Peregrine Falcon – Fastest Animal Alive

I need your help…..

I modified this video originally from Vox for a colleague and her math class.

Could you watch this short video on peregrine falcons with your students….

and then Complete these tasks?

1. What do you notice? What do you wonder?
2. What questions will you work on with your students? Work on them.
3. You can watch the full video here to see/hear un-bleeped values.
4. Take pictures of any thinking your students show you. Send me comments & pictures on Twitter, email, or here.

I’ll update the post with your student’s work.



Fav & Fix – Nov 25

For the Favourite & Fix series I’m posting one idea from my lessons that week that was my favourite and one topic that I need help on. Something I hope to fix. I’m hoping that in the comments or on Twitter (#Fav&Fix) you amazing readers can help me out with some hints, tips, and suggestions.

The Fav has been a huge part of the MEL3E course that I’ve written about here, here, and here. Having my students pair up and work on the chalkboards and vertical whiteboards toward a choice opened up great discussion, and improved our classroom atmosphere! For a while our classroom atmosphere was a little shakey….but the warm ups and paired work has brought us closer together. Download the MS Word docuement that has all the warm ups week by week for this class. The idea and format of the document I took from Mary Bourassa’s Warm up file.

This week we completed this one:

I asked the class to make a gut check on which option pulled them immediately….and most said drive yourself. Ok….let’s verify that gut check. “Is there anything we would need to know more about?” A few students had some ideas and we worked as a class to narrow down some open items.


From here they were off to the walls to justify their choice. And I love that there were still more questions from every group

  • How many people are going?
  • Does each have to pay $40 each way?
  • Do you have to drive to the shuttle?
  • Do you have to pay for parking in option 2?
  • Are we taking into account getting a speeding ticket? insurance on the car? wear and tear?


I let the groups come up with answers to their own questions…..I added in, “if you drive yourself, is it likely that you only need to park for one day?”

The conversation that comes out of this warm up was great for us. So many questions and lots of answers. Most groups changed their minds after great debate to take the shuttle (if they were going on a trip for a week)…..less hassle.

The Fix

This is not really a fix yet…but I wanted to grab some thoughts from you. On the weekend Jules and I worked on some puzzles. After we dumped the puzzles out I would ask her how big would the puzzle be? She would look up and with that wonder look and say pretty big or pretty small, but nothing exact….she’s only 6. So I would narrow the question down. How many pieces would be along the bottom? Along the side? And she would make a guess. We would do the puzzle and then find out.

This got me thinking.

Read more here

One Favourite, Two Fixes: Nov 5

I need help! Every time I go through a lesson there is aways something I want to fix. Something that can be improved upon. Something that can get my students to think a little deeper about the math or something that can make my organization better, or class management better. Sometimes I can think of how to fix it, sometimes I know there is a fix out there and I can’t see it. That’s where you come in.

Each week I’m going to post one idea from my lessons that was my favourite and two topics that I need help on. Two topics I hope to fix. I’m hoping that in the comments or on Twitter you amazing readers can help me out with some hints, tips, and suggestions.


For the last two weeks one of my class’s atmosphere seemed poisoned (see below).  My favourite this week though helped restore (for a short time) that atmosphere back to where we have spent most of the year. Warm-ups to the rescue! Our warm-ups dive into our Everyday Math curriculum like nobody’s business. Sometimes they take 10 minutes, sometimes 20….and I’m ok with that. Each one has my class engaged for that time. This week my favourite was Dan Meyer’s Dueling Discounts.

The kids each had a copy of a $20 off coupon and a 20% off coupon. For each item I showed, I had them hold up their choice of coupon to use. I was loving that all students were actively engaged and WANTED to know which was the better deal. It was so nice to see this with my kids again.

First Fix

Like I said above, my class’ atmosphere has seemed poisoned for the last two weeks. Before that we had an amazing atmosphere…..all kids worked well together. They sat in random pairs everyday, they were engaged! Then a few things happened.

  • Outside of class somebody was texting things they shouldn’t to somebody else….VP said they are not to work together.
  • A new student was added and talks a lot
  • Two others can’t work together because of a fight they were in last week.

So now we don’t have the awesome —we all can work together and build off each other atmosphere I love and had. I’m looking for tips to try so we can re-create our atmosphere we started with. Any ideas?

Second Fix

In my grade 9 mfm1p class this week we worked on solving proportions through the Smart Car Smash activity. screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-9-22-20-am

After going through super gross lesson and seeing the kids smile and cringe at the same time it was time to practice our strategies. I gave out this sheet below.


This is where all the excitement for math was lost….”ah man, a worksheet”. Most students solved the problems. Some kids who were actively engaged with the first problem now were shut down. How can I keep the practice portion that I need but keep engagement up?

Thanks for reading. I would love your help. Share your suggestions on Twitter or below in the comments.

Helpful Fixes from Readers:

MEL3E Day 27

I’m a little late on posting our work from Friday. Our warm up was from Jen McAleer, the brains behind the site has put together a collection of tasks that create a bit of controversy. We completed the Starburst MiniGate task. 

Part 1: Estimate

Students estimated too high, too low and best guess. 


Part 2: Estimate the number in a bag.

Along with an estimate I had students determine how many 1/4 cups scoops would be in the bag if the bag had their estimate. 

Part 3: Reveal the number in the bag. 

After the students grumbled about how far they were off or celebrated if they were close they determined how many 1/4  cups scoops would be in a bag. We determined about 4 scoops would be in the bag. Now for the controversial part…this is the part that made them super mad! 

Show the Nutrition Lable and point out that it says 6 scoops should be in the bag. 

Are you kidding??? There were only 4 scoops in that bag and it says there’s supposed to be 6?? Come on. 
The students voiced their dislike for being ripped off.

We next worked on how much we should have paid for this bag instead of paying $3.09

There are more tasks over at go ahead and check them out. 

For the remainder of class we finished our quiz and mastery work from yesterday. Today the students felt more relaxed and comfortable about the quiz. More comfortable students = more confident about their work. 

I’ll be taking a break from blogging everyday this week but you can still follow my day-to-day on my spreadsheet