## Area of Shapes Scavenger Hunt via Google Slides

Geometry is one of my favorite units to teach.  In this unit, there are so many ways to create lessons, activities, and projects that are easily aligned to the real world.  I’m not saying that is not the case for other units but I do have to get a little creative when we start working with advanced operations with exponents.

In the past, I have done many different activities and projects with my students, such as:

• Calculating the circumference and area of doughnuts.
• Designing cities based upon geometric figures and terms.
• Creating and designing Pythagorean Theorem spirals.
• Measuring and labeling (with chalk) the dimensions of objects around school, as well as calculating the perimeter and area of these objects.

…and more!

All of those activities/projects have been great because they have been engaging to students.  Especially, the doughnut one – which I will continue to do this year.  I mean, who doesn’t love to eat doughnuts in class?  However, I wanted to find a way to allow students the opportunity to explore the perimeter and area of these shapes in the real world.

The last activity that I listed was one of my favorites.  The students really enjoyed exploring the shapes that were outside of our classroom.  In fact, some of them found some very creative ways to form shapes from multiple objects.  This year, I decided that the best way for the students to document their work was to create a digital Slide Deck documenting the shapes that they have found, as well as calculating the perimeter and area of these shapes.

Click on the image below or HERE to create your own copy of the Slide Deck.

The idea behind this “scavenger hunt” is simple.  Students will:

• Explore the campus to find and take pictures of the given shapes.
• Document the dimensions (length/width, radius/diameter) of the shape.
• Upload the image into the Slide Deck.
• Calculate the perimeter and area.

That’s it!

Although my students have not completed this activity, I will be posting some of their projects once they have completed their Slide Deck.  Within the Slide Deck, I have given examples and instructions to get you and your students started.

As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or if you plan on using this activity.  I love to hear from other teachers when they use these projects to give me ideas on how to modify it for future teachers and students.

## Unit 4: Linear Functions & Equations – More Resources for Flipping!

Today I will be sharing the resources from our fourth Unit, which covers functions, slope, linear equations and linear systems.

The class that I teach is aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) but it is an 7th grade Math Honors course that contains all of the 7th grade standards and the majority of the 8th grade standards.  My goal is to prepare them for Integrated I in their 8th grade year.  It is a lot and it can be a tough transition for some of the 7th grade students at the beginning of the year, since many of the students are used to one teacher and a class where it may be easy for them to “skate” along.  These students are truly gifted and benefit from the challenge of this Honors course, but it tends to be the year where they learn that they are not perfect and might have to work harder than they have in previous grades.  Personally, one of my favorite parts of the school year for my 7th grade students is the end of the first semester.  At the end of the first semester, the 7th graders are now comfortable with middle school, their classes, and the pace of the Honors class.  It is so exciting when they start to realize the benefits of a more challenging class!

If you would like to see how I create these Flipped Classroom lessons, please view THIS video on YouTube.

Below are a list of resources that I sharing with you from our Linear Functions & Equations Unit.  Feel free to use, copy, and modify!

4.1 – Identifying Functions (Google Slide) (Foldable) (EdPuzzle)

4.2 – Evaluating Functions (Google Slide) (Foldable) (EdPuzzle)

4.3 – Slope (Google Slide) (Foldable) (EdPuzzle)

4.4 – Rate of Change (Google Slide) (Foldable) (EdPuzzle)

4.5 – Graphing Linear Equations (Google Slide) (Foldable) (EdPuzzle)

4.6 – Writing in Slope-Intercept Form (Google Slide) (Foldable) (EdPuzzle)

4.7 – Parallel & Perpendicular Lines (Google Slide) (Foldable) (EdPuzzle)

4.8 – Graphing Systems of Equations (Google Slide) (Foldable) (EdPuzzle)

4.9 – Solving Systems of Equations (Google Slide) (Foldable) (EdPuzzle)

As a reminder, I have a flipped classroom so I have create my notes by using Google Slides and Screencastify.  From there, I add the video to EdPuzzle and create questions to check for understanding.  If I see the students struggling, I pull them into small groups to reteach during our “Choice Time” the next day.

If you would like to access the resources from the other Units, you can find them below:

Unit 1: The Number System

Unit 2: Expressions & Equations

Unit 3: Exponents & Roots

Feel free to leave any questions and/or comments in the comment section below!

## Road Trippin’: A Ratios & Proportions HyperDoc

HyperDocs are becoming one of my favorite things in education.  It is such an amazing tool to incorporate technology in a purposeful way that promotes student learning and engagement.  One of the things that I love about the HyperDoc model is that there is a focus on creating digital lessons that go through various stages of learning (Engage, Explore, Explain, Apply, etc.).  I am finding that this process is helping me to truly analyze the type of lessons and I am creating, as well as the purpose of the technology that I am using.

After all, technology has become an important part of education but technology only benefits students if it is a meaningful tool in their learning process.  Technology should never be used just to say, “My students used this really cool technology tool in class.”  Instead, it should be, “Look at this amazing things my students created and were able to learn because of technology.”  The HyperDoc model helps me to focus on the later.  It helps me to focus on the pedagogy behind the technology.

Check out the lesson below and give me your thoughts!

The Objectives: In this lesson students will plan and create a road trip and budget using Google Maps, Google Docs, and various technology tools.  They will use ratios, proportions, and scale factor to calculate the cost of gas, hotel, and food.  Students will share the Google Map with the class and the world by publishing it online.

Students will be introduced to the lesson through the Engage stage where they will watch a video about creating a successful road trip.  During the Explore stage, students will begin planning their road trip by creating a Google Map.  To better understand the mathematical concepts, the students will enter the Explain stage and watch two videos, as well as take notes, on “Ratios & Proportions” and “Scale Factor”.  During the Apply stage, students will work on the bulk of their project over a 2-3 day period of time.  Students will explore scale factor to determine the actual distance and scale factor of their road trip, choose a car and calculate the cost of gas, and select places to stay and eat during their trip.  In the Share stage, students will publish their road trip on the internet and share it with the class.  The class will view the Google Maps that have been created and vote on the best road trip.  At the end of the lesson, the students will Reflect on what they have learned during this activity.

If you use in your classroom, I would love to hear about the outcomes and student reactions.  In addition, I am always open to more ideas that would improve this lesson and create more learning opportunities for our students!

## Four Easy Steps for Flipping the Classroom

Last weekend, I presented at the SGV Summit and one of my presentations was on “Four Easy Steps for Flipping Your Classroom”.  The attendees were amazing and I was so excited to receive such positive feedback on this session.  Since there is so much information to cover in this session, I promised the attendees that I would create a video that would go over the presentation and the four steps.

Although it is one of my longer videos, I really encourage you to watch this video if you are serious about flipping your classroom.  I am certainly not an expert, but I have been flipping my classroom for two years and I feel that it has been a successful implementation.

In this video, I share:

• The difference between a traditional and flipped classroom.
• The benefits of flipping the classroom.
• The logistics of flipping the classroom.
• The four steps for creating a flipped lesson.

As always, feel free to reach out to me at anytime with any questions that you might have – I love having conversations with other educators!

## San Gabriel Summit (Day 2): Self Reflection

The San Gabriel Valley EdTechTeam Summit was an amazing learning experience for me – both as an attendee and a presenter.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I always find something I can take away from each summit.  It could be a big idea (such as, transformative instructional strategies or technology tools) or something as simple as new tricks for Google products.

There is always something to learn.

Whether you are attendee or presenter, new to technology or a Google Innovator, there is still so much to learn from these summits because…Guess what?  You don’t know everything.  Shocking, right?  If you realize that you don’t know everything, then this will be the moment in which your mind is the most open to learn.

In my first post about the SGV Summit, I shared some of the amazing sessions I attended on the first day of the summit.  To view my sessions, visit my training page HERE and check out “4 Easy Steps for Flipping Your Classroom” and “Googley Resources for Monday Morning”.For day two, I spent half my day presenting and the other half attending sessions.  Just as yesterday, I attended some amazing sessions that really inspired me to try some new things in my classroom.  However, I want to spend this post discussing my experience as a presenter, specifically, ideas or strategies I want to remember for future trainings and presentations.  Based upon audience feedback, I felt like the sessions went really well, but I believe that there is always room for improvement and ways in which I can grow.  As a big proponent for transparency, I am going to share with you my self-reflection on my progress as a presenter at the most recent EdTechTeam Summit.

#1: Training teachers is very similar to teaching students.

If there is anything  that you read in this post, I hope it is this section because it is the most important, but often the most overlooked.  Teachers are basically large students – except with a smaller attention span and less patience.  The statement “teachers make the worst students” can sometimes be true but…stop.  Think about that statement and apply a similar negative statement to students.  “My students aren’t interested in learning.”  “My students don’t care.”  “My students wouldn’t be able to do this.”  This begs the question…Does the fault really fall with the student or is it the teacher that needs to be rethinking what they are doing in their classroom?

In the same way, if teachers are not engaged in your presentation, maybe you need to start reevaluating whether or not the session is truly engaging for the participants.  Just as you would with your students, find ways to engage them in their learning process.  What kind of learners are these teachers?  What type of session do they need – more information or more hands-on?  How do I need to modify my presentation for the different abilities in the session?  These are all questions that run through our teacher minds on a daily basis but these are also questions we need to be asking the same questions when we educate other educators.

#2: Model the process and strategies that you are using in your classroom.

My classroom style focuses upon the blended learning instructional strategy where students participate in a combination of online and in-person lessons, activities, and projects.  Students are given a lot of choice in our classroom to choose what they need to work on based upon their individual needs and abilities.  Many times, I might have 3-5 different groups working on a variety of different activities or projects.  Students may be completing notes, participating in a small group to review notes with the teacher, completing skills practice, working on their stock market or genius hour projects, enrichment activities/projects, etc.  One of my goals as the teacher is to ensure that students have a choice to learn at their own pace and with the tools they need to be successful.

If this is how I teach in my classroom, how can I model the blended learning and differentiated instructional strategies during a presentation with a group of educators.  I am not sure that this is something that needs to be a part of every presentation.  However, I feel like you can end up “killing two birds with one stone” if you do incorporate it into a presentation.  First, the teachers would be learning about technology tools that they can use in the classroom to support student learning.  Second, the teachers would be able to see what this process looks and feels like since they have participated in a “mini-version” of it during the presentation.

Personally, I know that this is my area of greatest growth.  In both of my sessions, the teachers were able to interact with the technology tools and the pedagogy behind it was discussed.  Yet, I think I could build more time into the presentation to explore and interact with these tools.

#3: The world is filled with inspiring, engaging, and kind-hearted educators.

In both of my sessions, I met some of the most inspiring, engaging, and kind-hearted educators who truly wanted to learn new strategies to help their students learn.  The conversations that I had with these teachers were amazing.  We talked about instructional strategies, strengths, and weaknesses.  We connected via email and via Twitter.  We shared ideas and ways that we want to help our students learn and grow.  I cannot express how much I enjoyed my presentations and it was 100% due to the awesome educators that attended my presentations.

#4: Always continue to refine, improve, and update presentations.

As teachers, we should always continue to refine, improve, and update our lesson plans to meet the learning needs of our students.  The same principle must be applied to any professional development that is being delivered to educators, particularly when dealing with educational technology.

It will never be perfect and that is okay.

One of the main reasons I am writing this post today is to remind myself to continue to grow and evaluate the professional development that I have delivered.  I want to remember the areas that I felt were strong but, especially, remember the areas that I felt needed to improve.  The only person that I can be be better than is the person I was yesterday – so, always continue to grow and evaluate why you are doing what you are doing.

#5: Just be yourself.

Over the last couple of years, I have had the opportunity to deliver professional development at several events.  Initially, I would deliver my presentations in a very “professional” manner, AKA “uptight” and “nervous”.  Over the last couple of times, I have told myself that I am just going to be me.  I am super nerdy, a little crazy, and totally goofy teacher that is completely in love with the field of education.  Why hide my excitement for what I do for the sake of “professionalism”?  Can I not be both – a fun and professional presenter?  I hope so!

Yesterday, I decided I was just going to be myself and have fun with my presentations.  As someone who tends to be naturally shy around people that I do not know, it was actually kind of liberating to just be who I am and teach in the way that I normally teach.  The attendees might think that I am completely insane but I do think I showed my passion for education.  Just be yourself.

As I look back upon this summit, I can see that there are many ways in which I grew both personally and professionally.  I had the opportunity to get feedback from other presenters and I am looking forward to receiving the feedback from the attendee evaluations.  Personally, I want to grow and improve as an educator so that I can support my students and fellow teachers.  Any advice and feedback can be good feedback as long as we use it as an opportunity to learn and improve our instructional practices.

## San Gabriel Summit (Day 1) – Five Takeaways

I love the EdTechTeam Summits.  Seriously, I cannot express how much I enjoy spending some of my weekends at these summits.  In the last sixth months, I have had the unique opportunity to attend three summits, as well as present at two of the summits.  Attending the summit is easy, but presenting has been out of my comfort zone – but it is an exciting challenge.

Every time I attend an EdTechTeam Summit, I find something that I can take to use in my classroom or share with other teachers.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Isn’t that amazing?!  It really says something about the quality of presenters and educators when I can find something to take way each time.

So, for the first day, here are my five “takeaways” for the day:

#1: Publicly Share Lesson Plans

During the keynote, Dee Lanier (@deelanier) talked about how he shares his lesson plans with his students and gives them “commenting” rights.  This is such an AMAZING idea.  Seriously.  Imagine the student buy-in you could create by allowing students to be a part of the lesson planning process.  Students love being a part of their learning process – think about the interesting ideas that they might have for learning concepts you are going to teach.  It is very possible that they have an idea that you have never thought about that could be extremely engaging and effective for the students.  In addition to this, it also opens the communication and trust between the teacher and students/parents.  Yes – I could see this being very uncomfortable for some teachers, especially teachers that may not have digital lesson plans.  However, I think the potential benefits far outweigh any discomfort, concern, or fear.

#2: Increase Parent Communication with Technology

My first session of the day was by Trevor Mattea (@tsmattea) on Google Apps for Parent Engagement.  There were SO many ideas from this session, but I am going to try to narrow it down to just a couple of things.  First, I have alway done a parent survey at the beginning of the year, but I realized that I need narrow down the focus of this survey.  Particularly, I need to create a survey that is meaningful, not simply contact information and a few general questions.  In particular, I liked the idea of the “Adult Expertise Index” and the “Educational Philosophy” Google Forms that you can find on his resource page.  Second, Trevor talked about approaching parent communication in the same way that we approach student communication.  It got me thinking…How can I use what I am doing with my students (classroom website, Google calendar, etc) and use it for the parents?  Honestly, I have about a million ideas on this that I know will become another blog post in the next few months, especially as we approach another school year.

#3: Use Google Photos for Virtual Field Trips

The second session I attended was by Dee Lanier (@deelanier) who did a presentation on Virtual Field Trips with Google Apps and Mobile.  Again, I have so many ideas from this session so I will narrow it down to the one thing I want to do this year – Google Photos for Virtual Field Trips.  In a lesson with his students on playgrounds, Dee reached out to teachers all over the world to take photos of playgrounds and upload them to a shared Google Photo album.  By doing this, the students were able to view different playgrounds from all over the world.  Amazing, right?  So, it got me thinking about my AVID class and our college field trips…Wouldn’t it be so easy to replicate the same process but with colleges?  In fact, it doesn’t even need to be the teachers that are taking and uploading the photos – it could be the students!  Even further than this, I have an idea about a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story that the students could write for this activity (with photos) to share with other schools in other parts of the country…But, that is for another time.  Too many ideas!

#4: Use Technology to Promote Restorative Justice

The third session I attended was by Mari Venturino (@MsVenturino) who presented on Restorative Justice.  I really enjoyed this session because there were some amazing strategies that could benefit many of the teachers at my site.  In my own classroom, I have been doing a digital “Daily Check-In” as students enter the class that contains some questions, an inspirational quote, and a math problem.  It is a great way to get to know my students and gage how their day is going.  In addition to this, Mari also shared student-driven incident logs (via Google Forms) which I feel would be very beneficial for the teachers at my site because it requires the student to look at what they have done and how it has affected the students in their class.   To add on to this, I think it would be amazing to use FormMule to immediately email the student-driven incident log to the parents to increase communication.

The last session I attended was by Jeff Heil (@jheil65) on Think Global, Act Google.  I loved that this session was differentiated to allow people to choose what they wanted to learn.  After all, isn’t there a huge push in education right now to personalize the education of our students?  Well…then why are we not doing the same for our teachers?  Anyway, the session was very personalized to meet the needs of the participants.  Although I was very familiar with many of the tools, I did gain one new nerdy/geeky tool that I am super psyched about – Google Forms + Google MyMaps = Pure Awesomeness.  I’ve used Google Forms a million times.  I’ve used Google MyMaps quite a bit, as well, with various BreakoutEDU Digital and HyperDocs.  However, I have never used them together!  I didn’t realize that users could answer questions in a Google Form (with something specific about a location) and then upload the data to Google MyMaps and have it automatically show up on the map.  Amazing!  I have a ton of ideas for this with Math and AVID – the possibilities are endless!

Summary

My brain is basically mush right now, so I really hope that what I am writing is making sense and I am not completely butchering what the presenters shared today.  It was an amazing day with so many awesome things to try in my classroom, as well as to share with the teachers at my site.  Tomorrow, I will only get to attend two sessions, since I will be presenting at the other two sessions.  I’m looking forward to presenting because I love talking about education and sharing resources with other teachers.  I’m a total nerd so, basically, this is my idea of fun time.  If you haven’t attended an EdTeachTeam Summit – you need to!

## PDF & Document Markup with Kami

One of the things that I love about our HUSD Twitter Chat is the amazing resources that I learn about from the conversations that I am able to have with teachers in our district.  In a recent Twitter Chat, one of our coaches (thanks @Dfcain!) shared that the application Kami is a great resource for viewing, annotating, sharing and collaborating on PDF’s and documents within the the Chrome browser.

He was right – it is amazing!

Recently, I have had several teachers ask for tools that would allow their student’s to annotate PDF’s from the Chrome browser and Kami is the perfect solution.

Through this application, teachers and students can view, annotate, share and collaborate PDF’s and documents on the chrome browser.  These features include:
• Highlighting and underlining text.
• Share and collaborate with others.

In the video below, I will walk you through the basics of using Kami in your classroom:

Kami can be accessed via an application or extension in the Chrome Store.
As always, feel free to reach out with any comments and/or questions!

## Systems of Equations HyperDoc: Comparing Cell Phone Plans

HyperDocs are quickly becoming one of my favorite things in education.  As the HyperDocs website states:

HyperDocs, a transformative, interactive Google Doc replacing the worksheet method of delivering instruction, is the ultimate change agent in the blended learning classroom.

As a major blended learning classroom advocate, I am finding that HyperDocs are becoming a way for me to deliver instruction in an interactive manner that allows students to learn and interact with the material at their own pace.  In addition to this, it also a way to differentiate instruction for your low and high students by including a variety of tasks or extension activities.

This week, my students will be introduced to “Systems of Equations” which is a really fun unit for me to teach, especially since there are real world applications to solving systems of equations.  The goal behind this HyperDoc is to introduce students to solving systems of equations through graphing and engaging in a real-world problem.

The HyperDoc

Engage: Students will be engaged in this activity by watching YouTube videos on data usage and speed.  They will also interact with a coverage map that shows the coverage of cell providers across the entire United States.

Explore: Students will explore cell phone plans through a Google Doc that has been provided.  They will research their own, personal cell phone plans and create data tables.

Explain: Students will learn about systems of equations through an EdPuzzle video.  They will also read through an article about the best cell phone plans of 2016.

Apply: Students will apply their knowledge of the cell phone plans and systems of equations in a Google Doc.  They will use their data to create linear equations and graph these equations using Desmos.  They will create a short Infographic (via Google Drawings or Canva) or Google Slide to display their information.

Share: Students will create a QR Code of the visual they created in “Apply”.  They will share this on Google Classroom.

Reflect: Students will use a QR Reader to view the visuals of the other students in a classroom gallery walk.  After completing the gallery walk, they will respond to questions posted on Google Classroom.

Extend: Students will be able to extend their knowledge of cell phone plans by creating their own cell phone plan based upon number of lines, budget, and location.

Through this process, students will be able to use systems of equations to determine the best cell phone plans based upon their individual needs.  In relation to the content, it is important that students see that at certain data plans, one plan might be better than the other.  However, there will be points on the graph where the two lines will meet and one plan might become the best plan, even though it was not originally the best plan.

In case you have not realized, I am completely in love with all things Google.  Seriously…Everything Google creates is amazing and I love finding ways to utilize these products in my classroom.  (Or just in life in general – it’s just that amazing!)

Google Keep is a note-taking and organizational platform that allows its users to create notes, checklists, and set reminders for upcoming tasks and events.  For myself, I have been using it as a way to keep track of the million things that I need to do each week.  Honestly, if I didn’t have Google Keep and Google Calendar, I’m not sure how I would remember to do anything.  In addition to this, I introduced my Math 7 Honors students to Google Keep today and they loved it!  The minute I showed them how it could be used for Math, they were already creating a checklist for each class with a list of “to-do” items for the week.  The interface of Google Keep is much friendlier to the students than Google Calendar, so I saw much more excitement and interest for using this platform.

1.) Create Checklists

I am completely a “checklist” person.  I used to have a bunch of post-its in my classroom or at my home office for all of the things I needed to do and I loved the feeling of crossing off an item that had been completed.  In Google Keep, I can continue to create checklists but I don’t have to worry about a bunch of post-it notes that can become easily lost in my classroom.  Instead, I can organize and label all of my checklists in one, central location.  Again – it is also great for students!  Students have a lot of tasks each week and this is a user friendly way to stay organized.

2.) Sync with Devices

Like I mentioned before, I used to use post-its to keep track of all the things I needed to do.  There is just one problem – if I left work, my post-its usually stayed there.  If I wanted to work on anything at home, I had to remember what it was that I wanted to complete and/or accomplish.  With Google Keep, you can access your notes and checklists from any device, whether it is a computer, tablet or smartphone.

3.) Save Sites with Keep Extension

Google Keep has an extension that allows you to visit a site and, with a click of a button, save the site directly to your Google Keep.  It is very helpful for when you find a resource that you want to explore/read but don’t have the time at the moment.  Just click the extension and save it for later!

4.) Collaborate with Others

In true Google fashion, you can share your Google Keep lists with other Google users.  Personally, I find that this would be very helpful for both teachers AND students.  Teachers can use Google Keep to easily collaborate and brainstorm on projects or lessons that they have in their classroom.  For students, I could see them using it to keep track of jobs and duties on collaborative projects for each student in their group, which would increase accountability in group work.  The possibilities with this collaboration feature is endless and I can see it be a huge resource to teachers and students.

5.) Set Reminders

As you are creating your lists, you can also set reminders to remind you to complete a task by a certain date and/or time.  Again, this is a great tool for both teachers and students because everyone has deadlines for things that need to be completed.  Just set your reminder for these tasks/events and let Google Keep help you remember!

If you are interested in a “visual” overview of Google Keep, check out my tutorial video on YouTube:

## BreakoutEdu Digital: Save the Uber Driver!

It’s been awhile since I have had the chance to sit down and build a new BreakoutEDU Digital, but my students were begging that I create another one for our current unit.  It’s amazing to see how much these students LOVE the BreakoutEDU Digital games that I have brought into the classroom.  As I’ve mentioned before, it is an excellent way to challenge students to think critically, collaborate, and communicate.

The focus of this BreakoutEDU is “Writing Linear Equations”, such as writing equations given slope/y-intercept, a point, two points, as well as rewriting linear equations.  Obviously, the content that is within each BreakoutEDU is critical to making it a meaningful and purposeful activity – but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have some fun when building it!  In addition to wanting to play another BreakoutEDU, my students really wanted to be characters within the story.  Everyone builds their BreakoutEDU Digital games differently, but mine always need a story to guide it.  In this story, the students are trying to “Save the Uber Driver” by helping him find the lost pickup times for his passengers.  Throughout the story, the students are introduced to a variety of characters (the passengers) that the Uber driver must pick up on time to save his job.

In addition to the story, I was able to incorporate a lot “edtechy” tools into this BreakoutEDU Digital.  Here are some of the tools that I used: