Pumphrey's Math

Patterns, everywhere


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‘And then I stopped drawing’

Today I introduced the reason for Algebra 2 to my students starting with the Dan Meyer 3Acts Toothpick activity. Some students really loved it and some gave up quite quickly challenging me as a teacher to ask questions to reignite the inquiry.

The real magic happened when students shared their ideas at the end about how they solved for the number of triangles and rows. The comment that stuck out to me was one student mentioned that he started to draw out the triangles but then he stopped. As soon as he saw a pattern emerging he could switch to more efficient process of using numbers.

I was able to quite succinctly go on to describe how we use numbers to describe patterns but that algebra gives us the power to describe patterns for any given number, in this case, of toothpicks.

Next week we start the unit on ‘What is a function?’ I hope this has given me enough to build upon.


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Pre-Year Considerations

Here is a (by no means exhaustive) list of the main things I like to consider before seeing any students. 

  • Classroom Environment
    • Walls
    • Seating Chart
    • Supplies
    • Organization
  • Curriculum
    • Inspiration
    • Instruction
    • Practice
    • Assessment
    • Feedback
  • Lessons
    • Gifted Students
    • Support
  • Provisions
    • IEP/504’s
  • Remediation
    • Prerequisites
  • Communication
  • Support
    • Videos
    • Websites
    • Office Hours
    • Practice Questions
  • Feedback
  • Use of IT
    • Introduction of the above
  • Advising (Homeroom/Form Group)
    • Schedule
    • Extra Activities
  • Extra-Curricular Club
    • Initial Schedule
    • Student Leaders

What do you like to think about before lessons begin? Can you think of any holes in my basic considerations?