Using data to find a quadratic graph of best fit is an awesome way to connect math with the real world. However, it’s not always easy to find authentic data to use for a quadratic regression equation. I REALLY wanted to use the flight of a soccer ball or golf ball and find a video on YouTube that had all the stats using a trace finder that states the distance and height. I searched and searched, but could not find a video that was clear and had the information needed to collect data for a scatter plot. So, I began looking at weather patterns, but that wasn’t quite right either. However, it helped me stumble across the timeanddate.com site. This is when I realized I can use the time of day and the altitude of the sun for a quadratic regression real world project! Of course, you can only use it for ONE day otherwise, it’s a periodic function. Here are the details of the project... OBJECTIVE In this project, students are to find the curve of best fit for a quadratic function in the real world by performing the following:
VISUALS The Google Slides template is provided, so students can type in their information in the specific location. They then can easily turn their project into you via Google Classroom or email. The project directions and rubric are 100% editable! This is very easy to integrate into any Algebra course either inperson or online, gives students some freedom of what place to research, and is mathtastically fun! And since it’s editable, you can even change it to record data over several days and find the sinusoidal regression equation for a higherlevel math course. Click on the cover below to go directly to this project: Other projects you may like: Don't forget to join the Algebra and Beyond Community!
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Absolute value inequalities was not a topic my Algebra 2 students remembered from Algebra 1 AT ALL! I know that they hadn’t seen it in two years, but still, I felt like it was a completely brand new topic for them. This got me thinking that I need to have an absolute value inequalities project in Algebra 1 to help solidify this concept long term. So, I did some research on the Internet to find some ideas on a fun way to tackle this concept. I created the following project and my students had a lot of fun with it because it combines technology, shopping (who doesn’t love to shop?!), and of course math. Below is an overview of this project… SHOPPING ON A BUDGET OBJECTIVE Every project needs to have a focus and goal. In this project, students are to…
GRADING As with any project, I do use a rubric, which is 100% editable for teachers. I also include a Google Sheet where you can type in each student’s product price and it will calculate the mean and deviation range, so you can easily check each project. I dread grading projects, as they can take a long time, but this rubric and spreadsheet make it so simple and fast! This project is very easy to integrate into any Algebra course, gives students some freedom of what product to research, and is mathtastically fun! Here is a video that shows the example project I show my students before they begin: Click on the cover below to go directly to this project: More mathtastic real world projects for you and your students:
I have always wanted to have a “My Favorite Things” list like Oprah does each year. I remember watching the Oprah Show back in 2004 when she gave out cars to everyone. It was AMAZING to watch! The crazy thing was, I didn’t want to be a person in the audience that received a car (okay, maybe a little bit), but I really wanted to be Oprah….the one that got to surprise everyone and absolutely make their day! Giving is one of the kindest things we can do for one another. This is probably why most of us became teachers. We have a desire to help others! I have created a list of “My Favorite Things” for teachers. I’d loooooove to be able to give out each item to 275 people, but of course, I’m not Oprah. I hope you discover some things that maybe you haven’t used before, or maybe a parent has been asking how they can help supply resources for your room and you can direct them here. I have listed some resources that a teacher could have used 10 years ago (if they existed) and hopefully 10+ years from now. These are, in my mind, the most valuable resources in my classroom. *Some products have Amazon affiliate links. MARKERS A necessity for every teacher! The two that I use the most are EXPO Dry Erase Markers and Papermate Flair Pens. Teacher’s need color and these two products do not disappoint!
What does this look like?....I post a few problems on the overhead screen and have students hold up their answers whenever they are ready. I respond with a yes or no, so they know if they can go to the next problem. Once the complete the practice problems, they then can begin their other math work. GECKOPADZ These static cling dryerase sheets have been a fun addition to my class! They are great for when students are practicing math problems in pairs or groups. Each group hangs their sheet anywhere in the room. I can easily see them working together and when they call me over for help, it’s easy to see the steps they’ve already completed. Then, when we are done, we roll them up and put them away for next time.
POCKET SLEEVES These are not just for primary students!!! I am in love with these dryerase pocket sleeves because it allows me to save handouts from year to year…without laminating! Plus, this set includes 30 dryerase markers. I use these sleeves all the time for my Battle My Math Ship games. TISMARTVIEW SOFTWARE Of course, I use all of my graphing calculator reference sheets to teach students how to use the TI84 calculator, but it is also helpful to do the sheets with them. This tool is a great way for students to visually follow along with you. GRAPHING CALCULATORS I know some schools provide class sets of Texas Instrument calculators, but mine does not. So, I always like to have about five extra TI84 calculators on hand for when a student forgets their calculator or their batteries run out…or heaven forbid they lost it! Eeek! WACOM TABLET I use my Wacom Tablet almost every day! It is an amazing way to digitally write notes with students. I know there are other types of tablets that come with Smartboards, but I have been using my Wacom for years and I love it…so easy and durable. I even have the wireless kit so I can walk around the room or have my students use it from their desk. Below is a glimpse of how I use it in my class....
WHITE CARD STOCK SHEETS Students love to be identified with a talent! I like to give out math awards and these sheets are perfect for awards.
SELFADHESIVE LETTERS These are for the “I don’t have good handwriting, or a Cricut, or the time ~ teacher”. I like these because they are easy to reuse and move around the room throughout the school year.
Let’s face it, we know that we are better teachers if we are HAPPY! So, I have also listed the things that have been huge aspects for me to keep up with my selfcare. BIKE MOUNT I’m not big on headphones while working out. Therefore, I purchased a bike mount for my iPhone. I don’t even need the volume up that high to hear it and I can ride and see the screen at the same time. It’s also nice and handy for taking pictures of cool things I see on my route. AIR FRYER & INSTANT POT Okay, I have to admit…I am completely obsessed with both of these small kitchen appliances. In fact, I am now the proud owner of one Instant Pot and two air fryers. These appliances have made making dinner soooo much faster AND easier, but still keeping it healthy! Here are some of my favorite foods to cook in each… Instant Pot: chili, chicken noodle soup, shredded pork, ribs, shredded chicken (usually for enchiladas), and hardboiled eggs. This is basically a super fast crockpot! Air Fryer: ANY vegetable is amazing when cooked in the air fryer, as well as chicken wings, bacon, pork chops, cheeseburgers, homemade french fries or hash browns, salmon (simply the best), fish, and chicken breasts. Any food you want to be crispy on the outside, but still juicy/tender in the middle…this is your go to appliance.
NETFLIX After a looooong week of teaching, sometimes we just want to curl up and watch a good movie or binge on a tv series. And that’s okay!!! Netflix is an easy way to do this via computer, tv, or even your iPad. Some people watch on their phone, but my eyes are too old for that! BOOKS
I used to be an avid reader and then kids and life took over for a few years. However, I have made a commitment to read at least one book every month…or at least try. I definitely do it in spurts. I’m the type that will read a book in 23 days because once I start, I can’t put the book down. I find that reading really helps me “escape” my worries and stress in a good way. So if you are like me and reading has been on the back burner, get back into it! You can find some good ones on the New York Time’s Bestseller List or free ones on Wattpad. I hope you found some useful things in this post! Feel free to email me with things you use in your classroom that are musthaves!!! I am always trying to create or find projects where each student’s project will be different than every other student’s in the class because it is more authentic this way. And of course, I want it to be applicable in the real world! This is not always easy to make because if every student’s project is different, or even has an unlimited number of solutions, checking each one is extremely difficult and timeconsuming for the teacher. Well, guess what?!...the project I’m about to tell you about is authentic AND I was able figure out how each student could have a different solution. And at the same time, have an answer key for the teacher with all the possible solutions….I know, fabulous, right!! And it covers one of the most popular math topics…Linear Systems of Equations! Oh wait, one more cool thing about it….it’s not quite STEM because there isn’t any engineering, but I’d say it’s STAM (Science, Technology, Art, and Math)…fun little twist…so check it out: OBJECTIVEEvery project needs to have a focus and goal. In this project, students are to…
RESEARCH & SOLUTIONSStudents select a tree from the Arbor Day site and find the growth rate range and mature size. Students write two equations – 1 to represent their tree’s growth over time and 2  their teacher’s tree growth over time. Students use the substitution or elimination method to solve the system and explain the solution. Included is a spreadsheet where the teacher can record the student name, tree, and growth rate to ensure each student has a different growth rate. VISUALSStudent’s us graph paper or Desmos to recreate their system of linear equations by graphing both lines. Students also draw, paint, or find a picture of their tree online and label it by finding specific characteristics of their tree. I learn a lot of neat things about different trees from each project. And students love the artsy aspect! RESULTSStudents find at what year the trees are the same height and determine if it’s realistic based on the year each tree will reach their mature size. This helps students understand that not every solution in the real world will make sense, so it’s important to critically think about the results. GRADINGAs with any project, I do use a rubric, which is 100% editable for teachers. This project is evaluated on the following criteria: neatness/organization, accurate research, writing a systems of equations and finding the correct solution, the graph, analyzing the results, and the visuals. I also include an answer key for the questions and all of the possible scenarios/solutions depending on the growth rate of each tree in comparison with the growth rate of the teacher’s tree. This is a HUGE time saver for teachers! This project is very dynamic, creative, and fun! Here are some of my student’s Life of Trees Projects:Click on the Life of Trees Project cover below to go directly to the resource. Look at the preview to learn even more about this activity!Here are more resources for systems of equations:Want to join the Algebra and Beyond mailing list to have instant access to fun and engaging resources?! 
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