Are you familiar with the Pythagorean Theorem? Even if you know the equation, do you know what it means? What all the letters stand for? Why it even matters? Understanding and then using and applying the Pythagorean theorem is important for students because it is so foundational. It can be applied to all kinds of right triangle problems in trigonometry and geometry and is incredibly useful in the real world to determine measurements and right Keep Reading...

## Exploring Surface Area of Pyramids and Cones!

As promised, I have another surface area lesson to share today! This builds on students' previous knowledge from the prisms and cylinders lesson to get them thinking about other three dimensional shapes: pyramids and cones. This FREE surface area of pyramids and cones investigation is a sure way to get kids thinking and better understanding area. It is also a fun, hands-on way to help them form a conceptual understanding, rather than trying to Keep Reading...

## Exploring Surface Area: Hands-On Lesson!

One topic that I believe is too often rushed through, whether in pre-algebra or geometry, is the surface area of three dimensional objects. Because it is often seen as an "easy" topic where students are expected to simply "plug the numbers into the formula," it can be easy to say, "Here's the formula, GO." And while this may work for some students, especially students who have a strong foundation in geometry vocabulary and a strong understanding Keep Reading...

## Making Absolute Value Clear (With FREE Printables!)

One of the math concepts that I have seen students struggle with the most, and yet seems so simple at first glance, is absolute value. It often seems that the only thing students ever "get" from an absolute value lesson is this: absolute value = make it positive. That is NOT, however, the definition of absolute value, and therefore, becomes the cause of much confusion as students try to apply and use absolute value in more complicated problems. Keep Reading...

## Hot Chocolate Math Investigation: Estimation and Measurement!

My kids love hot chocolate. It's such a special treat! When the weather is nice, they love to curl up in the yard at night and star gaze with a large cup of hot chocolate. When the weather is cold and snowy, they love to warm up with a cup! The problem is, they tend to fight over silly things, like who gets which cup. Whether they want a particular mug, or a certain color, it drives me insane to have them argue over which cup they get! However, Keep Reading...

## How Much Does a Pumpkin Cost? {FREE Algebra Lesson!}

For many students, the transition from math computations in the upper elementary grades to Algebra is a challenge. Suddenly, they are having to write mathematical equations and use symbols and letters rather than just numbers. (Although hopefully they have at least been introduced to some of these things prior to formal Algebra). One way to help students ease the transition and make sense of it all is by looking at real and meaningful examples. Keep Reading...

## Exploring Patterns in Pascal’s Triangle {FREE Printables!}

When I taught Algebra, there were lots of ways I loved to explore patterns with kids and help them make the connection between a number pattern, a table, a graph and an equation. One way we did that was by looking at fractals. Another really fun way to explore, play with numbers and see patterns is in Pascal's Triangle. The pattern known as Pascal's Triangle is constructed by starting with the number one at the "top" or the triangle, and Keep Reading...

## Mummy Math: Halloween Estimation and Measurement!

Believe it or not, Halloween is just around the corner! To get my kids excited and seize the opportunity to get outside and enjoy some beautiful Fall weather, we decided to try a little experiment. It all started with a simple enough question: "How many squares of toilet paper do you think it would take to wrap you up like a mummy?" Challenge accepted. Learn how we turned this fun and silly activity into an afternoon full of Halloween estimation Keep Reading...

## FREE Pigs Will Be Pigs Money Lessons!

There may not be any math topic that is more relevant to our everyday life than that of money. It's essential that we teach our kids to add and subtract money, to use it wisely and understand how to handle their money! The book Pigs Will Be Pigs by Amy Axelrod is an excellent introduction to money for kids and helps them understand not only how to add money, but also to realize that it is finite. These Pigs will Be Pigs money lessons are intended Keep Reading...

## 3D Shapes Activity Pack! {FREE Download!}

One of the most important geometry topics covered in middle school math is three-dimensional shapes and their nets. There's a lot to learn regarding 3D shapes-vocabulary, measurements, angles, surface area and volume, etc. But it has to start with a basic understanding of the different shapes, and what makes them different from each other, as well as two-dimensional shapes. If you'd like to start by creating these (and more) shapes with your Keep Reading...

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