If in doubt, draw a triangle

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Got time?

 Wow, what a great conference! powerpose.JPGThere are so many impressive teachers out there and they are all willing to share and help everyone. We all love our students, but I hope it is as obvious to my students how much I care about them as it was obvious to me how much Michelle Cordy @cordym  cares about her students. Such an awesome finish to this conference!

Things started with a bang, too. The Ignite session was where I first listened to Ben Smith @edtechben and Kerry Gallagher @KerryHawk02 and I am excited to continue to learn from them in the future.

flip.JPG I flipped my trig class about 4 years ago. I am going to  my Pre-Calc class this coming school year. Wow, a lot has changed! Luckily, I will be following Aaron Sams  @chemicalsams  and Jon Bergmann’s  @jonbergmann  lead and I am excited for all that is now available for our students. Based on what I have recently learned, my current plan is to use @EDpuzzle  to share videos and monitor my students. Any advice?

rooftop.JPGThis was my first and it was apparent to me how much this community enjoys spending time together. So many social events, so little time.

Time – everyone’s constant struggle. I wish clocks had a 13 so we could have another hour during the day to get things done and another hour of sleep at night.bear.JPG I was so inspired by this conference that I got back on the blog after a 2 year hiatus, although I was never a regular. I know a blog is a valuable way to reflect, but I struggle to find the time. I am thankful this conference is in the summer so I have time to process all this information. I know I am not the only one who is trying to be a great teacher, coach, spouse, parent, etc. Here is my question for anyone out there that may have some input, ‘How do you manage your time to be the best you can at all these different parts of you without feeling like a giant blue bear is sitting on you?’


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Super Bowl

Considering all the news on #Deflategate leading up to the game this weekend, thought this might be a fun activity. I got this from http://graphingstories.com/ but have modified the intro.


Here is how I am going to do it:

1. I will show this 15 sec video. http://youtu.be/YOHSNror9Vw
2. Then I will ask the students to come up with as many different graphs as possible to tell the story of what they see in the video. graphingstories-student-template
3. Then I will show the beginning of original video (Air Pressure), which will give them a specific piece to graph.
4. Have them graph this, then show the answer.
Enjoy the game!

Flipped Investigations

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Part of our NCTM presentation shared how we have flipped some lessons in our Geometry classes. Rather than having videos of notes, we used our videos as investigations. I typically have some sort of handout that goes with the video, which will lead the students through the investigation. We like this for a few reasons, but reason #1 is it gives the students time to process. If they get through the investigation in 5 minutes and understand, great. If it takes them 10-15 minutes, but they also understand, great. The extra time for those students is pretty important and not always easy to do in class. We used iBooks to deliver these videos, but there are lots of ways to share your videos with your students. This is my video investigating Isosceles Right Triangles and the link is the handout.



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Sugar Cubes


My Geometry students investigate the ratios of similar figures using sugar cubes. After their groups complete the investigation, we do a couple problems to show how to use the ratios of similar figures to solve problems.



Trig Project 2014

Here are the directions for the Trig Project my students just completed.


We had about a week of class time to work on this. We did the planning for the Big Triangle as a whole class discussion because that part of this project is so complicated. I will share their videos as I receive them. Would love to hear questions and feedback.

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Efficiency Secrets?

Here is my longest struggle. I have often wished the clock had a 13 on it so I could have another hour to get things done during the day and another hour of sleep at night. I try to be as efficient as possible in almost everything I do. I pay attention to my ‘circle of influence’ @7Habits4Managrs and try to focus on what is best for me as a father, husband, teacher, etc. I posed these questions to my math dept. “What is your best teacher secret? What do you do to be more efficient?” and got responses like, “I keep a folder for make-up work.” Since I do this as well, that is not really the answer I was hoping for. I have just recently joined the #MTBoS in hopes that this will also help in my constant quest of being more efficient. I recently read a blog about The Epic Evernote Experiment and wonder if this is another tool to help.

Something new I started this year is taking pictures of my weekly calendar and posting it to Edmodo for my classes. This has been very helpful for my students and takes less time than typing it to my website like I had in the past. Image

So, same questions to you. What is your best teacher secret? What do you do to be more efficient? Thanks!