When we get to learning about transformations near the end of the year, it always surprises me that my students have a pretty strong foundation in transformations. Hooray! But the caveat with transformations in 8th grade is that they have to find the resulting coordinates without using a graph. This boils down to a whole bunch of rules that students have to learn and memorize. To learn and remember the effects of transformations, it helps if students actually understand why the rules are what they are. Then, students need to get a lot of practice with each one.
Math Teaching Tips
In recent years, mean absolute deviation and variability concepts have been added to 7th grade math. It seems like a huge jump from their current understanding to these concepts, but we as teachers always figure out ways to make the content accessible to students. The first time I taught mean absolute deviation I just told the kids that absolute value was the distance a number is from zero. It seems like a simple concept and in my rush to get to the meat of the topic, I left it at that. Well, needless to say, the majority of my students don’t retain information just because I say it a couple of times. I know, I know, teaching lesson learned (again!). Let me share with you how teaching absolute value through discovery made teaching the whole topic of mean absolute deviation and absolute value in general so much easier.
I’ll be the first to admit that when the concept of mean absolute deviation was added to our standards, I didn’t know what it was. Of course, I’ve worked with standard deviation and mean, but I was a newbie to this concept of MAD. As I’ve wrapped my head around it, I’ve learned it enhances other concepts students are learning, and it’s taught as part of helping students to understand variability. In this post I’m sharing with you 12 engaging activities for teaching mean absolute deviation (MAD) to help your students really get it.
What are the chances your students will forget what they learn about probability? It’s an uncomfortable truth that they often forget things that they’ve studied in class. But they are much more likely to forget if they don’t build schema and connections with this concept. I’m excited to share with you my favorite way to do just that. Discovery labs give you one way that help your students to build background and ultimately remember what they learn (wanna read more how I got started with discovery labs? Read that story here.)
Compound probability is fun to teach because it lends itself to hands-on learning. I’ve found that students don’t even complain about the fact they they are working with fractions when they are doing compound probability. (shocking, right?!) I’m excited to share some of my favorite activities for practicing compound probability with you. These activities will build background for students, offer practice, and extend the concepts. I hope that you can find one or two ideas to implement in your classroom right away and engage your students in learning more about compound probability.