Resolving Dissonance

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Online Math Centers

Sunday FundayThank you Julie
for Sunday Funday ūüôā ¬†Helps keep me blogging when someone else comes up with the ideas for what to write about! ¬†This week’s topic: Math Centers!

I use standards based grading for my 9th grade class and every once in a while it seems like they all just need a day to catch up on something – but it’s a different something for each of them.

Twelve different math centers wouldn’t work so well with¬†traditional¬†centers ūüôā So I set up links on the class blog and reserve the mobile lab for the day. ¬†They look up any goals they are missing or have a low score on, then go to the links on the class blog for that particular goal.

The links include tutorials, practice problems, videos, games. ¬†Whatever I can find online that might help them with that goal if they didn’t already “get it” when we worked on it in class. ¬†(or, more likely, if they weren’t here that day or chose not to participate that day.) ¬†Sometimes I will also scan in relevant homework with worked out solutions and notes from in class.

It’s a good way to give everyone time to work on whatever it is that they need to do. ¬†Some students don’t need a catch up day, but almost all of them will have one thing they could work on. ¬†Even students who have perfect scores on all the assessments can still use the game links, Or can help other students.

I want to do something similar to this for my math lab class… but haven’t had time to organize it yet. ¬†This could also be done without computers by having activities/notes/practice in hanging folders. ¬†I also want to get a stock pile of games made for my math lab class. Things like scrabble with math, tarsia sets, math dominoes, math go fish or memory, card matches, etc. ¬†That might happen over spring break ūüôā


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Exponential Equation Matching

One of my goals for my 9th graders is that when I give them an equation, a context (story), a table, or a graph for an exponential equation, they can create the other three things I didn’t give them.

They could do the equation, table, and graph parts pretty well, but struggled with coming up with a context to match it.

We kept doing examples in class, but they just weren’t getting it yet.  When we did examples I had them come up with a context then check to see if it matched the table when they plugged in the x values.

A few of them told me they wanted to just see a whole bunch of examples to compare.  So my solution was a matching game with 4 parts to match up.  I forgot to take a picture of the cards!  Maybe I’ll remember to add those later…

Here are the links to the cards:

Context (Stories)

I have several sets of cards printed on different colored cardstock and had the students work in groups of 2-3 to match the sets.  It helped things start to make more sense and most of them can create a context now


Linear Equations Card Matching Game

graf of linear equation

graph of linear equation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the standards for my ninth graders is that when given a context, graph, equation, or a context they can use that to create the other three. I have one standard for linear equations and one for exponential equations.

They mostly get the linear one. They still REALLY have a hard time with exponential. Mostly with coming up with a context. If I give them the context, then can usually work from that to create the other three parts (graph, equation, and table). But if I give them one of the other three, only one of them has been able to give me a context that works.

I saw a card matching game for linear functions on another website where students match the graph, the equation, a description (slope, intercept), and the table. That’s almost what I need! So I downloaded the files that blogger provided then made contexts to match them.

I’ve put off writing this blog because I REALLY want to say where I got the cards from! But I now can’t find it… thought it was on my¬†Pinterest board, but the one on there was a different teacher that didn’t have downloads available. (edit: after some searching through my browser history, I found the original download!)

There are two equations I couldn’t come up with a real context for. And some of the other ones are stretching things a bit. I’ve read a little recently about trying to make math in school more authentic. Definitely something I’m aiming toward as I have time to work on it, and I do include some more realistic things for other lessons.

To make the matching more authentic, at some¬†point I’ll need to do the context cards first¬†– then create the rest.¬† This time however… all the other work was already done and I’m in a time crunch, so used what was available.

Here are my files for the linear matching game:


Coming¬†soon I’ll have pictures posted of the game.¬† Right now they are¬†headed for¬†my “parent basket” for a volunteer to copy, cut, and laminate them.

You can find my links to the matching game for exponential equations here.  These ones I like better than the linear!  I started with context first, then made the table, graph, and equation.  It was tons easier to make realistic context doing it that way.

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