Blog

# Discovery Lesson: Factoring Trinomials

Whenever possible I like to have students discover or figure out the lesson on their own (with some guidance from me, of course), rather than simply teaching them an algorithm.  One such topic is factoring trinomials. I start my lesson on factoring trinomials with a = 1 by giving students 4 binomial multiplication problems andRead more about Discovery Lesson: Factoring Trinomials[…]

# Breaking Down 2 Step Equations

Today I’m writing about a simple idea that makes 2-step equations easy for kids – a box “trick”. Students obviously have already learned how to solve one-step equations before being introduced to two-step equations, so I introduce 2-step equations by giving students a simple one-step equation.  The only difference is that I use an indexRead more about Breaking Down 2 Step Equations[…]

# Hands-On Integer Operations (Part 3: Multiplication & Division)

Multiplying and dividing integers are, in my opinion, the hardest operations to teach to students and it took me a few years before I found a good way to have these operations make sense to students.  After I am confident that my students are comfortable adding and subtracting integers, I move on to the finalRead more about Hands-On Integer Operations (Part 3: Multiplication & Division)[…]

# Hands-On Integer Operations (Part 2: Subtracting Integers)

After I spend 2-3 days teaching integer addition (click here to read my post on adding integers) and am confident my students are comfortable with it, I move onto subtraction. I start by giving students two color counters again and put an easy question on the board for them to solve independently: -5 – (-2)Read more about Hands-On Integer Operations (Part 2: Subtracting Integers)[…]

# Unit Analysis in the Middle School Math Classroom

After a long break (due to craziness in my personal life and some technical difficulties with the blog)…I’m happy to be back blogging! I’m going to jump back into blogging with a post about Unit Analysis… I hate teaching customary system conversions the traditional way!  No matter how many times you explain to students thatRead more about Unit Analysis in the Middle School Math Classroom[…]

# Finding the GCF and LCM using the Cake Method

Today’s lesson in my 7th grade math class was on finding the greatest common factor and least common multiple of a pair of numbers. I started by gathering background information about what the students already knew about the GCF and LCM.  With a little bit of help the students were able to come up withRead more about Finding the GCF and LCM using the Cake Method[…]

# My Spin on Symmetry

Today’s 6th grade lesson was on rotational symmetry.  I have found that students tend to be less familiar and less comfortable with rotational symmetry than they are with line symmetry (and sometimes mix the two up), so I try to find ways to make it more clear and understandable to them. I had several differentRead more about My Spin on Symmetry[…]

# A Little Sum-thing about Triangles

I started my unit on Geometry with my 6th graders before Christmas break.  We got as far as the basic vocabulary and different types of angles.  I decided to begin with polygons after break, so my first post-Christmas lesson was on triangles. We started off by discussing the different ways to classify triangles – byRead more about A Little Sum-thing about Triangles[…]