## Measuring height with Trig

I started to share this project with someone the other day and realized I had never written a blog post for it. We have used this project for quite some time and I love the digital aspect having students label their image and explain their process. We have the students make the clinometers but we give them little guidance as far as the project goes. We want them to problem solve and figure it out. We simply tell them to go measure something bigger than they are. I also limit their travel to school grounds (I did have a student go to the nearby gas station once. You have to be specific!!) I had a group of students last year that forgot their tape measure so they measured in shoe length (yes, I had a one-shoed student outside) and then converted that to inches when they came inside. I love the thought process behind their solution!

Not only does this give purpose to the study of trig, it also gets students outside and working together. It also helps students understand angle of elevation a little better with concrete examples.

I love the first one. She wrote a word problem for her image. Hmm… might have to steal that idea!!

I’ve included my clinometer document (I did steal the image from someone, sorry whoever you are!) and my scoring guide.

Trig Project Scoring Guide

Happy measuring!

## Popcorn Containers and Volume

Anytime you can have food in class it’s a good day (unless you are the custodian sweeping up popcorn. I’m sorry!) I came up with this project probably four years ago. We did the whole pour the water from a cone into a cylinder thing, and it was ok, but I wanted something better. While eating popcorn at the movies, my daughter and I started talking about the cost of the popcorn and the sizes available. Putting those two ideas together, this project was born.

The first year I had students create a cylinder and then figure out how to make a cone with the same base area and height. This was a struggle and I ended up showing them. It does involve a lot of thinking and many would not have gotten there on their own. The following year, I created a hand-drawn example of how to calculate the dimensions of the cone. I now have the information in Google Slides for students to use.

There are great discussions about the slant height becoming the radius of the cone. I do have to show students a visual of this and they are always amazed. Once they see the visual and we discuss how the circumference of the cone piece has to meet up with the base circle, they begin to see how it all fits together.

I’ve included the activity for the first day. I’ve popped trashbags full of popcorn and I’ve popped microwave popcorn. If you can get your concession stand to open up their popcorn machine then you have it made.

Popcorn Container Activity

As a follow-up activity, I decided to have students calculate the cost and the amount for which they could sell their popcorn. This allows them to make some decisions about which container would be best. Many of them tell me that it doesn’t matter which one is the best deal because the cone of popcorn would be inconvenient. 🙂

Popcorn Surface Area & Volume Follow-up activity

Enjoy!

## Catapulter

Dave Burgess always asks, “If kids didn’t have to come to your class would they?” I think some days the answer to my class is no. Teaching math is challenging so when I can plan a fun, engaging & standards-based activity it’s a win for all.

While researching for our parabola unit I stumbled upon the project posted by Julie Reulbach on her blog I Speak Math. If you don’t follow her on Twitter, you should! I adapted her activity a little to make it go along with Clash of Clans and carried the theme throughout the activity.

I shot the orange spikey stones (because if you say balls in front of freshmen…) at students as they walked in the door starting about a week out. They were pretty excited to get to shoot the catapults themselves. Many of them also play Clash of Clans or Clash Royale so they enjoyed that part too. The activity is frustrating for some of them who like to have their hand held through each step. We have them work together at tables and only intervene if the productive struggle is no longer productive.

I also added a #mathsnap to the activity to reinforce the different parts of the parabola. They LOVED making their Bitmoji’s. They haven’t turned the #mathsnaps in yet but I can’t wait to see them.

I have attached all of my documents for this project. Remember, this is modified from Julie’s project. You can get all of her originals here.

This is a printable bulls-eye. I feel like I can use the castle image in the middle since it’s a screen-shot I took from the game. If you feel this is questionable, then take the image off.

Desmos activity This is updated from Julie’s as well. I included the Clash of Clans images (possible copyright issues here – sorry) but it makes it more engaging for the students.

I also drop this document in Google Classroom so students can be self-directed when making the #mathsnap

Scoring Guide

Categories: #mathsnaps, Bitmoji, parabolas | | 1 Comment

## Flashcard Template

I’m not a fan of memorizing content so flashcards don’t usually have a place in my classroom. Recently we were working with area, surface area & volume in Geometry and you do need to use these formulas. I told students they didn’t need to memorize them but they did need to be able to recognize which one you should use. My students were really struggling with this. I turned to the internet to find some flashcards sites where I could enter images. You either had to pay for that particular service or the website was not very user-friendly. I finally turned to Google Slides, where I should have started, and quickly made some there. I created a notecard image in Google Drawing and then added the flip transition. I am sharing the template as well as the area and surface area flashcards for you to use. Enjoy.

## BookSnaps & MathSnap in Google Drawing

When my students create #mathsnaps in my classroom, they want them to look close to something you would create in SnapChat. I’ve created a little animated gif tutorial below to help with that.

You can screen capture your image or take a picture and upload it to drive. Below explains how to insert your image from drive and resize the page.

The next piece that makes it look like Snapchat is the partially transparent gray bar with text on it.

Using the scribble tool you can annotate on your images just like you do in Snapchat.

Then comes my MOST FAVORITE PART, inserting the Bitmojis. My students have the Bitmoji Chrome Extension installed on their computer so they can drag their Bitmoji to their image.

The other thing I really like about Snapchat are the “other” sticker options. We can do the same thing if we do an image search within Google Drawing.

So here are two images. The first one I created in Snapchat and the second one I created in Google Drawing. They look fairly similar.

Now since I teach math, we do #mathsnaps. Student take images from class and annotate them. Here are a couple of examples we’ve used recently.

Please do #booksnaps and #mathsnaps with your students. They will LOVE them!

Categories: #mathsnaps, Bitmoji, Google Drawing | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

## Differentiated Instruction with Google Slides

I just watched Dave Burgess at #METC17 and it challenged me to go back through my lessons again and Pirate the heck out of them. And even though we want engaging lessons that kids want to learn, there does come a time, especially in math, when they need to practice. I  don’t think all students should practice the same thing. Some need more and some need less and some need something completely different. On these days we use differentiated lessons in Google Slides. I recently created two new ones (well, one was created by my amazing student teacher) that I will be using next week. Eventually, I’ll have an arsenal of these to use.

The idea behind these activities is to give each group of students a lesson and practice they need to be working on but allows them some independence so I, as the teacher, can walk around and have conversations with students.

I used to assign all of them in Google Classroom and just tell each group which ones they will be working on but with Google Classroom’s new update, you can now assign separate slides to kids in the same class. I KNOW! Game Changer!!!

Remember that all files are set to view only but if you File-Make a Copy then it’s yours. Alter as needed for your kiddos but if you share, please credit me.

Enjoy!

## Bitmojis in the Classroom

If you’re not familiar with Bitmojis, YOU ARE MISSING OUT! It’s you in an avatar with a ton of different sayings and situations. It’s an app you can download (iOs & Android) and a very user friendly Chrome extension.

It is fun, but it also has a TON of applications in the classroom. Since it integrates with Chrome so well, you can drag your bitmoji into most Google Apps as feed back for students.

Sometimes my students leave me “suggested” feedback through Bitmojis as well.

I recently used Bitmojis to enhance my Superhero Transformations activity for Geometry. It was a HUGE hit!

This idea came from a discussion with the AMAZING Sylvia Duckworth. I’ve included her slide deck full of ideas as well. My example is on there but so are a ton of other amazing examples of how to use Bitmoji comics.

Here is the example I gave my students. We also had a quick exploratory lesson about how to transform the Bitmojis through the arrange menu (or 2 finger click or key command) and a quick lesson on how to crop and mask images.

I was even more impressed after my students submitted their projects.

Example 1     Example 2    Example 3   Template to create your own (make a copy to edit it)

I created some examples for my non-math friends when I presented this to my school. How about a comic in a foreign language, or a political cartoon?

Now if you are a fan of Snapchat, you probably already know that Bitmojis are sticker options inside of it. You can also send “together” bitmojis in a message.

me & my daughter

Tara Martin shared her idea about using Snapchat and bitmojis with book selections and a new hashtag was born – #booksnaps. You take a pic of a book selection you like, annotate & add your bitmoji. Read about it on Tara’s blog here.

And if you don’t want to open the world of Snapchat in your classroom, this can be done through Google Drawing or Google Slides.

A quick disclaimer on Bitmoji, there are a few that are not school appropriate. This isn’t any different from anything else you find online. Talk to your students about using Bitmoji responsibly and open up a whole new world for them.

Follow me on snapchat if you would like.

Categories: Bitmoji, Geometry, technology | | 2 Comments

This post has been in draft format for quite some time. Not because I didn’t have a lot to say (this post is crazy long) but because by writing it I feel like my Innovator Academy time comes to an end. I loved spending 3 days with people who share a similar vision and drive to make education better. We encouraged, supported & challenged (and continue to) each other and made connections and friendships that we can always call on. At the end of the 3 days I could say, “I am a Google Innovator,” but those words will never be able to describe the experience.

The Innovator Journey:

On the morning of Oct 5 I got up at 3:15 and headed to KCI. I had a connecting flight in Detroit, and that was the last stop where I had data. I was a little uneasy about landing in Toronto and making my way to the hotel. Luckily, Brian, a fellow innovator, had noticed that we were arriving around the same time and had arranged a ride with Andy, another innovator who lives just north of Toronto. Andy picked us up (after we figured out which terminal we were actually in) and drove us to downtown Toronto.

We arrived at the Hotel and got checked in. I was starving and thankfully Brian and Andy were willing to humor me and search for food. Andy was the only one with data (Brian and I could only use wifi) so he was directing us to a burger place. When we got there, a Poutinerie sign was behind it. We had talked about poutine in our GHO so, of course, we had to eat there. Andy messaged the group and more Innovators showed up. For a group of people who had never met before, we had conversations like we had been life long friends.

After a quick stop at a pop-up Luke’s coffee shop (thanks to Rachel), it was time to head back to the hotel so we could go to Google.

I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was very excited. When we arrived at Google, we were greeted with balloons and a table with name tags. We were early because we were all excited.

We all grabbed our name tags and were taken upstairs. After visiting with each other, our coaches and program managers introduced themselves and then our Canadian friends had a hilarious dance introduction for us.

We found our groups and headed to our BreakOut rooms. Our fearless coach was Jeff Humphries and since he planned the Breakout, we go to do it first. The JAMMRS (our group name) broke out, of course :-), and then we went to share our own personal Breakouts. This was one of my favorite times, getting to know our group members through their clues and stories. Andy and Marcus ended up having the same answer to two different riddles. It was an amazing moment.

We ate a terrific meal together and hung out on the balcony while we discussed our group cheer and song for graduation. Some decided to go out after we returned to the hotel, but I had been up since 3:15 so I CRASHED.

The next morning we met for breakfast and then hit the ground running. We had so many amazing Sparks and Sprints through out the day to motivate us, inspire us, and focus us with our Innovator project. Our coaches were fantastic as they each brought their own unique gifts with them. We had amazing team building activities that also had an application to our project. Juggling was one of my favorites even though I never mastered it.

We used more sticky notes that I could imagine thanks to Les McBeth and the design thinking process. It really helped me focus my thoughts for my project.

All of our coaches were amazing. It was great to meet and sketchnote with Sylvia Duckworth. Donnie Piercey made me laugh with his awkward muffins. Rafranz Davis helped me create my story and Sandra Chow gave me very helpful feedback on my project and encouraged me every day.  Jeff Humphries was the best group leader (maybe I’m a bit biased) and kept our slightly ADD group on track. I didn’t work much with Afzal, but he was an encouraging presence. Our group leaders, Michelle, Wendy, Mark & Becky, were funny and amazing and I loved getting to know them.

When it was over, I was exhausted, my brain hurt a little, and I was sad to be leaving this new family. We are still connecting through GHO and Slack. We are still encouraging each other. I have followed my new family on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and G+. I know I can call on any of these people and they would help. I can’t wait to see how this fantastic group of people change the face of education and I am honored to be counted as one of them.

## Google for Education Innovator #TOR16

I was chosen as a Google Innovator. I’m still in shock, super excited, and a little crazy getting plane tickets, hotel & expediting a passport (don’t let those suckers expire!)

I shared my vision video in a previous post. I’m so excited to be working on a project that will make math suck less (I was more eloquent in my project proposal!) I hope Twitter and blog readers are ready because I plan to take you along for the ride.

I’ll be in Toronto Oct 5-7 to meet our cohort. I can’t wait to collaborate with this amazing group of educators!

I need to give a huge shout out to some folks:

• my husband Jason (@jasontolen), who encourages me to go after my dreams and supports me every step of the journey.
• Matt Miller (@jmattmiller) who read my whole application and gave me wonderful feedback.
• Alice Keeler (@alicekeeler) who told me to scrap my first idea and go with my true passion. She was right, the first draft was crap!
• Shaelynn Farnsworth (@sfarnsworth) who told me this summer that my ideas were good enough and cheered me on along the way.
• My Algebra 1 team at school who listens to my crazy enthusiasm for Twitter PLNs, project ideas, and edu-heroes & always tries my new ideas.

To say I’m excited would be a gross misrepresentation of my enthusiasm level. I can’t believe I get to do this and I know I will come out on the other end a better teacher.