Monday, June 22, 2015

You Spin Me Round Rotations!

Rotations art...because there has to be art at the end of everything in my classroom! If you missed the other transformations, you can find translations here, reflections here, and the end of the transformations unit activity here. My kids had a blast doing this activity but complained about hand cramps from tracing! It is an easy activity that only requires paper and pencil!

I made a circle template and went ahead and cut them out to save time. I cut the template in pie pieces and only gave the pie to the kids to start with. You can see it stapled on top in the photo above. It is big to make them draw something SIMPLE! Remind them they will be tracing their design many times! I found that if the design was too detailed the sweet little middle schoolers would cheat and just try to draw it! Shocking! You can easily check it with their original pie piece. I had to keep emphasizing that it is a rotation so it should be congruent, not free hand.
After you have drawn your design on the pie piece, you need to create the "ink" to trace the design around the circle. To do this, you just scribble scrabble all over the back of the pie piece. It is best to use a wooden pencil, not mechanical. This may have to be repeated as you rotate around the circle.

After your "ink" is on the back, flip the pie piece over and trace your design onto the circle.
Continue rotating around the circle tracing the design and re-inking as necessary. This is the part where the whining started about hand cramps!

Once you have traced around the entire circle, color! The kids loved their final products!

This activity could be extended to include the unit circle if you teach older kids. It was the perfect activity to finish rotations in my classroom!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

End of the Year Reflection

I have spent the last few months writing for National Board about being an accomplished teacher. I have written and reflected and gathered evidence but nothing says more about how "accomplished" I am than for a kid to say, "I love coming to math. Every day I can't wait to come to your room!" And that is why every teacher goes straight from packing up our room to thinking about the next year. I feel like I was just putting things up on the wall and now I am taking them down. I know we all feel this way!

There is no bigger compliment than for a kid to say "keep doing creative math work." That is why we spend the summer reflecting on what we are going to change and keep. What new thing is going to inspire us? What will we find on Pinterest that *must* go in our rooms next year!? This year I had my kids help me reflect. I gave them this survey the last week of school. It came straight from Math=Love because she is awesome! I learned a lot from reading what my kids thought I should KEEP, CHANGE, START, STOP. It amazed me that they could remember things we did on the first day of school. Another reminder that the first few days really do set the tone for the rest of the year.

The first section was KEEP. There were a few things lots of kids said. I tried to 'Ctrl c and v' the duplicates so you could get the gist. The biggest thing was to "keep doing art." I love that they think math is art! I love that they saw my love for math and creative things. I hope that I have given them the confidence to do the same. Pop Tarts! Well, what 8th grader wouldn't want to keep Pop Tarts! There were lots who said keep the interactive notebooks. That makes me happy! 
Things to CHANGE were obviously the temperature and assigned seats. They all complain about how cold it is in my room and that they hate assigned seats. I am not willing to budge on either! Thirty 8th graders smooshed in my room after P.E. is stinky, it needs to be cold to counteract the smells! 

I clearly need to START slowing down. Kids tell me this every year and I try. Even when I think I am going slow, they say I am not. I have one student who will act like me and work problems on the board, really fast! You learn a lot about yourself through the eyes of middle schoolers! 

STOP....being short! I love them! 

In my dreamy classroom, I wouldn't have a gigormous amount of standards to cover each quarter...making it easy to slow down and take our time on each one! But in the real world, the pressure to get all of them covered is real! Even so, slowing down is clearly something I need to work on for my kiddos! 

Year 7 is in the books and I am so ready to start my summer! Hope you have your classrooms packed up and are ready for sunshine too! 
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