Monday, January 19, 2015

My week in review (Jan 12 - 16)

Thinking out loud about the past week ... looking forward to the week ahead ... loving this extra day off!

Last week we rushed through one class on factoring.  Of course we had spent 2 full classes last semester on factoring quadratics.  This week the focus was on polynomials of higher degree - especially the sum and difference of cubes and polynomials that can be factored by grouping.  Our lesson was very direct, I do, you do, then you practice some more.  I used the whiteboards at first to make sure we were getting the basic ideas.

Students took their test on polynomials.  It was one of our more basic tests, focused on skills. Polynomials is an introductory unit in our curriculum, laying down some groundwork for skills to build on in pre-calculus.

We began our unit on the square root function on Friday.  Students are already good friends with the parameters a, h, and k.  They also know how to use multiple representations, a graph, a table, and an equation.  So there was no direct instruction on Friday.  Instead students worked in teams to graph square root functions when given an equation, to build tables for the function, and to find the equation when given a table or a graph.  They noted the domain and ranges of the functions and practiced writing in set and interval notation.  Last, they applied this work on attributes to one application problem. Two of the handouts they used are here and here.  While students were working in groups, I was free to listen in on their conversations, check their work as teams, and demonstrate specific skills as needed.  It was a very satisfying day!

After our Monday holiday we will spend a little time on the concept of inverses before continuing on with square root equations - applications.

In our department meeting this past week I shared our student blogs.  I'm so very pleased with the students' efforts this year in blogging.  The are doing remarkable work!  If you are curious about their blogs check out this link.  And if you want to swap ideas for class blogs, let me know!

On the home front, I've started reading Orphan Train.  I'm also engrossed in the TV series, Gilmore Girls ... love the fast conversation and small town interactions.  This weekend the weather is beautiful in Austin ... hitting the hiking trails!  I'm sure there should be some lesson planning fitting in there somewhere ... but for now ... I'm on holiday!

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