Congruent Triangles Cut and Paste

29 October 2014
I did a quick, fun activity with my Geometry kids the other day!  One of my friends, Secondary Math Shop knows I'm LOVING cut and paste activities right now.  She gave me her “Methods of Proving Triangles Congruent Cut and Match Group Activity” to try with my classes. 

Congruent Triangles Cut and Paste ActivityWe had talked about SSS, SAS, and ASA the day before.  In class, we talked about SAA and HL and talked about why SSA and AAA don’t work.  Then, I split them into groups and gave them this activity.  

The actual size of the pieces are bigger, but I copied them two pages to one page.  I didn’t want to use a ton of colored paper; the supply is getting low.  :)  I had my kids glue the pieces onto the large anchor chart type paper (I call them giant non-sticky notes, but I don’t know what they’re really called).  I had my kids mark the congruencies (vertical angles, shared sides, etc.) with a marker.

Once my kids got started, they were so funny.  I walked toward one group to see if they needed help and I was met with, “We get this Mrs. E.  We don’t need you.”  Well then!  I also overheard this conversation:
Student 1:  Hey, you glue these.
Student 2:  No, you do it.
Student 1:  I’ll be honest here, my strength is cutting.  I glue like a Kindergardener, but I cut like a beast.
Student 2:  But I like cutting…
Student 1:  Then it’s gonna look like $h!7.  You ok with that?

Congruent Triangles Cut and Paste Activity - a fun activity for congruent triangles to help practice triangle congruence shortcuts  |  www.mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com

I like the posters my kids made.  I didn’t give them much time for decoration, but I think they turned out nice.  My favorite part of this activity (besides the mathematical conversations) was the fact that there was a category for “More Than One Method”.  How have I not thought of this before?!  I actually changed their test so that a couple of the problems have more than more method and the students have to list each one.  Love it!

Congruent Triangles Cut and Paste Activity - a fun activity for congruent triangles to help practice triangle congruence shortcuts  |  www.mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com

Congruent Triangles Cut and Paste Activity - a fun activity for congruent triangles to help practice triangle congruence shortcuts  |  www.mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com

Congruent Triangles Cut and Paste Activity - a fun activity for congruent triangles to help practice triangle congruence shortcuts  |  www.mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com

Congruent Triangles - Extra Information Activity

26 October 2014
I really like congruent triangles.  It is one of my favorite units in Geometry.  I have lots of activities for congruent triangles and the kids are finally starting to get used to proofs.

Throughout the unit, I constantly remind my students that they need three pieces of information to show that the triangles are congruent.  To reinforce that idea, a colleague made this activity a couple of years ago, and I really like using it.  

First print all of the little matching cards.  You can download the file here.  All of the pieces look like this.
Congruent Triangles Extra Information Activity - a free, fun geometry activity for kids to practice their triangle congruence proof reasons  |  mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com

When, I copied the matching cards, I used a different color for each “problem”.  That way, I didn’t have to number the bags or worry about pieces getting lost.  It took some organizing though.  Each problem has four pieces.  So, I made sure that one of the SSS problems was light blue for all of the pieces.  When matched, the pieces look like this:

Congruent Triangles Extra Information Activity - a free, fun geometry activity for kids to practice their triangle congruence proof reasons  |  mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com

All together, I have three sets of each problem.  That way, I don’t have to have a bag of each one for every student.  They just return the bags as needed.

Congruent Triangles Extra Information Activity - a free, fun geometry activity for kids to practice their triangle congruence proof reasons  |  mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com

When the student takes a bag, they sort through the pieces.  They decide which piece of information is not needed to prove the triangles are congruent by the given theorem or postulate.  Then, they record the information on their recording sheet. (Go ahead and click the blue download button.  It says the file type isn't supported, but if you go ahead and download it, everything works fine.)

Congruent Triangles Extra Information Activity - a free, fun geometry activity for kids to practice their triangle congruence proof reasons  |  mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com
This works really well for my students.  It’s like they are working on little mini-proofs.  If you try this, I hope it works well for you!

Polynomial and Rational Inequalities Matching Cards

23 October 2014
So, you know that I love matching cards.  I made these cards to help my students practice solving rational inequalities.  I wrote the cards out by hand, so I don’t have an electronic file to share.

The students had to match the problem, the solution in interval notation, and the solution on a number line.

Polynomial and Rational Inequalities Matching Cards

I also wrote letters and numbers on the backs of the cards to make them quicker and easier for my students to check their work.

Polynomial and Rational Inequalities Matching Cards

These are the problems that I used for the matching cards.

Polynomial and Rational Inequalities Matching Cards

Polynomial and Rational Inequalities Matching Cards

Polynomial and Rational Inequalities Matching Cards

If you make your own, tell me how it goes!











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7 Ideas for Using Task Cards in the Classroom

21 October 2014
7 Ideas for Using Task Cards in the Classroom - Secondary Style :)

I’ll be honest, the first time I saw task cards I thought they were only for elementary students.  They started popping up different places and I saw that some high school teachers were using them too.  So, I decided that I would try them.  I’m always up for trying something new.  As strange as it may sound, my students are much more willing to work on task cards, rather than a worksheet.  I think it is because they aren’t overwhelmed by a huge list of problems.

I decided that today I would share a list of ways I’ve used them in my classroom.  Hopefully, you can find some ideas that could be useful for you!


1.  Stations - Before class, tape task cards around the room.  Students get a recording sheet or use scratch paper and move around the room answering the questions.  Students can choose to work alone or with a partner.  My students really like stations because it gets them moving around.  My stations mazes are an adaptation of this idea.

2.  Seatwork - Spread task cards out on a table (or a desk, the floor...).  Students pick a card, work on it, then put it back and get a new one when they are finished.  After a certain amount of time, go over the answers as a class. This works very well for me when I use task cards with QR codes.  This way, the students can work at their own pace.

Ideas for Task Cards in the Secondary Classroom - Seatwork

3.  Quiz, Quiz, Trade - This is a Kagan cooperative learning strategy.  Give each student a task card and they do the problem on their card.  Then, the students partner up.  Partner 1 asks the question on their card.  Partner 2 answers (they are allowed to say “I don’t know”).  Then, Partner 1 praises the correct answer or explains the problem.  Then the students reverse roles.  When both questions have been asked, the students trade cards, find new partners, and begin the process again.  This works best for me if I only have them do this for about 10-15 minutes (depending on the length of the problem).

4.  Bellwork - Have students work on 1 or 2 cards as their bellwork.

5.  Whiteboarding - Each student gets a whiteboard and a dry erase marker.  I love Quartet EnduraGlide Dry-Erase Markers for student use.  They have a fine tip and last a long time.  Project a task card and have the students work the problem on their whiteboard.  When they have finished the problem they hold up their board so that you can see their answer.  This works best for me if I do it for about 15 minutes.

6.  Jeopardy - Play Jeopardy.  Use task cards for the questions.

Ideas for Task Cards in the Classroom - Jeopardy

7.  Speed Mathing - This is like speed dating, but with math and school appropriate.  Arrange desks in two rows (like speed dating).  Each student receives a card, works the problem on the card and checks their answer.  Then, the students trade cards with their partner sitting across from them and work the problem on their new card.  They are now sitting across from the “expert” for that problem.  After a few minutes, the students receive their original cards again and one row moves one seat down.  This process continues until all of the cards are completed.

7 Ideas for Using Task Cards in the Classroom - Secondary Style :)

Task cards are great and keep my kids engaged.  If you haven't tried them, I highly recommend it!  If you don't have time to make your own, I have several sets in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  You could also must write problems on notecards.  





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Sunday Scoop

19 October 2014
Today I'm linking up with Teaching Trio to share my Sunday Scoop.  This is just a quick update into what's going on in my life right now!

Mrs E Teaches Math - Sunday Scoop




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Law of Syllogism and Direct TV Commercials

14 October 2014

I forgot to share this earlier!

The Direct TV “Get Rid of Cable” commercials are super funny to show your students when talking about conditional statements and the Law of Syllogism.  I showed a couple of the commercials in class as a short intro.  My students LOVED it!




I updated my Pinterest boards recently!  I was inspired by Lynn Aydlett's (aka Camping Teacher) Pinterest boards.  I think her boards look great!  Anyway, I used her idea to update mine.

Mrs. E Teaches Math - Pinterest Boards
Let me know what you think!  You can also see a couple of the group boards that I belong to.  Stop by and see them for yourself :)




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Using Color with a Purpose

12 October 2014
I’ve used highlighters and markers during my lessons for awhile now.  This year, I started the year telling my students that we were going to use Color with a Purpose.  While I don’t use this technique every day, it is VERY helpful when teaching some lessons.


At the beginning of my lesson, I tell my students that whenever I write in black, that’s the signal they should be writing in pencil.  If I’m using a color, then they should be too.  I let them pick their colors - they like having choices.  Here is a list of five examples of when I use Color with a Purpose.


1.  Conditional Statements  -  When I teach conditional statements, I have the students mark the hypothesis (“P”) with one color and the conclusion (“Q”) with another color.  When they write the converse, I make then use the colors to show that the P and the Q switched places.

Conditional Statement Foldable - Color with a Purpose


2.  Parallel Lines  -  When I first introduce the vocabulary of alternate interior angles, same side interior angles, etc. I like to have students color code the types of angles.  I think that the angles stand out to the students a little bit more.  Using Color with a Purpose can really help students if they need to use a diagram for multiple problems.  They can mark the diagram in a different color for each problem.

Parallel Lines Foldable - Color with a Purpose


3.  Composition of Functions  -  My students always seem to have trouble visualizing composition of functions.  By writing each function in a different color, my students can clearly see what is happening.

Composition of Functions - Color with a Purpose


4.  Multiplying Matrices  -  I don’t know how else I would teach this lesson if I couldn’t color code the different parts of the matrix.  My very first year, I did not use color and my kids were lost.  Now, I use color every time I multiply matrices by hand, and I haven’t had any students have trouble.  This one was a life saver for me and my students.

Multiplying Matrices - Color with a Purpose


5.  Angles in Circles  -  It can be very difficult for students to see the different relationships between the angles in a circle.  By highlighting angles, all of the distracting segments are removed and students can identify the types of angles easier.

Angles in Circles - Color with a Purpose


Now that I’ve used Color with a Purpose, I won’t go back.  I have an odd collection of colored pens and pencils, markers and highlighters in a giant tub in my room.  Kids know that they are free to borrow them at any time.  Any homeless pens, markers, or pencils are just added to the tub.  I collected so many homeless ones last year that I didn’t even have to buy any at the beginning of the school year.

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