## Area and Circumference for Interactive Notebooks

06/08/2013

These are a couple of the interactive notebook pages my class used when we were studying measurement of circles. Students so often get mixed up about the formulas for circumference and area. I think having the notebooks as a reference this year helped them. For the area page the students used the grids on the circle to estimate. (The radius wasn't labeled on the circle yet because I didn't want those who knew the formula to use it at this point.) They counted units squared and the estimation really came in when they had to combine the partial squares to come up with the whole area. The students shared their estimates with the class. Next they had to determine the radius and label it on the circle. We used the formula to calculate the area of the circle and talked about who had come the closest with their estimate.

To create the circle with the grid:
1. Inserted an image of a grid in a Word document then clicked on it to format the picture.
2. In the Picture Styles I chose the oval.
3. To make it a circle, I changed the size so that the height and width were equal. You may need to change the aspect ratio. Click the little arrow button next to the height and width to open the menu for Layout. Go to the Size tab. Uncheck the box that says "lock aspect ratio." Then you should be able to fix the height and width to the same size.
4. If your picture has a shadow underneath it you could leave it there if your students are cutting out the circle anyway. I removed it from mine by clicking on Picture Effects and on the Shadow option I selected No Shadow.
5. I copied and pasted the picture as many times as would fit on one page to save copies and printed them on colored paper to make the activity stand out in the notebook.

## Polygon Properties Notebook Pages

05/26/2013

In an earlier post I wrote about my 7th grade math interactive notebook pages on triangles. The pages on this post continued our study of polygon properties and angle measurements. To begin, we defined the term and used a T-chart to write properties and draw examples and non-examples of polygons. We also defined regular polygons which we used in the chart on the next two pages.

As you will notice I don't always stick to the idea of putting information on the right page and student reflection on the left. Sometimes, I just have more to show them than that, and sometimes I have more reflecting and practicing for them to do than will fit on one page.
On the next two pages we made a chart of polygons. There are columns for the number of sides and angles, the polygon name, and sketches of the polygon. Drawing regular polygons would be difficult, so I copied them for us to cut out and glue on the chart. At the end of this post there is information about the book where I got the page I copied.
As I mentioned above, before this lesson we had studied the measurement of the interior angles of triangles and quadrilaterals. Earlier in the year my 8th grade math class created  "Geome-TREEs" using two pages of their notebooks. Because of spacing for the pages in this class, the 7th graders only used one page, and I made a couple tweaks to improve the quadrilateral tree. We connected the kite to the rhombus and square using the kite tail because both of these figures are also kites. Click on the link to see my original post and description of the "Geome-TREEs."
The students used their knowledge of the measurement of the interior angles of triangles and quadrilaterals to help determine the measurement of the interior angles of a regular pentagon. I loved to see my students flip back and use pages they created in their notebooks to help them with the new lesson. One of my favorite parts of using these notebooks is watching them actually use the pages as a reference.

Our textbook also introduces tessellations at this point, so I included the definition on this page. It ties the polygon lessons with the notebook entries for transformations.
 The regular polygons I used in the T-chart above were copied from a page in Getting Smarter Every Day Book E Grades 6-8. I love this book and use several pages from it for various activities. I also used this book forinteractive notebook pages on transformations and tessellations. There are versions of this book for various grade level groupings.

## Triangle Classification and Angle Measurement

05/21/2013

Classifying Triangles: When one of my math classes was studying the names of polygons, their properties, and the measurement of their interior angles we made several entries in our interactive notebooks. We made this T-chart to review the classification of triangles by their sides and angles. We folded the triangles over and glued them on the chart. On the outside we wrote the names of each type of triangle and on the inside the students wrote the properties for each type of triangle.
Writing in Math: To reflect on the classification of triangles and lead into the concept of the measurement of the interior angles of a triangle students were asked to write whether or not a triangle could have two right angles. They also had to draw a representation to show reasoning and proof of their response.

Triangle Interior Angle Measurement:   In past years I've used a piece of construction paper to model this for the class. I cut a diagonal to make a triangle. I would tear off each angle and put them together on the board or digital projector to demonstrate that the angles, when put together, make a line which is 180 degrees. Since I have been developing interactive notebooks with my classes this year I wanted them to have this activity glued in their notebooks.

I decided to  use 3 different types of triangles to demonstrate that it is true for all of them. I made two of each triangle so they could see the original as well as the triangle with the angles removed and glued together. The activity went really well in class and was a great visual reminder for other angle measurement concepts we studied later in the chapter.

## Free Stuff!

 classifying_triangles.pdf File Size: 200 kb File Type: pdf

## Transformations and Tessellations

05/16/2013

I love teaching transformations.
These are some pages from my 7th grade interactive notebook.
The class took notes on lines of symmetry and reflecting figures over the x- and y-axes. On the left they completed an activity to reflect a design over both axes. (The source for this activity is below.)

For the translations lesson we did one example when a figure is drawn on the coordinate grid and one example for writing the coordinates of the image when only the original coordinates are given. Here is a resource you can use for printing coordinate grids in a variety of sizes.

To sum up the three types of transformations we studied, we outlined three figures on the page then reflected one using tape on one side, translated one, and rotated one. To the right we wrote the definition of each transformation. My 8th graders did a similar transformations page but had other notebook entries for translations and reflections. You can see some of their pages on my Transformations Notebook Pages blog.
On the left page the students completed tessellations using translations and rotations. (See information about this resource below.)

 I bought one of these Getting Smarter Every Day books years ago when I was at a math training. It has some great problem solving activities in it, and I've even used some of the pages as ideas for bulletin boards. I copied the pages above from Book E Grades 6-8 for my students to use on these interactive notebook pages. I also used pages from this book for their polygons notebook pages.

## Transformations Notebook Pages

03/12/2013

transformations notebook page
I love teaching transformations. It's one of my favorite times of the year in math class. I spent a lot of time looking at different ideas for our interactive notebooks and this is what we did.

I printed some figures on cardstock for the students to cut out. I like the bright colors because I think it makes the concepts stand out on the page. We traced the shapes then reflected, translated, and rotated them. We used tape on one side of the triangles to show a reflection and glued in other figures and labeled them all. This part was a review for the students and a reminder of the definition of each term.

We also did a page similar to the one in this blog I found on Teaching Blog Addict to compare line symmetry and rotational symmetry. Most middle school students are pretty proficient at line symmetry but rotational symmetry is a bit trickier because it requires a big dose of visual-spatial reasoning. Some students just have a hard time seeing the new orientation in their minds. It takes practice, and I think the interactive notebook page helps them with this concept.

Since my students do transformations on a coordinate plane, I designed these templates for our interactive notebooks. I have to say it took me a long time to get them to line up just right! I printed them in black and white then colored them to make the figures stand out. I made the reminders to help them remember the rules for find the coordinates of an image after reflecting a figure over the x-axis or y-axis.
Both of these templates are in my TpT and Teacher's Notebook stores.
Click on the pictures to go to that specific item in the store.

## Vocab Booklets

03/09/2013

This week I started new chapters in almost all of my classes. Overwhelming! Because my 7th and 8th grade math classes are both in geometry units I decided to start them off with some vocabulary activities. There are over 30 vocabulary terms for each class. We made vocabulary booklets to staple into their interactive notebooks.  When I told them what we were doing, the 7th graders started laughing because we've done this activity before and there was a little mishap. I had to go on emergency leave at the beginning of the year and created these booklet templates for the sub to have my geography class do while I was gone. When I got back and looked at their work I realized they had done the wrong chapter. Oops! They had to start all over. So glad they can laugh about it :) One of my classes was unusually quiet as they worked on their booklets. When I walked around I could see that they were all concentrating on making detailed and really fantastic illustrations. So proud!

FREE STUFF! You can download a copy of the template. Some students chose to cut theirs on the dotted lines and others wanted to cut around the curves of the frames. That takes longer but does look nicer.

Here's the Word document version.
 vocab_activity.docx File Size: 45 kb File Type: docx

## Our GeomeTREEs

03/03/2013

1 Comment

I pinned a post from To The Square Inch months ago that I wanted to use with my classes as a review of the relationships of quadrilaterals because some middle school students still have difficulty understanding that a square is a rectangle or that "diamond" is not a mathematical name for a figure but kite is. I liked her diagram and the day I was preparing my lesson I read her blog post again and had the idea for the students to actually draw a tree for their geome-"tree" entry.

Some students volunteered to cut out all the pieces for the class the day before the lesson. I was really thankful for that because it seems like it takes forever for them to get things cut out during class. Does anyone else have that problem???

After every lesson I think about my "should haves." I wish I had made the quadrilateral pieces lift like a flap with the properties of each of the figures written beneath them. I think it would have made each piece more meaningful. Also, I wish I had switched the branches for the kite and the trapezoid and made a kite tale that connected it to the square because it is also a kite. Overall though it was a good activity for our interactive notebooks.

***To see the "Geome-TREEs" my 7th grade class created later in the year go to thePolygon Properties Notebook Pages post. I made a few tweaks from the version on this page.***

## Interactive Notebooks-- student approved!

02/23/2013

There are lots of reasons I decided to start using interactive notebooks with my 7th and 8th grade math classes this year. For one thing I like pretty, colorful, creative things. It's like a scrapbook-- for math! Their first assignment of the school year was designing a cover. I made a reference sheet for the back cover of their notebooks as well. I tried to think of concepts the students would need to reference that aren't already usually printed on the inside back cover of most marble composition books.
 available in my TpT store
Over the summer I collected as many cheap, fun stickers and letter stickers as I could from Target's dollar spot, the dollar store, Big Lots, on sale at Michael's, ,etc. I tried to get a wide variety so that all the students could find something they like.  They used lots of different scrapbook paper and colored paper for the backgrounds, but I liked using the Matstock cardstock for the background the best because it didn't have to be trimmed much when a couple sheets are put together on the cover of the marble composition books. Some of them are peel-and-stick too so they didn't even have to be glued! I used paper tape I bought on sale at Target to fill in the gap. When the covers were finished we used clear packing tape to "laminate" them. That has worked great because the covers are still intact and look nice more that half way through the year.
When I decided to implement interactive notebooks this year one of my goals was for the students to learn to use them as a reference to help themselves when they are stuck.  I had a student move last week who told me she was taking her notebook with her to use when she goes to her new school! Made me soooo happy! Other students have told me how much they like making and using the notebooks. I feel like they are taking pride in their work and many of them have started using them the way I had hoped. I could not be more pleased.

## Properties of Numbers Notebook Page

02/12/2013

 Click on the pictures to go to my TpT store for the template I made this for my 8th grade math class at the beginning of the year. It has the names of the properties on the front and the algebra examples on the inside flap. During class we wrote out the arithmetic examples.
I printed it in black and white on colored cardstock for my students, but I like the color printed version better. Next year I'm going to print them all in color on white cardstock.

**Every time I look at this picture I think PROPERTIES looks like it's spelled funny, and I feel compelled to check again if I spelled it wrong. Can't tell you how many times I've looked up this word to confirm that YES, I do know how to spell properties! haha

## Perimeter and Area Notebook Page

02/11/2013

Tomorrow my 7th grade math class will practice solving equations and review the perimeter and area formulas for rectangles. I designed these notebook pages to go along with the activity we'll be doing in class.
The templates and directions are available on my TpT page.
UPDATE-- Using this activity I was able to uncover some misconceptions some students had about these concepts. It was a really productive class!

## Author

I LOVE teaching middle school math! All the potential for learning and growth is inspiring. I have a master's degree in math education, and I've taught 6th - 8th grade math for more than a decade. I've also been a 5th grade teacher and an upper elementary math specialist working with small groups of students who struggled with math. I'm excited to write about what we're doing in class and hear your ideas too!