Saturday, April 20, 2013

Miss Math Dork and the Magical Product Swap


Miss Math Dork makes Middle School Math Fun!

If you teach upper elementary or middle school math, you MUST check out the amazing work of Jamie, a.k.a....Miss Math Dork!  I was lucky enough to scope out some of her incredible products and I'm so excited to be able to post about it as part of the MAGICAL PRODUCT SWAP hosted by Jessica Stanford of Mrs. Stanford's Class.


If you look at Jamie's blog and at her products, you can tell she knows upper elementary and middle school kids.  It takes a special teacher to reach these unique creatures, and clearly Jamie has the creativity and energy to make her classroom come alive with engaging lessons and activities.  Browse her blog, and I guarantee you will leave with at least one great idea to use in your classroom tomorrow!

SO as part of the magical product swap.....I was lucky to have a chance to check out her product entitled: 

Figure that?! Finding AREA and PERIMETER of irregular figures BUNDLE PACK 


and it totally rocks! (Check it out here)  

There are certain things that I'm looking for when I search out classroom materials online.  I usually want something that is "print and go" and that is going to make for an engaging learning task for my kiddos.  What makes this product a great purchase for any math teacher?

1) It matches the common core requirements for geometry.  The questions are of appropriate difficulty and you can be sure you are giving your students the review, practice and rigor they need.  For 6th grade teachers, the perimeter cards make for great review and reinforcement (possibly a learning center) and the area cards can be used supplement new learning for 6th grade.  It is perfect that these two come together in one bundle.

2) It is professionally organized and super easy to print and use.  When I buy a TpT product, ease of printing is a big selling point for me!  The cards are included in black and white AND color.  The colors, font and borders are really cute (but not too cute for middle school kids), and if you don't have access to a color printer or need to make copies for multiple sets of the cards, the black and white cards turn out really nice.  

3) It includes an accurate, easy-to-use answer key. Hello....huge time saver for the busy teacher!

4) The task cards allow for TONS of uses in the classroom, so you are getting a lot of bang for your buck!  (learning centers, whole group and small group games, take-home reinforcement tasks...the list goes on and on)

Here is what one of the two sets included looks like printed out...


Task Card Relay Game:

My favorite way to use the cards is with relay teams!  The students get up and moving and I get a chance to assess the whole class understanding of the concept.  For this strategy, the class is divided into teams of 3-4 students.  Each team is given a whiteboard and asked to create a team name.  A set of cards is copied for each team.  (I recommend copying them on different colors so the team cards don't get mixed up.  I didn't have enough colors so I just used different color highlighters to outline each card.)  Since I'm not teaching math this year, I had one of my colleagues use the cards for a game with her class and her students absolutely loved it!

The way the game works by giving each team 1 task card at a time.  They must solve it correctly on the whiteboard (showing ALL steps) and bring it to the "relay captain" (teacher).  If approved (correct showing all steps with a label), they trade the task card in for the next card and race back to their desk to complete the next problem.   This is where the colored-coded cards can be helpful so that you give each team the correct card!  Each time a new card is given, a new member of the team must solve the problem on the whiteboard and race it up to the teacher, which helps encourage all students to participate. 

(On a side note, my students LOVE task card relays and are always asking to play again.  Today it is snowing...Blah! I'm hoping the weather gets nice in the coming weeks because as long as it is not windy, it is fun to get them outside to play task card relays to review for final exams.)

So, take a minute to check out MissMathDorkand all that her blog has to offer.  Each post is unique and leaves me thinking about how I can be be a better teacher.  Here are two of her recent posts that I recommend reading:

I love her March 3rd post "Sorting Through Tricky Situations," about how kids struggle to decipher between geometric situations.   She shares a great strategy and product for this common difficulty. I believe that great teachers don't just teach a concept, they observe closely how students apply the concept and relate it to their prior knowledge.  Clearly Jamie does this in her classroom. 

In her March 27th post she shared some great research from her experience attending a lecture entitled  "Understanding the Digital Generation."    This really got me thinking about how I approach planning for my students, especially when it comes creating note sheets and visuals.  I never really considered how the way our students approach new learning, may be been impacted by the digital age.  

I assure you, there is nothing dorky about Miss Math Dork....Her work is pretty awesome.  So check it out.  I think you will be as impressed as I am!

Happy Teaching...


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Kate! Your blog is so adorable and the sight of coffee always makes me feel at home:) I loved your review of the area/perimeter task cards and added them to my wish list. I think this would be a great center to challenge some of my early finishers!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  2. Hi Kate, Just wanted to comment and let you know I'm your newest follower. I'll head over and see Miss Math Dork too, although I feel very strange saying that. ;)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  3. Hi Kate! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment on my blog! Your blog is adorable and your Product Swap review was wonderful. I love finding new ways to teach math concepts to my kids. I am happy to be your newest follower!
    Bright Concepts 4 Teachers



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