Sunday, August 3, 2014

Back to School Sale on TPT

Welcome back August! On August 4th and 5th if you use the promo code BTS14 you can receive up to 28% off all items! I have partnered with a number of top secondary teachers who can certainly help get you ready for the year to come. For this ad we went back to school ourselves. Thanks to the Danielle Knight for putting it together!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

CSI: Elementary is Coming!

Stay tuned this summer. After a bajillion requests I've decided to piece together an Elementary version of my CSI units. The focus will be on 4th and 5th Grade Common Core Standards and the topics from those years.

It's coming. It shall be epic.

The units will be:

1. Problem Solving with Addition and Subtraction
2. Problem Solving with Multiplication and Division
3. Measurement and Conversion
4. Lines and Angles
5. Shapes, Area & Perimeter
6. Decimals & Place Value
7. Understanding Fractions
8. Input-Output Tables
9. Representing Data

There may also be a ginormous Elementary project that will bubble to the surface that I've been working on with my pals from NextLesson. As a bit of a teaser these will be real world performance tasks that are designed to capture your students attention and imagination. Exciting times ahead.

Enjoy your summers and may you recuperate and reinvigorate.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Sale!

Peace Math Friends!

Once again I will be participating in TPT's sitewide sale. You can receive up to 28% off by using the Promo Code: TPTXO. Below you will see a number of people who are participating in the secondary world!

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!