Jackilyn Wolford
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My biggest takeaway is that Math can be fun & engaging – and it’s up to me to make it feel that way for ALL of my students.
I work with my students on growth mindset and I find ways to encourage and praise, especially those students who don’t think they are “math people”.
This course was great at taking some everyday, reallife ideas and turning them into fun and engaging math activities.
My goal will be to implement some different teaching strategies, as well as assessment strategies to continue to encourage all of my students to become “math people”

The curriculum that I currently use is great with spiralling. Each assessment “tests” only about 2030% “new” material, and the other 7080% are concepts that were covered previously in the course. My students can’t cram – they need to be able to recall and master what was previously covered.
I like the idea of calling the assessments “checkins” – less pressure that way!

We use CPM curriculum and one of their pillars is mixed, spaced practice (=spiralling). So my students tests after each chapter contain 70%+ on previous chapters and only about 2030% on the “newest” concept they’ve learned. So, they don’t get a chance to “forget” because the homework problems have been spiralled and so are the tests!

<div>I will be using the following problem called Bubble Madness from CPM.</div>
I think this problem will get student’s attention because they get to play with bubbles (that is fun for even 7th graders). Although the problem is laid out in a pretty structured way, I think working with a team, and this handson approach to discovering pi, not just being lectured on it, will lead to a memorable lesson.
The idea of the circumference of a circle is similar to the idea of the perimeter for other shapes; it is the distance around the circle. Wrapping a string around a circular object is one way to measure its circumference. In this activity, you will investigate the relationship of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. The diameter is the length from one side of the circle to the other, through its center.

Follow the directions below.

Obtain a bubble wand, some bubble solution, and construction paper from your teacher.

Blow a bubble and allow it to land and pop on your construction paper. You will see a circle on your paper. (If this does not produce a clear circle, try catching the bubble you blow with your bubble wand and then placing it on the construction paper.)

Wrap a string carefully around this circle and then stretch it along a meter stick to measure the circumference of the circle. Make your measurement accurate to the nearest tenth of a centimeter.

Then use a string and ruler to find the longest measurement across the circle (also accurate to the nearest tenth of a centimeter). This is the diameter.
Share tasks so that each person has a chance to blow some bubbles and to measure their circumference and diameter. Take data for at least 8 circles of different sizes.


Organize your data in a table and then work with your team to decide on an appropriate scale to graph the data carefully on graph paper.

Discuss the following questions with your team and be prepared to explain your ideas to the class.

How can you use your graph to show that the circumference and diameter are related proportionally? (Remember that these are measurements and will thus have some degree of error.)

Approximately what is the multiplier between the diameter and the circumference?



Since most teachers were taught math through memorization, and most students are still taught math through memorization, it is very important that I, as a middle school math teacher, really try to spark student’s curiousity into WHY these memorized math things work.
I really want them to have a deeper understanding of math instead of just seeing a few numbers in a story problem and thinking: should I add them, subtract them or multiply them?
It’s interesting when you ask students to “restate the problem in your own words”, they can’t. And when I question: why would you multiply those two values? they have NO idea.
I can’t wait to use the notice/wonder concept with rewritten problems in my classes. I think that is a gamechanger, to get them interested and asking why instead of just expecting memorization of facts & formulas.

This sounds like a great lesson. I hope you were able to get your technology to work in order to present it! Were you able to have the students break into smaller groups? (Zoom?) and were you able to get some good feedback from your students?
This lesson intrigued me and I’m curious how it went in the remote setting.

Don’t know if you meant this to be funny, but I got a great laugh from it – because it’s crazy true these days!