I recently stumbled upon an online resource that looked useful, especially since it is completely free. It’s from the people at Art of Problem Solving and this particular resource is called Alcumus. I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially since I haven’t used any other AoPS materials, and I do not have the curriculum that it is meant to complement. But after playing with it and experimenting, I am happy to say that it seems to be an incredibly helpful and useful tool. Please note: This is NOT a teaching tool or online class to learn the content. This interactive tool is meant to Keep Reading...

## Exploring Volume: FREE Lesson!

To continue with my study of 3-D shapes, I have created a lesson to begin exploring volume. Like surface area, this is something that is often rushed through, and students are told to just "plug it into the formula." But I have seen this lead to many unnecessary mistakes because students never actually understand where the formula comes from, and therefore they end up "plugging in" the wrong things. Understanding WHY the formula for prisms and cylinders is V = B x h (where B stands for "area of the base") makes sense when students can see how the area and volume relate to each other. Keep Reading...

## Surface Area Practice Worksheets

Since I posted some lessons to help students learn and understand surface area last week, I thought I would add a couple of practice worksheets to go with it! These are simple and short, but I hope you find them helpful! The first has various prisms and cylinders, while the second covers pyramids and cones. I tried to use fairly simple examples so that they would be appropriate for middle school or high school, so if you are looking for more challenging problems (where different measurements are given, etc.) these may not be helpful to you. But please note, on the pyramids worksheet, there Keep Reading...

## 3-D Shapes Worksheets! {FREE Printables!}

One Geometry topic that is introduced at a young age and then explored in more complex ways as kids get older is 3D shapes. Obviously, the first thing young mathematicians learn is to simply recognize the shapes, learn their names and discover them in the world around us. As kids get older, it's important to help them learn and understand polyhedron nets. Understanding what these shapes look like "flat" helps with spatial sense and reasoning and will build a solid foundation for later study of surface area. These simple 3D shapes worksheets can help students make connections and understand 3D Keep Reading...

## The Importance of Math Vocabulary

Some of the most common errors I have seen teaching algebra occur because students simply cannot accurately "translate" words into mathematical models, or because they do not understand math "jargon" such as evaluate or simplify. I think this problem could easily be avoided, however, if one or two days were spent focusing on these skills. We cannot expect students to walk into class with a clear understanding of "math words" if they were never explicitly taught. Math is a language we must teach students, just as Spanish or French must be taught and learned. No one would expect a student to Keep Reading...

## Quadratic Equations Project (with FREE printables!)

One of the best ways to really learn something so that it sticks with you is to teach it to someone else. Giving students a project that gets them thinking through a mathematical process and allows them to express their creative side is always a win-win! The following example involves solving quadratic equations. A skill in Algebra that, while important, can very easily become boring and meaningless. And while I believe it is always helpful for students to have multiple options and methods to use for solving problems, I have seen that it can become easy for them to confuse and mix together Keep Reading...