Math Videos 101!

For the past two years, my husband and I have been using math videos to “flip” our classrooms.  We have thoroughly enjoyed the process and have seen HUGE gains in our students.  We make and use math videos to deliver instruction rather than standing at the front of the classroom and teaching.  Last year, I used math videos in my resource room to allow groups of students in multiple grades and at an array of mathematical levels to all work during the same timeframe and still receive support on their individual needs.  
Yesterday, I posed a question on my Facebook page about Math Videos and PowerPoints and I had a few requests to provide directions on how I create my videos.  So here is goes!

I begin by using PowerPoint to create images with the content that I plan to teach.  Depending on the skill, I can usually knock these out fairly quickly.  After I have completed my slides.  I save the entire PowerPoint as PNG images.  You can do this by going to File > Save As > Format > PNG.  I will be working over the next several weeks to upload everything that I have created for my own videos to my TpT Store to *hopefully* save you some time if you are interested in getting started.

After I have all of my images created and saved as PNGs, I upload them to Google Drive.  This can be done by clicking on the red arrow above.  I choose “Folder” so that I can upload all of my PowerPoint images at once.  If you choose “Files” you can only upload one image at a time.  
Now that my images are created and uploaded, I switch gears and open GoogleDrive on my iPad.  You can download the app to make your life SO much easier!  
Now, this is a very UNORGANIZED GoogleDrive account that I use for miscellaneous things.  Forgive me for the mess!  After opening, I locate the images that I just loaded and click the folder.  

The files, will show up like the image above.  I select the first image by clicking on it.

By holding my finger on the image, I am able to save the image to my Camera Roll by clicking “Save Image”.  By swiping to the left, I can scroll through and save all of the images from my PowerPoint.

Next, I open the Educreations app.  This is where all of my hard work comes together and allows learning to happen!  By clicking on the plus sign at the top of the page, you can begin a new video.

In the Educreations app, you will insert the images you have saved to your Camera Roll.  To do this, click the plus sign shown above.  You will also have to select the “Mountain” image in the center of your options.  Then select Camera Roll.  All of the images in your Camera Roll will be displayed as options for you to insert into your video.

After inserting my image, I like to click “Fit Height” so that it covers the entire height of the Educreations screen.  By clicking on the small arrow in the bottom right hand corner, I can move to the next page and insert more images to complete my video.

After inserting all images, I click the orange microphone at the top to begin recording.  As I teach, I can use the pen or eraser to add to the images as I work out the problems or write steps for students to follow.

By clicking on the image above, you can grab the images for Expanded Form to use in creating your own videos as well as a PowerPoint version if you don’t have the technology to create a video but wish to use these images for PowerPoint presentations on an Interactive White Board.


In the video above, I have a short video from me to YOU!  This is not for your students to learn about expanded form but rather a video for you to learn about some essential things that I include in my videos and how the logistics of the videos work in my classroom!

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Unwrap a Gift from ME!

I am going to make a crazy generalization here and say that you have about two weeks left before Christmas Break and you are EXHAUSTED with a HUGE list of things you’d like to get done before break…..am I close?  Now, I can’t make the to-do list disappear, but I can help provide you with a super fun set of brain teasers that my kids enjoyed for FREE!
I truly love blogging, chatting, statusing (….will that be added to Webster’s Dictionary soon?), and sharing with you all!  I have loved the resources, ideas, and support that I have gotten from so may of you.  And to show my appreciation, I have a little gift for you!  
In my gift to you, I have a Perimeter and Area Brain Teaser that is sure to get your students thinking and having a little Christmas fun!  In the picture above, students are asked to help Jingle the Elf find the measurements of his workshop.  This is the simplest brain teaser in my set of five, where the students are given the perimeter and area of a figure.  They will have to work to find the possible measurements of Jingle’s workshop.  
Buddy ramped up the difficulty, requiring the measurements of his workshop to have a perimeter that was larger than the area.  This answer had so many possibilities and I absolutely loved seeing them use common sense and a little trial and error to discover different possibilities.  Their erasers were definitely put to work today!
Snickerdoodle’s challenge was by far my FAVORITE!  I don’t know if I should admit this, but it took me FOREVER to find a possible solution.  But finally, I discovered one.  My students had the same struggle but it wasn’t an impossible feat.  I allowed them to work with a partner which allowed them to brainstorm possibilities and see what solutions they could come up with.  
Hop on over and grab a few more gifts from my fellow bloggers!  Everyone loves to unwrap a great gift, right?  ๐Ÿ™‚




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Finding Perimeter & Area of Irregular Figures

I’ll be honest, I HATE working on perimeter and area of irregular figures!  It is such a challenge for students and the perfectionist in me can’t deal with the mess that these drawings quickly turn into.  This year, I did something extremely basic but so close to my heart; color coding!!!  I have found this method to be very effective for teaching students to visualize how to find the “missing” measurements.  It can also be done quickly, on the fly, and without ANY preparation.  

I begin this mini-lesson by telling students to grab two markers of their favorite color….talk about instant engagement!  I have them draw the irregular figure in pencil as I draw it on the Promethean Board.  Then I slowly have them color code the lines.  I usually begin with the horizontal lines only.  After color coding the horizontal lines, I ask the students to visualize what the shape would look like if we could somehow shove the “4 in” in the picture above down to be even with the “6 in”.  I usually get responses like, “It will look like a rectangle…” and “Then it would be the same size as the ‘unknown’ purple piece at the bottom…”.  All of which are *perfect* for solving the problem.  Using their responses, we begin discussing how to find the measurement of the unknown piece.  Then, we switch gears and do the vertical lines in another color.

I also like to give plenty of examples where students are given the long side and must use the colors to figure out one of the short pieces using the same process.  If you can teach your students THIS in a snap, then you deserve a serious reward!  
I also wanted to share a link to my Perimeter and Area Task Cards.  This packet of task cards includes ten sets of cards covering the following skills:
  *Finding Perimeter {with basic math facts and working towards double digits}
  *Finding Perimeter {with double digit numbers working towards triple digits}
  *Finding Area {with basic math facts and working towards double digits}
  *Finding Area {with double digit numbers working towards triple digits}
  *Finding Perimeter & Area {with basic math facts and working towards double digits}
  *Finding Perimeter & Area {with double digit numbers working towards triple digits}
  *Finding the Area of Triangles
  *Finding the Area of Parallelograms
  *Finding Missing Numbers in Irregular Figures
  *Finding Perimeter & Area of Irregular Figures
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Math Warm Ups!

What morning procedures do you have each day?  I have the standard ones, such as turn in homework, sharpen pencils, and go to the restroom.  From there, rather than the typical morning work that I have previously used, I have began to implement Math Warm Ups.  If you followed my Guided Math Book Study this summer, you know that Math Stretches are part of Laney Sammon’s Guided Math philosophy.  {On a side note, I LOVE her!}

At the beginning of the year, I began using Math Warms Ups to start our day by using chart paper and scented markers.  {Side note, thank you Sentos!  You make math even better!!!}  I would pose a question related to the topic that they had from the previous night’s homework.  In the picture above, my students had watched a math video for homework about multiplying three-digit by three-digit numbers.  Why not begin the following day with a little warm up to refresh and wake up our minds?!?!  In this particular warm up (and many others), each student creates a component of the problem and they work together to solve it.  I really like this because it allows them to self differentiate as well as work cooperatively with others.  They typically have different partners each day which allows them to work and help many friends.

After they complete the problem, they record their initials next to their work.  I love this because when we meet to discuss the Warm Up after morning announcements, I have them explain what they did to the class.  Most of the time, their answers are spot on and I love hearing them put their mathematical actions into words.  Other times, they are pretty far off and it provides a chance to teach from common mistakes that students make.  Either way, I love it!

As the weeks passed, I realized that I was going to go broke if I kept on the chart paper kick.  So I moved the Math Warm Up to the board.  The process is the same but no scented markers.  *Sniff*  The students really seem to enjoy these and I love getting the opportunity to see their ability to follow directions, work as a team, and most of all, review a grade level skill.

After completing these Math Warm Ups on the board {sitting right next to my Promethean Board} for months, I felt like an idiot when I realized….I could do these digitally!!!  Duh!  So using Power Point, I created Math Warm Ups that are able to be done on our Promethean Board while mastering the same objectives and saving paper, chalk, and lots of time.  Plus, what child doesn’t love the opportunity to come write on one of these boards?

Now, if you’re interested in trying these on your own, I have a sample copy with VERY basic Math Warm Ups that you could use to see how they fit into your classroom.  These are typically the types of warm ups I use on days where we are in between skills, right before breaks, or other awkward days that just don’t “fit” into a typical warm up.

If you enjoy the sample or think that this is something that you would like to incorporate into your classroom, I also have Math Warm Ups designed for specific skills.  I currently have decimals, fractions, and measurement & geometry.  They are perfect for complimenting your daily instruction and allowing students to “warm up” their brain before diving into math class!  Each set comes with a PDF version of the Warm Ups as well as an editable Power Point for inserting your own Warm Ups.

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Math Journals!

This year, I have tried to put a strong emphasis on having my students be able to describe the processes and concepts behind each of our skills that we work on.  I’m not going to lie, this has been HARD!
As I plan for each unit, I develop a prompt to support the daily skill that we work on.  Now, I am pretty proud of these prompts and I love how it allows me to see exactly what each student knows or understands about a given skill.  And then there are days, where you are so excited to see the student responses and get something like this…..

WHAT?!?!?!?!  

You are one of my top math students and THAT is what you thought was a good response to my absolutely fabulous prompt?!?!?  I can’t even tell what the prompt was because your response was so short and sweet.  So week after week, I would write, “More detail!” or sometimes I would even say, “More detail, please!!!”  And I didn’t get anything more from him and many others in my class.  I even said please…. :/

So I decided that they were truly giving me all that they could.  That although they could verbally tell me these beautiful answers in class, they simply weren’t able to form an amazing response independently in writing.  So I started doing a little searching; trying to find a product on TpT or idea on Pinterest that would help my students become better ‘math writers’.  I was sadly disappointed when I couldn’t find anything.  So I had to put on my big girl panties and begin researching in a different way.  Ya know…..the kind of boring stuff that they make you do in college.  Gag!  But I actually found several really good research articles that had great criteria and ideas for incorporating writing into mathematics understanding.

What I developed from this research was something EXTREMELY simple but I have loved giving my students a criteria in which to follow when writing their responses.  When I introduced this to the class, we wrote three responses together over the course of three days.  We used this time to make sure that they were using the checklist to help develop responses that are “up to Mrs. Wilp’s standards”.

You’ll be glad to know that “Mr. I’m-Gonna-Write-There-Both-The-Same-And-Think-That’s-Ok” is improving in his Math Journal responses.  After introducing the criteria to the Math Journals, this is one of his entires.  You can tell that he restated the question or prompt, used key math vocabulary, illustrated his thinking, and made sure that his response actually answered the prompt.  The only thing that he may be lacking in my “Don’t Forget to:” checklist is the fifth star: USE YOUR BEST HANDWRITING!!!

Recently, I had an idea to transfer my journal prompts into a booklet to make it easier for students to utilize throughout a unit. I cannot wait to roll this out next year! ๐Ÿ™‚
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