Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Parent Functions Book Project

It's parent function time! Actually, the whole semester is..... That's how I'm doing parent functions. In my trig class, graphing functions and knowing the basics about each function is extremely necessary, especially for their final. And a lot of the times, the kids forget the basics. To help, I decided to have kids build their parent function knowledge throughout the semester in the form of a small index card book.

We started out and the kids gave me the functions that they learned in Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 (Linear and Quadratic) along with their basic information. After our second unit, we added cubic along with more details such as end behavior and symmetry. As the project description says, information will be added to the book throughout the semester and the grade will be built up throughout. I have a rubric printed out for each kid and they are not to lose it (too much work to keep going back and grading). The nice thing is, they can go back and fix things that I circle throughout the semester so it's constantly being edited, just like in English class.

Here are some of the results so far! Some of the books that they are using are quite precious!

Sonny wasn't a huge fan of grading.... he typically tried to distract this process.....

Monday, September 23, 2013

Support MetroThon!

Dear Friends,On February 21, I will be participating in MetroThon 2014 and am the team captain of the Rudolph Advisory!

MetroThon 2014 is a dance maration and Metro High School's student philanthropy that benefits the Hematology/Oncology Department of Nationwide Children's Hospital with the ultimate goal of ending childhood cancer. Nationwide Children's Hospital is Columbus, Ohio's Children's Miracle Network Hospital that will treat any child regardless of a family's ability to pay. 

MetroThon participants include students, faculty, friends, and supporters of Metro Early College High School. Each participant has been asked to RAISE a minimum of $25 dollars, but I hope to raise much more!I hope you'll consider supporting my participation in MetroThon 2014. ALL contributions will benefit Children's Miracle Network and 100% of the funds will go to Nationwide Children's Hospital. ANY contribution will help, and all donations are tax deductible.Donating online is safe and easy! To make an online donation, please click the "Support Me" button. If you prefer to donate by cash or check, please contact me or email For tax purposes, checks should be made payable to Nationwide Children's Hospital Foundation.

Thanks to people like you, Metro has been able to raise over $55,000 for our own local hospital!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Real World Matrix Success again

Last year, I did real world matrices done in stations/posters/gallery walk style. I said that my only change would be to give the kids a "passport" of some sort so that they had more responsibility in solving the problems. Thankfully, I remembered that this year so the groups that were finishing early received their passport early, thus keeping them entertained. But of course, there were always the select few who's engagement was not present.

I really love doing this activity because it never fails for kids to show me a way that I hadn't thought of and yet again, it happened, from one of my recovery kids. It was amazing and awesome.

We have dry erase desks, the kids love them. They nearly get covered every day with kids doing their daily check for understandings. They're also great when I want to explain something to one kid so I'm not writing on their homework how to do a problem.

Always encourage the kids to explain/justify their method. It's a really good practice, especially with Common Core.

Graphing Polynomials Project

At the beginning of my second unit with my Trig kids, I had quickly gone through a graphing lesson when I had to leave them for two days for a training. The first day, I gave the kids a graphing project broken into two parts inspired by projects I've seen on pinterest. The first part of the project was a group portion so that the kids could collaborate before doing the project on their own.

One inspiration gave me the birthday component which I then added into the group requirements.
Another inspiration (Infinite Sums) gave me the paragraph portion as well as the graphs of the polynomials.

Combined, it was the perfect sub plan and gave the kids something to show me when I returned. Of course, the kids who chose to do nothing made it very obvious for me so that it was even easier to grade.

Graphing Polynomials Project

Part 1:

The first part of your graphing assignment will be in groups of 3 – 4. As a group, you will create a poster illustrating your newfound knowledge of graphing polynomials. Your posters will need to illustrate a few pieces of information highlighted in the form of a written paragraph (see below). Each group will choose 5 polynomials to describe.  For a sixth polynomial, you will create your own groups’ polynomial using your birth months’ numbers as the coefficients. Not only will you need to complete the informational paragraph for this polynomial, but you will also need to graph the polynomial by hand.

My graph is a ____ degree polynomial with end behavior that behaves such that _______________________________. It has solutions at ________. A possible equation for it is _______. It has ____ minimums and ____ maximums. It’s domain is _________________ while an approximate range is ________________.
Posters will be collected by the end of the period and they are expected to be complete and colorful.

Part 2:

The second part of your graphing assignment will be a solo project where you create your personal birthday polynomial. Use the digits of the month, day and 4 digit year of your birth – in order – as the coefficients of the polynomial. (For example: If your birthday is August 13, 1991, then use the digits 8131991 in that order) The degree of your polynomial must be a whole number greater than 2 and less than 6. (Ex. f(x)=8x5 1x4 3x3 +19x2 9x+1) Change the signs of the coefficients to make the most interesting graph you can – one that in some way reflects you.
You will then need to analyze the polynomial by finding the following: 1) domain and range 2) the degree
3) all of the zeros [estimate these using a graphing calculator] 4) describe the end behavior 5) the relative extrema [estimate these using a graphing calculator]
Lastly, you must make a Presentation of Your Birthday Polynomial on either a nice piece of paper or poster. Be creative and original. How does the graph of this polynomial reflect who you are? Present your birthday polynomial neatly, accurately and artistically. 
A written analysis (in paragraph form such as in Part 1) of your polynomial will be turned in with the visual.

The results......

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My children are better than yours :-P

You know how kids are just so sweet and they keep you coming back for more? Oh, you're not having one of those weeks? Well let me remind you why you are a teacher and why you should keep on keeping on :)

I've been out the last two days leading professional development (actually, I've been at our middle school doing so thus, the kids have seen me multiple times). It's been quite an honor and I've been really excited to be a part of leading professional development, a big step in my career.

Anyways, with missing school comes preparing for substitutes. While my Trig kids were working on projects (posts to come, depending), my Algebra 2 kids were working on 3x3 systems. The first day, they went through more practice problems and the second day, I had them play Add Em' Up. A really fun game that really exposes kids to how many algebraic errors they can make. Plus, you have very little to do during this lesson, so it's a rather nice break from the norm. Truly activating students as their own learners.

Midway through the day, I looked down at my iPhone and saw that I had received an email from a student. I slightly sighed expecting the worst, "This sub is horrible" or "I have no idea what is going on." But to my delight, it was neither of those situations. The following email is sent from a student who is recovering the class (I had this child last spring but they did not yet master the course). Thus far, they have been trying really hard and found much success during the school year. I almost cried reading their email.

I always tell my kids that remediation/retesting/retaking the class doesn't mean anything other than you might need a little more time with the material, and that's okay. Last year, this student was very vocal about their lack of understanding of the material and this child along with several of my other recovery students are shocking me and my belief of what a recovery student is. It's amazing and I am thrilled to witness this!

Oh, and my children showed me as a whole today and yesterday that they are truly caring human beings. Every student I passed asked me how my presentations were going and wishing me luck. I love my kids. Each and every one of those 120 teenagers. They are my children.
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