Dilations and Symmetry INB Pages

28 December 2016
The last couple of lessons for my Transformations unit were dilations and symmetry.  

For dilations, I used my dilations foldable.  I gave students the small page with the vocab and definitions that they glued at the top of the page.  This foldable separates the properties and the examples.

dilations foldable for geometry interactive notebooks

The examples flap has two examples - an expansion and a contraction.  I don’t really go into any more depth than this with my students.  We will investigate it a lot more when I have them for Algebra 2 next year.

dilations foldable for geometry interactive notebooks

Then, we moved on to symmetry.  You can download the file here.  Line symmetry is not new for my students.  The top of this page took like 2 minutes.  Then, we talked about rotational symmetry.  After talking through the first two examples, I left them to work with their partners.  Then, we went over it together and I gave them the formula at the bottom of the page.  Most of my students had figured it out, even if they hadn’t written it down explicitly.

symmetry notes for interactive notebooks in high school geometry *free download*

The last page in their notebooks for this unit was review.  I printed my transformations task cards and gave even student four.  I copied them at four per page, so they printed tiny enough for their notebooks.  Each student worked their problems.  Then, they switched notebooks and checked their partners work.  If they agreed, I double checked their answers.  If they disagreed, I checked or had them as someone else for input.  I LOVED using task cards this way, because I didn’t have to come up with additional examples and I already had them.

transformations review for high school geometry interactive notebooks - using task cards

Reflections and Rotations INB Pages

26 December 2016
In my Transformations unit in geometry, I taught translations first.  Then, I moved on to reflections and rotations.

My students learn about transformations in middle school, but they use words like “flip”, “turn”, and “slide”.  So if I can relate the academic vocabulary to the words they are used to hearing, the lessons go much quicker.  Once I reminded students that a “flip” is a reflection, we were ready to start plotting points.  We completed this foldable from my TpT store that gives examples for four common types of reflections.  The foldable gives the rules, but I also have my students write “count the distance away from the line” under each flap.  I give them a rule, because some students like having it, but really they don’t need them for reflections.  I also had to remind them about the equation of a vertical and horizontal line and the line y = x looks like.  I guess Algebra 1 was too long ago for some of them.

reflections fordable for interactive notebooks in high school geometry

Then, I used this page as practice.  I’m less concerned about running out of pages in their notebooks now, so I’m starting to do many more “practice pages”.  I wish I would have done this from the beginning!  You can download the practice page.

reflections practice page for interactive notebooks in high school geometry

My rotations pages went so well!  First, I had my students complete the vocabulary and notation.  Then, we completed the accordion book together.  You can find it in my TpT store.

rotations foldable for interactive notebooks in high school geometry

The first example in the accordion book doesn’t use coordinates.  I typically use patty paper, but I didn’t buy any this year :(  So, I turned the foldable under the document camera instead.  It didn’t work as well, but it got the point across.  When we moved to the coordinate examples, I told students they could turn their notebooks or follow the rules.  I was trying to give them options!

rotations foldable for interactive notebooks in high school geometry

Next, I gave students some graph paper and a table.  I saw this page idea from Equation Freak and tweaked it only a little for my students.  I had them all draw a quadrilateral in the first quadrant.  Then, they were on their own to draw the three rotations and fill in the table.  I did not include 360 degree rotations.  I feel like it’s redundant.  This example was a little easy for my kids, but the bones are there.  I may need to tweak it a little bit to make it more appropriate for high school.

rotations investigation page for geometry

The last part of the unit was symmetry and dilations.

Transformations and Translations INB Pages

19 December 2016
This year, I taught geometric transformations at the end of first semester.  It’s a unit that is easy to move around and I needed to fill a weird length of time before final exams.  I didn’t go as in-depth this year as I have in the past, but I will have the same students again next year for Algebra 2 and can fill any holes then.  

First, I started with a page to introduce all of the vocab that goes with the unit.  Straightforward, quick, and uninteresting.

Geometric Transformations Interactive Notebook Page for Geometry

Next, I taught translations.  This lesson always goes pretty quick.  It’s nice to start with an easy lesson like this one though, because you can use TONS of vocab and students can get used to hearing it throughout the lesson.  This page and the previous page are in my TpT store.  

Translations Interactive Notebook Page for Geometry

Next, I made a practice page for translations.  I printed it on legal paper and cut it in half.  Have I mentioned my LOVE of legal paper for INBs?  Cut in half, it fits perfectly in a notebook and there is overall less wasted space.  This page is uninteresting, but worked very well.  I had my students complete it with their partners and we regrouped as a class to check it.

Translations Practice Interactive Notebook Page for Geometry

Relationships in Triangles INB Pages

08 December 2016
I taught Segments in Triangles as a mini-unit this year.  I spent one day on midesgments and two days on altitudes, angle bisectors, perpendicular bisectors, and medians.  Then, I spent one day on the Triangle Inequality Theorem.  Then, review and test.

I used this flip book for all of the segments in triangles.  I used a powerpoint (which is unusual for me) to go through the vocabulary and examples.  It worked well in class and it was nice to not have to write so much while the students were writing.

Segments in Triangles Flipbook for geometry interactive notebooks

Day 1 - Midsegments

We completed the midsegments tab in the flip book.  Then, I gave each student a paper triangle and had them fold the midsegment of the triangle.  They glued it onto the next page.  They added to this page as we went through the unit.  

paper folding with triangles for midsegments, angle bisectors, and altitudes

After that, I had students complete this practice sheet with their partners.  We went over it as a class and I had them write out the Midsegment Theorem again at the bottom of the page.  Muscle memory.

midsegments in triangles interactive notebook page

Day 2 - Altitudes and Perpendicular Bisectors

I combined the perpendicular lines into one lesson.  First, we completed the tabs in the flip book.  Then, I gave each student a paper triangle.  I had them draw an altitude on the triangle using a notecard as a straight edge.  Some students had triangles with altitudes outside the triangle.  I had a student demonstrate trying to draw the altitude inside when it was supposed to be outside on the document camera.

Day 3 - Angle Bisectors and Medians

This day was the same as the others.  We completed the tabs in the flip book and I had students fold the angle bisectors of a triangle I gave them.  They added it to the paper folding page.

Day 4 - Triangle Inequality Theorem

I used a discovery activity at the beginning of this lesson.  I gave each student a small handful of Q-Tips and had them make a triangle.  I made a list on the board of side lengths.  Then, I had students make a three sided figure that wasn’t a triangle and I made a list of side lengths.  We did this a could of times.  Then, I had students make a conjecture based on the lists.  My students are very shaky with anything they have to do on their own, so this was a low pressure way to try help develop this skill.  Then, we completed the next two pages as a class and with partners.  (download page 1) (download page 2)

triangle inequality theorem interactive notebook page

triangle inequality theorem interactive notebook page

That was the entire unit.  I liked teaching it as a mini-unit.

#MathDollarDeals in December

03 December 2016
#MathDollarDeals in December

Happy December!!

I don't know about you, but I'm SO excited that winter break is so close!  It's time for some rest, time with family, good food, and REST!

In the spirit of the season, some of my friends and I are putting TWO secondary math resources on sale for just $1 each Tuesday in December.

3 Ways to find the $1 Stuff

  1. Check out the Pinterest board each week.
  2. Search Teachers pay Teachers for the hashtag #MathDollarDeals.
  3. Check out the list below!

Absolute Value Equations Flipbook

02 December 2016
My interactive notebook pages for solving absolute value equations aren’t super fancy, but they got the job done!

I made a flip book to split the lesson into sections.  First, I reminded students of the definition of absolute value (they always seem to think it just means “positive!”).  

absolute value equations flipbook for interactive notebooks

Next, I taught students how to solve absolute value equations where the absolute value was already isolated.  I had them highlight everything inside the absolute value bars to show it more clearly.  They thought it was stupid, until we moved to the last flap, which required students to isolate the absolute value.  I still made them highlight everything in the absolute value bars so every step, so that they could see when the absolute value was isolated.  I was trying to prevent them from immediately writing two equations.

absolute value equations flipbook for interactive notebooks

On the next page, I had students do four practice problems.  They had to highlight on each problem and work with their partner.  Then, we would go over it as a class, and move on to the next problem.  Next year, I think I want to include two more problems on this page and have them be examples where students have to add/subtract AND multiply/divide to isolate the absolute value.

absolute value equations flipbook for interactive notebooks

Systems of Non-Linear Equations Ladder Activity

01 December 2016
In Algebra 2, I teach conics at the end of the year. I always include the section that includes systems of non-linear equations, because I think it’s a good review of systems of linear equations and also includes the new concepts. I love this ladder activity as a wrap up!

Systems of Non-Linear Equations Ladder Activity - for Algebra 2 or Pre-Cal

I let my students solve each system using any method they prefer. One of my favorite parts is watching them learn to figure out the most efficient method. Since all of the problems link together like dominos, students know if their answer is incorrect.  That totally frees me up from answering “is this right?” a zillion and a half times.

Systems of Non-Linear Equations Ladder Activity - for Algebra 2 or Pre-Cal, includes conic sections

I like to copy it on colored paper so I can hang them afterward.  :)  You can find this ladder activity in my TpT store.

Functions and Relations INB Pages

27 November 2016
I ended up loving my Introduction to Functions unit!  So far, it’s been my favorite unit in Algebra 1.  

The first day, I talked about domain and range and used my domain and range foldable.  You can see in the picture that I had my students highlight the domain and the range in the table, mapping, and graph.  Also, on the same page, I gave the definition for function and the Vertical Line Test.

Next, we did a card sort of functions and relations.  After only giving them the definition on the previous page, I had them work independently.  I checked in with them every two minutes or so.  I wanted them to THINK.  They did very well and I was impressed with their work.

The second day, I introduced function notation.  I have a previous post about how I teach function notationThis function notation page corresponds with that post.  

I also used this function machine hamburger book from Math=Love.  We went back and forth filling in part of the hamburger book and part of the function notation sheet.  Next year, I want to somehow combine the two into a more cohesive set of notes, instead of jumping around.

I had a review day after these two lessons, because I thought my students would struggle.  However, when I gave them their quiz, almost every Algebra 1 student made an A!  Yay!

I also have pages for writing a function rule and views of a function coming up soon.

Interpreting Graphs INB Page

25 November 2016
I was a little nervous to teach about interpreting graphs in Algebra 1.  However, it went really well and it was kind of fun!

First, I made this giant foldable.  I made it on legal paper, so it took the entire page of my student’s notebooks.  I'm really starting to love legal paper, ya’ll.  A half sheet of legal paper takes up the entire notebook page (nicely!).  Anyway, I used bubble letters for students to color in the emphasized words.  My students had a hard time deciding when to use a curve versus a line.

Interpreting Graphs, Sketching Graphs, and Relating Graphs to Events Foldable for Algebra 1

Interpreting Graphs, Sketching Graphs, and Relating Graphs to Events Foldable for Algebra 1

When we finished the foldable, I had my students each write a story.  Then, they traded with their partners and drew a graph that went with their partner’s story.  Next they drew a graph and their partner had to come up with a story that matched the graph.  We did a few rounds of this until the end of the class period.

Midsegments in Triangles Paper Folding Activity

19 November 2016
I love using this paper folding activity to help students discover the Triangle Midsegment Theorem.  This year, I had my students fold the triangle and glue it into their notebooks.

First, cut out a triangle (any type of triangle) and label the vertices with A, B, and C.

Midsegments in Triangles Paper Folding Activity

Fold A to C and pinch the midpoint.  Don’t fold all the way through. Label this midpoint L.

Midsegments in Triangles Paper Folding Activity

Fold B to C and pinch the midpoint again.  Don’t fold it all the way through. Label this midpoint N. 

Midsegments in Triangles Paper Folding Activity

Fold C down to the opposite side, connecting the midpoints. This is the midsegment of the triangle.  Draw the segment connecting L and N. 

Midsegments in Triangles Paper Folding Activity

With C folded down, fold B to C and crease.  With B and C folded, fold A to C and crease.  The triangle should be folded into a rectangle.

Midsegments in Triangles Paper Folding Activity

Ask students, “How does LN compare to AB”?  LN is half of AB.  This is part of the Triangle Midsegment Theorem.  

Then, ask students how else LN is related to AB.  If students can’t tell that it is parallel, have them use a straightedge to verify visually that the lines are parallel.

Midsegments in Triangles Paper Folding Activity

This activity takes less than five minutes, but helps my students visualize the theorem so much better!


16 November 2016
When I’m teaching congruent triangles, CPCTC always ends up being such a short lesson, because it seems so obvious to me.  That’s been ok for me in the past.  However, this year, I think I should have had my students work with CPCTC a little bit more.  I’ve been trying to keep up with our curriculum map, only to find out that it’s incorrect.  I could have spent more time in this unit and I wish I did!

Anyway, this is the page I used for CPCTC.  There are zero fancy things on this page.  It’s actually kind of lame.  I had the students copy down the proofs themselves.  Yeah, I’m not doing that again.  I have too many LD students for that to be a good teacher-choice.  I want to make a little proof booklet for CPCTC like I did for parallel lines and triangle congruence shortcuts.

CPCTC Interactive Notebook Page for Congruent Triangles Unit in Geometry

Also, learn from my fail.  Don’t have kids copy down the whole proof themselves.  :)  It ends up super messy and illegible.  

Using Doodles in Math Class

13 November 2016
My friend from Math Dyal has been so inspired by brain research that she's changed the way her students use their interactive notebooks.  Today, she's writing to share tips from her classroom.  You can find her at her blog, Math Dyal, and her TpT store under the same name.

Last week a district administrator and assistant principal randomly showed up in my classroom as we were working on a lesson on graphing lines. I am so used to observers popping in, I barely even noticed and went about my way. They stopped to talk to a group of students about what they were learning, and one of the girls in the group asked the administrator, "Do you want to see my notebook?" and proudly showed off everything we have been working in recently in her interactive notebook.  I LOVE having a tool like this that students actually use, refer to, and want to show off!

I've been totally inspired by Math Giraffe's brain research to allow plenty of opportunities for doodling and coloring with purpose in my notes. I love using an outline font for the title - my students always seemed to forget to write the title, so now they fill in the bubble letters instead.

Slope-Intercept Form Interactive Notebook Notes: Using Doodles in Math Class

When we took these notes for domain and range, I had them pick two different colors and use on to underline domain everywhere they saw it on the page and the other for range. Then when we found each, we used the corresponding color.

Domain and Range Interactive Notebook Notes: Using Doodles in Math Class

I love adding little pieces of clip art next to word problems; the students will color them in while they read through the problem. Plus it's easy to tell them where to go back to their notes, "We have an example of a problem like this on p. 24 - the cupcake problem."

Linear Equations Interactive Notebook Notes: Using Doodles in Math Class

Doodle borders and doodle underlines are my other favorites. They are so easy to pop on the page, and so many students love coloring them in - giving their right brain a chance to engage with the math. I keep a few markers and highlighters in the supply boxes in the center of each table, but several students like to bring in special gel pens, those fun clear highlighters, or sets of colored pencils.

Linear Equations Interactive Notebook Notes: Using Doodles in Math Class

In the end, the kids are engaged in taking notes about math and they are using their notes to refer back to when they need help with classwork, homework, or to study for a test. I consider anything that gets kids excited about math to be a win in my book!

Slope Interactive Notebook Notes: Using Doodles in Math Class

Function Notation Interactive Notebook Notes: Using Doodles in Math Class

Want to check out some of my doodle notes for your class? I have these awesome Literal Equations Notes to download on my blog. And these fun Polynomials Notes as a freebie in my TPT store! Happy doodling! 

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