Thursday, March 19, 2015

Boo Yah! It's Basketball Time!

Today starts one on my absolutely favorite times of the year, the
NCAA Men's Final Four Tournament.  
I love college basketball in March!  But really, I only watch it in March.  I'm a huge sports aficionado, but for some reason I only follow college basketball in March.  The excitement of the tournament, the cinderella teams, the buzzer beaters, it just can't be beat.  Plus, it's great to drive my family crazy by hogging the television for three weeks straight because of course, they couldn't care less.

Here's my bracket for this year...

Well this year, in addition to the basketball tournament, some fellow sellers and I decided to have a product tournament as well.  For now, as the tournament is progressing, you can get a freebie from each of us in our March Mayhem Freebie Bundle.  That's where you'll find my Overall Average math product.

But we've also paired one of our products with each of the 64 teams, and as the winner is determined, we will each give a product away for free for two days.  It's a great opportunity to get some awesome products from 
History Gal, 
Math Giraffe, 
Leah Cleary, 
Ellie Nix, 
The Technology Integration Station, 
and myself - The Colorado Classroom.

Check it out and see what you could win, and then watch the tournament and root for your favorite team or product to take it all.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

An Extra Chance to get Kids Hooked on Math

As this Saturday approaches one of the most epic math days approaches.  Of course I am speaking about pi day on March 14.  This year makes it especially wonderful because it won't just be pi day on 3/14, but it will be super pi day on 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 when 10 digits of pi align to the date of the year.  That's just cool!

Pi Day is the perfect opportunity to get kids hooked on math.  Too often, as educators, we hear, "Math is too hard," "I can't do it," etc.  But Pi Day allows you to have fun with math, and it allows kids to see that math doesn't just have to be a list of numbers and equations and repetitive practice after practice. Pi Day lets kids see that math can be shapes, figures, fractals, colors, diagrams, exploration, discovery, and more.

For the younger students Pi Day presents a wealth of crafts that can be created related to circles.  Anything with circles can be cut, glued, beaded, sewn, and strung together to make circles the focus.  Add in a little history explaining how the ratio was discovered, who assigned the Greek letter of pi to it, and how pi is used today, and you've got yourself a lesson.  Some craft suggestions include assigning a different color to each digit, 0-9, and then using that guide to create bracelets and keychains, decorate pi quilt squares, make a paper chain representing the digits of pi, and more.

For slightly older children, Pi Day allows them to explore mathematical concepts without the weight of a grade or the worry of a test.  They can graph the digits of pi, measure circumferences and diameters and find the ratio themselves, explore volume of different sized cylinders and see how the base (area) of the circle affects the volume more than the height of the object, etc.

Then finally, for your older students, Pi Day allows you to capture some amazement and excitement with explorations and labs in math.  Think of all the fun the science teacher gets to have with labs, and now you get to do it, but without the frog guts.  Students can re-create the early stages of Archimedes experiment with polygons and discover the ratio of pi.  They can test Buffon's Needle and be amazed at how toothpicks on a paper predict the value of pi.  Let them predict what will happen as you cut apart various loops of paper and create moebius strips. Or let them research and evaluate how circles and parallelograms are related.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg.  There is so much you can do with circles and so many ways you can explore how Pi has impacted the world around us.  So celebrate Pi Day this Saturday, celebrate it with your students beforehand or afterwards, but let math be fun, let math be exciting, and maybe, just maybe, we can turn one of those "It's too hard," kids into the next young mathematicians of the decade.

For these activities and more...

Monday, March 2, 2015

Currently in March

This is my first time trying to link up with Farley and try the "Currently" post so please excuse me if I seem a nube or  am doing something totally wrong or stupid.  Just kindly let me know in the comments and I will fix things or try to right the ship for next time.

Usually I have music playing, but today I've taken the quiet route and have just been listening to the hum of the house as I work.  But man, oh man, can that bulldog snore.

My daughter's school started the PARCC test today so I'm loving the fact that I quit in October and am not there for the stress, rules, training, and everything else that goes along with state mandated testing.

I just finished 3 different products I had going at once and am in a lull as I debate what to work on next.  I tend to waver back and forth between history and math, so I should do a math product next, but my husband likes the interactive notebooks I create, so I am in a quandary right now.

Most people tend to think of Colorado as this snowy place with lots of mountains and skiing, but where I live on the front range, we often have 50's and 60's in the middle of winter.  And when it snows, it usually melts in a day or two.  Well we've gone into a cold snap.  It started two weeks ago with a monster storm and it hasn't gotten above 20 since then.  It has snowed pretty much every other day and just been miserable.  I'm so not used to this and I don't do well in the cold, so I really need a return to the warmer weather or I am moving to Arizona.

I had shoulder surgery on groundhog's day and since then I have had to sleep in a recliner.  Suffice it to say, the recliner is getting a little old and I really miss my bed and my husband.  I need my shoulder to strengthen up so I can sleep in a bed without pain.

No big plans here for Spring Break.  I imagine my daughter and I will go to the zoo or to the indoor family arcade center or something like that to have fun.  And I know some Spring cleaning will be on the agenda, but besides that, we'll probably just hang out and watch movies, stay up late and play games - you know, good family times together.

Thanks for checking in with me.  Hope all is well with you and yours.