Foldable – Graphing Inequalities and Solving Systems of Inequalities

ImageHere is a new foldable to help students graph linear inequalities and solve systems of inequalities. I created the foldable using Google Presentation so I could share it with others, and make it easy for them to download and make changes.  Hmph.  I am just not an enthusiastic GD’er yet as some of the smallest things vex me tremendously!  I wanted dotted lines on the front page so students would know where to cut, and no matter what combination of weight or type of dotted line, I could not get these lines to print.  So, the very light lines are the ones that need to be cut (and if you figure out how to do this, let me know!).  I also wanted a smaller margin at the top but again couldn’t get it to print if I made the margin smaller.  I know, first world problems . . .

The foldable is actually two pages copied front to back:


Once they are run front to back, fold in half so “Graphing Inequalities” page is on top.  On the inside, glue the two panels together where it says, “glue here.”  Then fold in half again so Graphing Inequalities is still on top.  Cut on the light lines (these are the ones I wanted to be dotted – grrr).  When you open it, you will see the image on the right.  I have students do the folding, cutting and take the notes.  I took the photo before I did the test for the test point so add that 🙂


Now when you turn the page you’ll see the solving systems portion of the foldable.Image

I chose examples that involve graphing with a dotted line (<) and solid (>).  The second equation will also involve flipping the inequality symbol once the student divides by a negative.  The bottom right system is an example of parallel lines with no solution, but you can easily change this to something else if you prefer.

Here’s a link so you can download this Inequalities Foldable – feel free to modify!



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Pizza Project

The team at Mathalicious has totally figured out “the hook.” My kids were completely hooked on their “Domino Effect” lesson the minute I showed the opening video snippet which demonstrates how to order a pizza from the Dominos website.  My honors students immediately wanted to go to the Domino’s website themselves to play around with the ordering process, to see how many toppings they could order and if they could split toppings, etc.  One of my on-level students asked how much trouble he would be in if he actually placed an order and it was delivered to our school.  Regardless of level, they all had questions and wanted to investigate the ordering process themselves.  

We first went through Act 1 and Act 2 of the Mathalicious lesson, and the kids did a GREAT job calculating the cost per topping, and then graphing the data and writing an equation for a medium pizza.  Over half of the students ran with the lesson and did the same for the small and large pizzas while I was helping one weaker group.  When I showed them the actual graphs, students had a great discussion about the pricing model.

“If you put too many toppings on, the pizza won’t cook all the way through.”  

“You’d have to put less pepperoni on if you were going to add a bunch of other toppings.”

“I wonder if all pizza places limit you to 10 toppings.”

“I think they should charge more for 5 because you could squeeze in a 5th topping without cutting back on the first four.”

Who knew I had so many pizza experts?

ImageDuring our next class we moved on to the Mathalicious  “Chain Gain” extension lesson.  The night before I had posted a poll on Edmodo and kids voted on their favorite pizza places (our local Bottom’s Up came in first and new restaurant Twisted Tomato tied for second).  They reviewed the results of the poll and then chose two restaurants to explore to determine pricing for small, medium and large pizzas (they could choose restaurants that were not on the list as well).  To save instructional time, I created a Google Spreadsheet as a template for them to record their data (we are just moving over to Google Docs so they have only used Google Spreadsheet one other time).

ImageWe ran out of time quickly so came back later in the week to do some more research.  We narrowed the research to just one restaurant because of time constraints.  Students discovered the Papa John’s website gives a discount when you order a 2nd pizza, so you must empty the cart completely before calculating the price for each number of toppings.  I’m not gonna lie here – I was just a little bit nervous with one of my classes that Papa John’s might just show up in the front office with a pizza, for their class, but luckily that did NOT happen.  Sadly, Bottom’s Up was blocked from school (a student did tell me you have to be careful when googling that at home ha ha) so students had the choice of picking a restaurant that was not blocked or doing the research at home.  One of the students found a local restaurant who offers gluten-free pizza and she was thrilled.  Some pizza places only offer small and large pizzas, and one offers small, large and x-large, so students had a good discussion on how to compare sizes if they do not fit into the standard small, medium, and large categories. 


Back in class we talked about their findings, and how to best include this information in a presentation.  I showed them how to use Desmos to graph their data (they had already determined the equations based on the number of toppings).  We talked about how to take screen shots of the spreadsheet and the graph, and how to include those in a Google Presentation.  We had a great class discussion about what should be included in a presentation about their toppings and we developed a rubric for the presentation. 

Integrating Desmos provided the opportunity for a discussion on how to restrict the domain and range of a graph, as many of the restaurants limit the number of toppings.  Mathalicious+Desmos=Magic.  The discussion about limiting Domain alone made this project worth the instructional time!  I feel like the students totally got WHY the domain could be restricted, and how to use Desmos’s restriction feature to make their graph match their data.  It just doesn’t get any cooler than that.  Here are some sample projects – I am thrilled with how this lesson went!!

Example with limited domain and pricing maxed out with 4 toppings

Example with limited domain and pricing for specialty toppings shown separately

Example without limited domain or pricing


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Productive Struggle vs Struggle Period

One of my professional goals in the classroom is to do a better job with differentiation.  I’ve tried a few strategies, but I seldom feel like I am truly challenging my brightest students while providing the support others need.  Motivated mostly by grades, often the top students do not welcome more challenging work as they want to secure the quick A by blasting through an assignment my lower level students will find challenging.

Enter Mathalicious.  I was really excited about trying out the AppleCare lesson as I was hoping it would be a great platform for differentiating by giving students some choice in what they wanted to research and in how they wanted to present their work.

I began the lesson with the Mathalicious radio clip from Marketplace Money as a reporter describes her experience being offered an extended warranty from Best Buy.  After the clip we had a great discussion as almost everyone had a story they wanted to share about something coming apart the day after the warranty expired, or having a problem their pricey warranty didn’t cover.  The students were highly engaged and totally agreed a warranty is really just an insurance policy.

Next up, students worked in small groups to complete the Student Handout.  They breezed through the calculations and the conversations stayed right on topic (incidentally, typo on the Lesson Guide:  32 gb Ipod Touch with 50% failure rate should be $149.50).  During the full group discussion, we talked about how different people might value AppleCare differently for the same device.  I found it interesting that when I asked them about skateboarding teenager and a grandmother both using iPods, they overwhelmingly felt the grandmother had a greater chance of dropping her iPod Touch ha ha ha.  Oh, these 8th graders think anyone over 30 is just ancient.  The conversation really took off as we delved into what is and what is not actually covered under AppleCare.  This was a natural segue into the extension activities.

As mentioned earlier, I wanted to give students as much choice as possible, so I ran through both the Terms & Conditions and the Warranted Warranties extension assignments and gave students plenty of choices.  They could do either assignment, individually or with a partner, could research any industry that interested them and present their findings in a variety of ways.  I had resisted the urge to do each of the assignments myself and show them an example of what their results could look like, because many students would simply model their work exactly after mine.

google formWe went to the computer lab during the next class so students could work with their partners and decide how they wanted to approach the project.  I created a Google Form for students to complete to make sure they were on track.  I was completely surprised at how much students struggled at this point.

As I walked around the computer lab, many students asked me to explain exactly what they were supposed to be doing.  I had already given students several handouts:  a blank Mathalicious Project Planning sheet,  the Terms & Conditions student handout and the Warranted Warranties student handout.  I redirected students to the handouts as they peppered me with questions.  “Which assignment should I do?”  “What website should I go to” “What do I need to do to get an A?”

I was at a bit of a loss.  I expected a “productive struggle,” knowing students would be a bit uncomfortable with the open-ended nature of the assignment, but honestly had not expected “struggle period.”  They just seemed unable to get started.  I realized that in my efforts to NOT tell them exactly what to do, perhaps I hadn’t given clearly communicated expectations.  That afternoon I flipped through some of the posted rubrics and modeled one after Julie Reulbach’s excellent Pizza Project rubric.  I created rubrics for both of the extension activities and shared these with students during the next class.  This did seem to help, but there was still a lot of “come look at this and see if this is right.”  

Back in the classroom, I spent some time going back through both assignments.  I attempted to answer questions without steering them to choosing one specific topic, and again, did not show them finished examples as I was still hopeful they would choose to research products that interest them.  Two of my stronger students decided they would improve the AppleCare warranty to include things that are important to them and a curious thing happened.  Many of the other groups simply jumped on this bandwagon, and also decided they would improve AppleCare.  When denied a teacher generated “exemplar,” the students just kind of seemed in limbo until a classmate made a choice, and they simply adopted this as the exemplar.

Some students DID research areas of interest (yay!) but found it challenging.  Two girls decided they wanted to create a warranty for stillettos, but they could not find any statistics on how often stilletto heels typically break.  Another group decided to offer a warranty on hockey sticks, but similarly, they had difficulty finding statistics to help them decide on pricing for their warranties.  Most groups did opt to go with a revised AppleCare warranty.  Here are some student projects:

This was definitely a learning experience for me.  In a climate where EVERYTHING seems to hinge on students passing the End of Year Test, I fear my students are indoctrinated to believe there can only be one, correct answer.  Whereas I thought providing a lot of choice would create an environment of freedom that would allow my students to pursue topics that interest them, instead it resulted in an uncomfortable stew of discomfort where my students couldn’t propel themselves in any direction.  Now I realize they need a bit of scaffolding to stretch beyond their current comfort zone.  Like any other skill, it is just going to take a bit of practice.

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Mission #7 – A Day in the Life

So my missions are a little out of order….I do intend to go back and post about some of the other missions, but I wanted to get this one down in blog form before I forget the details.  I LOVED reading all of the “A Day in the Life” entries the last time around!  Here’s a day in my life:

5:45  Alarm goes off – normally there’s a fair amount of swatting and snoozing, but Jack (the 9th grader) has a Latin convention this weekend.  The three projects that have consumed our lives for the past week need transportation to school so no time for lazing about this morning as transportation details have not yet been ironed out.

7:00  The hubster (hereafter known as The Saint) agrees to take 9th grader and projects to school.  Flurry of activity:  make lunches, find oldest son’s Rescue Squad shirt (it doesn’t look that wrinkled, does it??), move some $$ into the two older student’s debit card accounts to cover gas expenses (they both commute to Virginia Commonwealth University).  After taking the husky out for a short walk, finally get underway for school.  I’m thankful to get to school a little early as during my most productive mental time (the shower) I’ve decided to make a last minute change to the lesson plan for 1st block today.  

COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE.  Judy at WaWa is my best friend.

8:15-8:30  Run out to do hall duty after running quick copies for the aforementioned change in plans.

8:30-10:00 1st period:  I teach 8th grade Algebra and currently we are exploring graphs, slope, intercepts, etc.  1st block is an honors group, and their homework last night was to read a section in the text and watch a two minute clip on you-tube about how to solve an equation graphically.  Then they were to use Desmos to graph an equation and post a screen shot of their graph on Edmodo.  This was definitely not as easy as something like, “p. 100 #1-21 odd” but still, it was not something that I felt would be too difficult for the students to do.  It’s a fairly easy topic, and in addition to the youtube video I also made an EduCreations clip showing how to use Desmos to find a solution.  

In between waking up the household and jumping in the shower, I had checked to see how many students had submitted screen shots of their graphs, and only an appalling 30% had made the effort.  Anticipating a flurry of excuses, I created a quick entrance ticket asking students about the assignment.  Since they had the option of reading the material in the book and then drawing the graph manually and turning that in, there really was no excuse for not doing SOMETHING even if they had computer/internet issues at home.  The last question on the entrance ticket had a problem based on the content, and about half of the students got it right.  

We’ve all been here.  What do you do?  Half of the students did what they needed to do and are ready to move forward.  The other half did not and now you find yourself at the crossroads of “Screw them they should have done it!” and “this will be on the End of Course test and your students need to know it!”  I fire up and have some volunteers show other students how to solve the equations using a graph and looking for the x-intercept.  At this point during the discussion many of the students say they were able to get to this point but did not know how to do a screen shot to post their graph.  I am floored.  These students are the Queens of Instagram and the Kings of Snapchat, but do not know how to take a screen shot, and were not overly resourceful in figuring it out.  This actually turns out to be a GREAT lesson as we segue into all of the different ways students could have captured a screen image to post on Edmodo.  Man 8th graders can be creative when they want to be.

From here students graph y=3x, y=3x -4 and y = -1/3x + 3 on graph paper.  They graph and then compare with a partner.  Discussions are great as I hear them talking about slope being positive and negative, and how the y-intercepts and x-intercepts are different, and a few talk about parallel lines.  A few more volunteers come up and graph the equations using Desmos and we project the results.  Students can clearly see how the two graphs with the same slope are parallel and when I ask for other equations that are parallel they generate things like y=3x + 6,000 and y=3x – 1,000,000.  We talk about how the graph y = -1/3x + 3 is different and all agree the slope is negative.   Someone asks if the lines are perpendicular and we talk about opposites and reciprocals and products being 1.  Students create their own rules about the slopes of parallel and perpendicular lines.  Desmos definitely plays a key role in developing the concept.

Next up is a discussion about domain and range building on their prior knowledge of functions.  I already have a worksheet that has various graphs on it, and I use the FANTASTIC post-it note strategy shared by @mathycathy on her blog  Students use their post-it notes and shade in domain and range with colored pencils.  Then we use Desmos to graph functions and limit the domain and range.  The combination of these two strategies is just so effective – this used to be something students really struggled with, and now it just clicks 🙂

While kids are working with a partner on a domain and range activity, I think about the homework from last night and realize I could have so easily labeled the lack of completion as a lack of work ethic when in reality, they were not prepared to complete the assignment.  All of the students in 1st block have Internet at home, and I’m pretty sure most have computers that are newer than mine.  Over half have smartphones with data packages, but this does not mean they necessarily know how to do things like take a screen shot.  Apparently, they also haven’t developed the resource skills needed to figure out how to do things they don’t know how to do.  I make a mental note to use make one for googling how to make a screen shot.

10:00-11:30  2nd block is an 8th grade Algebra class that is non-honors.  In scheduling terms, it is a class of “on-level” students.  In reality, it is comprised of students who are not identified as special ed, but are not as strong in math (this particular class does have some special ed students, others who are English Language learners and some that have never passed a standardized math test).  Second block is just getting to slope and y-intercept, so our lesson today focuses on slope.  We make a HOY-VUX foldable (horizontal, zero slope, y= and vertical, undefined slope and x=) and then play around with Desmos to see how varying slope impacts the steepness of the graph.  Students explore choosing different points on a line to calculate slope and discover using any two points on the same line will result in the same slope.  For homework, students will use the “School 21” app in Edmodo to practice slope.

11:30-12:30 I have a technology planning block next where I help teachers and students with technology issues.  Today I help a student who is new to the school get logged in and join all of his class groups in Edmodo.  Then I meet with a district Integrator and a member of our Admin team.  Next year our district is implementing 1:1 with Chromebooks, so we are trying to determine ways to best prepare the staff with training and resources.  Lots of work to do here.

12:50  Three students come in during lunch for some extra support.  One needs help organizing a binder, one needs to make up a quiz and one needs to use a computer.  Worried about the student I was expecting who did NOT show.

1:30  Team meeting.  We have a team field trip on Monday so lots of discussion about the trip:  Who has been Epipen trained?  Are students with serious allergies in a group with Epipen trained teachers?  Bus drivers have had an increase in wages – was enough money budgeted to cover this increase?  We have a new student who just started today and his ticket can be covered by one of the students who will not be attending because of the Latin convention (and honestly at this point I zoned out a bit wondering if all of those families had their houses consumed by Latin projects as ours was. . . ). 

2:15  Our department chair had heart surgery earlier this month, so I am serving as interim department chair and have a meeting this afternoon.  Our district math person asked if I would present some technology resources with the other department chairs, so I’m sharing and some of my experiences at Twitter Math Camp.  Since our district blocks Twitter, I leave school to stop at Barnes & Noble so I can pull a couple of screen shots from Twitter to share with the math department.

2:45 Go to department chair meeting at one of our high schools

3:30  Department chair meeting covers a variety of topics with a lot of focus on the year end standardized tests.  I share Desmos with the other department chairs – only one teacher (out of 23) has seen Desmos.  Many seemed impressed and I think several will play around with it, but it’s clear many are not interested.  I go on to talk about Twitter Math Camp, and how it was just a phenomenal professional development opportunity. I talk about how it’s like your PLC but better because there are so many people contributing and sharing resources.  I show them @samjshah’s Virtual File Cabinet and @aanthonya’s contributions to the Algebra portion of the math wiki.  I also talk about Twitter Math Chats and the Global Math Department.  While some of the other teachers maintain eye contact, again it’s like they are just not interested in anything else that will consume their time and effort.  Our fearless district math leaders asks if anyone is interested in additional professional development to learn more about these resources, and only one teacher raises her hand.  She comes up after the meeting and I show her an overview of Desmos and how I use Twitter.  Feeling a little defeated, I take solace in the fact one teacher might be on board.  Maybe it’s because we are all just so weary of the emphasis on standardized testing that we do not have any energy left to learn something new.  I don’t know.  However, I do know every middle school student will have a Chromebook next year, and I’m very, very, VERY thankful for the resources my tweeps share with me on a daily basis..

5:30  Head home from the meeting and stop at the store to pick up a few groceries.

6:30  Cook dinner and visit with the family a bit.

7:30  Head to the movies with DD & DS.  Even though I have a ton of grading to do, Catching Fire is showing as an early release at 8:00 before it opens tomorrow.  It really is all about balance.  You have to balance personal and professional time (and you KNOW the nights you have the most work to do will be the same night your child is sick, or has a Latin project, or wants to attend a movie premier).  You also have to work to balance the demands of the teaching profession.  Right now there is a serious conflict between balancing the pressures of standardized testing with the philosophy of teaching the whole child.  Being able to take a screen shot is not in any of our state standards, but I spent a fair amount of time today teaching students how to do it, and tomorrow we will go to the computer lab and practice that skill.  Then I’ll hone my balancing skills a little further by figuring out how I’m going to cover all I need to cover while losing a day of instruction because of the field trip on Monday. . . but first, I’m going to balance in that personal time and enjoy Catching Fire with my own two students 🙂

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Mission #1: My one thing is a foldable book

Explore the Math Twitter Blogosphere:  Mission#1

I love foldables.  I just love the way 8th graders are engaged when they are folding, cutting gluing and decorating foldables with information.  And I LOVE the way I see them using the foldables as a resource to help them learn challenging content.

Even though I have used foldables for years, I found students would use them during a current topic of study, but then lose them as the year progressed.  A colleague showed me a composition book idea she picked up at a conference and voila, the foldable book was born.  We start the book at the beginning of the year with a table of contents in the front, and simply glue in every foldable that we make.  It is a great way to organize all of the foldables we make throughout the school year.


Here’s a picture of the table of contents from last year’s book:

The GC next to some items indicates it’s a graphing calculator item.  These are “glueables” rather than “foldables” as they are mostly often flat sheets of paper with the graphing calculator steps for a TI-84 (for example, how to create a box and whisker plot).

My all-time favorite foldable is a neat weavable foldable that opens two different ways.  I blogged about it in an earlier post and you can read about it here.  The kids are always so fascinated by this foldable and it is a great foldable for organizing a LOT of information.

Here are a couple of foldables we have made so far this year.  The first one is for Order of Operations.  This year I had them attach a  brad to the middle of the foldable so they could
spin the foldable as they used it to simplify each step in an expression.  The second one is simple but a good way to summarize examples of what constitutes a function (I like the multiple represenations).  The last one is a waterfall type of foldable for solving multi-step equations.  I love watching kids flip through the foldable as they learn the steps 🙂


Lots of teachers use foldables, so I guess this is not necessarily something that’s really all that unique, but the organization of all of our foldables into one place has just been awesome.  In our district students take Algebra 1 in 8th, Geometry in 9th and Algebra 2 in 10th grade.  Some of my previous students have stopped by to tell me they’ve pulled out their old foldable book to help them in Algebra 2 for the things they have forgotten during their year of Geometry.  Students referring back to a resource from previous years?  Now that’s unique 🙂

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Eggs in the Basket Review Game

With Easter fast approaching I was looking for a fun game to review for our upcoming Exponents test.  I took Math Tales from the Spring’s fabulous Ghosts in the Graveyard game that I’ve talked about before and modified it for Easter and the kids loved it.

bunny1First make 8 question cards with 4 questions each.  I used bunny coloring page pictures and made the problems increasingly more difficult, so lower level student could opt to just do the first 3 problems.  The PowerPoint below has all of the blank card pages so you can write in whatever problems you like.

Students work in groups of about 5, and the entire group works one card.  All students in group work the first problem and then discuss – all group members must agree to answer and have work to support it before moving on to next problem.   When a group is done, check answers by calling on different group members (I put the answers for all 8 cards on one piece of paper I carry around on clipboard so I can quickly check answers).


For each question the team has correctly answered, they get one egg.  Each team has a designated color so they color the egg (just quickly color – the color makes it easy to identify when you assign points later).  Up on the board I put pieces of construction paper representing Easter Egg Hunt sites (I used some that are local Egg Hunts and others like, “White House Lawn”).  Students can take their 4 eggs (or however many they have right) and tape them to any of the 5 possible hunt sites.  Some students put almost all eggs on one page, others spread them around.  Students now return their card and get a new one.

Call time when there’s about 15 minutes left (I warn about 5 minutes before so they wrap up whatever problem they are on).  Take the 5 eggs labeled 100, 75, 50, 25 and 0, fold them and randomly draw for points.  Announce, “this is for the White House Lawn Hunt” and draw an egg – say this one is 50 points.  Every egg taped to the White House Lawn earns 50 points for that team.  One hunt site will get the 0 (lots of groaning ).  Team with the most points wins.  Team leaders gather team’s papers and staple together to turn in (so you can take classwork grade if you want).

Students really like the game, and the discussion is just wonderful as students look at each other’s work and help explain where their mistakes are!

Here’s a PowerPoint with all of the cards, eggs and detailed directions:  Eggs_in_the_basket game

If for any reason you cannot open the file email me ( and I’ll email it to you.  Happy Easter!

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Too Cool for School Tools


Here are some of my fave online tools for today’s #msSunFun post!

If you haven’t used Animoto, you need to check it out!  It’s free, extremely easy to use yet so professional looking!  I try to take a lot of pictures of my students working and put together Animoto’s now and help parents see some of the things their students are doing in Algebra.  We are working on a statistics unit right now, so took the kids outside yesterday to hula hoop and jumprope to gather some data.  Haven’t pulled this year’s Animoto yet, so here’s a link to one from a previous class.

I love to have the kids reflect on their learning – it’s a valuable skill and VoiceThread is a great way for kids to comment on their work.  One of my favorite ways to use VoiceThread is to gather work from a unit on the Iditarod.  Students choose a musher, create a Glogster about their musher (another cool online program if you haven’t tried it), develop a word problem related to the Iditarod, make an Animoto about their musher and finally create something that reflects a part of what they learned in the unit.  Students pull all of these elements into a VoiceThread and then reflect on what they liked, didn’t like, and how they could have improved their unit.  Here’s a link to an example one of my students did on DeeDee Jonrowe.  I love how she comments on the things she would do differently if she did the unit again

Wordle creates a visual representation of text – the more frequently a word appears in a passage, the larger in appears in the Wordle.  I’ve seen this used in Social Studies to analyze he content of a speech, or in literature to look at the use of repetition (as in “Nevermore” in the Raven).  I’m very visual, and I love the way Wordle works and how you can change color, text and layouts.  I’ve used this in Algebra by having students summarize topics.  Last year they wrote summaries as we were finishing our unit on slope.  I gathered all of their summaries and put them into one Wordle.  It was so cool to see the emphasized content from the unit based on what the kids put in their summaries.  I took the wordle, enlarged it and put it on the bulletin board:

Image is a new tool that I have just started using.  @Fouss, @jreulbach and I were talking about creating playlists of our students’ favorite music.  @jreulbach set up a google form and @Fouss said she uses GrooveShark because you can stream the music without having to download it.  I LOVE this.  We are having some bandwidth issues at school so streaming isn’t working too well, but they hope to have the issue corrected by the end of the month and I have our playlists ready!

Our district has embraced this year and it has been a great way to share content and connect with students.  I’ve posted a few videos for them to watch at home so we can spend more time doing activities in class with less “stand and deliver” instruction, but the jury’s still out on how effective this is.  What I really like so far is how the kids have utilized it to build their own PLN.  Sometimes they will post to the class about how they are struggling with a concept.  They often will respond to each other before I have the opportunity to respond – it’s awesome.  Another new tool for me this year is  Although my student’s are not using it, I have been utilizing it for keeping track of all of my meeting notes this year.  I love how I can access the content from anywhere, and it’s really been useful in helping me organize, which of course, ultimately helps my students 🙂

Well, like “bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,” these are a few of my favorite things.  Looking forward to reading other posts to find new items to add to the ToolBox!

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