:

-- “Bragging Rights”. This assignment is designed more toward middle school students, but can be used for high school review. Students will analyze Super Bowl data to determine which divisions have historically had the most success. They will compute Winning Percentage and construct a bar graph and a pie graph. 

-- “Super Sunday LX”. This assignment is geared more toward students with algebra skills. Students will use historical television data to create lines of best to predict the future. This assignment would work best on TI graphing calculators. This also shows the limits of linear models because the Commercial Cost linear model has serious limitation. 

Great. Even though I don't care about
that icky football stuff, I can learn
about T-tests! That's rigorous!
-- “Super Sunday Predictions”. This is an advanced statistics assignment that will require calculations of Mean, Standard Deviation, Variance and beginning level usage of a T-Test. Students will analyze Points For and Points Against of Super Bowl Winners and Losers to see if there is a significant difference between the means (this is what the T-Test is for). If there is a significant difference, then that could be used to predict the winner of the next Super Bowl. Find out!

-- “Training Camp”. This is a preliminary assignment to the grand finale a Paper Football Championship Tournament! Students will measure their Paper Football skills with a variety of tasks. With the results of the assignment, students will need to calculate their expected value. At the end they will use these four expected values to calculate their “Paper Football Rating”.
I should be teaching next door, but
I really want to play in the Paper
Football Tournament

-- "Paper Football Championship Tournament".  Each game should have two students playing the roles of referee and statisticians. These students should receive the “Drive Log” and mark attempts for further statistical analysis and keep score. The essential question with the Paper Football Championship is "does the Expected Value “Paper Football Ratings” predict who the winner of the tournament will be?" 

You can go as crazy with this as you’d like. If you want students to have team names and coaches, go for it. If you want a prize or a trophy, go for it. You can become the best teacher of all time.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure vs. STEM-ersion vs. Both

Alright Math Friends!

I have launched two new worksheet concepts that will cover ordinary topics, but they will have their own unique flairs! You can download both for free. Please vote in the poll on the right. The one that has more interest I will probably run with!

Click Me First!

Noooo! Me first!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Half-Over Sale!

An exciting opportunity for the turn of the year -- a Big Sale! Items in my store will be 20% off on 12/30, 15% off on 12/31 and 10% off on 1/1/2014. 

Click here for the Interactive, Clickable PDF. If you are not following these secondary teacher, you need to!

This will be your best chance to grab the Whole Store bundle if you have had your eye on it. I have a lot of new stuff ready to upload and a lot of exciting plans for 2014 so that price will rise quite a bit. 

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure -- Would you want more?

Here's a link to one of my latest brainstorms. I have to decide if I'm going to make a bunch of them. If any of you have a chance to take a look, let me know what you think! Thanks!


January is setting up to be a big month with a lot of uploads. Stay Tuned! :-)