Activity of the Week – 04/26/2011

This activity can be found in the 6th grade (Green) Big Ideas Math textbook on page T-330

1. Make eleven number cards using 3 x 5 index cards. Write the integers -5 to 5 on the cards.

2. Ask 11 students to stand in front of the room. Each student holds one card and faces their classmates who are seated. Tell them you will describe a set of numbers and if their number is in the set described, they should take one step forward.

3. “If your number is [sample] take one step forward on the word go.”

4. Samples: greater than 2, less than or equal to 1, at least -1, at most 3

5. This introduction helps to connect the vocabulary to the graphs that students will be drawing.

Updates and Testimonials

We’ve just returned from the NCTM Conference in Indianapolis with many wonderful things to share with you!

We were so pleased to share our Big Ideas Math series with the educators and other conference attendees that visited our booth. Big Ideas Math was also represented at the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) booth, our exclusive distributors for this series.

Current users of the program also stopped by the booth and had such amazing comments and praise for the program. I’d like to share an incredible testimonial from a Big Ideas Math teacher from Indiana:

We recently just took our spring NWEA benchmarking tests and I have seen my highest average growth in my six years of teaching. The students are asking deeper questions and having passionate debates. They are showing a better understanding of how the sections and chapters fit together.

I am loving this program and am so thankful to be using it every day.

- Darrell Frazier

If you have comments or a testimonial regarding the Big Ideas Math series, we would love to hear it! We will be featuring testimonials often, and yours could be next!

Technology in the Classroom

Combining technology with quality instruction has tremendous power in enriching content for students. As a daily aspect of students’ lives, technology is not something we can simply push under the rug during school hours. While many teachers are igniting student learning by incorporating interactive polls, blogs, streaming video, and social media into their daily lessons, there are plenty of teachers that are leery to begin the journey to a technologically savvy classroom.

So, what reasons do teachers have for not including more technology in their classrooms?
- Not sure where to begin and/or not sure how to use it
- Lack of training or related professional development
- It is too time-consuming
- Availability of resources

While these are legitimate reasons you may have experienced, a few small steps can make a big difference. There is a multitude of resources available on the internet, such as tutorials for using Skype (free live video) in the classroom, blogging sites specifically for educators and students, and interactive sites based on classroom content, among many others.

Last week, I listed a few useful websites for teachers that may assist you in beginning to set up your technology arsenal. Numerous programs and tools are also free and fairly easy to set up:
- Skype in the Classroom
- Twitter
- Google Earth
- Weebly
- Edublogs

What types of technology do you use in your classroom? What training, if any, is offered to teachers to implement new technology? We’d love to hear from you!