Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Snapshot: 6C Coordinate Planes

In sixth grade, we have entered the world of integers!  We have doubled out numerical world by adding all of the negative integers to our known world of positive numbers. We discussed and explored the reason we need negative number and how we use them in our everyday lives. We reviewed how a four quadrant coordinate plane worked. The class enjoyed assignments where they had to plot points to reveal an image.  We took that one step further and the class was asked to create a coordinate plane assignment for a peer to complete. They will give each other feedback on the clarity and success of their assignment. Here are the images that the students created. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Event: Love Math! A Math Festival For Girls

The Proof School in San Francisco is holding a Math Festival for Girls called" Love Math!" It should be a great event. Here is the description from their website.

A math festival especially for girls builds community.

Come experience hands-on, collaborative activities that inspire a love for math, all for girls in grades 4 through 8 and their families.
Our math festival for girls aims to create a community by encouraging cooperative problem-solving. With mathematical art to make, fun-filled logic puzzles to solve, and ice cream combinatorics to discover, this event will be unlike most (or any!) math you've ever seen.
You'll also be able to bring home the fun. We'll have some of our favorite books, puzzles, and more for you to take home.
Special thanks to Art of Problem Solving and Beast Academy for their support!   

Love Math! 


Saturday, December 3  |  10am-12pm
555 Post Street, San Francisco 94102
To sign up, go to:

Thursday, November 10, 2016

T-Stat in Disguise

A sampling of the many disguises that T-Stat has embodied over the last couple of weeks.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Snapshot: 8A Equations of Lines

Much of the fall was spent working with various forms of a line. The class saw different representations of lines: tables, graphs, equations, and word problems. In this activity, the class was split into groups and they had to match a table with an equation, a graph, and a story problem. They are working to understand the relationship between these representations and know when each type is useful. There was lots of great discussion and testing of understanding as the activity progressed. 

Next, we are getting ready to solve systems of linear equations!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


I wanted to introduce you to our newest friend in A203. This is T-Stat. Currently, he/she resides on our whiteboard. In an attempt to embrace the quirks of the classroom, I have given T-Stat space and character.  Students are invited to add personality and flare to T-Stat. We will post any interesting iterations of our friend T-Stat for all to enjoy!

Snapshot: 7B Rational Numbers

Today, we reviewed our understanding the categories of real numbers. We discussed inclusion and exclusion of different types of numbers at different points in the framework. We used an analogy about which numbers have access to different categories. For example, natural numbers have the all-access pass and fit into all categories of rational numbers. We expanded our conversation to irrational numbers, imaginary numbers and complex numbers. There was lots of curiosity and questions, but many students ended up "with their brain full!" 

7B: Math Challenge 2 - Cyclic Number

Math challenges are designed to push the students on multiple fronts. They need to decipher the problem; they must identify the tools required to solve the problem; they must use the tools correctly; determine if their solution is reasonable; and then figure out how to communicate their thinking on paper and then translate it for an audience. Whew!

I choose math challenges for different purposes each week. Sometimes it will push their problem-solving skills or it might be difficult to document or both! This was a tough math challenge, but I wanted to see what 7B would do when up against something that was hard and that they might not have all the pieces to figure out. Here is the original problem:

The symbols and representation were a hurdle for most students. Those who were able to translate the information in the problem then struggled to figure out how to glean information from the statements. It was great to have students share what they were able to find out and what they could rule out to be true. Everyone who came up to share added more information to the pool of knowledge. I was really impressed with how students were able to give credit to peers and their efforts, especially those who did not solve the problem, but advanced our understanding of the problem. 

The students who were able to complete the problem shared their strategies and key pieces of information that helped them solve the problem. To quote the students, "My mind is blown!" It was satisfying to see the students who solved the problem be able to answer questions about their work and defend their choices. I was particularly impressed with EB2018's ability to find different ways to answer essentially the same question, multiple times. 

We are starting a new tradition with our math challenges this year. After the sharing phase, students are going to reflect on their process, describe what they learned during sharing, and synthesize their experience in a journal entry. I was pleased with our first go around with the reflections. I believe that this is the next step to developing their skills as problem-solvers and communicators. Here are samples of what was written.

Please ask you child to tell you more about this problem and its solution!