New FAA Rules for Educators (with Drones)

With heightened security issues around drones with using them around airports, or more recently following the presidents motorcade on a recent trip. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) came out about two weeks ago with drones on their mind enforcing new rules about drones and registration. 

1. If you only operate your drone indoors, you are perfectly fine, because the airspace in buildings doesn't fall under FAA guidelines. You can skip the rest.

2. If you do take your drone outdoors and use it for educational purposes you are not labeled a hobbyist or recreationalist. You will need to register your drone with the FAA and pay 5$ to register your drone no matter the weight. When the registration comes in, you will need to carry the registration when you fly it.

To find more information about safely flying your drone follow this link:

You can register your drone here:

You can find more information here:

Finding President Obama

Earlier this week I was trying to find a good transition activity between graphing one linear inequality to solving a system of linear inequalities.  I was searching trying to find one decent activity that led students to solve a system of linear inequalities. Luckily I found an awesome activity.  By Ms. Miller at High Tech High.

Obama Activity

In this activity students need to graph and shade clues on a map to determine the location of a missing hot air balloon.  The lesson plan and materials on her site listed above.  My students had a great time with this activity.


The best part of this activity was the homework:

Some students took this homework to the next level.  Writing a letter in math is a great assignment where they have to explain themselves.  Here is one example:

For next year I want to go above and beyond with this activity.  This year I had students in groups of 4, next year I want to move students into the Annex where there are tables and lay out maps and make it more of an escape room.  Using QR codes for the clues will help bring more engagement and activity. Students will go to the library and I will use the iPad and SMART Board to make it seem more real-life.

Quizalize: The Good and The Bad

My students and I tried Quizalize for the first time this week.  I gave them a 10 question quiz over rational exponents, I replaced a mid-chapter quiz that was about 5 questions longer than last year with this short assessment.

The Good
I felt that Quizalize was different enough from Kahoot! and Quizizz for students.  Students play in teams instead of individually which was a major downfall of Kahoot! where students played individually and scores of kids who did poorly were also shown on others tablets.  All you see now is how much each person got right on one question as they progress through the quiz.

Another great thing about Quizalize from Kahoot is that I gave a reward for being in the Top 5, where as I gave a reward to half my class even if some students did poorly they still part of the winning team.

Another great part of Quizalize is that it gives teachers automatic feedback on the "6 need help part."

It breaks down students into 3 categories, students who got it, who almost have it, and students who need help.  As a teacher this provided me a great formative assessment and I could split students into three different categories and gave them individual attention and personalized instruction.

  1. Students who got it, didn't have homework. (I am a big proponent of not giving homework if students know how to do the problems.)
  2. Students who needed some help had a front and back assignment where they only had to do the problems they didn't know.  If they did need help they had to find one of the students who didn't have work to do and ask them.
  3. Students who needed help had both pages, but had all the questions and we sat in a different corner of the room and got 1-1 instruction.  Students had whiteboards and we went over 1 question in each section and students did the other problems.
The last big thing that Quizalize does different from the other two big formative assessments, is that at the end of the quiz you can see what students missed each question.

I could tell that students had a tough time going from exponential form to radical form, we addressed that the next day with a small mini-lesson, 5 question homework, with an exit ticket before moving on to the real lesson.

The Bad
Another improvement on Quizizz is that all the questions are on the students iPad when playing this game. It doesn't have the cool functionality of Quizizz with the memes, but does have some cool fireworks when a student gets the correct answer.

The only real problems I had was in the question editor mode.  When putting pictures in, it made my pictures smaller and some students had a tough time seeing it on their iPads.  Lastly, the math editor on Quizalize didn't make editing the questions any better.

The only thing in math editor was that it gave me an answer explanation which would be good if students had an un-timed quiz or were doing more of an inquiry quiz.

Great tool though that has a ton of features for using data-driven instruction.  Lots of good things to come from Quizalize.