Sunday, 26 July 2015

Dance Dance Transversal

Dance to learn angle related to transversals

I have seen a few different teachers using this dancing method to practise learning related angles between parallel lines.

Algebrainiac did it here :

St Mary Star of the Sea did it here:

Communicating Mathematically has a guide here:

And I understand the activity originally come from a series of discussions at a #msmathchat

Overall the concept is that the students use masking tape (or something similar) to draw 2 parallel lines, and then a transversal. The teacher instructs the names of each pair of angles (Corresponding, Alternate, etc) and then sets up a presentation flashing up each type of angle and the students dance so that their feet land on the relevant angles.

It seems our curriculum is somewhat different in the naming of certain angles, so I have taken primarily from to name my angles, then set some music for students to dance to the Angles.

Dance Dance Transversal - Introduction Level (Australian)

The first video has a nice slow song, and plenty of time to get to know the angles and introduces using the related angles.

Dance Dance Transversal - LEVEL UP (Australian)

Once the students are warm and know the angles well, they get some challenges to extend their understanding of angle pairs (and have a little fun). The Level Up video is faster, and ends with a very fast section intended as a joke (although 2 students reportedly succeeded all the way to the end...but I am not sure if I would)

The students had fun, and were very active for a final period on a Friday.

Teaching Logarithmic Graphs with Desmos

Teaching Logarithmic Graphs

Exponential Functions lead to many discussions of Moore's Law, Dominos and Paper Folding, however Logarithms are somewhat less immediately apparent.

Exploring how Logarithmic Functions transform is valuable example of transformation of functions more generally, so making it playful and accessible will aid the students understanding.

To enable this I created some challenges for students:

Answers for these challenges are linked below.

Once students are confident with understanding Logarithmic (and Exponential) graph transformations, let them test their vocabulary using Desmos' Polygraph. I have created a series of Log and Exponent Graphs, the students need to ask questions like Guess Who, to identify which graph they have picked.

Have a look at the activity here ( Class code: zhad)

or you can run the activity in your classroom through here.

Through these activities students can develop a strong understanding of Transformation of Functions (in particular Logarithmic Functions) while essentially playing with computers (and thanks to a great foundation set by Desmos)

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Online Canvas for revision

The test is coming up... how do I give my students the best way to revise the content?

For previous revision lessons we prepared mind maps, flash cards and revision sheets, but this time we will be using an online canvas covering all of the content, with links to various informative and interactive sites to support the students preparation for the test.
This was something different for the Year 8 Class, and they seemed to really enjoy it.

When we got into class, I shared the link with the students. Different students gravitated to different aims of the sway. As I circulated the classroom, I could see where each student was focussed.

Some went straight to the chapter review test, others diligently created their own revision pages in their workbook from the canvas and some went straight to the interactive games and websites that I had linked to. This allowed for a differentiation based on student preference.

As I circulated the classroom, I encouraged student to focus on areas that they were not sure of and I knew that some students had missed parts of certain topics. Interestingly most had naturally tended towards areas that they had missed.

For homework, I suggested that there was a mistake in one of the pictures on the canvas- they needed to find it. I do this to encourage the students to question and ensure they truly understand the content.

The students interestingly found two, and returned with a range of great questions (highlighting where further clarity is required).

Feedback from students was that they found Sway useful and for me it took limited effort to create.

You can see my Sway below or per the link.

Creating the Sway was incredibly easy. I logged into (with my free Microsoft account) and named the Sway "Year 8 Semester 1 Revision", set headings for each topic, then I clicked Insert. Sway was able to search the internet and recommended pictures, videos and even wikipedia snippets that related to the content.

Working through the topics was as simple as drag and dropping the images, videos and embedded interactive objects about the content into the canvas. As I identified specific aspects of the topic, I was able to search and find precisely the material I wanted. 

Once I was satisfied that all content was covered, I turned to the look and feel of the canvas.
There is always the option to leave it chance and click "Remix", but I wanted to be a little more directive. I arranged the navigation to be vertical and selected the font, colour and background that I wanted.

Overall, I found Sway to be quick to create, valuable to use and easy to share with my students. I have already used this with my year 10 class as well as year 8 classes, all with plenty of success. I certainly will be using it again.