Category : Mathematics

Learning the times tables: not always fun, but necessary

The other day, my teenage kids admitted to me that I was right.

Trust me, this doesn’t happen often! So it warrants a quick post.

My kids admitted to me that it turns out that knowing your times tables does really help you in whatever math class you’re taking. That’s because after you learn your times tables, most (if not all) other mathematical concepts use the knowledge of times tables in order to solve problems. It’s not critical to know that seven times eight is fifty-six; you can figure that out when you’re working on a math problem that requires that information. However, knowing how to solve multiplication equations efficiently and correctly will vastly speed up the time it takes to solve almost any math problem. This is not only important in math class, but it’s also important when taking standardized tests like the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT… you know the drill. It also comes in handy in physics and other science classes.

So if you’re teaching young kids, make sure that they’re comfortable with numbers, and even though it’s a slog, have them memorize those times tables. Come up with fun ways to do it that don’t simply involve rote memorization (though the rote memorization is also important). Once they can solve multiplication problems in there head, it will help them solve more complex math problems in the future.

Here’s a post with a helpful times tables practice activity.

Five Ways to Use Interactive Notebooks in Your Classroom

What is an Interactive Notebook?
I’m sure you’ve heard about Interactive Notebooks by now, but let’s just review a bit in case you haven’t heard about them yet. Interactive Notebooks are a way that your students can interact with the subjects you are teaching them. They can cut, paste, draw, expand and really experience the subject they are learning. No two interactive notebooks are created equally. Some may say they are interactive, but they aren’t. Some may have too much cutting and pasting, which will interrupt your lesson plans. The best way to judge them is to look at previews and read all of the details before you purchase one.

Five Ways to Use Interactive Notebooks
1. Review and Test Prep – A lot of the reasons I started making and using interactive notebooks is because if you have a printable you use with your students, the students finish it and toss it into folder never to look at it again. With my interactive notebooks, the activities are designed to have the students come back and review what they’ve just learned. There are flaps, envelopes, yarn, brads and more all specifically used to help your students redo activities for test prep and to show their parents what they’ve learned.

2. Confidence Booster – Using an interactive notebook, your students can keep all of the things they’ve learned throughout the year in one place. Students can look through all of the different things they’ve learned and feel achieved.

3. Introducing New Topics – You can use the activities in an interactive notebook to help students learn new topics. Sometimes students are scared about learning new things. A fun activity will help relax them and allow them to learn new topics (especially fractions which can be frustrating for students).

4. Assessments – You can use the activities to finish up a unit. Instead of or in addition to a quiz, you can have students do an interactive activity to make sure they understand the concepts that you taught in the lessons.

5. Spice Up Lessons – If your students get bored with a topic (you know it’s bound to happen), you can pull out an interactive activity and use a little art and interactiveness to spice up your lessons.

If you’re interested in looking at my interactive notebooks, you can find them here. They have the perfect combination of low prep and high interactiveness.

Here are a few of my best sellers, you can click on the picture to see more information and a preview about each:

3 Reasons Why You Should Use Interactive Notebooks with Higher Level Math Classes

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Some people might think interactive notebooks are only for younger students. Some people believe that learning pre-algebra, geometry and algebra should be taught through worksheets and videos and other means. I think that Interactive Notebooks have their place with these upper grade classes as well. Here are my three reasons why I think you should use higher level math subjects.

1. Many students today are young when they take pre-algebra, algebra and geometry. When I was in school students didn’t take algebra until they were in high school. Today, students start take algebra as young as 11 and 12 years old. They are still young and would enjoy learning in a fun and interactive way.

2. Even students in high school are still young at heart and would just love some school work outside of the norm. Sure, there might be some students that might roll their eyes at the work, but they probaly would roll their eyes at anything.

3. It gives students a sense of accomplishment. Students can reflect on what they’ve learn and can also study for test using their interactive notebook.

Here are some of my own Interactive Math Notebooks for higher level math classes:
8th Grade Math
Pre-Algebra
Algebra
Geometry

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Halloween No Prep Math Printables

Do you like spiral reviews for your students? These Halloween No Prep Math Printables give you a great spiral review with a fun, not so spooky Halloween theme!

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I have these Halloween Printables for kindergarten through 6th grade so you can chose the level that is right for your students or homeschooled children. Whether your students are learning their number or dividing fractions, you can find the set that is right for you and your students. And to make your life easier, answer keys are included!

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Here are some feedback I’ve received about these Halloween Printables:
“This packet was fun during the week of Halloween. They felt challenged.”
“Loved the theme as well as the great standards practice.”
“Great way to keep my kids thinking on an energy charged holiday.”

If you’d like to see my Halloween printables, click here: Halloween No Prep Printables.

Autumn math scene

An autumn math scene for addition and subtractionA few years ago we shared this post, which featured a free printable where students could use their addition skills to add ornaments and other festive decorations to a Christmas tree. We received some positive feedback on that activity. Since the fall season is officially upon us, I’ve created a new math scene for autumn. Kids can use addition and subtraction to add various items to the scene.

I for one am excited about the season – the weather is already getting a bit cooler, and I’m looking forward to fun fall holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. We’ve already placed a few Halloween decorations on the lawn outside our house!

Here is the free download for the autumn math scene. I hope you and your students have a wonderful fall season.

Halloween Math Goofy Glyphs

I love glyphs! Students love them too! My best selling Math Goofy Glyphs are my Halloween Math Goofy Glyphs. We’ve just revamped them with new graphics too, so they’ll be even more enjoyable for students!

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Here are what some people are saying about my Halloween Math Goofy Glyphs:
“This activity keeps the students engaged in learning. Students forgot all about the math part to the assignment they were only concerned with creating the character in the end.”
“My students LOVE your glyphs! Great activity to keep them engaged and practicing their skills. Thanks!”
“This is such a great idea and a wonderful open-ended project that still offers a challenge!”
“I have downloaded several of these activities. I even get them for a variety of different grades because I work with special education, and my students often need practice with basic skills. This is an extremely engaging activity!”

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The best part of the glyphs are that I have them for first grade through algebra 1. The math is tailored specificially for each grade level. You’re never too old nor too young for my goofy glyphs!

For more information click here: Halloween Math Goofy Glyphs

Halloween 3D Math Art

Are you looking for something different to do for math to celebrate Halloween this season? My Halloween 3D Math Art really fits the bill! There are three different packets: Fractions, Multiplication and Addition and Subtraction. Each packet has two different levels so you can differentiate with your students.
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Each Halloween 3D Math Art packet has three different projects to work on. First they solve the problems. Then, they can find their answers on the picture. Next, your students will roll up the strips and paste them to the picture. When they are finished, they’ll have a wonderful 3D art project!

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Here’s a close up of the bat picture, so you can see how it’s put together. You’re students are sure to enjoy making these.

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If you’d like more information about my Halloween 3D Art, click here: Halloween 3D Math Art

Halloween Color By Number

Color by Number printables are so fun for students and they learn while they are coloring. So many times students don’t even realize they are learning and practicing math while they work on these printables. My Halloween Color by Number printables are created for kindergarten through six grade. Students will work on numbers, addition, and shapes for kindgarten; while the other grades work on different skills from rounding, fraction equivalents, GCF, decimal subtraction, multiplication and more! Every grade level is filled with skills for that specific grade level.

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My Halloween Color by Numbers printables is a packet filled with ten color by number printables. There are not only different skills to choose from, there are lots of different Halloween-themed pictures!

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Students will look forward to these color by number pages. You can use them as morning work, homework, classwork or work your sub can hand out.

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If you’d like to see more of my Halloween Color by Number Printables, click here: Halloween Color by Number Printables

Interactive Notebook Bundles Galore!

The easiest way you can save money on is by buying bundles. You get everything you need and you get to save money on top of that. My best selling bundles are my interactive notebook bundles. They have writing, language, math and reading interactive activities all together. My fourth grade interactive notebook bundle has a grammar notebook as well and I’ll be adding these to my other bundles as well.

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Interactive notebooks are a great way to give students a hands-on approach to learning. It keeps learning fast-paced and interesting. My kids love using them in all of their subjects!

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To look at my interactive notebook bundles click here: Interactive Notebook Bundles

Geometry Interactive Notebook

I’ve been making interactive notebook since 2013. I love making them, I love using them, I love everything about interactive notebooks, especially interactive math notebooks. So, I’d like to take this time to introduce my latest interactive math notebook – Geometry Interactive Notebook!

Like my other interactive notebooks, I’ve made this one with both students and teachers in mind. The activities are fun for students, but highly educational and relevant! Almost all of the activities are made in such a way that students can go back and use their interactive notebooks to review before a test or for the big end of the year exam.

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Here is a list of the topics that are covered:

Foundations of Geometry
Translations, Rotations & Reflections
Dilations
Congruent Triangles
Geometry Theorems
Finding Angles
Properties of Parallelograms
Similar Triangles
Advanced Similar Triangles
Pythagorean Theorem
Solid Geometry
Cross Sections of 3D Objects
Rotating Shapes
Midpoint Formula
Dividing Line Segments
Parallel and Perpendicular Lines
Circles
Arc Measurements
Arc Length
Radians & Degrees
Radians & Arc Length
Sectors
Inscribed Angles and Shapes

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There are answer keys included. Also, extra blank foldables and cut-outs are included so you can create your own if you are working on something else that is not covered.

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Foldables are age appropriate, cool, but not too cute. Check out a more detailed preview here.

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For more information about my latest interactive notebook click here: Geometry Interactive Notebook