Resolving Dissonance

A great site

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


1 Comment »

Noticing and Wondering

This past Tuesday at the Global Math Department¬†Max¬†presented a conference on noticing and wondering. ¬†I’m glad I was there for it! ¬†I learned a lot about tying in what students already know to what we are trying to learn next. ¬†I’ve heard of and used KWL’s before (know, want to know, learned), but noticing and wondering worked so much better!!

My 9th grade class really struggles with math. ¬†Many of them get very frustrated and shut down when anything seems even¬†slightly¬†challenging. ¬†Unless it’s interesting too. ¬†Or is presented in an excessively non-threatening way. ¬†Asking what they notice instead of what they know did that for them this week. ¬†We actually got through what I wanted to for the day plus some extra things.

We are learning about features of functions (maximum, minimum, increasing, decreasing, intercepts, etc.) and how that all looks with graphs, tables, equations, and in interval notation.

I started with asking students what they noticed about this graph:

ScreenHunter_01 Feb. 15 14.02

They noticed that:
– the lines intersect
– one starts higher than the other one
– the lines are straight
– the lines have different slopes
– the lines have different labels

Next I gave them a context:

Aly and Dayne work at a water park and have to drain the water at the end of each month for the ride they supervise. Each uses a pump to remove the water from the small pool at the bottom of their ride. The graph represents the amount of water in Aly’s pool, a(x), and Dayne’s pool, d(x),over time.

I asked them again what they noticed now:

– Aly’s pool drains faster
– Aly’s pool is bigger
– the pools drain at a¬†consistent¬†rate, even as the water gets low (we had a problem a while ago where that wasn’t the case)

Then I gave them some more information. ¬†Dayne’s pool started at 24,000 gallons and finished¬†draining after 24 minutes. ¬†We also talked about what it means when they cross and how that can be expresses as a(x)=d(x)

They wondered:
– When do they cross
– How much water did Aly start with
– When was Aly’s pool done draining

When talking about those we also talked about:
– what a(x) means, and what a(5), a(6), etc mean.
– when is a(x) > d(x)
– what does d(x) = 2000 mean and what would that x value be?


Awesome Student


At least she remembers learning it And even better – she’s being responsible for figuring it out and has a plan!