Google Sheets

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. ūüôā

Popcorn Surface Area & Volume Follow-up activity

PopcornEnjoy!

Categories: Geometry, Google Sheets, performance task | Tags: | Leave a 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.

parallel-and-perpendicular-linesfactoring-practice

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!!!

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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!

Categories: differentiation, Factoring, Google Sheets, Parallel & Perpendicular | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Googlefied Scientific Notebooks

Is that a word? Googlefied? My word editor says no, but we are using it anyway. I shared this idea this summer when I conducted PD sessions for schools.

Let me start by saying I am not for 100% paperless. There are many studies that support the need to write and draw for learning. AND, I love me some sketchnotes! But one purpose of using technology is to do things we couldn’t before. You can incorporate so many things into a digital scientific notebook that you either couldn’t do or wouldn’t be easy to do in a regular one. Images of experiments, embedded spreadsheets & graphs, including images from research. The other reason I love a digital INB is for the digital portfolio aspect. What an amazing evidence of learning that is easily sharable with the world. I created¬†a short example using Google Slides (probably my favorite app – I might say that about all of them!) You may freely use it for ideas and adapt it for your needs.

Notice this is 8.5 x 11. You can resize Google Slides by going to File РPage Set Up. I selected a size that could be printed, which also made it easy for me to adapt some of the files I already had.

You may make a copy of the INB here. Please let me know if you find this useful. You can always follow me on Twitter: @TTmomTT

Categories: Google Sheets, interactive notebooking | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Zombie Lines

This is one of those proud moments. The moments when someone has observed you doing something and then goes and does it themselves. My colleague Tessah is a 3rd year teacher, and quite amazing at what she does. She has watched me create & share math activities with GAFE for the past two years. She even created some of her own last year. She found this zombie activity online as a paper copy and after collaborating with our Algebra 1 group decided we could practice our online graphing skills. She did an amazing job creating this digital version. She used the font Zombie Salad from dafont.com, also a habit she picked up from me. I asked her permission to post it here and she was very willing to share (maybe another habit from?).

Tolen Zombie Graphing (1)

It was created on Google Slides, probably my most favorite Google App because of it’s versatility.

Here’s the finished product. Sorry for those of you who don’t give your students the solutions.

Tolen anwers Zombie Graphing.png

Feel free to use this activity with your students. You may make a copy of this slide here. Please let Tessah & I know if you like her activity. It makes us happy when people use our stuff.

Categories: Google Sheets, online graphing | Tags: | 3 Comments

I applied to be a Google Innovator

I submitted my application today to be a Google Innovator. It’s been a goal of mine for a while¬†now. My vision is to change how we teach using technology, to get away from the factory model of sit and get. Here’s my vision:

I want classrooms full of thinkers, collaborators, & risk-takers, who have an internal drive to learn, create, and contribute to the world, not robots who just follow instructions. The world wants innovation, so let’s send them students who have the skills to innovate.

250 characters is VERY challenging. I know the sentence is choppy but wow 250 characters! I hope the selection committee takes that into consideration!

My solution is to change how we teach math using Google Expedition and Google Sheets. I worked with Alice Keeler this summer and helped her create the first lesson about functions while climbing El Capitan. Then I began a second one. This one is based on an expedition to a Tanzanian manure farm while exploring rearranging formulas. The lesson is titled: This Lesson is Poop.

This isn’t the completed spreadsheet activity, but it’s a good start and will give you an idea about what the spreadsheet lessons will look like that will¬†accompany the expedition.

Other than the expedition part (teacher guided), the lesson is student directed and self-paced. It allows the teacher to ask students individualized questions and guide their learning instead of direct instructing.

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 6.15.36 PM.png

Make a copy of spreadsheet here.

I will be working with Alice to finish the spreadsheet in September. August was crazy busy and¬†slowed my progress on it. I will post the final product here whether I get accepted or not. I think this type of math lesson is important and I will continue working on them when I can. I REALLY hope I am awarded¬†one of the¬†grants I’ve applied for¬†so I can¬†get a Google Expedition classroom set! Right now I don’t have the supplies to do¬†this with my students.

I also had a lot of fun making the Video to go along with my application. I hope it conveys my message.

Categories: Google EI, Google Expedition, Google Sheets | Tags: | 1 Comment

Order of Operations with Google Sheets

I look for real reasons for why we use math. Students can spot BS from a mile away, probably because it STINKS! A few years ago, I realized that a spreadsheet was a great way to explore order of operations. We have to tell technology how we want it to process numbers. If we don’t, technology defaults to the basic rules of math, order of operations.

While reading Jo Boaler’s book, Mathematical Mindset (if you haven’t read it, get a copy RIGHT NOW!), Alice Keeler and I started chatting on Twitter. Alice was working on a spreadsheet activity and asked me to collaborate with her. I realized it was the perfect platform for a student directed lesson (I used to guide the exploration) on order of ops using Alice’s inspiration. This is what was born.

Students begin with some research on equations and expressions, inserting images or typing their own examples. There is also a place where students draw a conclusion from their research. Communication and collaboration is encouraged.Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 9.18.00 PM

Then it’s time to play a game. One student writes an expression in words. Their partner calculates by hand and enters their guess. Then we teach a spreadsheet skill (Alice would say Computer Apps class isn’t needed, we can embed it in content – I agree!) This is a basic introduction to entering a function using the =. If your partner calculated correctly, they get a point, if not the first person does. The spreadsheet tally’s the points to see who wins. The 2nd person has to figure out how the spreadsheet would calculate and then calculate by hand the same way.

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 9.20.28 PM

The sad part, I didn’t get to use this lesson this year because of the late roll out of Chromebooks. I may put it in Google Classroom as a warm-up one day.

Feel free to use this but please give me feedback. It makes my day when people use my stuff!

Get your own copy here.

Categories: Google Sheets, order of operations | Tags: | Leave a comment

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