Family Math Night: MATH AROUND THE WORLD

We had a successful family Math night in Thomas Edison Charter School last November 12,2015. We had 98 students, over 50 parents, siblings and relatives who participated. To make this event possible the TECS Math team spearheaded the event plus we have dedicated and hardworking volunteers who stayed up to 7pm to do their part, kudos to the 30 staff members and ten 8th grade students. Indeed, teamwork makes the dream work. I am thrilled to see how everyone enjoyed this event. So far this is the best year in terms of attendance, participation, overwhelming support by the administration and staff that I have ever experienced. I personally think that the rewards like homework pass, dress down to dance pass, cool prizes like gift cards, special treats and a grand prize and family thanksgiving basket played a great part to attract the families to participate.

As a teacher coming from the Philippines, I have seen a great need for the inner city school students to be exposed to multicultural awareness. When I came to the US in 2006 the students thought I am from China, in their young minds they thought Philippines and China are the same. So I introduce them to different countries by using stations in my Math class and name them using different countries- Philippines, Australia, China, Canada, etc. They love the idea that they can walk around the classroom to visit different countries as they answer Math problems. It was indeed a fun learning experience for them so when my principal ask me to spearhead the Family night I thought about using the “Math Around the World” in a bigger scale. I have developed this “Math Around the World” concept to integrate cultural and global awareness in Mathematics. As an educator I go beyond teaching numbers and equations, I make sure that my students learn to see the beauty in our differences. We are all unique and regardless of our color and culture, we are to treat each other with utmost respect. I also want to make sure that my students know that thee is a big world out there and their dreams is not limited to where they are and what they see in their neighborhood. This is also a good reminder that Math is a universal language that we all understand. Math is a bond that connects our big world because math facts are consistent wherever you go… 8 times 5 is equal to 40 whether you go to Spain, Philippines, Italy or anywhere in the world.

So here’s how the procedure goes:

  1. All the participants will gather in the US station (cafeteria or auditorium). They will register their family team or student team (maximum of 5 students if they came without parents or guardians). They will receive a Math passport, Math world map and a pencil. Each team will strategically plan how they will travel the math world by visiting the country stations: Canada, Jamaica, Nigeria, Spain, Philippines, etc. Each country station must have a flag outside the classroom, Math question on the board and may play music (originated from that country) or put up some decoration.
  1. The teams will be given 25-30 minutes to travel around the math world. Using their math passport, they will show their work as they answer the math question or math challenge on each country station. They have to show work and write the final answer on the Math passport. After answering the question correctly, they will receive a visa stamp (sticker stamp) from the immigration officers (teachers/staff assigned on each country) on their passport and run the hallways to go to another country station until they completed all the country stations.
  1. Once they completed all the country stations they have to go back to US station to turn in their Math passport. The first 3 teams from K to 2, 3 to 5 and 6 to 8 will receive prizes.

It is great to see families working together as a team to answer Math problems and enjoy traveling the Math world. Some families are very competitive and they really work so hard and rushing to go from one station to another. Take note: this is the only time the students and their families were allowed to run in the school building so it was a one-of-a-kind experience.

By the way, our school provided dinner for all the participants and we each family/student team registered in the US Station (Cafeteria).

Here’s the format of our program hosted by our two lovely eight graders- Joy and Kylah:

National Anthem TECS Choir
Pledge of Allegiance (Rap) TECS Choir
Opening Remarks Principal El
Special Performance Math Girlz
Math Around the World Procedures Mrs. Flores
Awarding TECS Math Team
Closing Remarks Mrs. Yates

math night 2015Choir Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 9.08.00 AMScreen Shot 2015-11-14 at 9.07.44 AMrun map

First Day Lesson Plan for Middle or High School Math

  • Math rules
  • OBJECTIVES 
    • To understand that Mathematics does make things easy through a game;
    • To express students’ expectations through letter writing;
    • To establish a relationship between and among students by pointing out their similarities and differences;

MOTIVATION

Game: The concept of the game is to let students understand that Mathematics does not make easy things complicated; rather, it makes complicated things easier to handle.

Procedure:

  1. Let students bring out a piece of paper and pen.
  2. Let them understand that the objective of the game is to review the basic mathematical skill, simple addition. They have to give the answer as fast as they can.
  3. First step: Ask them for the answers to the following problems:
    1. 1 + 2 = 3 is the expected answer
    2. 1+ 2 + 3 = 6 is the expected answer
    3. 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10 is the expected answer

(Once the students have understood the pattern that numbers are being added in crescendo, ask them for the following)

    1. Give me the sum of the numbers 1- 5. The expected answer is 15.
    2. Now, give them bigger numbers like the sum of the numbers 1- 20. (This will give them a little time to answer.)
    3. Afterwards, give them bigger numbers than the previous ones, like the sum of numbers 1-50, 1- 100, 1- 500, etc.
    4. Ask: Can you give the sum of these numbers in less than a minute using the traditional method of adding numbers one after the other? (Most students might say, “Nope, that’s impossible.”)
    5. Now, introduce the mathematical formula of finding the answer to the sum of these numbers in less than a minute.
    6. After letting them see that you can actually spend one whole day adding the sum of numbers 1 – 1000, but if they use the formula taught, they would just spend a minute.
    7. Generalization: Mathematics supplies greater opportunity to make complicated things easy to handle.
    8. Afterwards, show them pictures of great technologies from simple appliances at home to technologies used outer space, space rockets, robots, etc. Tell them that this great advancement in technology that makes life on earth convenient is actually a manifestation of mathematics.
    9. Say: So, every little thing that you do, you need mathematics to make your life easy to comprehend, and that is actually the reason why I am here, not just to teach you; rather, to help you explore the wonders of numbers on earth and in beyond.

CLASS ACTIVITIES

A. Letter Writing: “A Letter to Myself” (This is a fun activity. The students will have a chance to write a letter address to them.)

Procedure:

  1. Ask them to bring out a piece of paper and a writing pen.
  2. Ask: Have you ever received a letter that made you happy, sad, or excited? (Elicit some responses)
  3. Tell: You know in classical times, men practiced writing to express their love to the women they desire. Like Shakespeare, he had a lot of sonnets and writings addressed to the women he liked.
  4. Ask: Have you ever had a chance to write a letter address to no other than yourself? What things would be in your letter if the recipient us you yourself?
  5. Say: You are to make a letter address to yourself include your expectations in this subject for the entire year. (Let them know that they are to put the letter on an envelope. They are to read their letters at the end of the year, and evaluate if all their expectations to the subject and to themselves will have met and will have achieved.
  6. Likewise, ask them to include the things they can sacrifice for the subject itself, and to what extent they view Math before and after.
B. Working by Pairs: Making Connections

Procedure:

  1. Each student will answer the All About Me and Time Capsule activity sheets
  2. They will work in pairs to complete a Venn diagram.
  3. They are to write the similarities between and among their group mates, such as their favorite sports, colors, school subjects, etc., in the intersection of the circles. After discussing their similarities, ask the students to focus on their differences.
  4. They have to write their differences, such as their special talent, dreams, goals, wishes, etc., on each circle. Ask for a representative for each pair to share what they have discovered about their group mates with the whole class.

After the activity, the teacher will emphasize on the importance of having connections/ links between and among each other in the class. The teacher will let students realize that since they belong to each class, connection must always be present; thus, everyone is responsible to each other’s learning. She (teacher) will also assure them that help will be a top priority as they strive to reach success in mastering their Mathematical skills.

C. Rules and Expectations

Using the welcome packet, the teacher will go over the learning contract, Math class (& school-wide) rules and expectations with the students.

Homework

Memorize the Multiplication facts of 1 to 10. Be ready for a multiplication drill tom.

7 Qualities of Filipino Teachers in Baltimore City, Maryland U.S.A

7Q

  1. Dreamers

We came to Baltimore City because we have a dream or should I say dreams? This includes the following:

  1. Experience teaching in the US and to grow professionally
  2. Help our families back home, send our siblings, children, niece or nephew to college
  3. Have a better future
  4. Be financially stable
  5. Find Mr. or Ms. Right to marry and build a family

We never stopped dreaming and regardless of age, we seek to improve ourselves more especially in the field of education. We have Filipino teachers who completed their graduate and post-graduate degrees at Johns Hopkins University, Towson University, Coppin State University and others. We are so fond of Arnel Pineda’s song “Don’t stop believing.” so we never stop believing and chasing our dreams.

  1. Dedicated and Loving

Filipino teachers are known for the quality of work that we do. Students will say that we teach differently, we love and care for them, you will hear praises from school principals and other coworkers because Filipino teachers are dedicated and hard workers. We teach from the heart and they see that we love what we do. To many of us, we consider teaching as our mission in life. We do it with the best that we can because we do it for the glory of God.

  1. Grateful

We are forever grateful for the people who were used by God to make it possible for us to be here in the Unites States like Dr. Avenida, Ms. Cheryl, Mr. Duque and Ms. Hannah. They opened the door of opportunity for us to teach and be a part of teaching the inner city kids. We are so blessed to have administrators who love and support Filipino teachers. We are eternally grateful for Baltimore City Public Schools because we have learned a lot about urban education. BCPS was indeed a great training ground for us all. Baltimore is our first home in the US and there will always be a special place in our hearts for this charm city.

  1. Inspirational

We always have at least 1 true-to-life story that we can share with our students and colleagues that will inspire them Let me share the story of one teacher. She told her story growing up she needed to sell bread, banana cue or any food before going to school just to have some money to buy the school supplies and pay for the projects in school. A lot of times she would come to school with her baon “boiled sweet potatoes” or corn. Growing up in a big family they could not afford to buy toys so they built their own: drawing a doll on a paper, cutting and coloring it to make it look pretty. To dress her up, she would do the same: draw, cut and color and put it on the paper doll. Students get teary-eyes every time they hear stories like this and it make them realize how fortunate they are because they don’t need to work just to get their education; it is given to them freely by the government including the food and even school supplies.

  1. Achievers

Filipino teachers are world-class teachers. We are known for our passion in teaching. Many of us believe that whatever we do, we do it all for the glory of God. As a result many of us go beyond what was asked for us to do and we excel in our workplaces. Many of our Filipino teachers achieved greater heights by getting proficient and highly qualified evaluations, some are working very closely with the administrators by serving as a school leader like department head coordinators or IST, IEP chairperson and team leader. Some are recognized as lead or model teachers. Many are awarded as teacher of the month, teacher of the year, teacher as a hero, best teacher, best performance, perfect attendance and others. We all celebrate each other’s success and we are truly “proud to be a Filipino”.

  1. Risk-takers and survivors

Filipino teachers put everything on the line to survive and thrive in teaching especially in an urban setting. We face challenges every day but let us remember that every challenge that we face is an opportunity for God to strengthen us. Remember our theme song: “I Will Survive” during our first year of teaching? Yes, indeed we survived and we say “if you make it in Baltimore you can make it anywhere”. Whether we choose to stay in Baltimore City or move to another state because of visa sponsorship issues Filipino teachers are risk- takers. We don’t want anything to hinder our stay in the US so we try to find ways to survive. We take the risk no matter what the cost is. The Filipino teachers in Baltimore City are scattered across the US. We have teachers who moved to Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Delaware, D.C, North Carolina, Virginia, and South Dakota to name a few. We have given up our high-paying job, best healthcare and other benefits just to continue working in the US. We risk everything for the future of our children…of our families. We have to be strong, take the risk of the unknown to be able to pay our debts and provide for our families.

  1. Full of faith

Cheryl Curtis (0ne of the HR representatives who interviewed us in the Philippines) known us for our strong belief in God and for our unwavering faith. She knows that we work hard but we pray harder. Working in Baltimore City especially during our first year away from our loved ones is very challenging and the only place where we find comfort is in God’s presence. We are blessed to have a very welcoming Filipino community that brought us closer to God. We were able to find churches and other religious organizations that treated us more than a family. As we go through trials and storms our faith is made stronger than before.

Today I believe that God is reminding us of the 7 qualities of Filipino teachers in Baltimore City. He is reminding us that we are world changers and difference makers. We’ve been here for at least 7 years and sometimes we are asking God why is it taking so long for us to get the stability that we’re praying for. Those teachers who stayed in Baltimore may have hidden fears because they don’t know how will the sponsorship turn out. Many of us tried different ways, may be moved to another state but until now we are not sure when are we going to get our permanent status but God is reminding you that you are FULL of faith and He is FAITHFUL to fulfill His promise. He brought us here because He has a purpose and we have a mission to fulfill. Hebrews 11:1 talk about faith…that is being sure we will get what we hope for. It is being sure of what we cannot see.

Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, pray and return back to God. He will show you the first step forward, then the next step and the one after that until you see the whole staircase. Relax, enjoy the journey, take time to smile and be thankful for what He has done and what He is about to do in your life. Trust Him and have faith because He said in Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”

Don’t let the devil steal your joy or put you down. You are a world-class teacher. You are a world changer. You are a difference maker. You will reap the rewards of your faith and obedience to God is His time.

STUDY MORE (Letting Go from Frozen)

Study More
By Mrs. Mary Angel A. Flores
(In the tune of Letting Go, OST of the movie Frozen)

The school year starts I’ll make it all right
And my class rules very clear
The kingdom of education
And it looks like I’m the queen
I have been planning for this lesson to take place
All you have to do- listen well and try

Do let them know
Do let them see
You’re a good kid you always want to be
Just study hard and don’t give up
So you will learn

Study more, study more
Can’t hold it back anymore
Study more, study more
Stay inside our classroom door
I don’t care if it takes all day
I will teach you more
You can come after school every day

It’s lovely how some lesson makes everything seem cool
And the fear that once controlled you
Can’t get to you at all
It’s time to see what you can do to take the limits and breakthrough
No right, no wrong
Just try for me
You’re free

Study more, study more your grades will be A plus and fly
Study more, study more
You’ll never fail and cry
Here I stand and here I’ll stay
Let the learning flow

My teaching strategies will help you learn it all
Our class is inspiring and excitement is just all around
And your thought is as important as your effort and time
You’ll always come to class
You’ll surely pass in our class

Study more, study more
And you’ll rise like a break of dawn
Study more, study more
The perfect score is yours
Here I stand, I will help you more
Let the learning flow
You can come after school every day

Teaching in the Inner City Schools in the USA…A Truthful Confession from a Foreign Teacher

Yellow AngelTeaching in the Inner City Schools in the United States

A Truthful Confession from a Foreign Teacher

Teaching in the United States is no easy matter! Well, that’s an understatement to begin with. Let me start by boldly and truthfully saying that teaching in the US particularly in the inner cities takes more than guts and courage! Teaching is not a job; it is a mission! If you’re only for the money, you will not certainly last! Allow me to equate it with cooking. In any vibrant and a tasteful cuisine, you need some major ingredients to bring out the flavor that you wanted. In teaching, you need love and passion in order to strive in the teaching world itself, coupled with commitment and dedication to cater with the challenges and the wide-variety of issues students face on a daily basis. I along with the other teachers who have poured their hearts out into this profession survive the challenges of teaching in the inner city schools with love for the kids, passion with the job, dedication to learning, and commitment to make solid changes. I knew that teaching in the US, particularly in the inner cities, would be very different from what I used to have back home where students have respect and high regards to teachers; but I have always believed that if I would love what I’d do, and if I’d let my students feel the love I have for them, I would be able to pierce through the boundaries and breakthrough the barriers, ultimately making the difference— a ripple in the beginning, then transforming into giant waves. With God’s help, I have kept my mission and learn along the way. Let me share with you some of the challenges I have had, and how I have dealt with them. Others may have different experience either stronger ones or less powerful in many different ways, but they all meet at some points along the way.

Overcoming Challenges

  1. Students’ negative attitude towards school: When I plan my lessons I make it fun and interactive by incorporating technology, playing games, & using cooperative learning/group works, math stations, math projects and cross-curricular activities. I also stress out the importance of education. I encourage them to go to college and pursue their dreams and goals in life. To draw even the slightest inspiration, I even share my life story with them. As Walt Disney quoted “Dreams do come true if you have the courage to pursue them.”
  2. Lack of parental involvement: I see to it that I call parents in the first weeks of school. I introduce myself and give them good reports about their child. I constantly keep in touch with them via phone call, email or print progress report to keep them inform about their child’s class standing.
  3. Heavy workload: Aside from my full time teaching load, I also serve as a math department head and after-school activities coordinator. It is overwhelming at times but the keys to surviving are time management, organizational skills, and resourcefulness. It is also important to work smart. As the quote says “You don’t have to reinvent the wheels.” You should know where and how to find the right people and the right resources to do and complete the job.
  4. Higher school district and state expectations: Preparation and planning is the key to combat this and keep up with the overwhelming expectations. Always start with a goal in mind; it’s like going to a battle with a blueprint in mind. It is also important to make your expectations realistic and have an open communication with the administration. In that way, you can keep them in the loop of what’s going on in your classroom.

Above all it is our Lord Jesus Christ who keeps me going when I face tough times. When the work itself seems to be insurmountable, when the stress is too much to handle, I just kneel down and ask for strength and wisdom from the One who gives it all.

Recognitions

 

I am very blessed to have my life featured in “The Learning,” (directed by Ramona Diaz) a documentary film featuring four Filipino teachers from the recruitment in the Philippines to the actual teaching in Baltimore City. I received special recognitions like Most Influential Teacher in 2015 (Uniffied, Inc Filipino-American Educators), Teacher as a Hero (National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia),  Rising to the Challenge of Excellence in Education (Uniffied, Inc Fil-Am Educators), Hall of Fame and Outstanding Performance Recognition Awards (Filipino Educators in Maryland), Special Recognition as Community Service Coordinator (Engine 7 Ladder 10 Outreach in Philadelphia), Outstanding Performance Award and Special Recognition as Multicultural Committee Chairperson (Truebright Science Academy Charter School), Teacher of the Month (North Bend Elementary/Middle School), I also served as Middle School team leader, Multicultural Committee Chairperson and First in Math Coordinator (North Bend Elementary/Middle School).  I am currently  serving as a Math Department Head Chairperson and School Activities Coordinator (Truebright Science Academy Charter School).

I consider teaching my very own mission in this life, and it’s all because of God’s grace and mercy that I endure and overcome the challenges it comes with. All the glory belongs to our God Almighty!

Math Project #3 Math EggQUATIONS Project

solve eggquations pic 2Objective: the students will be able to demonstrate their skills in solving equations (One step and two-step)

Materials:

* empty egg carton

*12 pieces colorful plain plastic (toy) eggs

*Coloring materials, marker/Sharpie

*Colored papers

Procedure:

1. Design the egg carton and label  with :

Egg Equations (1 Step, 2 Step or Multistep) Project or Writing Eggquations Project

2. Pick two sets of 6 item equations /inequalities questions  from the project worksheet (provided by the teacher) and students make their own 6 equations question.

3. Using a marker  write each question on  each egg shell and the solution on each egg space in the egg carton.

4. Answer each question, show all work and write down the steps on a  paper .Fold the paper and put it inside the egg  with the corresponding question that was answered.

5.  The egg  project will be graded by their classmate (assigned partner) and the teacher on the evaluation day.

6. Criteria for Grading: 

Accuracy of the answer= 50%

Solving Process (show and explain  the steps)= 30%

Project Design (neatness and  completely labeled)= 20%

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Pi Day 3/14: Math Teaching Idea

Wow! My students brought their homemade chocolate cakes, cupcakes, cookies, etc...so happy they enjoyed the Pi activities especially the eating part hahaha. Happy Pi Day everyone!

Wow! My students brought their homemade chocolate cakes, cupcakes, cookies, etc…so happy they enjoyed the Pi activities especially the eating part hahaha. Happy Pi Day everyone!

Image

Here’s a Math Teaching Idea for my fellow MATH teachers. Tomorrow is PI day (3/14). I want to share this cool website and feel free to do any activity in your class related to PI.

http://www.exploratorium.edu/pi/pi_activities/index.html

You may also download this video and show to your students:

Pi Explained in 3:14 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mz7xU3zZvk

Mathematical Pi Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWGGTb5pY2U

Pi Rap Sing-along: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS1WlUzjtXU

Here’s another cool video:http://www.pinterest.com/pin/106045766199824752/

Celebrate Pi Day (Middle School and High School Resources)
Two new Pi Day images have been released by Illuminations—pin them in time for 3/14/15 9:26:53. Also consider using these resources to celebrate Pi Day with your students:Apple Pi, Pi Line, Computing Pi, and Pi Filling, Archimedes Style!.

Tomorrow in my middle school math classes, we will celebrate Pi with this activity: Cutting π

Materials:
circular food (pie,cookies, crackers, pizza, cake, etc.)
string, scissors,tape, cling wrap and ziplock to cover the food when measuring

To Do and Notice:
Carefully wrap string around the circumference of your circular object. Cut the string when it is exactly the same length as the circumference. Now take your “string circumference” and stretch it across the diameter of your circular object. Cut as many “string diameters” from your “string circumference” as you can. How many diameters could you cut? Compare your data with that of others. What do you notice?

What’s Going On?
This is a hands-on way to divide a circle’s circumference by its diameter. No matter what circle you use, you’ll be able to cut 3 complete diameters and have a small bit of string left over. Estimate what fraction of the diameter this small piece could be (about 1/7). You have “cut pi,” about 3 and 1/7 pieces of string, by determining how many diameters can be cut from the circumference. Tape the 3 + pieces of string onto paper and explain their significance.

I will also ask my students calculate the circumference and area of different circular food then, we will eat and celebrate after all the MATH hard work.

Have a great Pi day everyone!

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