MTBoS Mission #4 – Listen and Learn (and Day 45)

Yesterday, I finally got around to some professional development at Global Math Department. I have watched a Global Math Department conference on Interactive Notebooks over the summer. It was actually my introduction to the MTBoS! From the Global Math Conference, I found links to people’s blogs, links to twitter, a whole new world of online math improvement! I loved the Interactive Notebooks so much, all of my classes are now using them! Through this week’s mission, I found that there was a conference on Foldables! I have developed a love for foldables this year, in case you couldn’t tell by past posts, so I was thrilled to get some new ideas from @jreulbach.

From the conference, I clicked on Julie’s wiki link where I found some templates for new foldables. What a find, because I am starting a new term, and students are always excited to see a new way to present the material. The templates I found used PowerPoint to create the foldables. Why hadn’t I thought of that before?! It is so much easier to get everything to line up the way I want using PowerPoint versus Word! This led to putting together my all new Chain Rule lesson I used today in Calculus. Well, this and a fellow bloggers – Rebecka and Sam.

Sam, through his post, helped me to develop the idea of outer and inner functions (so much easier than all of the letters students usually get lost in!), which helped me to create this introduction paper:

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I then handed out notes to the students, the notes I created after watching the Global Math Conference on foldables.

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We worked on the top flaps (left picture) together, as well as discussed the outer functions and their derivatives. This was all leading to an activity I found via Rebecka. I handed out cards to students in groups of 2 and after a short while, I had the students find the group with the same color writing to compare answers and to help complete the task, in case any of the groups were stuck.


Students then wrote their group’s information on a table projected to the entire class. From that table, and a few leading questions, students actually formed the chain rule! Actually, in my 3rd hour, I had a student state it pretty close to perfectly: “The derivative of the outer with the inner plugged in times the derivative of the outer”!! YES!! Awesome!!!

Then we discussed it a little more, having students try to explain in to their partner. I wrote on the board: y=f ‘ ( g(x) ) * g ‘ (x) and we discussed this, whether this made sense, and how this was similar to what the student said. Class time was just about up at this point, and I assigned 5 short problems for students to try using what we had discussed today. This will lead into tomorrow, where we will finish my foldable notes.


I was formulating the lesson since last week, prior to watching the Global Math Department post, but without viewing Julie’s conference, the lesson would not be put together in the same way. I can’t wait to have more time to watch more conferences…I really want to watch the Desmos one. Time is never on my side! Thank you to this fabulous community!


  1. The chain rule is always a challenge! I’ve never tried any foldables with my calculus students before, but I’ll have to check it out. I’m with you on the needing more time part. If only I had the time to watch more…

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