Complex Numbers Foldable

Complex numbers are amazingly fun to teach in Algebra 2 because it is the first time students have ever seen them.  It turns many of their  previous “no solutions” into answers, how exciting is that?  It also enables them to understand the majority of math jokes and memes!


I start my students off by letting them read about who uses complex numbers (because they always ask and I find this saves time), and then I let them read the Math Forum’s John and Betty’s Journey Into Complex Numbers.

Then, I show them this…Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 8.45.02 AM

We have been studying patterns since the first day of school.  Patterns are part of the beauty of mathematics.  And the math they currently know does not let this pattern continue.

Enter complex numbers.

Some of them don’t buy it at first, but then I ask them, “Can you SEE zero cookies?”  “Can you SEE -5 dollars?”  Hmmmm…..

After the fun stuff comes the real work.  And that is where the foldable comes in.  I saw this awesome circular diagram idea for powers of i on Bonnie’s blog, Teaching On The East Side.  I also used her great answer scramble idea (see below)!

I use graphing a + bi to motivate why the heck we can’t leave i the denominator and must use the complex conjugate to simplify.  Fun times!

Here is the link to the word doc for the foldable.

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 9.18.57 AMAfter the foldable we needed a break before getting more practice so we played this Kahoot.  I liked it because every slide has a fun math joke or meme involving complex numbers!



Finally, for the practice worksheet I made a Holiday Scramble!  Where the answers are all on the board, but mixed up so you have to find them.  This is great for the students that do NOT like to even see the hint of an answer before starting a problem, but do want to check their answers after they are finished.


Geometry Transformation Foldable – Translate, Reflect, Dilate

I only had about a week to cover transformations so I focused on translations and reflections, and then briefly covered dilations.  I used coordinate changes, where (x,y) transformed to (x +2, y-1) or (-x,y) as I feel that will benefit them in later Algebra classes as well.  Michael Pershan’s created an excellent Tool for Exploring Transformation Rules using  Desmos that I love.  I gave my students the link and let them play with it.  Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 2.11.57 PM

Then I had them take out the +5, and +8 so they only had (x,y).   Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 2.05.39 PM

I challenged them to make the house FATTER.  It took them a while to figure out they had to multiply a number instead of add.  After they were all able to make very fat houses asked them to make it skinner, taller, and shorter.  After that, I asked if they thought they could turn it upside down.  The students enjoyed making the house different sizes and moving it around.  But the best benefit came days later when I only had to mention the house to remind them how to differentiate between the translations and dilations in future work.

Here is the link to the Transformations foldable I created, using Kuta software for some of the graphs.

Construction Instruction Booklet (Foldable)


Yikes!  Constructions!  There are many steps to follow.  My students are working really hard but I felt that they (and I) could use a little reminder / reference guide for the most basic constructions.  I made a layered booklet foldable.  Each each page contained instructions for one construction with an example for them to construct.


I love the layered book because of the way the information can be organized.  I made it half sized so it would fit in their composition booklets.  I made a ppt to show the students with folding instructions so I wouldn’t have to fold all of them myself.  Cutting and sorting them was enough work!


I copied the instructions from the Math Open Ref site as it is what I have shown my students as we have done each construction.  My students and I have really enjoyed the videos on the Math Open Ref site.  The most ingenious part is the fact that you can select “auto repeat” so that the video plays over and over again.  I loop this video while I walk around helping students.  It’s a game changer.

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 3.35.45 PM

After the students used their notes (and the Math Open Ref site or me if needed) to finish all of the examples in the foldable, I glued or stapled it in the center, then they glued them into their INB’s.

I have included the Word and pdf versions of the file on Box, as well as the in class ppt I used to help them fold it.  Enjoy!





Graphing Linear Inequalities – Day 2 and Foldable

I started graphing linear inequalities at the end, with our Knittng Business.  For day two, I gave them a foldable that we went over.  This day we worked on graphing the lines, then picking and testing their “test points” in class.  It went very well as I could refer back to the knitting example with almost every question.

7th – Graphing Inequalities Foldable pdf

Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 2.40.25 PMThe next day I wanted them to learn how to write inequality equations.  I used Chick-Fil-A for this example because they have all of their prices online.  I showed them this slide and set them to work with a partner.

Once they came up with their food and drink combinations, I had them go to the board and enter their information onto a chart.

IMG_4797 Once their information was all on the board, I asked them to try and write an inequality for this information.  Some groups got it right away.  For those that struggled, I gave hints.  First, I put the <= 15 on the board between chicken and total.  That was all most groups needed.  I then asked them HOW they calculated their total.  Almost every student was able to write the equation.  It was fantastic!   I think that the table really helped them visualize the equation.  I had not put in the total column before today – but it was key! IMG_4798


After we wrote the equation we went to and entered the equation with the shading.  They love that.

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 2.07.22 PM

After that, we added a table and then entered all of their food and drink combinations!  They noticed that all of the combinations that we entered were actually “test” points.  They also saw what it really meant to use a test point and why it was necessary.  One group in each class had a wrong answer so they even got to see what happens when you shade one side and then pick a combination that doesn’t work!  It was another day of “math-a-magic”!

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 2.11.06 PM Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 2.11.35 PM


Order of Operations Foldable – GEMS

Angie made this fantastic PEMDAS foldable, which I loved because it is brilliant!  But, I use GEMS, not PEMDAS.  So I totally stole it and turned it into GEMS.  Thank you Angie, my kids LOVED the color, and the “windows”.  It was a huge hit with my 6th grade!

I also draw a “gem” around the problem to illustrate how to best “show your work” and use an upside “carat”.  It’s all about the gems today!

The word doc is on the Math Wiki, and Scribed below.




Foldables – Place Value, Exponents, and Scientific Notation

I have been a foldables freak lately!  I’ve been making them, but I haven’t posted them yet.  I just can’t keep up with the beginning of the year flurry, plus I was so sick last week.  Also, I have the new Notebook Foldables from Dinah Zike for notebooks and she suggests making “tabs” so you use the notebook paper as part of the foldable.  I love this because it saves trees!

Place Value – I was very surprised when I asked my 6th graders to round to the tenths place and most of them gave me the hundredths!  So, I did a mini-lesson complete with a mini-foldable.

Exponents, Positive, Zero, Negative – This one we didn’t get to fill out all of the way.  I keep running out of time with shortened classes this year.  They have the definitions on their vocabulary page, but next year I’m just going to have them put everything on the foldable.


Scientific Notation – I worked on this one for a while because I wanted so much on there, but I didn’t want it to be too complicated.


Scribed is NOT working for me right now.  So, I will add the actual docs here later.  Or, you can get them now at the Math Teacher Wiki’s Foldables Page.

Foldables Conference (LIVE) Aug 14 @ 9pm ET

This Tuesday night at 9pm ET, I will be talking about Foldables on the Global Math Department!  The session is FREE and will cover:

  • Why you should incorporate foldables into your classroom
  • Different types of Foldable for different lessons
  • Planning an effective lesson using foldables
  • Foldable timesavers for teachers and students
  • Examples of actual foldables from my students
  • Question and answer time
  • Bring your foldables to share as well!

This is a live video conference where my Powerpoint slides can also be viewed as I talk and show you examples of the foldables.  There is a chat box as well for questions during the presentation.  The second half of the presentation will be show and share, where other teachers can turn their video on and share their favorite foldables!

Join me for Foldables, Tuesday night, August 14th, at 9pm Eastern Time.

Math Class Notebooks – MS Sunday Funday

Welcome to a collaboration of posts by amazing middle school math teachers!


This week’s theme is Math Class Notebooks.  Next week, the theme will be everything advisory. Please share how your school runs advisory, how often you do advisory and why, and most important, advisory activities!

Also, grab the MS Sunday Funday logo at the top to link back to this page.

Writing Linear Equations from Word Problems – Foldable

6th and 7th grade students do not like to write equations for word problems. They just want to scratch out some calculations and give me their answer. Often, their answer is correct, but I would love for them to develop how to write an equation from a word problem at this level.

I made this four step foldable to visually slow them down, and illustrate the steps they need to take when writing an equation from a word problem. The students caught on very easily when I did this in class with them. For the first time, they seemed to realize that they needed to complete several steps in order to solve a word problem (by writing an equation). I emphasized the importance of the equation.




This is the example that I wrote on the board to illustrate how to write an equation and solve it.


PDF and Word File of the Foldable.

Sorry for the upside down picture!  I was trying to post using my iPad.  That app needs work!

All about SLOPE Foldable

Yes, I am loving some foldables right now!  The kids love them too.  They get to cut, glue, hi-light, and write in little boxes.  Plus, when they are studying, they can just flip up and look at one concept at a time so they are not overwhelmed with an entire worksheet.  Nirvana.

I am coming up with them for review now, but next year I would like to introduce them when we initially take notes.  Then, the students could take the notes right on the foldable and not have to recreate (read – waste time) writing everything again in review.  This will leave more time for working on math problems in class – using the foldable as a guide of course!

Again, printing is the only tricky part to make sure it lines up well.  I also had the students put a small strip of glue behind the words “I can find Slope from” so it would have a sturdy header and flip better.

6th Slope Foldable – Editable Word File

6th-slope-foldable – PDF