Friday, November 16, 2018

Possible Ignite

Thank you CPM for the algebra walk activity that lined students up on the x axis from -3 to 3 and input themselves into the function y equals x squared.


Saturday, March 31, 2018

3D Printing @desmos Series (Proposal submitted)

  1. My first 3D @desmos print
  2. Student rough drafts and 2nd @desmos print
  3. 3rd Desmos print with student sample work

CPM Presentation Feedback

2. How worthwhile was this session?3. Please explain your answer to question 2.4. Should the topic be repeated next year?5. Was the speaker knowledgeable?6. Please explain your answer to question 5.7. Was the speaker organized?8. Please explain your answer to question 7.9. Should the speaker be invited back to present next year?10. Was the session room conducive to a worthwhile presentation? 11. Please explain your answer to question 10.12. We welcome any additional comments you may have about this session.
5I will be able to use this in my classroom!55Nice usage of strategies5Thank you for the usage of your presentation during it. This way I could cut and paste right into my notes.51
Too small of a room
5He had so many resources! The session was packed with useful teacher resources. 55He had correctly taught for many years. 5Yes, they prepared so many activities and resources. 52
They needed a larger room
4The strategies were helpful but similar to things presented in CPM training sessions.45He knew a lot about multiple strategies.4Slides and presentation materials were well thought-out.42
The room was way too small. It was difficult to see the screen for the presentation.
5Awesome. I have seen the group work strategies and have used a few. It was great to see how the other strategies are used. Great. 55Yes, he was able to show how to use in classroom. 5Came prepared with tools for all strategies. 52
Room was too small to actively moive around in.
5Martin is so dynamic and inspirational. He offered tools and ideas to improve strategies during instruction.55Martin was so prepared and, by allowing us to actually practice the strategies, it reinforces the importance of student centered learning...don’t steal the words from the kids.5Martin came with all the necessary materials to actively engage the participants.51The room was way too small and crowded for ease of movement and ease of seeing the screen.
Definitely invite Martin back for next year; truly excellent presenter.
sold out crowd i had to take a knee
4I knew of many of the ST strategies presented by Martin, but it was good to see them again. I'd like to hear more about what happens when things go awry with his study norms.
Also after looking at my notes from the structure, I wish Martin had talked more about how he uses exit tickets to write lesson notes for the following day.
44Martin had good examples of the ST strategies4All tools were easily given out, and presentation was clear.41
The room was an odd shape, and not all attendees could see the presentation screen easily.
4Good examples, suggestions.45Had practiced what he taught.5Well organized.52
Too small.
4Lots of ideas were shared and interactive44Yes, he had lots of great ideas and activities4Great job41
4th floor Hyatt, this room should not be used. You can’t move around or see presentation. Presenter is stuck in a corner
5There was a lot of useful material55He had command of all of the methods used in his session.5Very well put together presentation53
The room was very small
5This was a great session with lots of resources I can continue to reference.55The presenter obviously knew his material.5The presenter had everything organized and a great presentation set up.51
The room was small and awkwardly shaped. It was very cramped. I was lucky that I was near the front. Some of the people couldn't hardly see the presentation.

7th grade Hot Seat Review, y=kx & algebra tiles

Before Friday's assessment I used the Hot Seat to review what would be on the assessment. I like how students pointed out that the unit rate couldn't be 8/3 because where x=1 the y axis was between 0 and 1.

After each student's turn on the hot seat, I ask volunteers to explain the answers before I advance to the next slide with the answers. I then see who got 2 points on the Hot seat and how many groups all correctly answered it. I encouraged students who weren't sure to ask their group and those that knew to check on their teammates.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Hot Seat for Trimester 2 Final Review Session & Student Reflections

I don't do a lot of review in my class, but I felt it was necessary the day before students took their Trimester 2 final, which is 10% of their grade.

I focused on 4 big ideas from the test, and sequenced them from the most need to the least need. If you have never used the Hot Seat study team strategy, you must try it. Especially if you are reviewing for a test.

Here are the Slides I used for 7th grade:
For 8th grade: 

Each student gets a chance on the hot seat to earn 2 points for their team. I half-joked at the end that some students did more in this class period then they had in Monday through Thursday combined. The positive peer pressure to understand the problem and show all the work for your team is a healthy type of pressure I believe.

I gave the students the following prompt at the end of their final: Did you take advantage of the option to retake an assessment?? If so how many times? Overall what were the positives and negatives of the grading system? Reflect on how the trimester in math went. What parts did you like? Dislike?

The best reflection was a student who said they didn't understand exterior angle and triangle sum theorem until the Hot Seat activity. That makes it all worth it for me.

Here is what they wrote by period:

1st period:

  • liked graphing and slope
  • groupwork
  • liked mix of independent and group work
  • homework is worth only 10% so it doesn't break your grade
  • thought the vocabulary and the word corresponding helped with their understanding of parallel lines


  • disliked skill 13 (solving fraction equations and solving for y)
  • teams that didn't talk or help each other
  • doing homework
  • transversals on parallel lines
  • CPM and posters
  • I should check students notebooks
4th period:
  • teacher trusts students
  • helpful classmates
  • Hot Seat was great study tool
  • likes the amount of homework (less, more time, lagged)
  • likes 3 attempts at a skill so you could see your mistakes leading up to 3rd attempt
  • switching seats often
  • liked Hot Seat
  • grading system is organized


  • didn't like IM Unit 1 packets 3 votes
  • teacher doesn't check homework
  • wants to change seats more often
  • doesn't like book work (CPM) 2 votes
  • students are dishonest with homework self and peer check system
  • distracted during classwork
5th period:

  • hot seat is a great study tool (4 votes)
  • liked Desmos partner activities
  • Mystery student and class discussions
  • transformations
  • when classmates are not judging them because they don't understand


  • peers not honest on self and peer check HW system
  • same routine every day
  • retakes must be outside of class
  • disliked packets (4 votes)
  • some group members didn't contribute which made it hard to pay attention
  • when group doesn't follow study team norms
  • Hot Seat. Didn't like the pressure to get it right (2 votes)

6th period:

  • when table worked together
  • liked retakes, team reading aloud (helps EL students)
  • grading system shows mistakes, no dislikes
  • liked Desmos Land the Plane activity
  • liked groupwork, helped a lot
  • liked specific feedback with weekly assessments


  • someone not working with the group
  • thought packets (IM) was boring
  • didn't like y=mx+b
  • disliked who they sat with sometimes
  • participation grade stays the same (This made me think I need a rubric for students to fill out at start of trimester, and then revisit at end of trimester. Encouraged Ss to talk to me if they think they deserve a higher grade for participation)
So, I got a lot of good feedback. I clearly need to do Hot seat more often, despite the fact that some kids felt pressure to get it right. Students liked the adrenaline and the pace which kept them super engaged.

I discussed with my classes why they didn't like "the packets" which was the Unit 1 pilot we did of Illustrative Mathematics. Some top students said it was too easy, while a couple said it was very challenging. Kids said it was a little dry, while CPM is engaging with a storyline. They also like exchanging ideas with the whole group. On the other hand, some students liked the timing of IM where it's 2 minutes independent, 2 minutes partner, then whole class discuss. The warm-ups were super helpful because they admitted they didn't know how to do some and it made them more successful in the lesson.

Some said the homework practice problems for IM were too easy, and some said it was too hard. 

I'm not sharing the grade 7 classes feedback because it was more vague and less helpful. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

My CPM National Conference Presentation

I had a great weekend at the CPM national conference held at the Embassy and Hilton in Burlingame. I will post a full reflection of the sessions I went to when I go through my notes.

I tried to get the word out about my session:

For my session, it was great! Much better performance than when I presented it at Asilomar. A big reason I believe is I chose to focus on solving equations with algebra tiles rather than rotating a Which One Doesn't Belong prompt around the table. We discussed how some people were flipping a tile over from one side of the equals sign to the other and I interpreted it as a valid shortcut that myself nor CPM I think have a name for. I said it's basically adding a balanced set to both sides and making a zero pair after all at once. For example, x-2=1. Adding 2 to both sides or taking the -2 flipping it over to be positive and moving it to the right side. Also, instead of solving equations with the sage and scribe strategy, I printed out a pre-gridded 4 quadrant coordinate plane using and put them into sheet protectors rather than passing out whiteboards. This actually worked out really well. I forgot to tell participants to keep switching roles instead of stopping after doing 1 each. Chubby Bunny for solving systems worked out well again. Mystery teacher went great. A majority of people were from outside California and then we narrowed it down by teaching above algebra 1 and hobbies. I got to talk about front loading vocabulary for a learning log exit ticket, and then briefly went over the last few activities with pictures of students doing Hot Seat. Thanks everyone who came for making it a great session!
A major part of my presentation is using Google drive to display work to facilitate closure discussions. I recorded a YouTube screencast with a voiceover to explain the process.
Here is the work participants did that I displayed to discuss:

Unfortunately I only got one picture of people in action solving an equation with algebra tiles as a group taking turns using different colored pencils (Hot Potato STS, a study team strategy)
Here is my Google Slides presentation. On the first slide is a link to a Google folder that has some of the hand outs to print out. Also some participants asked if my anchor charts for y=mx+b and algebra tiles were on the presentation. The answer is no. Here they are in tweets embedded below though.