≡ Menu

Algebra 1 Teachers

Are You Prepared To Teach Common Core Math?

1Self - No Background

Are you tired of the vague answers that lead to overwhelm and frustration?

  • Ready to talk to with a real teacher in a real classroom that is making CCSS work?
  • Do you need resources and a plan to simplify this whole thing and get you started?
  • Most importantly, are you ready to get back to the amazing service of helping kids succeed?

Click the button below to subscribe and get started today with a FREE Unit 1 Bonus Pack filled with two performance tasks, four weeks of assessments, and a technology guide to prepare your students for the Online Assessments.

Click Here to Subscribe


I used to hate the Monday after the Super Bowl. The kids were tired, I was tired, and it felt like a horrible situation of force feeding information to the unwilling.

So I began looking for a lesson that would keep them engaged. And I found it! Now, many of you know I am a huge fan of the lessons at Yummy Math. This is where it all started.

Scientific Notation

The lesson I found, called The cost of a Super Bowl XLVII ad was perfect. Incorporating scientific notation (which conveniently the biology teacher asked me to review), and prediction, the cost of the ads was a great way to get the kids interested in the math. I showed a few of their favorite commercials and they were hooked.

For more lessons on feel free to check out the Unit 8 Livebinder.

Graphing Exponentials

Yummy Math one upped themselves with this years lesson. Again using the cost of an ad, this lesson incorporates graphing, creating a line of best fit, making predictions, comparing linear and exponential functions and other skills. Super Bowl Ads 2015 is copied and ready to go for tomorrow morning.

Unit 8 has more lessons on all aspects of exponentials.

Measures of Central Tendencies

For the middle school teachers out there, you have not been forgotten! Yummy Math also has a way to predict (or check your prediction) of the score using statistics. Typical Super Bowl scores ???? This could also be used as a review if you are heading into statistics soon.

Looking for more statistics? Unit 4 has you covered!

Thank you Yummy Math!

To ensure the kids love the lesson, I find a few commercials (yes, I make sure they are appropriate) and show those during the class. I love it! This day has gone from one I used to dread to one I treasure. The kids and I really enjoy it and I hope you will too! Thank you Yummy Math!

Free 10 Day Boot Camp

If you are looking for other great tips and tricks to keep at-risk or underprepared students engaged, sign up for the free 10 Day Boot Camp: How to Teach Common Core to At-risk or Underprepared Students today.




Bootcamp Prelaunch Challenge #3:

How do you handle students that get frustrated? Here are four things that work in my classroom when I feel the frustration levels rise.


Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think! Can you try one of these with your students?


The Weekly Assessments are Ready for Units 1-6!

What a great response from the first set of Assessments. Thank you to everyone that sent a review!

They downloaded nicely! This is beautiful work and will save me a LOT of time!
I find your weekly assessments very helpful. They are a quick review I can use with my students without having to create them myself. I look forward to your next set.
-Mary Ann
I am impressed with your service. Thanks a bunch.

The set of assessments for Units 1-6 include:

  • Slope
  • Inverse Functions
  • Translating Graphs
  • Line of Best Fit
  • Correlation Coefficient
  • Correlation vs. Causation
  • Statistics including box plots, box and whisker, histograms and central tendencies
  • Understanding Outliers
  • Making predictions with two-way frequency tables
  • Advanced Linear Equations
  • Literal Equations
  • Solving and Graphing Inequalities
  • Systems of equations

The full set of assessments is only 14.97! This package is 78 pages of easy to print weekly assessments and answer keys in PDF and easy to edit Word documents.

Hit the buy now button now and you will receive the link to the download in your email within 15 minutes.




For even faster downloads, simply click the “Return to Algebra1Teachers” link after your purchase and you will be redirected for instant access to the downloads.


The results are in from the survey. What an overwhelming response!

#1 30 Day Bootcamp: Teaching Common Core Math to At-Risk or Under Prepared Students

30 Day Boot Camp How to teach underprepared studentsThank you to everyone that submitted a response. It is great to understand where you are with your needs and begin focusing on them immediately! I am very excited to see the #1 Choice is a perfect fit for my talents. I love and have an appreciation for the underdogs in our math classrooms and I love finding ways to help them succeed!

I have begun creating the 3o Day Boot Camp and I am thrilled to share it with you soon. The topics include: driving motivation, retention, parent involvement, time on task, building confidence and many others.

Learn More and Join The VIP List Today!


I have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback from the first Weekly Assessment Pack for Units 1-3. I have also been asked for several more products. This weekend I am working on Assessments for Units 4-6 and those will be released on Monday, but what next? Let me know!

The form below is anonymous. You will not be opted into anything by replying. That does mean you will need to subscribe to the newsletter to be informed of the upcoming release. :) Use the blue button that says “Click Here to Subscribe”.  Thanks!

Every Child Grows Everyday

This is the first in a three part series of how I am able to bring success to my at-risk students that are in my Common Core Algebra class. It includes how I combat overwhelm and help my students succeed. Each post will only focus on two elements of my recipe for success.

“How do I handle motivation in my classroom? The kids are just not engaged.”

This was the number one question from the survey that was put out this summer.

As many of you know, I work with primarily at-risk students. Students that don’t feel good at “school”. Kids who have troublesome home lives and have a high percentage of free or reduced lunch. In a nutshell, kids that don’t always come to school to learn. I have certainly experience this myself and was at the brink of leaving the profession. I have always respected teaching to much to stay as a “burnt out” teacher. This is my story of overcoming.

Feeling Overwhelmed

It is not uncommon for teachers to feel overwhelmed when the state/country has mandated these curriculum that seem like a waste of time compared to the bigger issues our students face every day. Then I began to realize, maybe this is a place students could achieve and feel good about themselves in spite of the outside circumstances. For so many school is their safe place.

But every time I tried something new, students pushed back. I was extremely overwhelmed. I used to think that the students that need the most help, are just one more day behind even while they were in my room. The lack of engagement was my biggest battle.

My solution sounds simple; every student grows everyday. This became my motto. I became obsessed … and successful.

During the last post, we began to look at some of the psychology of how this is possible. This is one of those cycles that is increasingly positive or increasingly negative. Students are engaged because they are learning and they are learning because they are engaged….Wow. Not rocket science. But the opposite is also true, students are not learning and therefore are not engaged….

So how do we prevent the negative cycle and put kids on the positive track?


The first thing I tried was to connect what the students cared about or found interesting to my lessons. This is why the lessons on this site are problem based (or at least not textbook based). That is why during exponents in Week 18, I have them read Dave Ramsey’s article, How Teens Can Become Millionaires. Any connection to previous learning or interest will help with retention (a big topic for another post) and engagement.

…understanding that somebody’s prior knowledge is something that we seriously have to consider, what are the experiences that they’ve gone through or the things that they’ve learned that they can connect and compare with the information that you’re presenting to them. And when they do, it will be integrated into their long-term memory and that’s how they begin to really take action on what that message is.

- Bryan Kelly (whatthespeak.com)

My goal is for all kids to grow, not just the ones that choose to grow. My desire became an obsession to help all of my students grow in their math skills everyday. Even if they did not pass they would be ready to try again with more prerequisites and more confidence inspite of that failure.

 The second obstacle; most of my students often will also have a hard time connecting with adults. To help them understand that we are not so different I will often begin class or any interaction with a story or a comment that we both relate to.

Start with a story. I mean I love starting with stories or start with a question that you know people are going to say yes to.

-Pat Flynn (smartpassiveincome.com)

I know we don’t have time for this…Begin at the bell and don’t let it take more than 2 minutes. You may be surprised how much more you get done in an hour. Students will work harder for someone they feel connected to. Try this for one week and let me know if you see a difference. (See the homework below.) I know I have!

If my lesson can connect both the social and the academic needs for connection, we have a winner! The Unit 8 – Exponents, Livebinder (Week 22) has a great lesson from Yummy Math about Facebook. Perfect! I even had some students want to connect on Facebook, which I graciously declined. This connection was great for getting kids to try the lesson. It was a start!


[Side note: this section has so much great stuff that we as teachers MUST understand, that I cannot fit it into this post. Please go listen to the original podcast now!]

We absolutely must create a safe environment for our students. If they are shutting down, acting out, or are not engaged, we must begin to ask ourselves what is going on? This is extremely hard and it may mean admitting some shortcomings. I know it did for me.

Overcoming years of negativity

Watch how kids behave in other classes. Study what days they are not engaged or not learning. We, as math teachers, have put students in this stressful arena for as long as there have been math classes. We were taught this way and so we teach this way. But we must overcome!

As soon as students feel like a failure at that timed multiplication test, it started. And we must be diligent if we are to overcome all of that. Remember that Algebra is the gatekeeper and that this work is worth it!

So the neuroscience behind this basically shows us that the information from the five senses goes to the center of our brain first and then it decides what part of the brain to
go after that point. Now, we’ve got this default system that’s part of what they call our primitive brain, and that’s the amygdala. It’s this tiny little pea-shaped portion of our brain and this is responsible for emotional outburst. So if we get ambushed or somebody pushes our buttons, this get set off. And when that gets set off, our bodies are flooded with adrenaline. And when this happens, we can’t think straight.

- Bryan Kelly

We can overcome the negative forces our kids come to class with each day. It takes practice and diligence, but the payoff for you as the teacher, and your successful students is priceless.

This is a three part series and I am hopeful that by the end of the series you will have some concrete tools to build on. And while this may sound fluffy, it is all backed by research of how the brain works. We will be building on these tools, but no matter how great the lesson, worksheet, or activity is at meeting a goal, it is for nothing if students are feeling stressed or unconnected to your class. Please take a minute to read the homework below and let me know what you think. I will see you back here next week!

Homework for the teacher:

Just like our math students, we need practice.

Part 1: For one week, work to create a classroom where you are connected to your students. Create lessons, make comments, do story problems that connect with the students as humans. While doing this it will build an emotionally safe learning environment for your students. Watch for students that are acting out. Are there common themes on these days. Sometime we are the trigger, often not, but if we can find at least a few tricks that will calm and allow students to think clearly we will all be ahead!

Part 2: For one week, do one thing that helps students feel safe. Perhaps greet them at the door with a smile, affirm them, keep a calm demeanor, send an email home, anything that you would appreciate will often be appreciated.

Please let me know in the comments if you are trying this homework and how it goes! I would love to know how you helped your kids feel safe this week.

Are your students problem solvers? One more quote for motivation…

The research has shown us that if we’ve got ten options to solve a problem and this alarm goes off and we get flooded with adrenaline, we lose eight of those ten options.

-Bryan Kelly


I love to listen to Podcasts. Podcasts about teaching, marketing, parenting, presenting, curriculum and web design… I can’t get enough. It really is ridiculous.

One Podcast I have learned so much from is Pat Flynn’s, Smart Passive Income. I was on a road trip and I listened to quite a few episodes. You may be asking yourself why I am listening to a marketing Podcast, but stay with me.

The content in the marketing podcasts is exactly what we must be learning to be great in education these days. We, as the teachers, are no longer the holder of the knowledge; kids can siri just about anything. We are the motivators, the ones that help students see the great in themselves. We must learn to teach, motivate, coach, and inspire in the most efficient and effective way possible.

As I began to listen to The Smart Passive Income #105 podcast, I keep thinking… EVERY EDUCATOR should listen to this!!!! (Yes, stop right now, and go listen to this!)

This is a quote from Brian Kelly from Whatthespeak.com while being interviewed by Pat Flynn from Smartpassiveincome.com during this episode.

So the bottom line is, in order to keep the attention of our audience, we want them to be learning and this whole process of learning while you’re participating as an audience member in the presentation is key. And when you do this, your audience will then be primed to take action on the message, the ideas, whatever it is, maybe you’re selling something that they will take action on this if you incorporate these five principles that we’re going to go through.

- Bryan Kelly

This really resonated with me. How am I going to be sure every student grows everyday? How do we ensure that we challenge those that are ahead and meet the needs of those that have fallen behind?

This is a big picture question, let’s simplify it a bit.

In educators terms, how do we differentiate our instruction for every student? In marketing terms, how do I make sure the audience is learning? Either way, this is the key to getting engagement.


In the next few posts we will be looking at the more specific solutions to getting people (students) motivated, how to keep their attention, and improve overall opportunities for us (as educators) to influence student behavior and success.

Please take a moment a leave a comment below, I love to hear from you!



In this unit students strengthen their understanding of the inverse relationship while making connections between exponential and logarithmic functions. Students learn how to use exponential functions to model changes in the values of the dependent variable produced through repeated multiplication by a positive constant. Through fitting models to data, students solidify their understanding of the characteristics of an exponential function. Students then numerically and graphically investigate the transcendental number e and learn about its role in the compounding of interest. Students develop properties of logarithms and use these properties and to solve problems algebraically. Finally, students explore the effects of the parameters on the graphs of exponential and logarithmic functions. – The Dana Center


Students explore transformations on the parent square root function to model data and they formulate equations arising from square root functions. They explore solutions for these equations using tables and graphs, and they learn how the inverse relationship between square root and quadratic functions facilitates solving these equations analytically. They also investigate the notion of extraneous roots. - The Dana Center


The study of rational functions of the form f(x) =p(x)/q(x), where p(x) and q(x) are polynomials, naturally builds from the previous unit. Students learn about the general characteristics and behavior of rational functions and apply their knowledge of transforming functions to create and understand graphs of rational functions. Students formulate rational equations that arise from rational functions. They learn strategies for identifying and applying the algebraic skills needed to solve these rational equations in a variety of situations. – The Dana Center