Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 26

Today's opener builds on what we did yesterday, as well as the slope video they watched last night. I'm trying to help them make the connection between slope and the graph, as well as between the slope, the graph, and the equation (eventually).

Today's lesson is a look back at some of the "application" problems we've done over the last few weeks, but trying to more explicitly tie them to the starting point/y-intercept and the slope/rate of change. I'm really trying to get them to think of the meaning of the y-intercept and the slope in these problems, as well as get them to begin to connect those ideas to the visual representation (the graph).

We'll work through the first 2 or 3 together, then they'll work on the rest by themselves. Depending on how far we get we'll save #6 for a later date.

Their homework will be to finish whatever problems we didn't get done in class (again, we may save #6 for later), to take the online pre-assessment over slope on the Moodle (assessment will be Friday), and (optionally) do some practice problems at CoolMath over calculating slope.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 25

Today's opener builds on yesterday's lesson to see if they can construct a slope triangle and/or use the slope formula to find the slope between two points. Then there are two problems seeing if they can figure out the y-intercept from an equation in slope-intercept form, then a dimensional analysis problem involving texting and driving.

Today's lesson was then an activity with bouncy balls where they compare drop height with bounce height. Each group got a bouncy ball and a meter stick and had to record the mean of 3 bounces from each of 4 heights, then plot those points, sketch a line of best fit, and then come up with an equation for that line. They then use that equation to predict drop height and bounce height for a couple of scenarios.

Their homework for tonight is watch the Slope video and, optionally, do some slope between two points problems at CoolMath (they can do none, some, or a bunch, depending on what they think they need).

Day 24

We began with our assessment over Graphing Linear Equations by Using Intercepts.

Then we did an activity measuring the weight of pennies to get at the idea of slope and y-intercept. Last year I brought in 8 scales and had each group do it, but that didn't work so well. I think this year's students could probably have handled it better, but I still decided simply to do the measuring myself (figuring my goal wasn't for them to do the measuring, but to think about the mathematics). Perhaps a cop out, but that's what I did.

We ended up coming up looking at slope triangles and coming up with an equation, and interpreting the real-world meaning of the slope (weight of each penny) and the y-intercept (weight of the container). (Side note: if anyone tries this, make sure you pay attention to your pennies - their weight changed in 1982, so I made sure I had 1982 and newer pennies).

Their homework for tonight was to check the portal for the results of their assessment and make an appointment to re-assess if necessary, and then to review today's lesson to make sure they fully understood what we did.

Day 23

I had to miss today, but another math teacher covered my class. It was another shortened class period due to our Homecoming Pep Assembly. They worked through this review worksheet (below is the key, posted to the class blog for them to check their work over the weekend).
Their homework for the weekend was to finish the review worksheet if necessary and to prepare for their assessment on Monday over Graphing Linear Equations by Using Intercepts.

Day 22

Today's opener utilizes a hopefully interesting problem pulled "straight from the headlines" - well, okay, straight from the news, about the world's largest chocolate bar, which I then turn into a dimensional analysis problem.They then have two practice problems involving graphing using intercepts and finding the intercepts from a graph.

Today's lesson then provides an application problem to link recursive sequences to writing equations and to talk about the concept of y-intercept (we'll get more explicitly to slope shortly, but we talk a bit about it today as well).

Their homework for tonight is to review the notes from the lesson (as always, posted as a PDF to the class blog), and to complete the Graphing Linear Equations by Using Intercepts Online Pre-Assessment on the Moodle.

Day 21

Today is a shortened class period due to our Homecoming Royalty Assembly. So, the bell rings and we have about 4 minutes where I'll remind them that we're going to have an assessment and briefly remind them of some things they should think about while doing the assessment, then we go to the assembly. When we get back, they take the assessment over Graphing Linear Equations by Using a Table.

After the assessment we work out the key together (to post on the blog), and then due to the shortened class period we previewed the Graphing Linear Equations Using Intercepts video that they need to watch tonight so that we could go over, once again, some good strategies to utilize while watching these videos.

Their homework was check the portal for the results of their assessment and schedule an appointment to re-assess if necessary, and to re-watch the video.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Baby Blogging Steps

I've made some tentative steps into having my Algebra students blog. So far they've had three posts I've asked them to do:
  1. Reflective Blog Post #1 - Reflect on their first week or so of school and set some goals.
  2. Explain Direct and Inverse Variation
  3. Explain Solving Equations with Variables on Both Sides
Some students have done a nice job, some not so much, and some haven't blogged at all. I haven't really done this well in the sense that I'm not devoting any class time to this (I'd like to, but don't feel like I can make the time for it), but it's a start. You can check out the Student Blogs Page on the class blog if you want to read and comment on some of their blogs.