Angles and Relationships INB Pages

This is part three of my first unit for Geometry.  You can go back and read about part one and part two.

Day 5 - Measure and Classify Angles

I used the Measure and Classify Angles Flipbook by Lisa Davenport.  I really liked the flip book, but it was a little long for one class period.  I liked the tab for the Angle Addition Postulate a lot because it also includes bisected angles.  I wish I would have copied it on colored paper.  Bright yellow would have been nice.  Also, I wrote the wrong title on the page in marker and had to scribble it out :(  

Measure and Classify Angles Flipbook for interactive notebooks in geometry

Day 6 - Angle Pair Relationships

My students came to school with lots of questions about their homework.  So, I made up this page on the fly before we started the new lesson.  I think this is the bones of a good page.  I want to do the same thing next year, but I will have the diagrams printed so the kids can glue them in.  It’s so hard to freehand decent-looking diagrams in the interactive notebook.  

Angles and Diagrams interactive notebook page for high school geometry

This page has my foldable for angle pair relationships.  I didn’t talk about the tabs in order.  First, I talked about complementary angles, then supplementary angles.  Then, I moved the the top tabs.

Angle Pair Relationships Foldable for Geometry
The last page for the unit was this Angle Relationships Error Analysis worksheet.  We did this worksheet together and my kids did a super job finding the error.  I wanted to explain the mistakes only using true statements.  I didn’t really explain this to the kids, but I was trying to create muscle memory and pave the way for proof writing.  

Angle Pair Relationships Error Analysis
After this, there is a quiz, review, and the test.

That’s it!  As we went through the unit, I ended up adding a few more pages than I planned originally.  It makes me a little nervous that I’m going to run out of room before the end of the school year.

Segments, Midpoints, and Distance INB Pages

This is part two of my first unit for Geometry.  You can read about the beginning of the unit here.

Day 3 - Segments and Congruence

Here I used my foldable for the Ruler Postulate and the Segment Addition Postulate.  I actually spent for-ev-er on this page with my kids because I really wanted them to understand the difference between congruent and equal.  This day I actually talked about how equal and congruent are different things.  I’ve mentioned it a few times since then too.  I’m planting the seed now so that they will remember and understand when we do proofs.  I think this is the cutest page we've done so far.  Since you know, that matters and all...

Segment Addition Postulate Foldable for Geometry Interactive Notebooks

Day 4 - Midpoint and Distance Formula

After a short vocab quiz, we did my midpoint and distance formula foldable.  I used the same little story to help kids remember the distance formula that I’ve used in the past.  I did emphasize more this year that the midpoint formula is just the average between the two points.  Once we did the foldable, I had students glue in a practice page.  The problems on the page only say to find the distance, but I had my students also find the midpoint.  Next year, I think I want to include a problem on this page where students are given the midpoint and have to find the endpoint.





Points, Lines, Planes, and Intersections INB Pages

So my first unit of Geometry is in the books!  I am LOVING interactive notebooks for Geometry!  I have even had a few parents email me to tell me how proud their kids are of their notebooks.  i love that the kids are busy while we are taking notes.  I was worried that creating the foldables would take too long and make the lesson super long, but that hasn’t been the case at all.  It’s taking me about the same amount of time to teach the lesson as it used to.  The kids are super engaged the whole time, so I’m able to move quicker because I don’t have to stop because kids are fooling around.  I didn’t hit the class jackpot either - my geometry class has several kids that are known for behavior problems.

Whenever I read about other people’s interactive notebooks, I always wonder HOW the unit progressed in their class and what the days looked like.  I’m going to try to give a glimpse of that.  My students added to their notebooks almost everyday this unit.  My plan going forward for the year is that any day I would typically “do notes” is a day that we will add something to our notebook.  Some days it will just be finishing pages, some days it will be creating a new page.

This is part one of my first unit for Geometry.  I intend to post all of my interactive notebook pages for Geometry and Algebra 1 this year.  However, sometimes life will in the way, so bear with me :)

Day 1 - Points, Lines, and Planes

These two pages were vocab heavy and were lots of writing.  My students did great with it though!  I got the chart page from Sarah Rubin at Everybody is a Genius and the definitions page from Busy Miss Bebe.  

Points, Lines, and Planes interactive notebook page for Geometry

I only had my students glue the chart down at the top.  It's like a large flap in their notebooks.  Under the flap, they wrote the information below.

Points, Lines, and Planes interactive notebook page for Geometry

Day 2 - Intersections

On this day I always give the kids notecards and have them partially rip the cards to create intersecting planes.  Then, we stab their pencils through the notecards to show a line intersecting the plane.  After that, I gave the kids the foldable for intersections from Sarah Rubin at Everybody is a Genius

Points, Lines, and Planes interactive notebook page for Geometry

Points, Lines, and Planes interactive notebook page for Geometry

Then, we added the Always, Sometimes, Never worksheet from Math Giraffe on the opposing page.  I wasn’t paying attention when I copied and gave it to the kids, so I was surprised when I saw angles mentioned as we started completing it in class.  Mental note: pay attention to the stuff you’re giving kids!  We only completed part of it and left the rest to be completed after we talk about angles.  The page is good though.  Next year, I think I will move this page to be the last page of the unit and do it as a review.

Points, Lines, and Planes interactive notebook page for Geometry

Watch for parts two and three of my first unit of geometry coming soon!


Interactive Notebook Setup

Before I started using interactive notebooks, I always wondered how other teachers set them up and got kids started.  I’ve read on other blogs that some teachers take up to a week (!) to set them up.  So, I thought I’d share what I did this year.

I love the way I set up my student's interactive notebooks in math!  These tips will help a teacher in any subject get things going at the beginning of the year.

I told kids at Open House that they would need a composition notebook by the second day of school.  I reminded them on the first day of school as well.  On the second day of school, I had a notebook check.  For the kids that didn’t bring their notebook, I had them follow along on blank notebook paper.

First, I explained that all of their notes will go in their notebooks.  They should never do warmups or homework in their notebook.  Also, their pages should look exactly like mine.  The vast majority of their notebook will be teacher directed, so I don’t want them going off-grid and doing crazy stuff.

I passed out Sharpies and had the kids write their name and class period on the front cover somewhere (inside or outside).  Then, on the first page, they wrote their name at the top of the first page and below that wrote “Unit Table of Contents”.  I decided that they would have a table of contents of the units only in the front.  At the beginning of each unit, we will list the specific pages in the unit.  I made this decision on the fly, because I accidentally forgot to skip the first few pages when I started explaining things to the kids.  Oops!

The second page explains the “rules” of the notebook.  I stole most of the wording from another blogger, but I can’t for the life of me remember who.  Sorry.

I love the way I set up my student's interactive notebooks in math!  These tips will help a teacher in any subject get things going at the beginning of the year.

The third page is my favorite of the beginning pages.  It’s my subtle way of getting would-be whiners to shut up.  Again, I stole parts of this page from others, but I don’t remember who.

I love the way I set up my student's interactive notebooks in math!  These tips will help a teacher in any subject get things going at the beginning of the year.

The fourth page I threw in for good measure.  I thought I should include a little study skills reminder at the front of their notebooks.  Maybe they will actually read it one day.  After they glued in the page, I had them write in the margin the study skill they thought they were best at, and the one they struggled with the most.  I didn’t plan it, but I had a couple minutes to kill and came up with it once I saw the clock :)

I love the way I set up my student's interactive notebooks in math!  These tips will help a teacher in any subject get things going at the beginning of the year.

…And that’s all I did.  The next page starts Unit 1.  It took about 35 minutes to talk to them about all of the information in the pages.  I gave them the last few minutes of class to number the pages.  However, I don’t think I will have them number the pages ahead of time next year - too many of them messed it up.

Link for the pages about notebook "rules"
Link for Tips for Studying Mathematics

As far as supplies, I just have a small pencil pouch under each of their desks.  In the pouch is a pair of scissors, a highlighter, a glue stick, an extra pencil, and a red pen.  They are free to use anything in the pouch, as long as they put it back at the end of class.  I told them that if things start to go missing, they will be responsible for bringing their own supplies.  We will see how it goes…

The Marshmallow Challenge

This year, the first day of school was a little different at my school.  Instead of having the kids go to all of their classes, we met in our advisory groups and did team building activities all day.  There was a pizza party at lunch and an ice cream party after school.  Overall, it was a pretty fun day for the kids.  I’m still undecided about how I feel about it.  While the day was fun, I’m not a huge fan of seeing the kids in that type of situation before I get the chance to lay out my expectations in class.  It think it might have been better at the end of the first week.

The first hour and a half that we were in our groups, each teacher could plan what they wanted to do with their group.  After that, we went through a rotation of activities.  I knew I wanted to do some sort of hands on activity and decided on The Marshmallow Challenge.

The Marshmallow Challenge: a STEM team building activity perfect for the first day of school

The Marshmallow Challenge

  • 1 marshmallow
  • 20 pieces of spaghetti
  • 1 yard of masking tape
  • 1 yard of string
  • 18 minutes

Build the tallest unsupported tower you can.  The marshmallow must be at the top.


I split my students into groups of four.  If you had uneven group sizes, I would make the groups smaller, rather than larger.  In groups of four, each student got building time.  I didn’t have a yardstick or meter stick in my classroom, so I just gave each group pieces that were the same length.  My groups didn’t find the string very helpful.  Now, 18 minutes seemed a little long for them to build.  Most groups finished what they were able to in less time.  If I did this again, I’m not sure I would give the full 18 minutes.  

The Marshmallow Challenge: a STEM team building activity perfect for the first day of school

The Marshmallow Challenge: a STEM team building activity perfect for the first day of school
The tallest tower was 16 1/2 inches.  I wasn’t super impressed.  If you’ve done this with your students, I’d love to hear how tall theirs were!


Dear Teacher...

Dear Teacher at Back to School:

You’re excited.  You’re nervous.  You’re hopeful.  I know, because I am too.  It’s hard to stay focused during the school year, so there are a few things I would like to remind you of.
a letter to teachers preparing for back to school
Your classroom doesn’t have to be Pinterest worthy.  Classroom decor should be at the bottom of your to-do list.  What’s more important?  Course descriptions.  Procedures.  Lesson plans.  Most classrooms you see on Pinterest are the result of organization and refinement over years.  Don’t stress about it.

Don’t be a teacher that you’re not.  Use whatever teaching style works for you.  If guided notes are your thing, then use them!  If Powerpoints are your jam, rock it!  The best way for you to teach is the way you’re most comfortable and most effective with your students.  

Try to give others the benefit of the doubt.  It is so easy to get beaten down through the school year.  Dealing with admin, parents, and other teachers can get exhausting.  Try to give others the benefit of the doubt before assuming they are attacking you.  It will help you have a more pleasant year.

Find a group to help.  I don’t teach at a school where I have a team.  I’m the only one teaching my courses.  It is helpful to find a group.  I really like the Facebook group Secondary Math Teacher Community.  Read blogs.  Buy things on Teachers pay Teachers.  Find a group of people where you can go when you have questions.  You do not have to live on an island and have all the answers.

You rested this summer (hopefully!).  You’ve planned for this year.  Have a great year.

Let’s get to it!

Right Triangles Interactive Notebook Pages

I have three interactive notebook pages for right triangles to share today.  This is mostly going to be a photo dump.  :)

First, I have a two-page glue-in for special right triangles.  I always teach 45-45-90 triangles first and spend a whole day on them.  At the top of the page I have a diagram with the rules, and practice problems at the bottom.

Special Right Triangles Interactive Notebook Page:  45-45-90   mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com

Special Right Triangles Interactive Notebook Page:  45-45-90   mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com

The second day of special right triangles, I teach 30-60-90 triangles.  I used the same format for these notes.  You can find this as a freebie in my TpT store.

Special Right Triangles Interactive Notebook Page:  30-60-90   mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com

Special Right Triangles Interactive Notebook Page:  30-60-90   mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com

After special right triangles, I teach trig ratios.  I usually spend a whole day on tangent, then teach sine and cosine the next day.  

In this foldable, there is an example under each flap and two examples.  One of the examples has the missing side in the numerator and the other one has the missing side in the denominator.  Sometimes students have trouble solving these equations, so I have both types under each flap.  You can find this foldable in my TpT store as well.

Trig Ratios Foldable for Interactive /notebooks

Trig Ratios Foldable for Interactive /notebooks

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