In preparing for school to start, I am planning to have my students complete the Numbers About Me activity that I’ve seen floating around the internet. I think I first found it at Everybody is a Genius and then I saw something similar on Math = Love. I once did a very watered down version of the activity that was essentially a template/worksheet. That version was not as successful as I had hoped. I ended up with generic answers to questions and random drawings (mostly multicolored scribbles).
It’s a new year so a new opportunity for me to try something new. I made a presentation about numbers about Ms. Schley. I used it as a quiz of sorts. We then practiced names while students guessed the answers. I would tell them higher or lower and other students would guess. Once we had guessed the correct number, I used it as an opportunity to tell them a little bit about myself. Even the 8th graders that I had last year enjoyed guessing and remained engaged in the activity.
Once we had talked about the numbers about me, I gave the students the assignment of creating numbers about them. They will then use these numbers to decorate the outside of their interactive notebooks. This activity will probably take place at the end of the week so look for an update then.
We are wrapping up our unit on data analysis and probability. I’ll be honest, unless it is pretty straight forward, probability is not my strongest area. I had to do some relearning!
Earlier in the year we touched very briefly on probability and we talked about probability trees. My students kinda understood these tree diagrams, but it still confused
many most of them.
We worked on understanding probability through the use of area models. This made a lot more sense to them than trying to use a probability tree. Here is a model.
A area model representing rolling a dice and flipping a coin.
This was more visual for my students and made a lot more sense. The problem was that it only works for a two event situation. It will not work for three or four events. That means that when students get to a more complicated situation where they have to calculate the probability this strategy will not work. However, since two events falls within the scope of our standards, I have chosen to continue with this model. This also made it easy to highlight areas where the desired outcome occurred and then count the squares of the total number of outcomes possible.
Since my students need to see examples similar to those that they will be expected to complete during the assessment, I created a foldable for them to fill out. In my room, I am fortunate enough to have a document camera that I used to fill the foldable out on the board. We then added these to our interactive notebooks. Here is the foldable that I created.
For many of my students this helped to organize our thoughts and strategies. There are some things that I would like to tweak about it, but it was a decent place to start. Here is the pdf for the foldable.