One Best Thing

The MTBoS Blogging initiative has begun! Check out the two options to blog about. 

I choose option 1 which is writing about something good that happened during the day.

Week 1: One Good Thing

Today was a good day! In my mailbox was this little package.


It’s a package created & designed to make students feel amazing!

It’s from Knowledgehook.

Knowledgehook is an ed tech company specializing in  creating “engagement tools to measure and improve student learning“.

My students have been completing practice questions using their Homework product. An added, amazing bonus is when a student completes a mathalon (completing the majority of questions from the course) Knowledgehook sends in the mail a real (heavy duty) medal. Along with it is a pennant we can hang in the room.

Today a student in my class got that medal! We presented it to him in front of the class. IMG_0411
He looked a tad embarrassed, but I could see he was super proud! Big smiles. Later he told me he was going to wear it home to show mom!

That was today’s good thing.

Guess Who & Polygraph Lines

As we come to the end of the semester review days are here. To help grade 9s review properties of linear relations we played Guess Who. Last September I ran Guess Who with my grade 12 Advanced Functions class with great success. I made up a new sheet for grade 9 with a variety of linear relations (graphs, equations, and tables).

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Guess Who game sheet

The students played a few rounds each! The questions coming out were pretty good! I overheard lots of “Does is show direct variation?”, “Does it have an initial value?”, “Is your graph decreasing?”
All great terminology I love hearing from my grade 9 applieds!!

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After a few rounds of “low tech” Guess Who, we broke out and “high tech” Guess Who —– Polygraph – Lines

Students use a class code to access the game. Round 1 is playing the orginal guess who with pictures of people against the computer. 
The system then links you up randomly with another student in your class. You take turns each choosing a graph and asking questions to guess your opponents graph! 

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Again, great questions and discussions here! I could see the deep thinking about what questions to ask to eliminate options. Desmos once again out does it! Linking up digital resources while keeping learning social!

These students have been great to teach this semester! I’ll miss them next year!!

Hidden Beads!

I’ve had an amazing teacher candidate (@misschacon_7) paired with me for the last two weeks. Every day she comes excited to try and learn new things. Today she came in with a great lesson for solving multi-step equations. Here is her activity:

She paired up students by randomly assigning them a playing card……each person was to find their match. Each pair went to one of our vertical writing surfaces (blackboards and whiteboards) where she asked students to solve a series of problems like….

How many marbles in each bag?

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She then gave them all sets of cups and beads.


Player 1 is to create an equation by hiding the same number of beads in the cups. They also have to ensure each side (whiteboards) must balance (have the same number of beads total).

Player 2 is to “figure out” how many beads are in each cup.

After player 2 has determined how many, they switch roles and start again.

Here is a round:

Player 1 sets up this up (she decided to put cups inside cups so we couldn’t see how many beads)


Player 2 starts on it….



and she ended up with….



and the answer??


Lots of great thinking going on here…..especially for the creator of the equation. Here is a group who realized there was a problem…



While player 2 was solving, she realized that she was getting a negative answer for the number of beads. Weird!!! So we asked player 1 if she made sure they boards were balanced to begin with……ooops they weren’t. So they couldn’t have been equal to start with! Let’s re-do.




Miss Chacon worked the room awesomely….visiting each group and asking probing insightful questions! My students were sad to see her go….today was her last day. We’ll miss you Miss Chacon!