What a busy week this week! I had a meeting every conference period, and while the meetings are 100% necessary and worth every minute, missing prep time really sets you back. But I am all caught up and very proud of my students this week.

During Enrichment and Intervention time, my students worked on a Haiku Deck Variable Project. This project allowed students to take another look at Greg Tang’s book, Math Appeal, and produce a haiku deck that showed each student’s ability to make equations using variables. The beauty of this project was that students could create an equation that made sense to them and sometimes their equation was different from another student’s equation. Some students used parenthesis and brackets while others made sure to use the order of operations they have learned. Here are a few examples.

Using Variables while writing Equations – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Writing Equations using Variable – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Variables Project Katie Pham – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

If you would like a copy of the project requirements and scoring rubric, you can click here.

To use Haiku Deck, I created a very simple log in and password and shared my log in and password with the students. This makes grading very easy. I just log in and can access every deck that has been created.

I love the simplicity of Haiku Deck and how student friendly it is to use!

__ORDER OF OPERATIONS!!!! __

I always start with an equation like 2 + (6 x 3) x 4

I ask students to write and solve the equation on post its. We look at all the different answers on the post its and how students solved the equation in a variety of ways. We then focus on the steps it takes to bake a cake, and how if the steps are not followed correctly, you will not get a properly made cake. We then journal and take notes on the order of operations.

After creating a foldable and journaling, we spent several days practicing. One extremely fun way to practice is KAHOOT!!! I created several different Kahoot games for students to use while practicing. If you have never used Kahoot, you should try it! It is free and the kids LOVE it! I encourage the students to write down the problem and solve, before answering. I do not like guessing!

__Order of Operations: Sack of Truths and Lies__

This activity is an error analysis of several equations solved using order of operations. I made 18 cards that had multi-step problems that I solved using order of operations. Some cards are correctly done, Truths, and some are not solved correctly, Lies. I put the cards into a sack. Students worked with a partner to analyze each card. Students put the cards on a sorting mat. After all cards were sorted, students used a QR code reader to see if they sorted the cards correctly. Students worked together well and I really enjoyed hearing their conversations.

To get your own copy of this activity check it out in my TpT store! HERE!

__Introduction to Prime and Composite Numbers__

On Friday, we moved onto Prime and Composite. I never just give away the definitions at the beginning of a lesson, what’s the fun in that?? Whenever possible, I try to have my students discover the math before I give the students the answers. We start by creating number arrays for each number 1-25.

We use blocks and we journal our findings. Students hold up the arrays they find as we go.

As we move along, almost always a student says “Look, all the odd numbers can only be made using a stick” or “all the evens can be made in more than one way”, to which I reply, “All of them??” As we keep building I refer back to their predictions. We soon get to 9, which is an odd number, and then suddenly their A-HA moment occurs. “9 is odd and it has more than one array”, which makes them more skeptical about every odd number we encounter. The dialog between the students and I is so rich and it really makes them look at each number in more than one way. After we have journaled and drawn each number to 25, I pose three questions to them…

1. What do you notice about the sticks? (Sticks is what we call the array made with 1 row of ___)

2. What do you notice about the EVEN numbers?

3. What do you notice about the ODD numbers?

I ask students to talk with their shoulder partners about these questions. I encourage that they look back at each number we drew.

Their answers are spot on every time!!!

1. Sticks can be made with every number except for the number 1

2. Even numbers have multiple representations except for the number 2

3. Odd numbers, some can only be made with a stick, and some can be made multiple ways, except for 1, it cannot be made with any array.

Afterwards I give them the definition for prime and composite, we also talk about how 1 is neither prime nor composite.

When students generate their own learning, the concept is so much more meaningful to them!

Next week we will focus more on prime and composite numbers, so stay tuned for more activities!

Until then…

Peace, Love, Math

Jennifer