Weekly Math Poll – Back to School

While we created this activity for the math classroom, it can easily be adapted for any subject. In fact, the first four of six tasks contain no math. To customize this activity to meet your individual classroom needs, select “copy” and edit away in your account!

Back to School Quiz
– Back to School Quiz –

The first task has a throwback to some math history with the ancient calculator, an abacus. Obviously, students no longer need to lug these to class. We hope some students may select the other correct answer that they don’t need “Snapchat Skills” for school. Feel free to customize for your specific classroom requirements (laptop/tablet, textbook, binder, etc.)

Task #1
– Task #1 –

The scratchpad is a helpful tool for hints, bonus problems and language supports. This task has a definition of an abacus in case that is a new word for your students. Adding support in the scratchpad can help prevent language from being a barrier to students’ math success.

Task 1 Using the Scratchpad for Language Support
– Task #1 Using the Scratchpad for Language Support –

Task 2 is a two-for-one (a twofer!) with students reflecting on important strategies for school success and practicing productive turn-and-talk with a partner. After students have talked for a few minutes they can enter their ideas in the short answer box.

Task 3 lets them practice the tap on their favorite strategy for school success. It is fun and will result in some lively discussion if you take some time to discuss the resulting heat map of student responses with the entire class!

– Task #3 –

Task 4 is like that game two truths and a lie, except there are two lies and only one truth. Here at Woot Math, we encourage students to show their work (so A is not true) and we sometimes have tips and hints in the scratchpad (so B is not true). We also believe in second chances and let students go back and change their submission as long as the teacher hasn’t revealed the answer yet (so C is true).

Task 4 is like that game two truths and a lie, except there are two lies and only one truth. Here at Woot Math, we encourage students to show their work (so A is not true) and we sometimes have tips and hints in the scratchpad (so B is not true). We also believe in second chances and let students go back and change their submission as long as the teacher hasn’t revealed the answer yet (so C is true).

Task #4
– Task #4 –

Ideally students read option B and look to the scratchpad to see if there are any helpful tips. The hint suggests they try submitting and then changing their answer to test if C is the correct answer. If all goes well, your students will be forming hypotheses, gathering data and drawing conclusions. Hey wait a minute! This is starting to sound more like science class than math.

Task 5 gives them a math problem to compute an area from a length and a width. This task has them practicing how to use the calculator tool in the scratchpad to show their work. Note that when you create activity like this one, you can control which scratchpad tools your students have access to by going to Scratchpad Settings. You can learn more about customizing student tasks here.

Task #5 Scratchpad Settings
– Task #5 Scratchpad Settings –

This is also a good reminder for them that units matter and sometimes a problem will have two blanks, one for the number and one for the unit. The correct answer for the units here is “square feet” but Woot Math also accepts “feet squared” “ft^2” and “sq feet”. Multiple correct answers are separated by a semi-colon (AKA winky face ;). This problem also allows for up to 1 typo. Notice how the bonus problem asks them to make a typo deliberately to see if they still get it right. Having students understand how Woot Math evaluates their work can be helpful.

The final task has them practice showing their work in the scratchpad. The example given demonstrates one of many methods for solving the problem. The three numbers are broken down into the 100s, 10s and 1s, grouped and then added. Encourage your students to try an alternate strategy.

Task #5 Expressing Your Work on the Scratchpad
– Task #5 Expressing Your Work on the Scratchpad –

This activity is a fun and engaging start to the Fall. We hope you enjoy it, and we wish you and your students a terrific new school year!

Get started by previewing the poll right now, or login to wootmath.com and search for Back to School in the Shared Gallery.

Visit our page on Formative Assessment for more information on implementing these strategies in your classroom.

Weekly Math Poll – 4th of July

We start the poll with a basic American history question asking which document was signed on the 4th of July, 1776. We expect nearly all your students will know the answer, regardless it is a great reminder of what we celebrate on this fine day.

Question 1 - Warm-up
– Question 1 - Warm-up –

Next, we move on to some math about a problem that that many of us encounter every year when planning a BBQ. The number of buns and the number of hot dogs just don’t match! We ask students to find the least common multiple of 6 and 8 to see just how big a party they would need to throw to have a perfect match.

Practicing problems with least common multiples…check. Thinking about food waste and business marketing… check. For added fun, ask your students to draw a picture to justify their reasoning or solve the problem in two or three different ways.

Least Common Multiple Problem
– Least Common Multiple Problem –

The scratchpad is also a great place to put reminders or fun facts relating to the problem.

The rest of this poll is aligned to Algebra I standards on modeling linear inequalities, graphing them and transforming them.

Tasks 3 and 4 have students imagine they are throwing a mini-firework show for their school and need to stay within the constraints of their budget and time expectations. If they get the math right, they will find that they do not have enough money to make the show long enough. If this were a real situation, these types of analysis would be helpful in arguing for a larger budget, lower permit costs or shorter time requirements.

Select the graph of an inequality
– Select the graph of an inequality –
Task 5 asks them to identify which graph is a solution to the inequality. I like making tasks like this with screenshots of actual graphs merged into one image for a tap-an-image multiple choice. The visual display of the heatmap can lead to some productive discussions in the classroom, especially if you have the “show answer” button turned off. If you do, the projected results will be a heatmap of student responses. This is a great time for a whole class or small group discussion (try the automatic grouping feature) about the task. If you want, you can create a copy of this task and then run it again after the discussion to see if everyone converges on the correct answer. Get started by previewing the poll right now, or login to wootmath.com and search for 4th of July in the Shared Gallery.

Visit our page on Formative Assessment for more information on implementing these strategies in your classroom.

Weekly Math Poll – NBA Finals

This poll covers mean, median and interquartile range. These are statistics concepts that show up in Algebra I and sometimes earlier. You could use it as a fun review/warm-up. Practicing questions that involve finding data in charts is always good SAT/ACT review. Alternately, it would be a great exit ticket for a day where you teach students about interquartile range. Also, feel free to copy it to your dashboard and modify the questions to better fit what your students are currently covering. Either way it is a great opportunity to tie in current events and basketball into math. Who knows, you may end up observing your students making data-driven arguments for or against one of the teams.

Map of NBA basketball teams
– Map of NBA basketball teams –

After Task 1, we dive in to the math. The next two questions involve some review of mean and median but the real challenge is in identifying the correct data to use. Students often know how to compute mean and median, especially when the data is presented clearly in the problem. Finding it in the table adds an extra challenge but also makes it more relevant and transferable to applying statistical analysis to authentic, real-world data.

Also, when you are reviewing student data from this poll, you can quickly see which students used the wrong data by using the custom legend. If they computed the mean correctly but for the wrong score (points scored by the Warriors or against the Rockets) they will be color coded in purple. If they mixed up mean and median but were otherwise correct, they will be coded in blue.

Custom Legend for Task 1
– Custom Legend for Task 1 –

We also added a custom legend for tasks 3 and 4, we recommend you check them out before running the poll with your student.

For all the questions, we give you real data that was current up until the start of the 2018 finals. Feel free to linger on one of these questions and ask your students what they notice.

Lebron James Stats
– Lebron James stats –

You can pause here and ask your students,

“Do you see a correlation between points scored by LeBron and if his team won or lost?”

“Does he tend to score more or less points when other statistics (rebounds, assists…) go up?”

You can also pause after the next question to ask them about how the points are distributed within a team.

Golden State Warriors Stats
– Golden State Warriors Stats –
After students do the analysis of the top 7 highest scoring players they have even more useful information. You can ask them, how do the distributions of the two teams compare? What are the outliers in the data? Hopefully your students use data and their statistics (mean, median, interquartile range) in their responses. If you are covering standard deviation, this problem’s prompt and correct answer can be quickly changed once in your account. Interestingly, the teams have very similar standard deviations when it comes to the top 7 point scorers. Whether you’re rooting for the Cavs or the Warriors, this poll will let your students compute statistics from real data that they can use to support their favorite (or talk trash about their rival). Get started by previewing the poll right now, or login to wootmath.com and search for NBA Playoffs in the Shared Gallery.

Visit our page on Formative Assessment for more information on implementing these strategies in your classroom.

Stay tuned for next week’s poll!

Happy Pi Day 3.14 – Quizzes & Resources

Pi Day celebrates the mathematical constant (π), as March 14 can also be expressed as 3.14, the first three digits of pi. Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, which is a constant. That is – for any size circle, the ratio is the same (π).

Happy Pi Day

 

The first large-scale celebration of Pi Day was organized by Larry Shaw at the San Francisco Exploratorium, where Shaw worked as a physicist. Then in March 2009, Pi Day became a national holiday in the United States. And a fun note? March 14th is also Albert Einstein’s birthday. Don’t worry, unlike Pi, this history lesson won’t go on forever. Onto the math!

Use these two warm-ups or exit tickets
for fun with square roots (and of course Pi):

Evaluating Square Roots    circumference warm-up

These two warm-ups can be used for a quick check
of student understanding with trigonometric expressions:

Evaluating cosine    special-right-triangles-in-unit-circle

And this is a great quiz for gauging
student understanding of arc length and sector area:

Arc length sector area quiz

You can run any of these as a warm-up, quiz or even assign for homework. You can also copy and modify the questions and make them your own. There are lots of excellent ideas to leverage for your classroom. With Woot Math, all of the polls are completely free and a great Open Educational Resources (OER).

Get started by clicking on any of the polls now to preview them, or login to wootmath.com and search by name. You can also click on the categories in the Shared Gallery – for example– GeometryTrigonometry, to find more great resources for your classroom. And who knows, you might also have fun with pie charts, or even pumpkin pie.

New Features in Woot Math Polls

New Features in Woot Math Polls

We've just launched some new often-requested features in Woot Math Polls. Below is a quick recap of the top additions. Please keep the requests coming @wootmath!
Teacher Upload An Image to the Student Scratchpad
You have had the ability to customize the student’s scratchpad for a while by turning on or off the set of tools available, adding some text, equations or even a table. But now you can also upload images into the student’s scratchpad when you are creating a task. To access this capability, while you are creating a poll, click on the “Scratchpad Settings” link on the right side of the page.
Scratch Pad Settings Button

To add an image to the scratchpad, either drag an image to the upload area or click on the image icon and select an image on your computer. Use the blue squares in the corners to resize the image. Click and drag to position it on the student scratchpad.

That’s it. Every student who takes this poll will have the image on their scratchpad.

Problem Numbers While Running Polls Problem numbers are now indicated while you are running a poll, so you and your students will always know which problem you are on and how many more there are to do. It is visible in the top right corner of the blue header:
Problems now have number sequence labels
Classroom Stability Improvements
We also released a series of under-the-hood improvements intended to make classroom stability much better, since we all know how temperamental wifi can be. Now you can keep working, your students can keep working, and no work will be lost!

Feature Requests?
Let us know what feature you would like to see, and we’ll try our best to accommodate it. Leave us a comment below or reach us @wootmath. Subscribe to receive email updates on new product features and improvements delivered.
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