One Solution, No Solutions, Infinite Solutions

Today we solved special case equations that had one solution, no solutions, or infinite solutions.  I found Sarah’s Solving Special Case Equations which was awesome.  I used her worksheet as a warmup.  Just as happened in her class, the kids wanted to ask me all sorts of questions on the two problems that had so solution.  Many of them tried negative numbers, but they didn’t work.  But it was a great way to get them started thinking about equations and solutions.


Then we did her amazing foldable, but I did type it up so the kids could just fill in what I needed them to.  Here it is: foldable


After that, I modified a MAP Lesson Solving Linear Equations in One Variable into a sorting activity and added a piece for claims, evidence, and reasoning. Here it is: Solutions Sort

Solutions 4

This picture won’t cooperate- so turn your head!

On another note- here is why I love teaching middle school.  A student came in on Monday and placed a pumpkin on her desk.  I asked her what it was for and she replied, “decoration.”  Tuesday it turned into a pumpkin and corn, and by Wednesday it was this:

Solutions 3

Today is Thursday, so we will see what it turns into today!  Middle schoolers are so funny!


Calling on Students

I’ve been doing something amazing this year. It is something that I always knew I was supposed to be doing but was super nervous to do it and I don’t know why. I am calling on random students. Actually, I’m not. I’m not pulling popsicle sticks or numbers or using a fancy app. I’m calling on whoever I want to whenever I want to. My goal is to have every student in class answer at least 3 questions in very class. I’m calling on students who I know will struggle with my question so I can walk them through the struggle and bring them out the other side. I’m calling on students who answer “I don’t know” and I’m not accepting it. I’m asking why more times than my 2 year old. I’m asking the same question 50 times and hearing the same answer 50 times in 50 different ways.
And it is


The leap in engagement in my class is huge. And then, there’s the scores. They are hitting my assessments out of the park. Because they know their stuff.

Go do it. Once you start you will be addicted.

Explore MTBoS- Socratic Circles

I’ve been around the MTBoS for a little over a year now and it is hands down the biggest thing to change what I teach and how I teach it. I haven’t posted much recently due to the birth of my twins (also a 2.5 year old!), but I hope to get back as things start to normalize around here. I do read other blogs all the time- that’s easy to do 1 handed while feeding a baby! Currently attempting to post doing the same. Pretty slow going typing with one hand on my phone.

My favorite thing to do in class is a Socratic Circle. Last year I did one near the end of the year using one of Robert Kaplinsky’s lessons. Check them out- they are great! I am planning another one right now that I will post about after I do it… And when all 3 kids are sleeping at the same time.

Here is my previous post on the Socratic Circle- hereand here

Human Number Line

Things have been insane around here.  Work has been your typical beginning of the school year craziness with the added bonus of all new common core stuff to get used to, but then the adjustment to a 2 year old and 3 month old twins has left me with absolutely no time to blog.  I read other blogs and get great ideas all of the time thanks to the app on my phone (very easy to do with a bottle in one hand and a phone in the other!), but actually writing my own posts is hard to get to.  My activity today is worth finding the time, though!  I had students  convert all of the fractions, decimals, and percents.  Then they put the numbers in order on the number line.  Then the best part- they had to get in order from smallest to greatest, but without talking.  This was a perfect way to see which students understood where things belonged and what misconceptions students had.  Then I had them mix up and do the same thing backwards.  Great activity!

Here is the file on Scribd- but I hear  you need a subscription now!  Let me know if you need it emailed.

Human Number Line