## Sunday, January 26, 2014

### Percent of Change Monopoly

I have wanted to post this for over a week now so I can tell you how it went, but we keep having –40ºF wind chills in Minnesota and school is being cancelled.  Now, I'm not complaining about a little extra free time, but I have been dying to see how this works with the kiddos!  Anyway, since the school has already been called off for Monday and Tuesday looks iffy for having school, I thought I would just post it and let you all see it.  (For those of you who use Saxon, I designed this to go with Algebra I (2007), lesson 47.)

I wanted to do something different with my Algebra students and reviewing percent of change.  So I was thinking of something different than just a retail store markup or discount.  I started thinking about real estate and that lead me to Monopoly!  I decided that I would have my kiddos play a traditional monopoly game with a small twist.  Before they could purchase a property, they would have to calculate a markup or markdown in their property value and pay the bank the correct amount.  Also, after reading the card, they can not decide that they don't want to purchase the property.  They must follow through with the deal.  Other than that, a normal monopoly game would be played.

I thought that the competition of the game and the novelty of the new cards would be more interesting than a worksheet full of problems.  I'll update after we play with any modifications or adjustments that we made.

Here are the cards that I made.  I left it as an editable word document so you can adjust the cards if you wanted.  There are 22 cards, one for each property for sale on the board.  I didn't make them for railroads and utility companies.  I was just going to let those go for the listed price.

## Monday, January 6, 2014

### Area of Complex Polygons

Hello everyone!  I have been gone for awhile with some craziness of school and the holidays.  However, I have a New Year's resolution to blog something once a week.  So we'll see how well I can keep it.  Now onto the main event... complex polygons!

This is my polygon octopus (the student's told me to call it a jellyfish instead, maybe they are right).  I know that it is missing 4 legs, but my art skills lack, or maybe just my patience, to get the other 4 legs onto the page.

I created this to go with Saxon, Course 3's Lesson 37.  This lesson's focus is about decomposing complex polygons into other polygons and then calculating the area.  Honestly, when I looked at it I thought it was a perfect lesson for jazzing up!

After reading my state standards (Minnesota is one of the few states that does not use Common Core), I found the one that  matched up to this lesson and realized that composing a complex polygon and decomposing a complex polygon were both part of the standard.  That made this activity perfect because students would do both!

I am going to start by simply placing the challenge before the students to create an animal using only polygons.  This is great time to remind them that polygons are not circles!  I will stress with the students that making the shapes the same will save them time later (because they will be calculating the area of the polygon animal).

After they finish their polygon animal, I am going to give them the worksheet that asks them to analyze their figure.  I have it in the preview below, which is saved as a word document so you can alter it if needed.  I ask the students to determine the area of their complex polygon animal, to determine the area it takes up on the page, and the probability of a coin landing on the animal if it is flipped.