In this post I will be using the term learning targets, also known as objectives, benchmarks, indicators, and standards. Each school uses different verbiage, so I wanted to clarify before reading further.
I need to preface this post by letting everyone know I did not come up with the idea of clip charts. I have to give the credit to a colleague of mine named Joey. When I was a Curriculum Director, I was observing Joey giving a lesson. That’s when I saw the clip charts hanging in the front of his classroom. I LOVED everything about them! Find out why…
What are clip charts?
Clip charts are a way for teachers to display content they want students to refer to during a lesson and/or unit. In my classroom, I use them to show all the learning targets for a unit of study. They are great to hang up at the beginning of a unit, mark off as you work through each learning target, and highlight the learning target of the day with an arrow. Simple and easy way to show what students learned, are learning, and are going to learn.
Why are clip charts helpful for teachers?
I don’t know about you, but I constantly was forgetting to post the learning target each day. I was getting mad at myself, not only because it is an expectation set by our school and I was dropping the ball, BUT because I knew my students wanted to understand what their learning goals were each day.
I was having a hard time planning, organizing, and consistently posting the standard on the board for various reasons. When I saw the clip charts hanging in Joey’s room, I knew in that instant that they were going to solve my problems…
These will help you stay organized, save you time, and benefit your students…basically make your life easier, with simple preparation that lasts years.
Why are clip charts helpful for students?
One of my former students came up to me one day and said that she missed me as her teacher. One of the reasons was because she always knew what we were learning each day, as I had made it so clear with the clip charts. With her current teacher, it wasn’t posted anywhere, not even by topic on the handouts. She felt this was negatively affecting how she was able to prepare and study for assessments.
Maybe this teacher was having the same issues I had before I started using clip charts? Either way, students NEED to know thee learning targets in order to be successful. Clip charts are an easy way to solve this because students are able to view the learning targets throughout the unit.
Ready to solve your learning target problems?!
Awesome! I have a free clip chart set on linear equations waiting for you in my resource library. Subscribe her to get instant access!
Do you already know you want full sets that are EDITABLE?!
I have that too! Click below on the classroom set you need.
Want to see other ways you can use clip charts in math class?
You can use them for formulas and step-by-step instructions to simplify expressions and solve equations. Many uses to help support students during the learning process! Check out Mr Jones Online for these types of clip charts.
My math catchphrase is “connecting knowledge with understanding”, which you can read more about HERE. Every time I create an activity, this phrase is what I think about. It helps me stay focused on the true goal and outcome of what I want for each activity.
There is one activity in particular that really embodies this statement. It’s an activity that I’ve used over and over with my students for different types of functions. At first, students tend to have productive struggle with this activity. BUT once they get the hang of it, they realize how making these connections helps them fully understand functions and their graphs. I call this activity Name That Function.
What is Name That Function?
Name That Function is an activity where students analyze graphs of functions and make connections to their characteristics and the function that represents each graph. Students are given a fill-in-the blank table where some information is already given. Then they match the graphs to the characteristics and fill in the missing information.
There are different activities based on the type of function being studied. Each activity includes a print and digital version. Here are the different types of Name That Function activities and what attributes are reviewed:
slope, y-intercept, x-intercept, points on the line, slope-intercept form, point-slope form, standard form, and parallel and perpendicular lines (optional).
Characteristics of Functions
domain, range, intercepts, local min, local max, intervals of increase and decrease, end behavior, parent functions, continuity, and evaluating a function from a graph
factor and simplify, vertical asymptotes, holes, horizontal asymptotes, x-intercepts, y-intercepts, and domain
domain, range, symmetry, intervals of increase and decrease, end behavior, and the parent function equation
Why is this activity helpful?
I cannot tell you how many times students treat equations and graphs as separate entities that have no connection. When, in fact, everything about them is 100% connected! I think this happens because we, as teachers, scaffold the content, and in doing so separate each aspect of a function into separate lessons. Which makes them appear disconnected.
Great news! This activity brings an entire function unit together, so students can understand functions based on the equation, attributes, and graph as a whole.
Do students enjoy this activity?
Yes, my students enjoy making these connections and feel more prepared for assessments because of it! But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here are some reviews from other math teachers that have used these activities in their classroom as well:
Great activity! Worked out perfectly in my stations and my students were very engaged! Thank you for sharing your creativity with me! – TexasMath4Success
Excellent resource! Really helped my students make the connections I wanted them to make. Thank you! – Passion 4 Mathin
This was a great activity after our introductory lesson. Students were able to compare and contrast different types of quadratics and it reinforced the concepts of min/max and vertex form. – Anna K.
I used this as a group test in my class. Students loved the activity and we’re challenged to really understand all aspects of quadratic functions. – The Square Root of Teaching
Great activity - my kids were able to apply their understanding and had great math conversations while they were working together. – Heather K.
Such rich discussions took place with this activity. It worked great as a chapter review.
– Michelle E.
Was very helpful for my students of different levels, engaging – Shan H B.
Perfect activity to test students knowledge and application of properties of quadratics and how they affect both graph and equations. – Grove Math
This resource had just the rigor I was looking for! Thank you! I had my students use it in groups. I used part A for my on-level class and part B for my honors class. Great resource!
– Theresa Simmons
This activity engages students to understanding characteristics of function families. Great discourse and enrichment activity. – Tony R.
Used for an in-class activity. Engaging and fun for students. Activity was thorough with great examples included. – Kristina R.
Students had to think to get the whole picture. Thanks! – Lynn S.
Can’t wait to get your hands on a Name That Function?! No problem, I have TWO waiting for you for FREE!
If you are NEW to Algebra and Beyond, CLICK on either image below to sign up and receive the activities. If you are already part of the Algebra and Beyond Community, click HERE and use the member passcode to access the activities.
Are you already convinced that your students will LOVE this activity?! Choose the activities that best fit your curriculum:
Cryptocurrency began in 2009 and has been a phenomenon ever since! The value of several cryptocurrencies has exponentially increased over the years. This is REAL WORLD math at it’s finest!
Okay, admittedly, I knew next to nothing about cryptocurrency, besides that it existed, until this year. More and more of my friends and family have been interested in and investing in crypto. It got me very curious about what it is and why are people buying it. As I dove more into it, I realized that the trend of several cryptocurrencies would be perfect for an exponential regression project. And quite frankly, digital currency is VERY exciting, as this isn’t something we’ve experienced ever before in history. It’s a brand new type of currency!
So, here are the details…
In this project, students will take a closer look at the price change of cryptocurrency and where it is potentially headed in the future via historical data and finding an exponential equation of best fit.
What is cryptocurrency? I’m sure you’re thinking that if you don’t know anything (or much) about cryptocurrencies that you can’t use this project with your students. WRONG. I’ve included a “Cryptocurrency: What is it?” introduction activity. This will help give the students (and you) enough basics about cryptocurrency in order to complete the project.
CRYPTOCURRENCY: BITCOIN AND BEYOND
Students are to find the curve of best fit for a exponential function in the real world by performing the following:
RESEARCH & COLLECTING DATA
Students are given a specific cryptocurrency to research. The research includes finding the ticker symbol, learning what their currency is, three facts about their cryptocurrency, and collecting pricing data for their currency over a specific time period.
GRAPHING & RESULTS
Students use the TI-84 graphing calculator to find the exponential regression equation. Then they use Desmos to create a scatter plot and graph the exponential regression equation. Students answer questions to help them understand and analyze their results, including future price predictions for their cryptocurrency.
A 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.
An answer key that gives the data, equation of best fit, and the answers to the questions is included for each cryptocurrency. A rubric is provided, so you can easily evaluate each aspect of the project. It is great for students to use, so they know exactly what is expected of them.
Most of my students knew nothing about cryptocurrency when they began this project. But, they were intrigued because they’ve heard about cryptocurrency AND knew some businesses that were beginning to accept it for payment. Why not learn more for themselves?! This is a cutting edge project that you don’t want your students to miss out on!
Click on the cover below to go directly to this project:
More mathtastic real world projects for your students:
I’m back again with another fun math project! This one is perfect for virtual learning or in the classroom. What’s even better is it can be used for ANY math topic for Grades 6-12. The only requirements are that students have to be a little tech savvy, creative, and able to demonstrate a math skill…because they are about to become a math vlogger!
First, what is a vlog? A video blog or video log, usually shortened to vlog, is a form of blog for which the medium is video, and is a form of web television. And a vlogger is someone who creates a vlog.
Why would your students want to become a vlogger? It’s honestly all the rage right now! Even my 6 year-old and 9 year-old want their own vlog. Plus, some earn millions of dollars a year!!!
Is this REAL? Yes, there are vloggers and some do earn milions (and millions) of dollars a year. However your student isn’t actually going to have to post their video on a site to earn a grade for this project. This project inspires them to pretend to be a vlogger and create a math video, which is a fun way to demonstrate their knowledge of a math concept. You can choose to create a class vlog or have students present their video to the class. Either way, they get to pretend to be a vlogger…and who knows, maybe one of them will be a real vlogger some day! Are you tired of me saying vlogger yet?! It’s okay, you get used to it, so keep reading…
Students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of one review topic from their math course in a video that will be viewed by their classmates to help them review math concepts.
How do students do this?
Each student is assigned a math topic to teach or demonstrate in a video. Students are also given a storyboard template to help plan out their math concept throughout the video. The teacher must approve the storyboard BEFORE the student makes the video. This helps eliminate mathematical errors and to be sure the concept will thoroughly be explained.
Students then need to decide how they want to present their concept. I’ve included links to various styles of videos and free programs they can use to create their video. Students must also include a short summary of their video.
Here is a student example video, so you can see how creative, fun, and educational being a vlogger can be for your students!
*This video was used with student and parent permission.
Click on the cover below to go directly to this project:
Math games are an absolute must in my classroom! I use games as a fun way to review topics before an assessment. It’s a great way to break up the week or even end a week for a “light” Friday. However, if you only expose your students to one or two games, they will get bored with it fast week after week. Sooooo, I make sure I have a variety of games for every topic. Below are my top 10 favorite middle school and high school math games! Included are some links to blog posts describing the games, so check them out….
1 - BATTLE MY MATH SHIP
This is obviously my favorite! And if you're wondering why it’s my favorite, read my Battle My Math Ship blog post to learn all about this game! My students LOOOOOVE this game too! I think they like it so much because even if you aren’t the best math student, you have a great chance of winning because it involves luck and strategy.
2 - TASK CARD GAMES
Task cards can be used for a variety of games. Here are a few different ways I use them:
3 - MAZES
This is one of my go to games, as the students like having the correct answer as an option, so they can easily determine if they answered the question correctly. Idea Galaxy does a great job of explaining how to use this game in the classroom. You can read about it HERE.
4 - KAHOOT AND QUIZZIZ
Both of these platforms are awesome internet based games that can be played live or at the student’s own pace. The best part is there are so many games already created, so you can just pick and choose the ones that work for you. Here is a guide on how to use Quizziz in the classroom and here is Kahoot Blog where you can learn more about this interactive game.
5 - BINGO
We all know how to play BINGO and there are some fun ways to do it in math class, especially for whole group review. All Things Algebra and Free to Discover have some great activities for BINGO.
6 - WOULD YOU RATHER
7 - MYSTERY GAMES
The two that come to mind that students love are Math Libs by All Things Algebra, which you can read about HERE and Whodunnit by Clark Creative Education. Students always love a little mystery!
8 - OLD MATH GUY
Free to Discover created this fun game that is a spin on Old Maid. It’s a great game to print, laminate, and use year after year. You can read about 9 different ways to use this game in math class HERE.
9 - PUZZLES
I love to use puzzles to do group challenges! They are a fun way for students to make connections between the same concept, but in different ways. I really like how Scaffolded Math and Science creates her puzzles, which you can find HERE. And Lindsay Perro has some unique versions as well, which you can find HERE.
I’ve also used KenKen puzzles for after an assessment for some extra fun! You can read more about them HERE.
10 - TIC-TAC-TOE
There are a few different ways to play this game! You can find several versions on Teachers Pay Teachers HERE. Students enjoy this classic game with a twist!
MORE GAMES TO TRY...
Other games I haven’t tried yet, but look fun and interesting…
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