So, I always loved teaching logs in Algebra 2. I have so many fun things that I did during that unit!

This isn’t really an activity, but it always worked well with my kids. I made this “quiz” for my students with everything I wanted them to know after the expanding and condensing logs lesson. I usually put it under the document camera and told them it was a pop quiz (which it really wasn’t). Then, I set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes. I didn’t allow them to use their notes. They always freaked out a little in the beginning, then read the instructions and calmed down a little. Once the timer went off, we would check our answers together.

Giving a fake quiz always inspired my students to start studying (go figure!). After I did this the first time, I started doing it more often. It scares the kids that haven’t been doing their homework, but doesn’t necessarily penalize them. I like doing this because students often decide on their own to review their notes, rather than having me nag them, which is always a win.

Digital activities are all the rage right now. In our technology driven culture, I think technology in the classroom is here to stay. Even if you don’t have devices to use everyday, occasional use can still solve your problems! Here are five common teacher problems that are solved by using digital activities.

Low Engagement - Let’s face it. Some students would be happy to be buried in their laptops/ipads/phones all day. It can be hard to keep those students engaged in traditional activities, because they won’t participate. However, digital activities allow those students to use their technology while still participating in the learning activities.

Kids Lose Everything - My students seem to lose everything! If notes and notes and activities are saved to their personal Drives, they won’t get lost! …at least it will be harder to lose.

Not Enough Storage Space - Storage is a serious issue for me. I have files and files of activities that take up a whole filing cabinet. I’m moving to a very small classroom this year and have no idea where I’m going to store everything. Digital activities solve your storage issues!

I have drawers and drawers that look like this. I kid you not.

Paper and Glue Messes - Some cut and paste activities create a huge mess. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scrubbed glue off of desk tops at the end of the school day. While messes are fun sometimes, I don’t want them everyday. Cut and paste activities can be adapted as digital activities to save the mess!

Too Much Grading - I get tired of grading. I also don’t have enough hours in a day to grade all of the student work that I want to. Google Forms has a “Quiz” feature that will grade for you. Flubaroo is an add-on that grades for you as well. The best part? They both automatically give statistics for you.

Do digital activities solve any problems for you? Share below!

If you'd like to see some digital activities for Google Drive in action, check out my video below!

You can find activities for Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive in my TpT store.

I stumbled across this game called “Name that Conic” a few years ago on Walking in Mathland. I have played it and changed it little by little every year that I have played it. This game is a good way to help kids practice classifying conics that are in standard form. It’s so helpful for kids to be able to do this before completing the square, so they can troubleshoot if they make a mistake. You can find instructions for the game on Walking in Mathland, but I’m going to give my tweaked version below.

Directions:

Each group of students is given an envelope of 5 notecards. Each notecard has a problem number on the back of the card and an equation in standard form on the front. Students will name the conic, write it on their answer sheet, and put the cards back in the envelope.

After one minute, say “ROTATE” and each group passes their cards to another group. The original game says to give two minutes, but that has been way too long for my classes. Once the game gets going, my students only use 30-40 seconds or so for each set of cards.

Repeat until each group has seen all of the cards.

Score the answer sheets to see which team got the most correct.

Here’s the kicker: The person writing is not allowed to look at the cards AND I don’t let students talk for the entire game. If I see the writer peek at the cards or I hear one word, the team gets penalized. They have to end up coming up with some sort of sign language to communicate. I make them rotate writers each round so everyone gets a turn.

To prepare, you need to create the cards. The original blogpost on Walking in Mathland gives a link to a page with a list of equations. Really, you could just make up your own. The students aren’t competing the square or anything, so it doesn’t really matter if the numbers work out nicely or anything. You need eight sets of five cards. You could play with less, but I think this is a good amount for a nice game. I suggest handwriting the equations on the front of the cards and writing the problem numbers on the back. I labeled mine with letters and numbers so that if a card is lost, I would know which group it belonged to. You can find the answer sheet I used here. I also included the answer key, but I realize that’s kind of dumb because you don’t have the equations I used. I ended up using some from the list on Walking in Mathland and some from our textbook.

My students always tend to get mixed up when using the Pythagorean Theorem Converse. They tend to get the direction of the inequality mixed up and I hear things like "greater than means acute...or does it mean obtuse?". My solution to this is to have students ALWAYS write the bigger number first in the inequality and put a box where the inequality goes. So they would write something like this...

52o 32 + 42

Then, they do the comparison to see which is larger. Basically, they are being consistent with the way they are showing their work. I try to get them to say to themselves, "The longest side is longer/shorter than the other two, so that means it's acute/obtuse." I think consistency helps them in this case.

Here is a practice activity for interactive notebooks using the Pythagorean Theorem Converse.

I like this because they are doing a zillion practice problems, but the students don't really notice. I glued everything in on this page, but I could have made little pockets and put the cards in the pockets so students can practice. You can find this activity here.

This post is kind of a photo dump of an idea for a functions foldable. The foldable is a free download from TPT and you can find it here.

At the top of the page the definitions for function and relation are written out. I think it’s important for students to see mathematical definitions often. Underneath that, is a foldable jam packed with informations about finding the domain and range of functions from graphs, ordered pairs, a table, and a mapping.