Category Archives: Math Intervention

The In-N-Out Problem

I did “The In-N-Out Problem with my Algebra Support classes this week. See “The In-N-Out Problem” here.

This conversation introduced our lesson:

Me: “So, have you guys ever been to In-N-Out before?”

5 minutes of discussion, which inevitably includes one kid screaming across the room to another kid, “WHAT?! YOU’VE NEVER BEEN TO IN-N-OUT BEFORE?!”

Me: “Great. Have you ever heard of the ‘secret menu’?”

5 more minutes of discussion, which inevitably includes half the class yelling that they’ve never heard of a secret menu and demanding to know how you can see the secret menu, and the other half of the class still yelling about how much they love In-N-Out.

I introduced the idea of the 3×3, and 4×4, and showed them the picture of the 20×20 (see link above).

5 more minutes of discussion, which inevitably includes someone thinking they are HILARIOUS when they yell out that the picture looks like diabetes.

Me: “No, diabetes is caused by too much sugar. This is heart disease.”

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Noah’s Ark

One of the things I started my Algebra 1 Support classes off with on the first day of school was Fawn Nguyen’s Noah’s Ark problem.

Wait. Before I begin, I want to say this problem is REALLY HARD. I worked it myself a few times, couldn’t figure it out, and finally wound up needing Fawn herself walk me through the logic of it. (Of course, once you see the logic, it makes so much sense. Also, in my defense, I was on the right track, and then got distracted with something else and didn’t continue that train of thought.) Continue reading

Math Intervention…or “This Is All Schneider’s Fault”

In January, my roommate/colleague and I went to the University of Arizona’s Center for the Recruitment and Retention of Teachers Mathematics Educator Appreciation Day conference. (And…now I’m tired of typing.) We went to a math teacher conference that was local. Dan Schneider was there doing a session on math intervention, and I told my roommate to go to his session because she is currently teaching an intervention-type class and I’m not. I told her if she didn’t go, I would. I follow Dan on Twitter and I also follow his blog, so I know that I really like what he has to say. Specifically, his series of posts on answer-getting about a year ago really resonated with me. I saw these same attitudes and behaviors in my own students, and was thrilled to hear that I was trying something that he was also trying, and get other strategies that might help. Continue reading