Sunday, September 7, 2014

How To Assess Student Comphrehension and Have Fun at the Same Time!

As a secondary math teacher I am always on a quest to find ways to not only assess my students' knowledge but to also engage them as I do it.  I have researched various techniques looking for ones that encourage collaboration, assess knowledge and allow students to communicate mathematically.  The incorporation of these activities helps me to shift my room from the more traditional teacher center to one that is more student centered.

Right Triangles Vocabulary Matching
The first technique that I use addresses the variety of new vocabulary that arrives in Geometry and helps students to connect the pieces that go along with those terms including the definition, diagrams and ways to label the diagrams.  I have created a series of vocabulary matching activities for various units including triangles and congruency, right triangles and trigonometry, quadrilaterals, beginning concepts and circles.  Each activity includes a set of teacher instructions, a student answer sheet, cards for the term, definition, diagram and label (when applicable).  The activities encourage students to work collaboratively and are also great for use in station activities!

Beginning Concepts Bingo
The second technique, Bingo Games, also address not only vocabulary but also the ability to hear a definition or description out loud and make the connection to the terms/concepts.  These are also great fun!  I have made them for various units including triangles and congruency, right triangles and trigonometry, quadrilaterals, beginning concepts and circles.  Each Bingo game includes two sets of 32 cards - one with the term and one with diagrams, two different teacher call sheets and the cover squares as well.

Task Card Bundle
The third technique that I use is task cards.  Task cards allow students to focus in on just one problem at a time and can be written at different questioning levels which allows for differentiation and for students to work at their level of understanding.  They also allow you to identify where students may be having difficulty without the students feeling overwhelmed.  I currently have five sets of tasks cards that can be purchased individually or in a money saving bundle.  I have many more sets planned!  
Geometry Riddle Bundle

The last technique that I use is riddle worksheets.  Riddle worksheets are worksheets that have the students working through a puzzle as they solve problems.  Riddle worksheets are usually 15 - 18 questions where each answer corresponds to a letter in the answer to the riddle.  I love them so much that I currently have 22 riddle worksheets covering the major topics in Geometry and 7 for Algebra!  The Geometry riddle worksheets can be purchased individually in a money saving bundle. 

I am investigating new techniques as well including formative assessment, group projects and station activities!  I will share them with you a future post so stay tuned! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Guest Seller - Featuring HistoryGal!

History has never been my strong suit, especially memorizing dates, what happened when, to whom, how, why and a thousand other facts that surround a specific event.  However, as a high school teacher, I inevitably get asked History (and English, Science...) questions because students assume we know it all - why else would be teachers right?

HistoryGal on TPT
Given that History was not my strong suit, I was thrilled when another seller on the forums suggested that we pair up with someone who doesn't teach our same content area so that we could not only help each other out but also learn something about another seller too!  I have the pleasure of being paired up with HistoryGal for the next couple of weeks and I have learned so much already!

Her store features a wide variety of topics including the ancient and semi-modern worlds.  Her products are a wide variety of activities, supplements and interactive lessons meant to engage the students and make history relevant instead of just a recitation of facts!
One product that caught my attention immediately (partially because I love the Greek Gods) was her Greek Gods Bundle.  It an amazing product that includes a Greek Gods Scavenger hunt (with or without QR codes), a Bingo Game, Printable Greek Gods and an editable quiz!

It pairs beautifully with her Ancient Greece Activity Bundle that includes  six different activities such as a Television show activity and Pictionary (and what student doesn't love to get up, draw and laugh while doing so?)

Financial Literacy
I would also like to highlight one more of her products before I end this.  She has a fantastic product called "Financial Literacy Unit: Things Students Should Know Before They Graduate"  It is designed for use in an economics or financial literacy class but I can see myself using it in my math classes as well.  How to survive
financially in the world is a skill that all high school needs and one that I don't feel they are being adequately prepared for!  This product really addresses those needs and gives students a financial knowledge foundation to help to get them started down the right path!

I highly encourage you to check out her store!  You will be so glad you did!

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