## Intro to Linear Equations INB Pages

This year, I completely changed my linear equations unit.  I went at a slower pace and reorganized the information a little bit.  I used some of the pages I used last year for slope and equations of lines.

First, I taught my students the difference between linear and non-linear lines.  This page wasn't to difficult for my students and they followed along very well.  You can find this page here.

After this, we talked about zeros of functions.  I used this hamburger book to have students practice using a table of values to graph a line.  I just added this hamburger book to my FREE Resource Library.  If you don't have access, you can sign up here!

The word problems were a little bit challenging for my students, but they were perfect for discussion in class.

I used the same notes for slope that I used last year.  Slope dude just helps so much!  Also, you can check out these videos for students about teaching slope.

Then, we practiced writing linear equations in standard form.  My students are not required to make the "a" value positive at the end.  We mainly practice moving the x and y on either side of the equals sign to get them used to it.  You can find this page here.

Then, I had them take a handwritten notes page about how to find the intercepts from a linear equation written in standard form.  After that, they worked three practice problems with their partners.  I game them an equation and they had to write it in standard form and find the intercepts.  I've been including a lot more partner work in their notebooks this year.

This was the end of our first unit.  After this we had a test before moving on to the "meat" of writing linear equations.

## Interpreting Graphs INB Pages

At the beginning of the year, I introduced some graphing vocabulary to my Algebra 1 students at the beginning of the year.  Now that I'm further through the year, I'm noticing that this was a great idea!  My students are more comfortable with the vocabulary this year and are more willing to use math vocabulary.

First, I had my students write out definitions in different colors.  As we wrote each definition, we color coded it on the next page on each graph.

I had them mark the lines of symmetry in the same color that they had written the definition in.  I love having students color-code their notes and I know that it helps them process the information and read it later.

I also like that these pages turned out so colorful since they are color coded!  :)

## Mrs. E's Favorite Things

In the spirit of the holidays, I want to share some of my favorite things with you!  Keep reading until the end, because there is something for you too!

### My Favorite Holiday Activity

I love decorating the Christmas tree.  As long as I can remember, we have always blasted old Christmas music and put up the tree as a family.  My mom would take us to the store to pick out our own Christmas ornament every year.  We would put our initials on it very small at the bottom and the year.  Then, when I got my own Christmas tree as an adult, my mom gave me all of my own ornaments that I picked out as I was growing up.  All of them bring back memories and it's fun to put them up and tell my son about each one.  I hope to start the tradition with him next year when he's a little older.

This is my Christmas tree this year:

### My Favorite Math Activity

My favorite math activity is a sum 'em activity.  I use them to review all kinds of concepts.  They encourage students to work together and find their own mistakes.

Students are put in groups of four and each student in a group is given one card with a problem on it.  When all of the students in the group have finished their problems, they add their answers together.  Then, students check their sums with the teacher.  If they are incorrect, they trade problems within their group and try again.  If they are correct, they move on to another set of cards.  I love this type of activity because it gets students working together and talking about math.

If you sign up for my Free Resource Library, there is a FREE sum 'em activity included.  If you'd like to see my other sum 'em activities, you can find them here.

### My Favorite Math Teacher Tools

I can't limit this to just one thing, so I thought I'd list my top three!

First, if you haven't tried Flair pens yet, you need to.  It took me FOREVER before I was willing to try them.  I'm kind of cheap about some things and I just thought they were over priced.  However, I LOVE them!  I love that they are so bold and bright, but don't bleed through paper.  I also like that they liven up the white pages in my interactive notebooks.

My second favorite math teacher tool is a timer.  Really, every teacher needs a timer.  Yes, I have one on my phone, but I don't really want to have my phone out around my students all day.  I have this cheap, digital timer and it works great.  Timers help keep students one task by putting a little pressure on them.  Also, they can help by minimizing transition time.

The last teacher tool for today is STICKERS!  Even my high school students like getting stickers.  I always put a sticker on tests and quizzes that have earned an A.  My students love seeing that they have earned a sticker.  There are some amazing and cheap sticker packs out there for teachers.

## Giveaway Time!!

Giveaway Closed

To help you get through the holidays and the new year started off right, I am giving away a \$25 Teachers pay Teachers gift card!

To enter, follow both steps below.

1. Comment on this post, answering the question below.
2. If you haven't already, sign up for my mailing list to get teaching tips and the inside scoop on sales and giveaways.
What unit is the most difficult for you to teach and why?

This giveaway ends Monday, December 18, 2017 at 8pm EST.  Now it's time to hop on over to Kara's blog at Learning Made Radical for another giveaway!

## 13 Engaging Ideas for Teaching Systems of Equations

Systems of equations can be challenging for Algebra 1 students!  The first day of my solving systems by substitution lesson, I see so many heads explode.  I've developed some favorite ideas and resources over the years that I'd love to share with you!

Here are my favorite tips and resources to help you through your systems of equations unit!  (in no particular order)

1 - Emoji Logic Puzzles - These logic puzzles are a fun way to get students solving systems without even realizing it!  They would also be fun warmups or as emergency sub plans during this unit.

2 - Solving Systems of Equations by Graphing Pennant - Solving systems by graphing is the best place to start the unit.  It helps students visualize solving algebraically and starts in their comfort zone.  This pennant is a fun way for students to practice!

3 - Review Literal Equations - Solving systems by substitution is very overwhelming for students at first.  However, I have found that if I review solving literal equations as a warmup before the lesson, things go a little bit better that day.  :)

4 - Systems of Equations Sum 'Em Activity: Word Problems - You better believe that I'm going to use a sum 'em to help students figure out systems of equations word problems!  Sum 'em activities get students working together and discussing math.  They are so easy to use, but keep students persistent and engaged the entire class period.  Word problems can be so difficult, so I absolutely use this activity to help students master them!

5 - Linear Systems Interactive Notebook Unit - If you want an entire interactive notebook unit for systems of equations, look no further.  This complete unit is ready to copy!

6 - Solving Systems of Equations Interactive Notes Activity - This set of notes is ready to go in an interactive notebook.  I like that it compares the different methods for solving systems and keeps the information organized in one place.

7 - Systems of Equations INB Pages - These are the interactive notebook pages that I used last year!  The notes pages are a FREE download.

8 - Have Students Highlight the Variables - When teaching solving systems by elimination, have students "stack" the like terms and highlight them like the picture below.  My students struggle when the variables aren't lined up and this helps them remember to add and subtract the like terms.

9 - Systems of Equations Matching Game and Quiz - This FREE download is a fun matching game to give students practice solving systems.  Also, the quiz that's included could be used as an exit ticket or as an additional INB page.  So many uses!

10 - How Can You Win Every Prize at Chuck E. Cheese's? - This is a cool 3-act task that keeps students interest while introducing them to the topic.  To be successful, students need to be very comfortable graphing equations of lines.  Also, this would be a good introduction to systems of equations word problems.

11 - Solving Systems of Equations Puzzle - This hands-on puzzle gets students practicing elimination and substitution.  Since this is self-checking, students don't practice incorrectly - they must ask for help if they don't find their answer.

12 - Systems of Two Equations Task Cards - Sometimes you just need a good set of task cards.  This set of task cards is perfect for warmups or playing speed dating.  You can find some great ideas for using task cards here and here.

13 - Systems of Equations Word Problems Stations Maze - Students need LOTS of practice with word problems!  This stations maze gets students out of their seats and moving.  It also encourages students to check their work carefully since an incorrect answer will eventually send them back to a problem they have already solved.  Successfully completing the stations maze requires students to slow down and check their work.

I hope you have found something useful to use in your classroom this year!

## Angle Pair Relationships Proofs INB Pages

I shared some of this last year, on my Beginning Proofs INB Pages post, but this year I did things a little differently.

I used this flapbook for the angle pair theorems and postulates.  This time, I had my students write out the theorems underneath the flaps and also write the shorthand they are allowed to use in proofs.  I leave my honors students a little more open-ended so that they have to fill in important information themselves.  I'm trying to help them learn how to be good notetakers.  I can't just turn them lose though, because most of them are freshmen!

This year, I added this page with two practice proofs.  It is now part of the exclusive content in my geometry foldable bundle.  I think it helped my students understand the proofs a little but better and I'm SO GLAD I had my students do the proof of the theorem.  I don't think I prove theorems enough in class and this was a good addition to the lesson.

I'm happy with the way this lesson has evolved over the years.  I think the Congruent Complements/Supplements Theorem are hard for students, but proving the theorem did help.  I think this is the best that I've taught it, and my students are comfortable with all of the theorems.

## Classroom Management: 3 Ways to Stay Calm and Consistent

I’ve heard over and over in my career that you can’t teach anything until you have a handle on classroom management.  If your kids are out of control, you cannot teach them anything.

There are multiple classroom management strategies out there.  You have to use whatever works for you.  HOWEVER, these three tips will work with whatever kind of classroom management system you already have in place.

### 3 Ways to Stay Calm and Consistent

#### 2 - Move slowly.

As the leader in the room, you must project calm.  Calm is slow.  Slow is strength.  Strength is control.  Take a few seconds to S-L-O-W-L-Y and deliberately turn toward disruptive students.  When your body goes into the fight/flight reflex you react quickly.  Slow and deliberate movements show control over your body.

#### 3 - Don’t make rules you aren’t willing to enforce ALL THE TIME.

Consistency is key.  Don’t make rules you know you won’t enforce.  I’m very laid-back as a teacher.  I’ve decided what rules are important to me, and I let the rest go.  While this doesn’t work for everyone, I do not make rules that I know I will end up letting slide later.  This one was a game changer for me.  When I first started teaching, I had lots of rules and I wasn’t consistent about enforcing all of them.  It did not work out well.  Again, don’t make rules you aren’t willing to enforce ALL THE TIME.

## Interval Notation INB Page

Last year, our math standards were revised.  In that, I now get to teach my Algebra 2 students how to write in interval notation.  Honestly, I strongly prefer interval notation and I'm so glad we could end the inequalities!

This notes page was taken from A Nelson Math.  I reformatted to include practice problems on the bottom.

I had students tape the top page down so that they could flip it up.  Underneath, I had them draw a table.  On the table, they wrote the interval in words, drew a number line, wrote in interval notation, and wrote in inequality notation.  It helped my students so much to be able to see the four versions together.  My students still struggled with things like x =/ 0, so I want to maybe do four or five example lines next year.

## Intro Geometry Proofs INB Pages

Last year, I created several interactive notebook pages for beginning proofs in geometry.  However, this year, I'm teaching honors geometry and wanted to include more proofs practice in their notebooks.

First, we started with two-column proof tips.  I used this same page last year.  You can find the page on the link above.  However, I didn't write as many notes on the page, because I wanted my honors students to thoughtfully add their own tips to this page.

Then, we completed this flipbook for algebraic proofs.  I had my students write all of the properties under the first flap and practice under the second flap.  On the last flap, we did a few algebraic proofs together.

The next day, we started segment and angle proofs.  I used this foldable so that I could have students add a lot of practice proofs into their notebooks.  When we did these examples in class, I had them fill in all of the "givens" first.  I want them to see that while proofs may have lots of blanks, there is always SOMETHING that's a "freebie".

Once students were more comfortable with these basic proofs, I gave them a few additional theorems.  These theorems aren't in our textbook, but I use them in some honors-level worksheets that I have made.  I don't think these are a big stretch for my honors kids.  In orange, I have written the shorthand that students are allowed to use on homework and tests.  This page is in the exclusive content are of my Geometry Foldable Bundle.

## Piecewise Functions INB Pages

Piecewise functions are so challenging for students in the beginning!  I tried a totally new approach this year, and I ended up LOVING it.  Of course, my students didn't love it.  However, they understood more quickly than my students have in the past, which I consider a big win.

First, I gave students three graphs.  I asked them to write the equation of each line.  It doesn't matter what the graph look like.  Then, we cut the graphs along two different vertical lines and pieced the graphs together to make three different sections (see the picture below).  After that, I had students write the inequality for each part that they used.  Then, I showed them what it looks like written as a piecewise function.  They didn't like it.  It made them squirm...a good squirm.

Next, we looked at the function below.  I had them fill in the table and plot the points.  My students didn't like it, but it helped.

After that, we completed this foldable.  Right now, it's only available as exclusive content through my Algebra Foldable Bundle.  Under each flap, there are step by step directions and examples.

I liked that I included the DNE point in the foldable.  My students will explore that more in Pre-Cal, but I liked introducing them to the idea a little early.

My students still hate piecewise functions, but they did much better than they think they did!

## 7 Ideas for Teaching the Pythagorean Theorem

There are so many good ideas for teaching students about the Pythagorean Theorem!  It seems like every year I change a little bit when I teach this lesson.  However, I have found some favorite ideas over the years.

Here are my top 7 ideas for the Pythagorean Theorem (in no particular order):

1 - Pythagorean Theorems Word Problems Coloring Worksheet - I love using this worksheet because it gets students to practice word problems, with less complaining because of the coloring.

2 - Pythagorean Theorem Proof Without Words - This post has a free download of a template for showing your students a visual explanation of the Pythagorean Theorem.  It helps so much for them to see a concrete example!

3 - Pythagorean Theorem Solve and Snip - This cut and paste worksheet also has students practice word problems!

4 - The Pythagorean Theorem - The Science of Football - I show this video every year.  It helps capture the attention of my athletes and even has interviews with football players and coaches.  It's by the National Science Foundation and very well done.

5 - Pythagorean Theorem Word Problems Digital Activity - Looking to go digital?  These digital task cards are a fun way for students to (again) practice word problems.  I like having students work with partners and take turns drawing the diagrams.

6 - Pythagorean Theorem INB Pages - I think these are my favorite notes for the Pythagorean Theorem.  They're simple and effective.

7 - Pythagorean Theorem Pennant - This pennant is adorable and would help decorate your classroom!  I especially love the squares around the triangle on each part of the pennant.

I hope you found something new that you can use in your classroom!

## Help Students Visualize Overlapping Triangles

When teaching triangle congruence, overlapping triangles appear at some point.  I always teach students to draw the triangles separately before making any conclusions.  This activity/demonstration helps students create overlapping triangles and separate them to see the triangles individually.

First, fold one corner of a piece of paper to form a triangle.  Trace the triangle on the piece of paper.

Cut along the traced edges and cut along the fold.  How do you know that the two triangles are congruent?

Label the angles of the triangle.  Have students write a congruence statement.

Use the two triangles to create different shapes.  Have some of the shapes use overlapping triangles.

See how many other shapes students can find with their congruent triangles.

This is a great activity to do before starting congruent triangles proofs!