What are iMath activities? iMath is a series of activities designed with the intent to engage students in math by putting a fun twist on their favorite phone apps*  Facebook, iMessage, Instagram, and Tumblr. Each iMath activity covers different skills in a unique way. Students add each activity to their phone/tablet template that can be on display in the classroom. Below is a description of iSTEP, which is meant to model iMessage. *None of these activities are actual digital apps or affiliated with the app they are modeling. What is the purpose? COMMUNICATION! Often students can solve a math equation, but have a difficult time verbally explaining what they are doing. This activity addresses this problem. Each student is to “text” with a friend who needs help with a math concept. Their classmate asks how to solve an equation and the student has to explain each step needed in order to get a solution. Then their classmate “texts” back showing the algebra they did to complete the step. I LOVE how these activities have transformed how students think and discuss math in class!!! How do I use this in my classroom? The day before an assessment I set up review stations. Each station has an activity that covers a different concept students will see on the assessment. I use iStep at one station and other stations may include Battle My Math Ship, Name That Function, or an activity from some of my favorite TpT friends: All Things Algebra, Mrs E Teaches Math, Free to Discover, Scaffolded Math and Science, or Math Giraffe. Which app does this activity model? iStep’s design is similar to texting in iMessage, WhatsApp, or any other form of texting app. Let’s face it, texting is one of the most popular ways people communicate with each other in this day and age. So let’s have students do it with math too! How do you do this activity? Each student will… Step 1 – Need one iStep sheet. Step 2 – Read the question in the first bubble on the left, which is meant to be a text from their classmate. Step 3 – Use the first text bubble on the right to write in words the first step needed to solve the problem. Step 4 – Each student then trades sheets with a classmate. The classmate is to follow the student’s written step and use the second text bubble on the left to show their algebra. Step 5 – Students trade sheets back and forth until the math problem is solved. Step 6 – The last two text bubbles are for students to write a positive message and a closing. Step 7 – Add the sheet to the phone/tablet template and hang the activity on the wall or bulletin board. BOOM...students are able to communicate with each other on how to solve math equations! Add more iMath activities to show mathematical growth and use for review at the end of the year. What’s included in each iStep activity?
Want to learn about the other iMath Activities? You can! I will be blogging about each activity every week for the next few weeks. The next post will be about Doodlr (Tumblr). Check out the last post on Mathbook. If you’d like to try an iMath activity for FREE, you can find the following in my Resource Library, so sign up here: Click below to go directly to ALL my iMATH activities in my Teachers Pay Teachers store:
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What are iMath activities? iMath is a series of activities designed with the intent to engage students in math by putting a fun twist on their favorite phone apps*  Facebook, iMessage, Instagram, and Tumblr. Each iMath activity covers different skills in a unique way. Students add each activity to their phone/tablet template that can be on display in the classroom. Below is a description of MATHBOOK, which is meant to model Facebook. *None of these activities are actual digital apps or affiliated with the app they are modeling. What is the purpose? As teachers we all love when students show mastery of a concept! The Mathbook activities give students a chance to demonstrate this mastery in a fun and collaborative way. Each sheet has an “I can” statement that targets a specific learning objective. For example, a Mathbook sheet might state, “I can solve…twostep equations!”. Each student then solves the equation to show they have mastered this specific concept. How do I use this in my classroom? I like to provide students with something to do after they complete a quiz or test, so they don’t just sit there or do something that distracts students that are still completing the assessment. This activity is perfect for them to work on at this time. Which app does this activity model? Mathbook’s design is similar to a Facebook post. Even if a student doesn’t use Facebook, this activity is engaging and fun for everyone! My students really like picking out their icons because it gives the activity a personal touch that most math activities do not offer. Also, receiving feedback from a peer helps create a positive classroom environment. How do you do this activity? Each student will… Step 1 – Need one phone/tablet template, one Mathbook sheet, and two profile picture icons. Step 2 – Color and glue one of their icons onto the top of the Mathbook sheet and then write their name and the date. Step 3 – Read the “I can” statement and color in an Emoji of their choice. Step 4 – Demonstrate their mastery by solving the equation, identifying parts of the graph, etc. This will depend on the concept that is being targeted. Step 5 – Switch their sheet with another student. Their partner will then check their work, add their own icon, write their name, and write a positive comment. Step 6 – Return the activity to their partner so they can add the Mathbook activity to their phone/tablet template. Voilá!….students now have a cool way to demonstrate their mastery and hang it up for all to see! Add more iMath activities to show mathematical growth and use for review at the end of the year. What’s included in each Mathbook activity?
Want to learn about the other iMath Activities? You can! I will be blogging about each activity every week for the next three weeks. The next post will be about iStep (iMessage), so stay tuned! If you’d like to try an iMath activity for FREE, you can find the following in my Resource Library, so sign up here: Click below to go directly to ALL my MATHBOOK activities in my Teachers Pay Teachers store:
You know when you give a quiz and students do well on one objective, but almost all of them completely bomb the other objective? That's when I know I did not effectively teach the second objective. So, back to the drawing board I go. The quiz was on solving exponential and logarithmic equations. Most of the students clearly and easily solved the logarithmic equations. But, WHOA, those exponential equations really threw them for a loop! I had taught the solving exponential equations lesson right before spring break. Normally, I write all of my own lessons, but this time I decided to use a lesson from a textbook (stupid, stupid, stupid!). In this lesson, the textbook had only shown how to solve exponential equations using logarithms as the inverse operation to exponentials. At the time, I didn’t think twice about it. I had already showed them in a previous lesson how to rewrite a logarithmic equation to an exponential equation and vice versa. I assumed they would apply that knowledge too. Ugh…bad assumption. When we did the practice activities the day before the quiz, I also reviewed the property of equality for exponential equations. I think that is when I started to realize that I did not CLEARLY define the three methods to solving exponential equations, which is not like me at all. If you’ve read this post, you’d know I think one of the best ways for students to understand math is to compare and contrast different methods. Anyway, the students seemed to be doing okay in the group activity, so I gave them the quiz the next day. Once I began grading them, I immediately realized they were struggling to solve the exponential equations. They were mixing methods all over the place. That’s when you get that pit in your stomach and think oh man, where did I go wrong with this lesson?! It’s not the textbook’s fault, it’s mine. I so regret not taking a more critical eye to the textbook lesson. Maybe it was me being antsy for spring break or the fact that I had wanted to revamp some of my notes for that unit and I hadn’t had time to do so, so I was wanting an “easy” way out. Whatever the reason, it doesn't matter, I knew I had to fix it with my students. I decided to create a graphic organizer that CLEARLY states each method and the proper steps to solve. I will be using this with my students tomorrow to review solving exponential equations and then giving a mini retake on this objective. I’ll update you all soon on how it goes. I imagine it will be MUCH better!!! In the mean time, I want to share the graphic organizer I created with all of you! Maybe it will prevent you from having an exponential failure like I did. Click on the picture below to download the file. Enjoy! UPDATE: Ummmmm, yeah, went soooooo much better!!!! If you were to visit my classroom, you would see a lot of different ways students learn: guided notes, games, stations, activities, projects and more! Project Based Learning (PBL) is a great way for students to critically think, problem solve, and, in general, see math differently. Therefore, I try to integrate a project into every unit and make them as “real” as possible. One of my favorites, and my students, is the Parabola Selfie Project. In this project, students take math outside of the classroom and explore the real world to find a parabola. Let’s take a quick look at how this project is broken down… THE SELFIEStudents find a parabola in the real world and then take a selfie with it. Why take a selfie, you say? Well, first of all, it makes it fun for them since selfies are something they do often and share on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, or some other form of social media. Second, I want to make sure they don’t just Google search a picture online. That would take all of the fun out of this project. There is so much in the world to investigate, so I want them to go out there and see math as much as possible. THE GRAPHNext we pop that picture right into Desmos, which is an online graphing calculator. Students adjust the scale of the graph to match the dimensions of the real life parabola. I’ve even created a video showing students how to do this, in case they are not familiar with Desmos. Then they write an equation for their parabola and analyze the parabola by finding characteristics such as the axis of symmetry, vertex, domain, range, etc. PEER REVIEWIn almost every project I try to create a fun little twist that involves students observing or reviewing each other’s project. In this one, I have students exchange their graphs with each other and use the Parabola Swap table to record their information. This will give students an opportunity to identify characteristics of another parabola and also receive feedback on the accuracy of their data. THE PRESENTATIONI rarely have students complete a project and then individually present to the class. It takes up too much class time and sometimes it can be difficult to see and understand the data when in a slideshow. I’d rather students take their information and put it on a poster or in a report format. Then we do some kind of walk around to view all the projects up close. For this project, since students already swapped parabola graphs with another group and filled out the characteristics table for that graph, I don’t have them fill out another form when they do the walk around. Instead, I have them view each project and then vote on who found the most unique parabola in the real world. I give out a prize to the first and second place winners. You could give out a homework pass, food, or anything that your students enjoy. This gives each student a little more incentive to really find a fun and unique parabola. GRADINGAs with any project, I do use a rubric. I evaluate each project on the following criteria: neatness/organization, the parabola selfie, the graph, the characteristics of the graph, and the quadratic equation. Here are some of my student’s Parabola Selfies: Doesn’t the Parabola Selfie Project look like fun?!....and educational! Click on the project below that you'd like to try in your classroom: Want to join the Algebra and Beyond mailing list to have instant access to fun and engaging resources?!

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