data and graphs and circles...oh my!

Do you have a classroom full of fabulous technology?!? I have been blessed with several technology options to use with my students. The package that receives the most use would have to be my InterWrite board and slate. Unfortunately, my slate died. And our amazing computer lab teacher tried to find a replacement...but that didn't work out in the end. So here's the deal. Our district has moved away from InterWrite and taken a plunge towards Hitachi. So if I want a slate, then I would need to become a Hitachi user. Ahhh...but there's the problem of the InterWrite board that I use with my students all the time. Just when I thought there was no happy ending to this story, our band instructor stepped in with an app that would turn my ipad into a slate. Did you know this was possible?!? Well, I certainly did not! He helped me get set up and I've tried it for a couple of days...so far I'm in love! I need more practice before I can write a complete review...but hopefully that will come in the near future. If you are a tablet user, go checkout the Splashtop Whiteboard app and let me know what you think. Combine it with the Splashtop Remote Desktop app and you will be set. :-)

We have been working through our unit on data display in 7th grade math. This is one of my favorite units! The design of this unit functions on a rotating 3-part approach. With each type of graph we have the typical 1- or 2-day lesson followed by a project day. Each project day includes a competency quiz, a whole-class "Are You Ideal" data display construction (using our height and arm span data), and an individual student project portion that allows students to use their personal survey data to complete a graph for their "Getting to Know You" statistics booklet. I love that my students are working with data they have collected. They are totally engaged while being supported with plenty of models throughout the unit.

Today we completed an M&M Lab Activity to practice constructing a circle graph using a protractor. It was the perfect way to spend my Friday afternoon with my students...and then promptly send them to the rest of the faculty after consuming their 1/4 cup of M&Ms. Yikes! I did make an attempt to lay low after school to avoid the wrath of fellow teachers. Ha! Click on the picture below for a free download.

Meanwhile, our MATHercise tubs include practice on data displays too! The Build a Box Plot game this week helped my students understand the difference between constructing a box plot with an even number of data items and an odd number of data items. Hallelujah! The data chips allowed students to manipulate the numbers and then cover the median (either an actual data item or the space between the two data items "tied" for the center) with a vertical bar. Any guesses on their journal prompt this week?!? Yep. Describe the difference between working with an odd or even number of data items when building a box plot. Love it!

Next week my students will learn a solitaire-like game. They will practice interpreting a stem-and-leaf plot plus constructing a histogram from a stem-and-leaf plot...via a fun and different game!

I'm looking forward to the mental math that will jumpstart our days this week! Click on the picture to purchase the game (including a record sheet with a solution key) and join in on our fun.

My circle saga in geometry will have to wait for another day...I'm still spinning from the unending mess! :)