### Math is Important Because...

The days are going by so quickly!
I just wanted to share my first Tagxedo creation:)

Yesterday, I had the students complete the sentence, "Math is important because..." using post-its to record their answers on the board, as explained in the post on Middle School Math Rules.

I took all of the responses from the 85 students that I have, entered them in the Tagxedo creator, and this word cloud was the result! I love it!
In the "word options" section, I set it so that common words were not removed, and identical words were not combined, so that the students could see how often the same words were repeated. Some of the phrases that so many of them wrote, like "everyday life," or "helps in everyday life" or "helps with obstacles," were separated, but I think their message still comes through...that math is important in everything in life!

I wish I could print this on poster-size paper, but do not have the capability to do so. So for now, I printed it using my color printer at home and will hang it on the board at school on the 8.5 x 11" paper.

Any suggestions for enlarging, without losing the quality?

1. Hi Ellie:
I am so excited to have found your blog (and to be a new follower). I am wishing you a wonderful new year!

Kim

1. Thanks! It's great to be able to see what other 6th grade teachers are experiencing!

Ellie

2. I love this... I did a post-it activity with why is school important. I was struggling with the best way to go about using it and making it important/ meaningful. This is a great and easy way to display what they think. Thanks!

3. I teach 8th (coming from 8 years in the elementary)! The first day, I had them rate math from 1-5 (1 low, 5 high). The 18 highest math students in the 8th grade are in algebra, so the majority of my 8th graders rated math 1, 2 or 3 on a scale of 1-5. So I did a post-it activity where they actually told me why they don't like math.

Main reason: It's too hard / I don't get it.
Next reason: It's boring.

So I had them brainstorm ways to make it easier and more interesting. I think they started to see the role THEY play in it, but I also wanted them to see that I was in it for THEM and wanted to change how they feel about math. It was pretty interesting...to me anyway. :)
-Paige

4. This is my second attempt at commenting, so if it's duplicated, just delete one of them. I think as long as you keep your background white, you can print it as an enlargement without the proportions matching up. I have printed lots of posters at Sam's Club photo with great success. They have the best prices and a good variety of sizes. I've printed up to a 24x30 inch poster and I love the quality. Good luck!

1. Thanks so much for the information! I'll check it out!

5. I am excited for this idea, I think I'll be using this a lot in my classes. I'm really looking forward to sharing with you what my students will be sharing too!

### Memory Wheels - First Day, Last Day, and Any Day in Between!

This post has been moved to:  http://www.cognitivecardiowithmsmm.com/blog/memory-wheels-first-day-last-day-and-any-day-in-between

### Math Class - First Day Activity

Rectangle of pentominoes Many 6th graders seem to have a pretty negative attitude about math, so I try to do something interesting to "grab" them during our first class. Last year, during the first math class, we spent part of the period working with pentominoes. Before working with the pentominoes, however, we played a name game so we could learn each others' names (I find it impossible to start anything else if I don't know some names, and fortunately, I learn them fairly quickly). rectangle outline For the activity, I divided the students into groups of 3 or 4. The directions for the activity were not complicated - the task was to make a rectangle, using all of the pentominoes. I gave students an outline of the rectangle, as pictured to the left, so they would know the correct size of the rectangle. The squares in the grid are each one inch. The rectangle is 5 squares (inches) wide and 13 inches long (13 inches includes the row that has the "Pent

### Ratios Fold it Up!

Getting started with ratios! We pretested ratios, rates, and proportions last week, and I found mixed results in the item analysis. I was surprised to find that very few students were able to write a ratio (the pretest question was: there are 2 hamsters and 1 gerbil - write a ratio of gerbils to hamsters). It wasn't that they wrote the ratio as hamsters to gerbils rather than gerbils to hamsters....they either left it blank, or wrote something that did not resemble a ratio. So, I was glad that I had prepared a couple of Fold it Ups for them to use this week! I think this is the first time I've used this version of Fold it Up (with the triangles folded in) this year, and a few students commented that they like this version better than others (like the one I made for Wed...bummer), because this type won't rip as easily. Click to download...a pic of the inside is in the document. Do you have any favorite ratio activities? Subscribe to Middle School Ma