Slope and y-intercept make up the crux of the 8th grade math standards. We spend 5 full weeks on learning slope and y-intercept and how to apply them, not to mention all the other time throughout the year getting ready to learn about them and then reviewing and applying them. It still surprises me how complex it all becomes. When you come to think of it, students have to identify slope and the y-intercept in various way. They also have to create them in various forms, and they have to be able to interpret them in many forms as well. It can reach a point of overwhelm for both the teacher and the students. Every year I pledge to myself that I will do better to help students reach the understanding they need to have and every year I get closer to that goal. In this post I’ll share ten activity ideas that get students lots of practice with using equations of linear models to solve problems. [Read more…] about 10 Activities to Practice Linear Functions Like a Boss

# Math Teaching Tips

## 10 Activities to Make Comparing Functions Engaging

The cornerstone of 8th grade math is learning about slope and y-intercept. Basically, it’s all things functions for the majority of 8th grade. What I realized a few years ago is that comparing functions is a multi-faceted beast. It seems simple at first, just find the slope on both functions and compare. Then, I realized that students have to be able to find slope in at least 4 different ways. As a part of that they have to recognize if it is positive or negative. Then, you introduce y-intercept in its many representations and they have to understand that they aren’t related to each other. So, in this post I’ve compiled ten activities that help students get lots of practice comparing functions in several different ways. [Read more…] about 10 Activities to Make Comparing Functions Engaging

## 10 Activities for Finding Area and Circumference of a Circle

Area and circumference of a circle often gives our students their first taste of geometry during the year. Also, it seems like students see formulas for the first time when learning this topic. Usually, they don’t come to us understanding how to plug values into formulas. That means that we have to teach the idea of using formulas to them as well as how to find the area and circumference of a circle. Even though that can feel daunting, though, the great thing about circles and geometry is that they lend themselves to application pretty easily. We definitely have the opportunity to let students see area and circumference in a hands-on way. This post is full of engaging, fun area and circumference activities for secondary math students. [Read more…] about 10 Activities for Finding Area and Circumference of a Circle

## 12 Activities to Practice Multiplying and Dividing Integers

Multiplying and dividing integers doesn’t seem like such a difficult topic, but for some students they can’t seem to keep it straight. Sometimes, it feels like they get it wrong every time (hooray for consistency, I guess?!). We use a couple of different strategies at my school, and we try to work with our 7th graders until they get it. Lucky for us, we have many opportunities to teach this and then reinforce it throughout the year. I’ve put together 12 multiplying and dividing integers activities that are perfect for teaching students, getting them the practice they need, and then reviewing their skills.

[Read more…] about 12 Activities to Practice Multiplying and Dividing Integers

## 11 Activities that Make Learning Absolute Value A Snap

In 7th grade we teach students about mean absolute deviation. When we first started teaching, it we kind of glossed over absolute value because it seemed so easy. What I found was my students in math lab simply did not get it, and they needed specific lessons and practice about absolute before mean absolute deviation. I know it seems simple and they should just get it and remember it, but it just doesn’t work out that way. So, whether you’re teaching absolute value before another topic, or introducing it for the first time, here are 11 absolute value activities that will help student understand and remember absolute value. [Read more…] about 11 Activities that Make Learning Absolute Value A Snap