Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Best of 2008 So Far

Today is the first day of July, which means we've crossed the halfway mark for 2008. Many of you just wrapped up the school year, and many are gearing up for summer school as I am. In any case, I am so happy about the great growth of this blog throughout the first half of 2008 and wanted to share some of my best work that you might have missed in this busy semester:

5. Turn Graphing Linear Equations into a Game: Games are a great way to engage students, and this was one of many. Basically, students match linear equations and their graphs without a calculator, honing their skills at applying slope and y-intercept. Like the ideas in my book, it's simple, cheap and works wonders.

4. Graph BINGO Review Game: I had more fun with this in class and during Saturday academies than anything else I can remember. Bingo is the game, but the card is made up of various types of graphs (linear, non-linear, scatter plots, etc). The call sheet describes the graphs (i.e. "the linear parent function" or "Mr. D drives to school, stays there for a little while, then drives home [distance vs. time]").

3. Lesson Idea: Hands-On Volume and Surface Area: Here's another topic my students have continually struggled with, but I think we made some great progress this year using a lot of modeling, measuring and using hands-on 3D objects. We followed this lesson up with a major project where students applied the skills we had modeled in class (see Project Idea: Measurement, Volume and Surface Area).

2. 165th Carnival of Education (Testing Season Edition): During the first week of April I had the opportunity to host the Carnival of Education, which brought visitors from a number of excellent edublogs here to I Want to Teach Forever. I organized the links around the topics I write about most often, and I think it all came together pretty well. The vast majority of the links are still a great read and haven't lost their significance. In fact, it may be a good excuse to go back and reflect on your progress since then.

1. Lesson Idea: Probability Using Deal or No Deal: By far this has been the most popular and inspired the most emails and comments. Based on the hit NBC game show, I turned a card game version into a game-based lesson on probability. It's fun, it's easy to do, and it will work with almost any grade level studying this commonly tested topic.

If you've only recently discovered my website, you might want to check out the Best of 2007, which is a good a place as any to start.