Dan Meyer's blog is one I follow religiously. Measures of Central Tendency are tested indicators for 8th graders here in Kansas, so I am using his Feltron Project idea, with modifications of my own for a project to start off the year and work with these state standards. I plan on tying in Proportions, Percents, and possibly some linear equation work in with the project as well. So far, things are going great, and the students are really into it. I can hardly wait to see their own reports at the end of the semester. I will share student's projects later on this year.
Dan's last post was about a topic that all math teachers fall back on at one time or another: " The best learning begins with a good worksheet." He wrote this as a beginning teacher, and he talks about how his thinking has changed in the years since. I myself use worksheets rarely....but there are a couple of sources for worksheets that are just plain fun and students love. Tarsia is a free program to download on your computer that creates fun math puzzles. Teachers can put in their own math problems along with answers, and the program will create a puzzle, that when put together creates a fun geometric shape...sort of self-checking for the students too! Another worksheet that I like to use occasionally is Facing Math by Kristin DeWit. Students solve problems and depending on the answer they get, draw a part of a face on a head, creating different characters. Fun for students...and a great tool for teachers who might need to leave a review worksheet for a sub that will keep students plenty busy, as well as provide fun practice opportunities at the same time.