Day 21: Super Bear

Geometry wrapped up Sam’s lesson on Conditional Statements and went through a gallery walk.

IMG_0330 After we talked about what puzzled them and questions they had. One area students struggled was seeing relationships between the posters, they were hesitant to draw any conclusions which I see as a good thing. We debriefed with an example then went through some practice statements.

In Algebra students worked through Super Bear which is another of my favorites.

Here is a quick run down of the lesson:

I had students fold a scratch sheet of paper into 6 regions which will later be used for the following:


I then played the clip and asked students to write down the first question that came to their mind. They shared that with a neighbor then we put them up on the board. After each question I asked for a show of hands for anyone who also thought the question was interesting and put + that number at the end. (This helps me focus on the big idea – brain storming – some questions are not very relevant and that is OK.)

Typo… oh well.

Then students estimated how many mini and regular bears it would take and we threw those up on the board too with names attached.


After this students brainstormed what info they needed to answer the question.


Then I gave the info I had to ’em and set them loose to solve the problem.

We put our calculated answers on the board too, not so sure how productive this was. Students really wanted to just get at the answer and it felt like I was making way too many lists. I also went back to the estimates and we looked at who was the closest.

After I talked a little about rates and how it tied into this problem then students named the activity.


Once we wrapped this up I went back to the list of questions and addressed each of them, which brought some great closure to the period.


Day 20: If… Then…

I spent a lot of time today talking about college and telling stories about my crazy roommates. It is important for students to see that I am not just a mean-lean math machine. Plus it was college day so every teacher was sharing out.

Algebra spent the rest of the time practicing absolute value and multi-step equations.

In Geometry we picked back up on Sam’s lesson. Students created big and little posters, we will gallery walk tomorrow.

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A few take-aways:

  • I did not emphasize that the black statement card is true; therefore their first statement needs to be an If Then version of it.
  • Students started off slow but quickly picked up on what was happening.
  • I am really excited for the gallery walk and giving students time tomorrow to work through and discuss which statements are logically equivalent.
  • Some students mixed up the order of the statements, this will also be interesting.

Day 19: Age Estimation

Introducing absolute value is one of my favorite lessons of the year.


Once again credit for this lesson goes out to Dan.

I pretty much followed his structure, just a few things are different which I will mention after we get through the good stuff:

Copy this down in your notes, you will have 21 rows.

For the first entry; students write down the name and their guess. I provide no structure or hints, we have practiced estimating a ton, let things happen.

Team Edward; how old do you think this guy is?
Team Edward; how old do you think this guy is?

We get through all 21 slides then go through another 21 with their ages


After ask students to total how much they were off for each celebrity then add all those together; the person who was off by the least gets a homework pass. Let them run into problems, don’t take that away from them.

After a while students realize that there is one serious issue; under estimating an age. Say one student guessed Willie was 42 and another 44. Both off by 2, how should we deal with this?

No big deal; drop the negative.

We find the totals again; I made it a competition between my four algebra classes. The lowest 5 went up on the wall and will stay there for the rest of the year.

Finally, we moved into absolute value, smooth transition for students.

In Geometry students started Sam’s lesson on conditional statements. So much good happened here, we only made it through the sketching and first discussion. I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the statements in the slide show. More on this to come tomorrow; here are a few finished products in the mean time.

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