Thursday, February 11, 2016

Intro to ThisGraphing Quadratics Foldable

I have a few favorite designs for foldables.  I love a door foldable and I love a tabbed foldable.   Both of these are just great ways to organize multiple pieces of information about one topic.   For my foldable on graphing quadratics, I used a 3-door foldable, but had the doors fold down.  I left a little area at the top for a title, so that they don't fold the paper directly in half.  By this time of the school year, my students are so used to my foldables, I don't even have to tell them what to do!  :)

I use this foldable in conjunction with my Frayer model for quadratics.  It usually take 2 days to cover this with my regular class of Algebra 2 but I can do it in one day with my CPAlgebra 2.   This is just the overview and then I do an additional day for graphing using the intercept/vertex methods.  Next year I want to add in a lesson on to help support the graphing portion.  I will probably do it as a review for this year though.  If I do, I'll blog it.  :)

In the picture below, I define parabola as the shape of a quadratic but when I taught it, I didn't like it and changed it to the graph of a quadratic....which do you think is preferable? 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Intro to Quadratics - frayer style

For me, my entire notebook is becoming all about the Frayer model.  I absolutely love it!   I find it is the best way to explain what things are because you can compare them to what they aren't.  I might have a slight addiction to them but that is just because they are just so darned easy to use!

So using one to explain Quadratic equations was easy for me to do.   What a great way to show examples of equations and graphs, and non-examples.  And it even helped start the students thinking about the similarities of the quadratic equation and the absolute value function!  The minute I drew it as a non-example, they started asking questions.  Don't you love when that happens?  :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Exponent rules Grudge Game

Exponent rules.....teaching them is another necessary evil.    I LOVE solving problems with exponent rules!  They are like a puzzle to me.  But my students hate them. They don't "get" them, they say they don't know where to start.   And now I have a structured study hall, where I help the students with their classwork...and the students in there hate them too!  Every year students come to me in Algebra 2 and they don't remember the rules.  But we use them so much in Algebra 2 that they really need to learn them.  I figure it is like learning the grammar rules for writing.  Something you need to know in order to do the next thing.   So in the spirit of "if it isn't working, change it", I decided to change up my teaching. 

So this year when I taught exponent rules to my classes, I used the Grudge game to introduce them, adapted from Nathan Kraft's Blogpost.  Click HERE to see his original post.  I did this on Day 1 and I absolutely loved it!  The kids were engaged and competitive and they did great!  They even showed they remembered some exponent rules from Algebra 1.   I usually don't like games in my classroom but this one was fantastic!   All the kids participated.  I did bribe them a bit with candy, but hey, you gotta do what works right?  End of day 1 was FANTASTIC!    This is going to be great!

Here is the PowerPoint (Dropbox) I used to play the game.  Feel free to change it.  But at least it gives you a place to start.  :)    The image to the right shows the rules I used to help me remember how to play it for future use.  I love this game so much, I can't wait to try it again.  :)

So continuing with the need for a change,  I also changed the exponent foldable I usually use to a book of exponents, modeled after Sarah Hagan's from Math = Love.   I liked the way she laid it out and hoped that it would work better than then one I used last year.  Although I love the book, and the layout, I'm not entirely sure it was better than the one I used previously.   My students still struggle with the rules and the test they took showed they still have gaps of understanding. (I gave the test before Christmas so my post is a little out of date. ;)  )

So back to the drawing board for next year and for reassessing.  But I am keeping the game.  I think that was the perfect introduction to exponent rules for Algebra 2.  However,  I need to rethink the rest of it.

Feel free to share your success with exponent rules with me and others!  :)