Scaffolded Math and Science

(formerly ZeroSum Ruler)

Brand New Blog! February 20, 2015

Filed under: algebra — Scaffolded Math @ 10:39 pm
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blogger iconI feel sort of weird about leaving this blog. It’s been lurking in the background for years, taunting me to write posts and shaming me for finding so little time. Over the years I’ve changed everything from the background to the widgets to the font (I still can’t get it right) to the content, deleting posts about topics that no longer seemed relevant and adding more information to others that seemed to be lacking. This blog has been with me for a long time, albeit severely neglected but still always there. I’ve helped a whole mess of people get their page numbers back in Word (if you don’t know what this means, consider yourself super lucky) and opened discussions about fractions, playgrounds, unschooling and dividing by zero. In spite of all this, I am so excited to start fresh for some unknown reason. My husband and I bought a house a year ago after spending a year or two at a time in a series of total dives. Maybe it’s the prospect of being in the same location for the next 30 years? Who knows what it is, but I am ready to start new.  I hope you join me over at my new Blogspot blog, which will be a continuation of this blog only better (my hope). And since I am creeping up on 40 and don’t know half the ins and outs of Blogspot, if you see something that looks weird over there, will you let me know?

I hope to see you!


Slope Tasks MYSTERY MESSAGE! An ambitious venture. January 27, 2015

Filed under: algebra,math activities,math teaching — Scaffolded Math @ 9:24 pm
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Last Christmas break was a big one for  me.  I was 9 months pregnant (yeah, you read that right) and had the most quintessential hip pain and insomnia.  Someone suggested I get a pregnancy pillow, which finally came in the mail a week or two after I ordered it, and it made things 10 times worse.  If anyone suggests to you to get a pregnancy pillow, don’t do it.  Let me know and I will send you mine.  Oh wait, I burned it in a pit out back.

OK, I got off topic. It was during last Christmas break that I took on my most ambitious project yet: a set of 11 foldables for an Algebra interactive notebook.  I printed and tweaked and printed and tweaked and printed and cut and pasted between the hours of 12 and 3AM most nights during the break.  In the end I was left with a pile of scraps and a set of foldables that made me feel it was all worth it.  I’m even glad that I spent my time this way instead of taking everyone’s advice to “get sleep while I still can.”  At very few very important times in life, sleep is overrated.  Last Christmas break was one of those times.

So those 11 foldables were my most ambitious project, but rounding out the top 2 is a set of slope task cards I just finished up today.  Math resources with hidden puzzles and messages have always intrigued me.  How do they make them?  Now I know that they take a long time and a lot of thought, but they are so super cool!



Graphing inequalities {on the coordinate plane} soon? January 2, 2015

Filed under: algebra — Scaffolded Math @ 10:11 pm
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HaPpY New Year everyone! What a nice vacation it has been. Ahhh… OK, so I’ve been starting to think about ((school)) and all of those “when I have more time” things I put off before break. Here is one of them. It is a poster that guides students through graphing inequalities on the coordinate plane. It’s up for FREE in my store in case your students need a reminder too…

Graphing Inequalities poster COVER


Free Jeopardy Game! {Tax, tips, percent change, discounts and rounding} December 21, 2014

Filed under: algebra — Scaffolded Math @ 10:18 pm
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Here’s a free game to get you through the last couple days before vacation. Going into the next 2 days, I’m a little nervous about what is in store. I have had the kids in my Consumer Math classes for 3 years (Geometry, Algebra 2 and now Consumer Math as seniors) and we all know each other really well. This may be why I am nervous!

As part of our class, I have been bringing in professionals from the community to talk to my students, but the visitor we had scheduled for tomorrow cancelled – again. Since I know this will go over like, well, it won’t go over very well at all, I decided to whip up a quick game of Jeopardy that covers the material we just quizzed on last week. It might not fit exactly with what you are doing, but it is completely editable (took me about an hour to edit from another Jeopardy game), has sounds and movement and can be found here: Percents Jeopardy.

I plan to pair students up and give each pair a small whiteboard.  Remember those kids who played “winner’s ball” during basketball games when you were in school?  Yeah, I was never into that.  Each pair of students will get a chance to answer each question – not just the quickest, Alex Trebek (plus, this causes riots, anyway) – and I will scan the room awarding points for every correct answer.  

Come on 2PM Tuesday!

percent Jeopardy


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

Filed under: algebra — Scaffolded Math @ 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 — Scaffolded Math @ 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 — Scaffolded Math @ 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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