A Downloadable Gift in Partnership with Domino Masters, a New Show from FOX
Happy Pi Day! To celebrate, Math Giraffe and Domino Masters have teamed up to bring the fans free doodle notes.
Do you Domi-KNOW your Math and Physics?
About the Free Doodle Notes:
This downloadable 2-page doodle note set helps students explore some STEM concepts within domino toppling!
Print both printable sheets, or just choose which one best fits the needs of your students. The first printable page can be used by students as young as 5th grade, but also works for older students, and the second is perfect to add on for 7th-11th graders. Look over the content and print just the first sheet for younger students, or both pages if your class is ready for the next level concepts.
You can use these pages as a stand-alone lesson, or with some fun STEM activities with domino toppling setups in class!
About the Domino Masters Show:
Hosted by actor and comedian Eric Stonestreet, DOMINO MASTERS brings imagination and creative ingenuity to life when teams of domino enthusiasts go head-to-head in a toppling tournament to create mind-blowing masterpieces, with infinite possibilities and thousands of tiles and unique kinetic devices.
Watch Domino Masters Wednesdays at 9/8c on FOX.
Math and Physics Skills / Objectives Included:
Force Equation F= ma
Newton’s 1st Law of Motion
Drawing a Net for a 3d Figure
Finding Surface Area of a Rectangular Prism
Using a Quadratic Equation
Graphing the Height of a Projectile
Force of Gravity
Introduction to a Geometric Sequence
Math Applications & Critical Thinking
If you enjoy the creative math teaching ideas and resources from Math Giraffe, be sure to sign up for your free Toolkit for Teaching Math Creatively here.
A Flowchart for Math Teachers
to Help You Make the Right Call Every Time
The final bell rings at 3 pm; the day is over. Your students fly out of the classroom, relieved to end the school day. You smile quietly to yourself. You know the feeling.
You have been actively teaching for 7+ hours. Your feet hurt. You barely even had time for bathroom breaks today. You erase the board, tidy the classroom, and prep for the next day.
You dream about your evening plans: curling up on the couch with a glass of wine in one hand, and your TV remote in the other. Maybe, you’ll even have time for a bubble bath.
Finally, you zip up your coat, throw your heavy teacher bag over your shoulder, and shut off the lights. You do one last quick once-over of the room as you shut the door, and that’s when you see it.
You forgot the stack of papers you meant to grade earlier.
Instantly, an internal battle commences. Do I really need to grade them?
You go back and forth in your mind.
The students are expecting them back.
They won’t really care, will they?
Well, some might.
They haven’t even had time to ask questions yet...
Your mind becomes a jumble of thoughts and you wish there was an easier way to decide.
That’s why you need to print this cheat sheet and have it always accessible! You don’t need to grade every single thing. Grading things like daily homework assignments or bell work may not be the best use of your time and could lead to teacher burnout.
Speaking of burnout, you may also want to check out this post if you are feeling a bit swamped right now. (https://www.mathgiraffe.com/blog/are-you-overwhelmed-as-a-math-teacher )
The next time you find yourself wondering if it’s really necessary to grade an assignment, run through the cheat sheet below.
(Click the image to download and print a PDF version to keep at your desk.)
Print a copy for the other math teachers in your building too! And if you could use a bunch more free downloads for math teachers, make sure to get my full toolkit of items you can use in class here.
How to Have Students Self - Differentiate
Wouldn’t it be a lot easier if you could just have your students self-differentiate? By this point, they tend to know when they are stuck and having trouble with a particular type of problem or if they are ready and feel prepared for each next assessment or not. Here’s the simple strategy that has helped my students in middle and high school differentiate by location on their own in a lesson.
Even when your math classes are grouped based on students’ ability, you’re still going to have varying abilities within each class. You still have to reach all of them. This method arose naturally out of necessity in my own classroom, but was such a great shift for us. I hope it helps you to differentiate following direct instruction too.
After you teach a lesson, you can think of your students in 3 different categories of understanding: Green, Yellow, and Red.
The Green students understand today’s lesson quickly and do not need further examples or modeling. Everything made sense to them, and at the moment, they need no further support from you.
There are always the in-between students. These are the students who still have a question or need one or two more examples. Once they get a little bit more support, they will feel confident fairly quickly.
These students would like more support, additional examples and modeling from you, the teacher. They need more support before they’re ever going to be able to approach a problem on their own.
Once you teach the “meat” of the lesson and go over a few examples, instead of asking, “Ok, do we all get it?, I say to the class, “Those who do understand this and you’re ready to go practice on your own, move to the back of the room. Those who still want to do the next few examples with me, you stay here, and feel free to come move up to the front.”
So, then I have everyone who needs my direct attention right with me. Those who don’t need my help at the moment are towards the back working quietly. These are the kids who normally had been sitting there thinking “ok, we GET it! Can we just go start our homework now?” Let them do just that, and later on, when the students in the front are ready to finally work independently, you can head to the back group to level up the differentiation for them. You can offer them some more challenging problems to try with you or in pairs, and they will be more ready to tackle those now that they have had a few moments to start their homework and feel like they have gotten ahead.
Once you allow for the initial split after giving notes or lecture, the groups are then fluid. Maybe after a few problems a few of the ones who are up in front getting guidance will start to feel more confident, and will be ready to quietly move to the back of the room to join the group that is getting started on practice problems independently.
Essentially, what you are changing is this:
Instead of transitioning the whole class from notes to practice time, allow each student to SELF-TRANSITION individually once they feel ready.
How to Make It Work
The kids love having the autonomy to make this decision for themselves. Given the option to choose, they almost always choose what I would have chosen for them. When they make the decision themselves, they feel proud of it.
Like any differentiating strategy, you need to have a strong, encouraging classroom culture. You need support and understanding that different kids are going to be doing different things at different times because they all have different needs. And that’s okay.
You have to change it up. Sometimes, maybe the group in the back is doing a card sort as an extension or challenge. Sometimes, they’re doing the exact same work. You don’t want them to expect that they’re always going to get their homework done sooner, etc. You have to have some variety. Sometimes I bring the front group up to the board to solve the problems right alongside me on the whiteboard together.
Most importantly, you need to keep things fluid. You don’t want kids to feel like they’re stuck in the same group from day to day, or even throughout one period. They need to be able to decide where they need to be at any given time. One lesson may be trickier, and all students need to feel comfortable lingering at the front listening for as long as they need to. Other days, someone who normally has to stay up front for additional examples may just have things “click,” and will want to head to the back in the very first group that is released to go work quietly.
This is just a small idea but it can have a big impact on your class and their learning.
If the video on this strategy is helpful for you, and you'd like more ideas from Math Giraffe, along with a free toolkit of resources to try in your own classroom, make sure you are receiving my emails here.
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