Monday, November 26, 2012

Sequences & Series: Cartooning

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving break! We just returned from a whole week off! Of course, I gave my children loads of work to do over this vacation so I now have a ton of stuff to grade :(

My plan for the day was pretty easy and eased the kids back into the swing of things before they have finals in 3 weeks (again, we are on a semester schedule). Trigonometry was supposed to start unit 6, sequences and series, today but that was slightly altered to accommodate for the poor test results of unit 5. However, I wanted to still get them to start thinking about the unit at the end of class.

I started out by discussing what unit we were about to embark in and how it was very important to notice patterns. To warm us up, I created a series of broken up comic strips and placed them into baggies. Their job, was to place the comic strips back into the correct order. Now, this wasn't an entirely easy feat as I placed the pieces of 5 different comic strips into one bag (and this could have been made even more difficult if I had chosen comics that used the same characters).

After the groups raced to complete the comic strips, I allowed for them to read the comic strips (they were all math related, woo hoo!) and then we discussed what strategies they used to solve the comic strips, which was then related to problem solving and looking for the patterns = finding the common ratio or difference in a sequence.

Overall, I liked this as a unique introduction to Sequences & Series and the kids enjoyed it slightly, for the brief amount of time that they did it. Next time, I'd love to make it more difficult or even have the kids create their own sequence of events. Tonight, they get to start taking notes as my preheating/flipped classroom esque style.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Unit Circle Tic Tac Toe

It's the last week before our week long Thanksgiving Break. Thank goodness! I think we are all ready for a little break. The trig kids and I are just finishing up the 5th unit, the trigonometry unit. As I had talked about previously, we clearly spent some time working on our unit circles. After discovering special right triangle values, I waited a little to give them a little way of remembering the main guys.

I had learned this during my student teaching from my mentor teacher (thank you Jerry) so I can take no claim to this but the kids seemed to like it, a lot. As in, their unit circle quizzes were covered in these. Of course, I had kids who preferred knowing the triangles (I love the ones who want to know why) but this helped a lot of my kids. Plus, it perfectly sets you up on finding tangent values!

My warning, however, is that it will confuse the order of the coordinates so it's important to emphasize that it's (cos,sin) and NOT (sin,cos).

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I hope you enjoyed my video! I was super excited to take a step into a more tech saavy aspect of my blog! Perhaps I can do another one of these soon with graphing trig functions! Below is just a screenshot of the final product.

Happy Thanksgiving!

p.s. Sorry, I had posted the wrong video before.... I had clearly tried to do this before and whoopsy! I'm still learning but it's fixed now!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Trigonometry - Learning to Graph Sine & Cosine

In trigonometry, we've begun our Trig unit. Of course, we did our unit plate (here's the link to this lesson) but this time, I did it slightly differently. I'm hoping to post about that at a later time.

After grilling on this for a bit, it was time to dive into graphing! (We have a week long break for Thanksgiving so we discussed why we should test before break and not after).

I started out by having the kids fill out the x/y table for the positive radians of cosine. Of course, I did the first three with them and then set them free. Next, I walked them through the negative radians referring to my unit circle plate and going around the circle with a pen. This helped them fill out the first two and then again, I set them free! I started to hear, "THEY"RE THE SAME!" and of course they started to get all excited. After confirming this fact and creating proper x/y tables, I had the kids graph the coordinates and connect the dots. We then analyzed the domain/range/period/symmetry for cosine.

We repeated this process for sine and examined the differences between the two (because of their symmetry). The kids loved to see the patterns and things were starting to click. Now of course, this was difficult if the kids didn't know the unit circle as they had no idea where the values were coming from. Their homework for the night was a discovery worksheet where they looked at the various translations of a trigonometric graph (amplitude/period/phase/vertical shifts).

Tomorrow, we begin looking at them all happening at once... but together :)
Learning to Graph Sine & Cosine

Monday, November 5, 2012

Graph Me a Circle Project! .... again

Welp! I've done a lesson again! I'm pleased to say that I was successfully able to use a project/assignment again in a different class!

Previously, I used this project in my geometry class when teaching equations of circles. You can refer back to the post from before.

This time, I added an additional requirement. In the conics unit, we're building off of our completing the square knowledge so my kids were also required to create the equations of circles in general from, or the expanded form.

It was also quite convenient since 1 point was already built in for being turned in on time so the kids who want to earn the points again, can already get no more than a 90% :) Perfect!!

Here are this year's results!

Circles and Paper Plates, OH MY!

We're halfway into our conics unit in Algebra 2. This, infamously, is their least favorite unit, according to the students. So I decided that it was super necessary to make it a little fun. The four conics are parabolas, circles, ellipses, and hyperbolas.

In my opinion, the circles are by far the easiest and therefore, the best to have some fun with! Now, I'll confess, I have seen this idea on pinterest through another fabulous educator's blog and now I'll talk about it myself!

After doing the lesson on circles, I showed two example plates on the screen before showing the instructions (see below).

I liked this activity as it allowed for the kids to focus on the basics of an equation: radius and center. After this activity, I lead into my Circle Graphing Project, which I'll post about later as well. Between the two art projects, kids were doing different skills required for the circle conics. Crossed fingers that this was good news!

Here are a few of their plates! The first one was voted prettiest in my one class :)

As you can see, I have a rather tall board...... It can be a struggle. I reach approximately half of the board. The rest of the board has to be reached by standing on chair. Anyways, allow your kids to show their creativity and they might just enjoy math a little :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Joy of Teaching

I am infamous, to my students, to responding to my email. I'm attached to my phone and am often very good at trying to coach them through homework problems. I have several students who take advantage of this and I am grateful for their effort.

At the beginning of the year, I decided to create a folder in my school email called "Lovely." In this folder, I keep all emails that mean a lot to me. As I've referred to them before, it's the little things. My students continue to put a smile on my face (along with gray hairs at my young age) and today was no exception.

I received the following email from a student:

"hello guess what i can do the unit circle all myself. look at this i did it all myself and took a picture of it to show you, i only looked at the one we did in class to check my and to look at the ones i was not sure or didn't do. are you proud me"

I love my kids. I really do.

The tutor room is in my room after school and I had kids practicing their unit circle on my boards before I left. Lightbulbs were going off left and right and this student had asked about before I left and I encouraged her to ask one of her peers as this would continue to help their solidification of their knowledge.

I love my job. Thank you little moments.

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