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

Math Project #4 Fractional Me

fractional me 2This week, I started teaching fractions. My students had fun as their creativity flow on their Fractional Me project (1 day project approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour). They created portraits of themselves out of small squares (post-it note or 3×3 cut-outs). They were responsible for determining the fractional amounts of each color. This is a great way to integrate Art and Values, and for the students to remember that fractions is part of a whole on a personal level.

I also encourage my students to love their unique beauty and charm. I tell them that they must not let anyone define who they are, because they are the ones who know themselves best. During middle school years, students tend to seek approval and validation from others especially among their peers. They hear negative things people say about them, and of course, it hurts when someone tries to spread gossips. I tell my students to stand strong and embrace their unique beauty and charm. It doesn’t matter what others think about you but what really matters is how you see yourself. You know who you are so brush it off and stay positive. Let your beauty shine from the inside out.

“Love yourself and stay positive. Let your beauty shine from the inside out.” – PinkAngel26

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.

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!

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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!

Math Project Idea #1 MATH RHYTHM (in Filipino, Himig Sipnayan)

*MATH + MUSIC= MATH RHYTHM

I love integrating other areas in Math especially Music and Arts in doing Creative Math Projects. I started Himig Sipnayan (Math Rhythm) Project in Philadelphia School  in the Philippines last 2001. My students composed and performed their Math songs live and I am so proud of them…my only regret is that I wasn’t able to capture those moments because we don’t have a video camera (it was so expensive back then). Now, I am teaching high school Math in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA and I gave this as their 4th quarter project so I composed and recorded this song as a sample. I know that they will produce great songs and I am excited the result of their Math Rhythm Project. Hope you enjoy this song and I encourage you especially the Math teachers to be more creative in teaching Math. Make it fun and memorable for your students. By the way, this project needs ample time usually  I give my students the overview of the project at least 30 days before the presentation day (beginning of the quarter) . The Criteria for grading is Content 40%, Creativity(Presentation:live or recorded) 30% and Cooperation (Teamwork & Organization) 30%.  Here’s the lyrics of the Math song I composed.

Pythagorean Theorem (in the tune of Rolling in the deep)

There’s a question starting in my mind

How to find missing angle in right triangle

Finally I start listening in class

and I learn it was easy, use the formula.

There are 3 sides in right triangle

Side A, B and C and C is hypotenuse

It’s the longest side between A and B

Opposite the right angle. 90 degree

*The notes  in my class reminds me of Math

They keep me thinking that I really know it all

The notes in my class they help me solve it

I can’t help singing

Chorus: Pythagorean theorem

A squared plus B squared

Is equal c squared and add

Get the square root, it’s the last

Baby I have reminder for you

If missing leg is A or B

Subtract it from C

Still do exponents,add and square root

That’s the way you do it,

Pythagorean theorem

*The notes  in my class reminds me of Math

They keep me thinking that I really know it all

The notes in my class they help me solve it

I can’t help singing

Chorus: Pythagorean theorem

A squared plus B squared

Is equal c squared and add

Get the square root, it’s the last

Put your heart in everything you do

Count your blessings and focus more

Turn your book, study and solve

Practice, be patient you will learn it all

 

It all, it all, it all

(Pythagorean Theorem)

 

*Chorus: Pythagorean theorem

A squared plus B squared

Is equal c squared and add

Get the square root, it’s the last

Mathematics is Like…

Mathematics is like a sky-

Hard to reach ‘coz it’s high.

It is like a falling rain-

As you drop, feel the pain.

It is also like a mountain-

Move it by your brain.

Mathematics is like everything-

Remember, you can learn anything.

Just do it one by one-

Then, you’ll know how things are done.

 *I composed this song/poem during my first year of teaching  (June 2001) at Philadelphia School in Quezon City,Philippines. My former students will probably remember this poem (that later became a math song). I know that Math can be a challenging subject to some but, it is possible to learn it as long as you start building the foundation and continue trying. One thing I learned in teaching in America is to never give up, not all students will be Math masters but to see couple of them (or at least 1) learn the skill is such a huge accomplishment.