Scaffolded Math and Science

(formerly ZeroSum Ruler)

Teaching game-changer: Class quiz show! Kahoot! December 13, 2014

Filed under: algebra — Shana Donohue @ 5:49 pm
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I have read a lot of blog posts in my day.  I’m always looking for new tricks of ways to make my teaching more engaging.  This post from Mrs. E Teaches Math was a complete game-changer.  Have you heard of Kahoot?  You know those clickers that every person who runs any sort of educational PD raves about but that no budget manager will purchase? Well, forget those! Kids can use any sort of device that gets on the internet – including their phones – to play Kahoot. Needs: a projector, internet-accessible devices (students can definitely pair up if need be), time to make a multiple-choice Kahoot. It’s amazing. It’s the absolute perfect way to review or assess student understanding of any topic, and it took less time to make a Kahoot than it usually takes me to create a lesson!




Do you give warm ups right before quizzes? December 5, 2014

Filed under: algebra,algebra 2 — Shana Donohue @ 11:48 pm
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My students are horribly anxious test takers.  To help them relax, I like to give quiz warm ups to get them in the quiz mindset and remind them of the topics that will be covered.  In the interest of time and so that I can get some sleep to get over this itchy cold (yuck!), here is a free 3 weeks of warm ups for Algebra 2 students or anyone else learning about domain, range, functions, max, min, increasing and decreasing.  There’s also a quiz to sum everything up.  Oh, and a quiz warm up, of course :)




A Free Slope Puzzle! November 23, 2014

Filed under: algebra — Shana Donohue @ 10:52 pm
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If you teach slope and are looking for a fun activity to help in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, I’d love for you to try my new slope puzzle. You can find it in the “Today’s Flash Freebie!” box over there on the sidebar of my blog or the Freebies! tab on my Facebook page. Already I am wondering if it is too much of a pita to cut out the pieces…. I’d love to know what you think and, better yet, how your students liked it!


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Bad Day, Better Tomorrow. November 18, 2014

Filed under: algebra — Shana Donohue @ 9:16 pm


I had a bad day today.  I haven’t had a bad day like this one in a very long time.  At some point in the last few months after having a bad day, yet nothing compared to the one I had today, I wrote myself an email.  I read that email today.


When you’re having a bad day, the challenge isn’t getting through it. The challenge is allowing yourself to believe that tomorrow may be the best day you’ve ever had.


Here’s to a better tomorrow.



Halloween Graphing Task Cards: Introduction or Intervention October 13, 2014

Filed under: algebra,graphing — Shana Donohue @ 7:22 pm
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A while ago I wrote about my student who still couldn’t graph in 11th grade.  As much as I tried to explain to her that we move along the x axis and then up or down depending on y’s sign, she could never consistently graph a coordinate.  This always bugged me, and still does, and I think about ways to help her and other kids who can’t graph often.  I have this same student again this year for Consumer Math, and by golly she’s good at crunching numbers.  When I asked if she’d consider working at a bank, her answer was, “What if I mess up?”  I’ll keep pushing.

These task cards are meant to introduce graphing to students or to be used as an intervention for students who still struggle with the concept like my student does.  Each group of students gets a Halloween graph, a set task cards and a student answer sheet.  For teachers there is an answer key.  Students look for a coordinate, for instance (10, 31) or (January, 19), and answer with the Halloween picture that is underneath that coordinate.  You can find the file for FREE for a little while in the “Today’s Flash Freebie!” widget in the sidebar (over there —>).  You can like my Facebook page for notifications of more freebies.



Who’d want to visit US? We’re Special Ed. October 6, 2014

Filed under: algebra — Shana Donohue @ 10:09 pm

This broke my heart.

As part of the Consumer Math class I am teaching this year, I am asking professionals from the community to come in to talk to my seniors. All of my students in my Consumer Math classes are on IEPs for some sort of disability, whether it’s Math, ADHD, dyslexia, or some other disability that keeps them out of the general education classroom for Math. We had an AWESOME guest speaker a couple weeks ago who trades stocks for a living (and who has been emailing me to ask about the steps to becoming a teacher – whoo hoo!).  A couple days after his visit, one of my students asked, “Why would anyone want to come to our class? We’re Special Ed.” This sank my heart. I told him not to sell himself short and that of course people would want to meet him, just as much as they’d want to meet anyone else! I hope he believed me.

Kids with disabilities, in my opinion especially in Math, have self-esteems that have been so destroyed by repeated failure. These are GREAT KIDS! I have more visitors lined up to visit every cycle from now until December 2 and I am searching for more!


Task Cards! Do you use them? September 28, 2014

Filed under: algebra,Geometry — Shana Donohue @ 1:27 pm
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Do you use task cards in your classroom? We joke that they’re just “cut up worksheets”, but for some reason kids love them! Maybe it’s the collaboration between classmates or the low-key learning environment they create. Who knows? Whatever it is, they’re great!

task cards



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