Monday, July 31, 2017

Practice Structures: Tarsia Revisited

In the past, I wrote about using using Tarsia to practice math concepts.  You have probably seen Tarsia style puzzles on Pinterest and TpT, but this free software lets you make you own.  This puzzles make a shape like a triangle or hexagon.  Then you match up the corresponding questions and answers to put the puzzle together.  The software allows you to make other puzzles as well, like dominoes and I have/Who has.

Here is a link to the original post with more details of how it works.

Here is the link to the free software download.  However, the last time I checked, the site was down, so here is a link to a direct download.

Here are 3 sample puzzles to get you started.

Grade 4: Decimals, Fractions, and Fraction Strips PDF, Tarsia
Grade 6: Fractions, Decimals, Percents PDF, Tarsia
Algebra 2: Fractional Exponents PDF, Tarsia

These are great fun, but can be time consuming to make, so share out what you do make :)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Practice Structures: Board Games Revisited

I previously wrote about using board games for math practice.  Any easy to play game will work.  You can pick them up from the dollar store, yard sales, or big box stores.  You could even find your own free printables on Pinterest.  Then just have your students complete one math question before each round of moves/turns.  You can read the original post here for more information.

In the first post, I shared two versions of the games.  The first was on biconditionals and definitions and while the second was about multiplying and dividing rational expressions.  I've added two more examples now.

Kindergarten - 2D vs 3D Shapes
Grade 8 - Triangle Similarity

I hope you try using board games in your practice sessions.  Let me know how it goes or if you make a variation of the idea :)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Practice Structures: Chains Revisited

Previously, I wrote about a form of practice called Chains.  In a chain activity, students pick any card and solve the problem on it.  Then, they find the solution to that question on another card and solve that one.  This continues until all cards have been used.  Sometimes you can also run this as a scavenger hunt and put the questions up around the room.  The activity is great because it is self checking and offers a switch-up from the usual worksheet for practice.

You can read the original post here for more information.  In that post, I included two example activities.  The first was for properties of parallelograms.  And the second was for finding vertices of parabolas.

Here are two new examples:
Grade 3 - Telling Time to the Minute
Grade 7 - Adding and Subtracting Rational Numbers

Enjoy.  I'd love to hear about it if you try any of these or make your own :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Practice Structures: Go Fish Revisited

I previously wrote about using Go Fish as a matching game to build fluency in math content.  In the previous post, I shared two downloads.  The first was a game for finding volumes of pyramids and cones. The second was a game for finding the next term in a sequence.

Here is the link to the original post which also contains more info on how to play the game.

I have since created two more versions of the game.  Feel free to use any of them.  And share any that you make :)

Grade 2: Measuring With a Centimeter Ruler Go Fish
Grade 5: Subtracting Fractions Go Fish

Monday, July 24, 2017

Practice Structures: Slap it! Revisited

I wrote about Slap It! as a game for building fluency once before.  The game is played like Slap Jack, except that you do not play with a standard deck of cards (use math problems instead) and the card that you slap, changes with each round.

Here is a link to the original post with more detailed directions on how to play the game.  In that post, you will find two sample games.  The first game is on the equations of circles and the second is on triangle trigonometry.

Here are two new games:
Grade 1: Attributes of Shapes Slap It!
Grade 6: Quadrants in the Coordinate Plane Slap It!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Practice Structure: Pass or Play Revisited

I previously wrote about the game pass of play as a way for students to build fluency in basic math concepts.  The point of the game is for players to lay one card at a time, in sequential order.  So, if the first player lays a 7, the next player would lay an 8.  Then the next player would play 9, and so on.  The first player can play any card in the sequence and the list will loop.  For example a game might have the following play: {7,8,9,0,1,2,3,4,5,6}.

Here is the original post with more details on how to play.  The original post contains two downloads of sample games.  The first is on the angle and segment addition postulates and the second is on interior and exterior angles of triangles.

Here are two new games.

Kindergarten - Subsidizing Pass or Play
Grade 4 - Multiplying by 10, 100, and 100 Pass or Play

Friday, July 21, 2017

Practice Structures: TIC TAC TOE Revisited

I wrote about using TIC TAC TOE as a fun way for students to practice math concepts.  The original post is here. The original post contains free townloads of two games.  The first is an algebra 1 game for graphing linear inequalities on the coordinate plane.  The second was a geometry game for calculating surface area and volume of spheres.

Now I have made two more games.  Here they are; enjoy!  Please share if you create your own :)

Grade 7 Adding Rational Numbers TIC TAC TOE
Grade 8 Pythagorean Theorem TIC TAC TOE

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Practice Structures: Memory Revisited

I wrote about turning the card game memory into a math content game in the past.  Here is the original post.  In that first post, I shared two versions of the game.  One algebra 1 level game where students matched questions and answers for difference of squares, and a second one for algebra 2 where students matched equations, graphs, vertices, and axis of symmetries for parabolas.

Of course for kindergarten students you could play a traditional version of the game such as this one.  Here is one more version for you to use: Grade 4 - numerical, name, and expanded form of numbers

Monday, July 17, 2017

Practice Structures: Uno Revisited

I already wrote about using UNO in math class.  The first post includes some information about adapting the card game uno into a game for practicing math content.  In my first post I included downloads for a version on conic sections and a version for angle pairs.  Whereas the traditional UNO game focuses on playing a card with the same number or color, these games focus on two other characteristics.  For example, the conic sections game focuses on matching either the type of conic (circle, ellipse, parabola, or hyperbola) or the center of the conic.  The angle pairs game focuses on matching the type of angle pair (corresponding, alternate interior, alternate exterior, same side interior, same side exterior, linear pair, or vertical angles) or their relationship (congruent or supplementary).

Here is the link to the original post.  Of course, you could also play the original version of the game with kindergarten students who are learning about identifying numeral and colors, but here is one more version.

Grade 3 - Equivalent Fractions

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Clothesline Math

Clothesline Math has been around for quite some time in various forms.  I've seen people use ribbons, calculator paper rolls, and of course clotheslines.  This manipulative can be great for building number sense and for offering an opportunity for practicing concepts.

The idea is to start with an empty length of rope.  Have a few reference point cards (maybe -2, -1, 0, 1, 2) and then the remaining cards would contain the problems to be solved.  It could be something as simple as unreduced fractions for elementary school, algebraic expressions for middle school, or even logarithmic expressions for high school.

You could approach the activity in two ways.  First, if you have a small class, you could give every student one card and they could place it on the number line in the appropriate place.  This gets a little chaotic if you have a large class.  Alternatively, you could split your class into groups and have each group complete a task with maybe 2-4 cards to be placed on the number line.

Chris Shore has written extensively about Clothesline Math and has even created a separate site dedicated to the idea.    And both Cindy Whitehead and Andrew Stadel have created Desmos clothesline activities.

Here are a few for you to try.

Grade 1: Three addends with groups of 10
Grade 6: Divide fractions by an integer
Algebra 1: Evaluate expressions - These come from Chris's site.

I hope you get chance to try this activity in your classroom.  I'd love to hear about how it goes.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Practice Structures: Randomly Generated Questions

One was to make practice more novel is to include some randomness.  Every student ends up solving different problems even though they are all working from the same document.  You can simply create generic problems with the numerical parts missing.  Then have students randomly generate the numbers to fill in.  They could roll dice, deal cards, spin a spinner, or use an online number generator.

Jennifer Fairbanks wrote about an activity on using dice to create an activity about adding and subtracting radicals here: A radical activity - adding and subtracting

Here are some activities that you can try.  If you make your own, I'd love so see them :)

Grade 2 Place Value Practice With Dice
Grade 5 Numerical Expressions and Word Form
Algebra 1 Adding and Subtracting Polynomials Card Activity - I did not create this one, but I can not recall where I found it.  I'll update this post once I track down the source.
Algebra 2 Adding and Subtracting Radicals Dice Activity - from Jennifer Fairbanks' article above.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Practice Structures: Row Games

Row games are great to use in class, but challenging to create.  Basically, students solve the problems from one column of a handout while their partner solves the problems in the other column.  Periodically, partners check with each other.  The answers to the questions in both columns should be the same.  This is where the magic happens.  The activity is self checking (either the answers match or they don't) and students know where to focus their efforts (on questions where answers do not match).  The conversations that you overhear during the correction part of the activity are very telling about the misconceptions that students hold.

Here are 3 row games for you to try.

Row Game Grade 1: Add and Subtract to 10
Row Game Grade 8: Exponent Rules - I did not create this one, but you can find the original source here, along with many more row games)
Row Game Algebra 2: Evaluating Logarithms without a Calculator