tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-72705345233872847192017-10-09T14:24:03.191-07:00Planting ideasScott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.comBlogger64125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-55033836052762087312017-03-14T14:29:00.004-07:002017-03-14T14:29:47.921-07:00I want my students facing confusionSome students listen, watch a couple examples and then may have a question or two before diving into a set of problems. There is a good chance, if you are a math teacher reading this, that you were one of these students.<br /><br />I have a few students for whom this is sufficient. You will notice I wrote <b>a few.</b><br /><b><br /></b>Most of my students do not act like this. They doubt themselves, frequently because they struggle with math. These same students, when I can work with them in small groups are more willing to make mistakes. Surprisingly, I've also found that frequently it just takes 1-2 problems for (these) students to work through the difficulties.<br /><br />Here is a bold statement... In math students need to make mistakes<br /><br />Students struggling need to face their misconceptions. They need to see what doesn't work and see why it doesn't. They need to sometimes make the mistake enough times to remember it the next time they see such a problem.<br /><br />I have a student who is not shy about when he is confused. (I love that kid). He makes great mistakes, most of the time once. Without trying he will never clear up his misconceptions. He needs to make <b>his</b> mistakes. Looking at more problems doesn't personalize the practice, nor is it as likely to shatter the walls in his understanding.<br /><br />Next to that student is another. He sees all the mistakes the first student makes, but he doesn't get the same experience out of them. Each student needs to be willing to make his/her own mistakes and learn from them. Without this student's willingness to try or face his own mistakes the chances of growth are diminisihed.<br /><br />Those first students I mentioned, the ones who find math easy, they need to make mistakes too. For those students, without mistakes they lose the experience of having to practice and study. Every math student eventually hits a wall and I want my students to know that when it happens to work through their mistakes.<br /><br />So, let start celebrating our students' mistakes!<br /><br /><br />Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-58586347284851012442016-09-12T11:51:00.002-07:002016-09-12T11:51:42.073-07:00First Activity - 8th gradeToday my 8th graders were given a task.<br /><br />They were asked to pick a perimeter measurement out of a hat (on index cards cut in half).<br /><br />They had to draw out 3-4 rectangles with the given perimeter (for example 18). They then had to find the area of each of the rectangles they had drawn. Given this information they had just created they were asked the following question:<br /><br />How do you find the dimensions (side lengths) that will give you a rectangle with the largest area? Explain....<br /><br />Once I've demonstrated and answered questions I am mute. I will only point out that there are other members of their group as well as the information I got when I did the original demonstration on the board.<br /><br />Overwhelmingly students who don't confuse the terms Perimeter and Area are doing well. I purposely avoided any perimeter with 4 as a factor as I didn't want the square result to be so obvious. Of approximately 20, 3-student groups, less than a quarter of them are figuring out that result. most of the remainder are noticing that if the numbers are consecutive that the result is the largest area.<br /><br />Its a start....Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-16750278867803780092016-07-05T23:09:00.003-07:002016-07-05T23:09:52.774-07:00I have a plea and a request...but I also have an idea I would love help with PLEASE #Math #desmos #google #getkahoot #mtbosI love how Kahoot energizes a class. I love that it shifts the environment and lets me see my kids in a different way.<br /><br />I dream of a similar game which would be usable through Google for Education, as an app.<br /><br />My image is one in which all students get a copy of the same 4 graphs. After looking at them for a teacher determined amount of time (in a small group or individually) that the students are presented with an equation - or a description - and asked to eliminate one of the choices. At this point a timer might be set, discussion time may be given or an immediate (private) vote could be done [A,B,C,D] <i>Nice formative assessment</i><br /><br />Groups might all vote as a block. Or maybe well considered splits might develop even within the groups. Now ask them to discuss either why that last one was eliminated or explain why another one could be removed. Again after discussion voting can ensue, or the teacher may ask groups to share their discussions. <i>More formative or even early summative assessment</i><br /><i><br /></i>They can discuss again or go right to picking which one of the two remaining graphs is correct, or options would be available for a more discussion, voting and then the reveal.<br /><i><br /></i>I would likely want to be able to follow up with 1 or more similar pages. I definitely would love kooky music, with the option of being able to put in one's own. Finding a way to export the data collected as well as add that same data to ongoing graphs of (individual) achievement (can be the same as grades, but does not have to. ie, if I am collecting data on whether a student is achieving or losing comprehension of a particular learning goal. (types, slope, x-intercept, y-intercept, length, angle, intersection(s),domain, range, etc)<i> more opportunities for formative/summative evaluation)</i><br /><br />I imagined this as a website that I could put together for use in my own classroom (with google forms collecting the information) but when I started thinking of building the graphs and copying each one it just seemed easier to give a shout out and see if someone, ahem DESMOS, Kahoot or Google. might make my dream come true.<br /><br />I admit I might have set the bar quite high, but don't we always tell our students to aim for the stars?<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Happy Belated birthday bro (Josh) <=== he complained that I've had a blog and don't mention him j/k<br /><br /><br />Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-22693545770304880042016-06-29T00:28:00.000-07:002016-06-29T00:28:21.692-07:00My Favorite Math Problem<br /><br />I had a number of great math ed professors, Dr. Brumbaugh is one. Sadly, I do not recall the name of the one whose materials I still, over 20 years later, look through for inspiration and help. (btw...UCF Go Golden Knights)<br /><br />He made every one of his students submit 3 original problems. They had to be unique, which at the time meant that the problem, or one like it, could not be found within the class materials. The materials for this class were not a textbook, but a copy of 2 binders that the local Kinko's had. You walked in and told them you were in professor's class and they sold you 2 binders full of previous student's submissions as well as whatever the professor had added to them.<br /><br />I was working with 5th graders and I wrote a problem that my students solved with little assistance in about 5-10 minutes. <br /><br />We had to present our favorite problem in front of the class. My turn came up and I presented my problem, but because it was the last one of the day (and the professor had a thing about promptness) I didn't get to complete giving the explanation. He said that we should do the problem and bring a solution to class on Tuesday. It was Saturday (this being the lab for the Tue/Thur class). By Tuesday I had well over a dozen students ask me for help. <br /><br />I've found that 5-6th graders rarely take more than 15 minutes to figure it out, whether they get the correct solution or not.<br /><br />High school'ers take 30-45 minutes and rarely get a correct solution.<br /><br />College people, especially those with STRONG math backgrounds fill pages and pages with work and get to the right answer, but are uncomfortable with the answer they have.<br /><br />I call it the bionic bee problem. It hinders the student in that the more math they know, the more math they try to apply to finding a solution to it.<br /><br />I love it for the same reason I love <a href="http://www.mathwithbaddrawings.com/">www.mathwithbaddrawings.com</a> , its all about a bad drawing and a great story. <br /><br />I wish I had his ability in my blog.... maybe I till see if I can draw something and add it later...<br /><br />_______________________________________________________________________________<br /><b><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></b><b><span style="font-size: large;">There's this bee. Not a normal, everyday bee; one which has been bionically enhanced by a secret governmental agency. Or maybe the illuminati. It has been enhanced to have perfect reflexes and the ability to fly at 200 mph. </span></b><br /><b><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></b><b><span style="font-size: large;">In order to keep the bee from getting splatted, it is gyroscopically synchronized to turn 180 degrees in case of an imminent collision, returning exactly in the direction it was coming from. </span></b><br /><b><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></b><b><span style="font-size: large;">For some reason the bee has been released on a straight railroad track, well ahead of an oncoming train. The train is travelling at 77 mph, so there is no way it should be a threat to the bee. </span></b><br /><b><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></b><b><span style="font-size: large;">**At this point I ask if anyone has any questions. Invariably the question of why it was released in front of a moving train comes up. I tell them, "hey, its not like the (FBI, CIA, NSA, Etc) tell me why they do anything" Why do you think they released the bee on a straight section of railroad tracks?</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></b><b><span style="font-size: large;">A signalman accidentally transfers another train onto the same straight segment of tracks, this time 300 miles up the track. This train is travelling 73 mph right toward the bee and the other train.</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></b><b><span style="font-size: large;">I'm happy to say that just as the two trains collided together, the bee falls out of the way, exhausted but safe. Which is good, do you know how much bionic bees cost?</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></b><b><span style="font-size: large;">My question to you is, how far will the bee have flown when the trains crash together?</span></b><br /><br />____________________________________________________________________________<br /><br />For high school students used to Algebra, that the tool they use.<br />College students use Calculus, and sometimes Algebra as well.<br /><br />For them I add... <br /><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><b>What will the flight of this bee look like (zig-zagging back and forth between the two trains). </b></span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><b><br /></b></span>I've never typed it out and given it to students. I may, depending on the class and usually only at the middle school or below level write everything on the board. (the bee, tracks and trains always get drawn).<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-41886813560998128052016-06-26T00:33:00.003-07:002016-06-26T00:33:55.541-07:008th grade Transformations<span style="font-family: "helvetica neue" , "arial" , "helvetica" , sans-serif;"><a class="identifier" href="http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/8/G/A/3/" name="CCSS.Math.Content.8.G.A.3" style="background-attachment: initial; background-clip: initial; background-image: initial; background-origin: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-size: initial; box-sizing: border-box; color: #108ebc; font-size: 11.76px; outline: 0px; text-transform: uppercase;">CSS.MATH.CONTENT.8.G.A.3</a><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px; line-height: 25.2px;" /><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px; line-height: 25.2px;">Describe the effect of dilations, translations, rotations, and reflections on two-dimensional figures using coordinates.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: "helvetica neue" , "arial" , "helvetica" , sans-serif;"><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px; line-height: 25.2px;"><br /></span></span><span style="font-family: "helvetica neue" , "arial" , "helvetica" , sans-serif;"><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px; line-height: 25.2px;">Not one of the best units for my students this year. It was basically where we started the year (which in hindsight might need to be modified). Translations were easy enough. Students could easily see that when a shape is moved that the basic shape remains the same, but the location changes. </span></span><br /><span style="font-family: "helvetica neue" , "arial" , "helvetica" , sans-serif;"><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px; line-height: 25.2px;"><br /></span></span><span style="font-family: "helvetica neue" , "arial" , "helvetica" , sans-serif;"><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px; line-height: 25.2px;">Dilations, rotations and reflections, however, were not as easy. The first problem I came across was that students had difficulty picturing that a 1x1 square that doubled in size (becoming a larger square) didn't have an area of 2. Even after drawing many examples in their notebooks, I still had students who struggled with seeing this. </span></span><br /><span style="font-family: "helvetica neue" , "arial" , "helvetica" , sans-serif;"><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px; line-height: 25.2px;"><br /></span></span><span style="font-family: "helvetica neue" , "arial" , "helvetica" , sans-serif;"><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px; line-height: 25.2px;">Next, I noticed students confusing how a polygon would look when rotated. A triangle with an acute angle pointing in one direction in the original image should end up with its acute angle facing another direction, but this wasn't the case with many of the students. Reflections were confusing as well.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: "helvetica neue" , "arial" , "helvetica" , sans-serif;"><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px; line-height: 25.2px;"><br /></span></span><span style="font-family: "helvetica neue" , "arial" , "helvetica" , sans-serif;"><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px; line-height: 25.2px;">I am thinking that I will start off next year looking at shapes (capital "T" comes to mind) and go through the transformations (without dilation) before even introducing the idea of graphing this shape. (which explains why I keep asking everyone where the district die-cut press has gone) I figure if the students can keep picturing what happened to the "T" it might give them a visual cue to when there is a problem with their doing these transformations on a graph. </span></span><br /><span style="font-family: "helvetica neue" , "arial" , "helvetica" , sans-serif;"><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px; line-height: 25.2px;"><br /></span></span><span style="font-family: "helvetica neue" , "arial" , "helvetica" , sans-serif;"><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px; line-height: 25.2px;">I also will be stressing the graphing aspect of this more next year. The way this has been done has been with the graphing being an after-thought more than a goal. I think seeing the changes and coming up with ways of describing these changes (either by verbal or symbolic description) adds necessary depth to the topic. </span></span><br /><span style="font-family: "helvetica neue" , "arial" , "helvetica" , sans-serif;"><span style="color: #202020; font-size: 16.8px; line-height: 25.2px;"><br /></span></span><br />Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-53141451716332098762016-06-17T09:23:00.002-07:002016-06-17T09:23:18.423-07:00Remediation is hardi wish I had a magic wand, a perfect solution....the WAY! <br /><br />It would be so much easier....<br /><br />Remediation is a matter of understanding the student, It's a matter of knowing how best he/she/ze will see the concept most clearly. <br /><br />I've known teenagers for whom subraction still makes no sense. Division, fraction and number sense confusion is so common as to assume that it's confusion should be expected.<br /><br />I love my kids, but I ache that I cannot possibly help all of them have experiences to clarify all the misconceptions, never mind successfully develop a full understanding of all the current grade level standards as well.<br /><br />I do know that disruption and sleeping as well as not doing the work is definitely positively correlated to not participating, not doing homework and not answering questions in math class. <br /><br />Motivation is a killer for students. Often-times a student's home life can make our best efforts feel like standing still. We are not alone in this, the students feel it as well. <br /><br />It's true that math is sequential, and it builds upon itself. It's also true that many of our students memorize steps, not understanding the why. The good news is that continuing to build basic skills and remediating misconceptions does slot in lost concepts and I've seen students with that "ah-ha" look in their eyes. <br /><br />6th through 8th graders have learned the 4 basic arithmetic operations, they need opportunities to hone these skills and practice them. My 6th graders practice divisibility, factor trees, do kenken, review vocabulary and skip-count (to practice multiples/multiplication and learn to see linear/arithmetic progression, though I don't share the motivation with them).<br /><br />My 8th graders need to better explain their thinking (yes, Mathematical Practice #3, construct viable arguments - I'm looking at you). They need to work on being better at showing their work/thinking so that in time they can be better at those explanations.<br /><br /><br />Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-36769887031947407762015-10-02T22:27:00.000-07:002015-10-02T22:27:31.286-07:00Evaluation and remediation....I wish I had all the answers. Heck, I wish I could better predict the best questions... Here goes anyway:<br /><br />I am not great at formative assessment, other than knowing my kids and walking around to observe. I do have a magnetic red-yellow-green board (of my own design) to simplify the notion of exit tickets.<br /><br />My method of evaluation includes 2 kinds of quizzes. Content (at 1 less than, to 1 greater than, the appropriate grade level) and Basic Skills Quizzes, or BSQ's. BSQ's allow me to individually assess students and set baselines which are useful in establishing individual learning goals for the year.<br /><br />The true strength of BSQ's, because they require (primarily) pure computational skill, is that they are easy to electronically grade. Do not be tempted to make these multiple choice. Use a good App, like Socrative. I have heard that one of google's apps can do this, and I wish knew how to do it...<br /><br />Students must "pass" the previous quiz to move on. I require 8/10 on the + and - quizzes and no less than 70% on the rest, or the student MUST reassess. Students who complete all required BSQ's get free time while listening to headphones, to read or work on the material for another class ( or to do sudoku or magic squares, etc). <br /><br />I have a student who got 0 of 10 right on a three digit + three digit number quiz. Standardized assessment is similarity low. BSQ scores give me a clue at what level the student is, and let's me know where to start helping him.<br /><br />I am willing to share what I have with regard to BSQ's to anyone willing to work with me on building a library of these. Include your email, or email me and we can discuss a dialogue on this topic.<br /><br />*** dear Socrative.com... Love the app, but wish a few things were different. When running a quiz, once all students have completed, the % should change from percent completed for each student to percent correct for each student. Also, teachers should be able to run at least 3 different assessments simultaneously. More would be better.Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-44887674532153079722015-09-18T21:18:00.001-07:002015-09-18T21:18:57.184-07:00Middle school and starting the race behind ok, new focus....<br /><br />I have 2 sixth grade classes and 3 eighth grade classes. I can tell you that the sixth graders are great, but much lower than I would have thought... But they are great kids and mostly willing to work at things.<br /><br />I need to focus on remediation. I need to differentiate heavily. I need to make sure no time is wasted as we can ill afford it. <br /><br />I wish I could say addition was a given, but I am dealing with the students and deficiencies I am given, so we started skip-counting this week. The goal is to practice mental math and repeated addition is a good preparation for multiplication facts. Here are the details. Skip-counting means that students add the same number over and over. For example, I tell a student 3. He repeats it back to me. Th next student says 6, then 9, 12 etc. I switch when we reach number times 12. This week was 2-5, next will be 3,4 & 6,7. <br /><br />Yet my goals are the 6th grade standards that we all know we will be, eventually, assessed is what I am required to teach<br /><br />Mistakes happen and students are encouraged to try again. I am discouraging the culture of smirking and giggling at and correcting (sadly sometimes wrong as well) of each other. It's a daily battle, but progress is being made. How can one get students confident enough without making such reactions inappropriate? This is a situation which must be addressed.<br /><br /> How do you deal with deficiencies and social skills such as these?<br /><br />Feel free to respond to this question in the comments...<br /><br /> Next time, evaluation and remediation.Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-1354813427905838192015-07-10T15:20:00.001-07:002015-07-10T15:28:07.727-07:00Dice bias. A statistics activityThere are so many great reasons to use dice in math class. Strictly speaking, most dice should be non-biased, although students generally don't know what this means or if they do know what it means they don't believe it.<br /><br />The graph of a die (singular of dice) thrown 100 times should show little bias. If you continue another 900 times and any previously seen bias still occurs one could make a compelling case that the die might be biased. Ask your students what the graph of a die rolled 1000 times should look like.<br /><br />We played with dice in class. First I had students roll a single die 100 times and then that die was passed to another student who did similarily. Students were asked to keep their results to themselves and they were asked to describe if they thought the die was biased or not. After the whole class' data was brought together the case for the die not being biased was easier to make.<br /><br />Next had students roll two dice and collect the sums obtained. There is a definite bias int Ensues which will be found. Some sums are more likely and others much less likely (and surprisingly some are impossible, like a sum of 1). We rolled, collected data and graphed results (which forms a wonderful curve that gets lots of attention in statistics classes, but is rarely generated in such classes)<br /><br /><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Crayola-Air-Clay-Bucket-White/dp/B000J07LF8">Amazon crayola air dry clay</a><br /><br />I went out and bought air-dry clay and had students make themselves two six-sided dice. Students were told to make the dice as carefully as possible and they were left to dry (happily they dried sufficiently in 24 hours to make the next part of this possible, though next time I would likely have students paint their dice with clear nail-polish, and let them dry a second night, so they were less likely to crumble... Though this wasn't a big problem for most of the students)<br /><br />We again did the collecting of sum activity and noticed that our graphs weren't quite so pretty. After collecting 100 rolls from their own dice, students were asked to predict what the sum of rolling the two dice would be given the bias of their handmade dice.<br /><br />Expected value is one of the harder concepts for students, at least mine. In my class, students themselves came up with the term and a good working definition as well as a reason for the term itself.. Win-Win in my opinion..<br /><br /><br />Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-53871210780548324902015-07-10T15:01:00.000-07:002015-07-10T15:01:42.020-07:00An apology to my readersshort and sweet, I'm sorry.<br /><br />There have been a number of difficulties in my life this past year which have prevented me from updating this blog as I have wanted. I won't say they are done, but I can say I now have more time and a corner has been turned.<br /><br />Also, for the past 9 years I have taught high school math, but as of this September I am easing back to middle school. This mean that my blog will have a different focus. I do still have a couple high school ideas I want to share, though.Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-57485987719555926462014-11-30T18:46:00.001-08:002014-11-30T18:46:44.629-08:00Made for Math Monday * Foldable for introducing matricesI don't think this is a very difficult topic for most students, but I do occasionally have a couple who struggle and could use a little more time working on the basics of matrices, so I made a foldable to keep most of the class busy while those students got the time they needed to process and absorb the material.<br /><br />First, take a 8.5 x 11 sheet of copy paper and place it in the landscape position (wider than tall). Fold in about 1-1.5 inches on both sides. Next, while the sides are folded in, fold the entire paper in half both ways (lengthwise and width-wise) I found the template for this foldable a while ago and just hadn't before used it. Now that I have use it, I'm trying to figure out where else I can use it! (funny thing is I didn't even realize it was for matrices until I wrote the blog posting).<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0OuVJjWja-g/VHvV4HUNLXI/AAAAAAAABG0/7ZWTKy94yo4/s1600/foldable_directions_pages_with_pockets.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0OuVJjWja-g/VHvV4HUNLXI/AAAAAAAABG0/7ZWTKy94yo4/s1600/foldable_directions_pages_with_pockets.png" height="640" width="368" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />Here are 2 versions of the front of the foldable I did. I like that the foldable has 4 pages within, each one having a little pocket to hold something<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6npO4PQVmLQ/VHX5fs1UsYI/AAAAAAAABGQ/WbSI5rYGZks/s1600/matrix_foldable_front_1.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6npO4PQVmLQ/VHX5fs1UsYI/AAAAAAAABGQ/WbSI5rYGZks/s1600/matrix_foldable_front_1.png" height="320" width="297" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ehoWlJOaxRU/VHX5frpPW_I/AAAAAAAABGM/lSBSMD08QiY/s1600/matrix_foldable_front_2.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ehoWlJOaxRU/VHX5frpPW_I/AAAAAAAABGM/lSBSMD08QiY/s1600/matrix_foldable_front_2.png" height="320" width="312" /></a></div><br />The <span style="color: #cc0000;">RED CLOCK </span>thing I did was a mnemonic I did to try and help the students remember that in defining the dimension of a matrix that it does ROWS and then COLUMNS<br /><br /><br />I told the students to make the time a number that meant something to them. We just started a new trimester and I only know about 25-30% of the students from last trimester. This gives me a way of connecting with a new student and the students a way of personalizing the foldable.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Next, here are pages 1-2. I would like to point out that I had students label each part as one would label the elements of a matrix (a (sub) 11, a (sub) 21, etc.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jD9DGdt3FrA/VHX5gaaCYhI/AAAAAAAABGY/Gtcft6qSdqc/s1600/matrix_foldable_p_1-2.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jD9DGdt3FrA/VHX5gaaCYhI/AAAAAAAABGY/Gtcft6qSdqc/s1600/matrix_foldable_p_1-2.png" height="304" width="640" /></a></div><br /> As we did the foldable I didn't give any instruction on how to perform any of the operations. We put the foldables aside and did examples of adding, subtracting and multiplying by a scalar. <br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1WhydOTxQ7o/VHX5fkhK6nI/AAAAAAAABGg/wR4LuZrMyeg/s1600/matrix_foldable_p3-4.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1WhydOTxQ7o/VHX5fkhK6nI/AAAAAAAABGg/wR4LuZrMyeg/s1600/matrix_foldable_p3-4.png" height="310" width="640" /></a></div><br /><br />For homework they were to write instructions on the pages a (sub) 12 [adding matrices] a (sub) 13 [subtracting matrices] and a (sub) 14 [multiplication by a scalar] as well as make up 4 addition, 4 subtraction and 4 multiplication by a scalar problems - on half-index cards, which fit wonderfully in the pockets. Students will quiz their partners as I check the assignment on Monday. <br /><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-7966951463219380272014-11-20T09:18:00.002-08:002014-11-20T09:18:28.307-08:00I'm just not a very good test takerI must hear these words at least 3-4 times I give a test. (I'm just not a good test taker).<br /><br />I've come to realize that this doesn't actually mean what the student is trying to say.<br /><br />After hearing this from a number of students, I peeked into their other grades and found that many of these same students were doing quite well in other subjects but struggled in math. Upon asking them about their test-taking skills in these other areas the overwhelming response was that those other tests are easier. Yet I have students who will still say that they are poor test takers even on assessments with very high class averages.<br /><br />I'm convinced the "I'm not a good test-taker" comment is more a cry for help from students who are struggling but who lack the skills necessary to improve their scores alone.<br /><br /><b>Essential skills for studying in math</b><br /><br /><br /><ul><li>you must know what material will be assessed</li><li>you should know what kinds of questions your teacher will likely ask (multiple choice, constructed response, etc)</li><li>you should identify your own weaknesses and focus your study there</li><li>you should NOT wait until just before the test</li></ul><div><b>What better students will frequently do in addition:</b></div><div><br /></div><div><ul><li>make up practice questions</li><ul><li>even if you just take a problem worked out in class and just change 1-2 numbers and work that out</li></ul><li>find another student in that class and discuss the examples</li><ul><li>better yet, challenge each other with the additional examples you've made</li></ul><li>Seek out assistance _online, IRL, etc...</li></ul><div><br /></div></div><div>Any other strategies you can suggest? </div>Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-62986563208204768822014-10-27T09:33:00.000-07:002014-10-27T11:33:35.601-07:00Domain and Range Foldable - Made for Math MondayI did this foldable about a month ago and keep meaning to add it to my blog. <br /><br />I had a discussion last year about what the AP Calc teacher finds that he wishes the incoming students understood better. Among the topics he suggested was domain and range. Traditionally we do inequality form in Algebra 1 - Precalc, but in Calculus he needs the students to understand interval notation. Now I was better versed with Set Builder notation, but he said he preferred interval notation. (which I now admit that at the time I knew nothing about;-)<br /><br />Last year I discovered that the students I had (and I started teaching the class late due to a teacher leaving) found domain and range confusing no matter the notation I asked them to use. This year I decided to do better and I wanted to get right into interval notation. So, I came up with a simple 3-window foldable. <br /><br />First window is the definitions of Domain and Range. DIX ROY and the definitions of discrete and continuous in relation to domain and range.<br /><br />Second window is primarily for (what they have seen before) Inequality Notation. It also includes when an open dot is used versus a closed dot and an example is given with the domain and range given using Inequality Notation<br /><br />The Third window is for Interval Notation. Here we defined when parentheses are used as opposed to brackets. Another example is given with the domain and range in interval notation this time. (I think this window is a little sparse and would like any suggestions anyone has)<br /><br />We did it by hand this first time, but I have now made a handout version to clean things up and make student copies more uniform (which should eliminate some of the errors I saw). <br /><br />This was a success I would say, because I saw many students using their foldable over the next week+ until they didn't need it anymore. <br /><br />Below you can see a student's hand-made foldable. I will add my new typed version for Made 4 Math Monday this next week <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/ap8ba20tu0h50cj/Domain%20and%20range%20-%20interval%20and%20inequality%20notation%20foldable%20inside.docx?dl=0">Foldable inside</a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yGvigbhEC90/VEqqGB7DQEI/AAAAAAAABFo/C_MCYUxGFWM/s1600/inequality-interval_foldable.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yGvigbhEC90/VEqqGB7DQEI/AAAAAAAABFo/C_MCYUxGFWM/s1600/inequality-interval_foldable.png" height="247" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-vebZ2jZEWEA/VEmwBH5MQrI/AAAAAAAABFY/EoQBVWb9yyw/s1600/domain_range_foldable_student_inside.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-vebZ2jZEWEA/VEmwBH5MQrI/AAAAAAAABFY/EoQBVWb9yyw/s1600/domain_range_foldable_student_inside.png" height="231" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QbRJvVQPVU0/VEmv_1y8FTI/AAAAAAAABFQ/M15EB7GCclQ/s1600/domain_range_foldable_student_front.png" height="125" width="320" /></div>Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-80618389317150096892014-08-31T13:45:00.001-07:002014-08-31T13:45:51.645-07:00Mind-reading and expected value.I just finished looking at <a href="http://blog.mrmeyer.com/2014/great-classroom-action-18/">Dan Meyer's blog</a> and saw that part of the most recent posting discussed uses for dice in class. I have a trick I use with my students, let me tell you about it.<br /><br />I give out 5-6 sets of three dice. I have the students roll them and then add up all the numbers which cannot be seen (bottom, middles and middles). Once they have the sum, they sit back with the dice still stacked and I "read their minds" to get the sum. I have math on my side, and as long as they add correctly I can get the sum.<br /><br />Last year I tied this activity into expected value in probability and it was a hit. I don't want to give too much away, as my students have been following my blog as part of their summer enrichment. Suffice it to say I can "read" the answer from their thoughts from across the classroom pretty well as there is only 1 piece of information I need.<br /><br />It's a great mini lesson that is always great for engagement and I like that it's the kind of thing that the students take home and show their families. Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-30223895239427936762014-08-22T10:19:00.000-07:002014-08-26T09:29:56.984-07:00ACT Readiness -pt 7- Graphical RepresentationsThe next Standard relates to Graphical Representation. These problems will either require a student to read information out of a graph, ie slope; or they will require a student to describe what happens to the graph, given a set of numbers or equation. <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-J8NhvdZQjJM/U9uzLMQ0veI/AAAAAAAABBI/OE246C01taA/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Graphical_Representations.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-J8NhvdZQjJM/U9uzLMQ0veI/AAAAAAAABBI/OE246C01taA/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Graphical_Representations.png" /></a></div><br />Upon first glance, I notice that many of the skills listed include an asterisk. These standards are assessed on the ACT and Plan tests, but not the Explore test. Standards with a dagger are only assessed on the ACT.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5PLaeccM0GA/U9vy1yRBnAI/AAAAAAAABDs/AIEVYI-ZuzA/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Graphical_Rep_Examples.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5PLaeccM0GA/U9vy1yRBnAI/AAAAAAAABDs/AIEVYI-ZuzA/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Graphical_Rep_Examples.png" /></a></div><br />The two examples here are higher leveled questions. The first one requires that you understand how points change when a shape is translated in the coordinate plane. The second one is interesting as the axes are not labeled with regard to scale, but the instructions tell you the scale is the same which is critically important to answer this question. Do you understand how the answers were reached?<br /><br />My students, ask yourself, how good do you understand the skills listed in the matrix? Do you feel you could do each of these skills if asked? Let's play taboo again: Please list 5 more words to be restricted when trying to describe slope, ie rise/run. Do the same with Parallel, Perpendicular,Vertex and Center (of a circle). Email these to me, same email address as before.Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-88617985774024342014-08-19T07:03:00.001-07:002014-08-19T07:03:22.735-07:00ACT Readiness -pt 6- Expressions, Equations and InequalitiesIf I ask my students, "What is Algebra all about?" I can guarantee that at least 1/3rd will say solving equations. I'm not sure this is necessarily bad, after all we do spend much of Algebra dealing with equations. I hope that one day most of my students will answer that Algebra is all about the processes by which rationally problems are observed, analyzed and then solved. (or something like that)<br /><br />Here I present, Expressions, Equations and Inequalities. Of the three, I would say that the last is most confusing and yet also the most "real-life", and yet the hardest to use in the classroom, without being trivial. Its also one of the hardest things for most students to use. <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SunH6NGU61o/U9suzMgIuFI/AAAAAAAABA4/Af6z1lVLasY/s1600/ACT_score_ranges.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SunH6NGU61o/U9suzMgIuFI/AAAAAAAABA4/Af6z1lVLasY/s1600/ACT_score_ranges.png" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yZ8qBlyMmio/U9suo23IQiI/AAAAAAAABAw/VFGM6ALjVGk/s1600/ACT_Readiness__Expressions_and_Equations.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yZ8qBlyMmio/U9suo23IQiI/AAAAAAAABAw/VFGM6ALjVGk/s1600/ACT_Readiness__Expressions_and_Equations.png" /></a></div><br />24-27 is the "meat and potatoes" or "curry and rice" of most Algebra classes. I spend more time helping students hone these skills than just about anything else. I know that most years my students have had to practice multiplying binomials (20-23), especially a binomial squared. Factoring was also a big issue in recent students as well.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MRcx0EMCrfE/U9v3KDXaXgI/AAAAAAAABEE/jnx5j_RmZCs/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Expressions,_EQ_and_InEq_Example_202.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MRcx0EMCrfE/U9v3KDXaXgI/AAAAAAAABEE/jnx5j_RmZCs/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Expressions,_EQ_and_InEq_Example_202.png" /></a></div><br />What steps do you need to use to solve the previous problem? Do the decimals with different place values make the problem more difficult, or make it look more difficult? Below are some more advanced examples:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-qfJLSixec5o/U9vqNd8rbKI/AAAAAAAABDY/S7E-VWlswHw/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Expressions_Equations_Examples.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-qfJLSixec5o/U9vqNd8rbKI/AAAAAAAABDY/S7E-VWlswHw/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Expressions_Equations_Examples.png" /></a></div><br />The score range for each of these problems is the same. The first problem requires greater literacy skills and the second requires greater computational skills. We all struggle in different areas, which do you find more difficult?<br /><br />The next range includes :"write expressions, equations and inequalities for common algebra settings". We should be better at this. We will be better at this. <br /><br />If you are one of my students then the practice provided for this standard includes: <a href="http://www.mathgoodies.com/lessons/vol7/equations.html">translating expressions</a> and <a href="http://crctlessons.com/two-step-equations-game.html">Equations Basketball</a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-69147339768925549262014-08-14T06:33:00.000-07:002014-08-15T07:12:58.250-07:00ACT Readiness- pt 5- Numbers and their Properties<br />The next set of standards will be Numbers and their Properties. I hate to think that this is an area of weakness, but after years of seeing students counting on their fingers and the difficulty which my students have with factors (both prime factorization and factoring standing out as examples) I can't say that it isn't a possible source for student struggling.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zif9r1rOSGI/U9siu8a38eI/AAAAAAAABAg/yZHPWlQ4HDo/s1600/ACT_READIESS_NUMBERS.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zif9r1rOSGI/U9siu8a38eI/AAAAAAAABAg/yZHPWlQ4HDo/s1600/ACT_READIESS_NUMBERS.png" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ANdspxLj9gc/U9vopA4dkRI/AAAAAAAABDE/l5m9mbyfO-g/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Numbers_Example_1.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ANdspxLj9gc/U9vopA4dkRI/AAAAAAAABDE/l5m9mbyfO-g/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Numbers_Example_1.png" /></a></div><br />Why does this first problem start with y not equal to 0? Do you agree with the asterisk'ed answer? <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5c3ElEAA_n8/U9vopE16J1I/AAAAAAAABDI/b2ap_kyc-pY/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Numbers_Example_2.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5c3ElEAA_n8/U9vopE16J1I/AAAAAAAABDI/b2ap_kyc-pY/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Numbers_Example_2.png" /></a></div><br />How could you "work out" this second problem? Would a list or table simplify calculating the answer? How would you set up one of these to do this?<br /><br />I look at the first column and seeing fractions, even equivalent ones leaves me wondering. Also, I look at one of the higher columns and I see rules of exponents and complex numbers, and I know these are skills my students can accomplish. Makes me feel like more and more that I need to know exactly where our students have struggled in the past. <br /><br />I have a couple of ideas for my lovely students to do on this one. First off, <a href="http://www.cimt.plymouth.ac.uk/projects/mepres/book7/bk7i1/bk7_1i3.htm">Beginner</a> , <a href="http://scaleofuniverse.com/">That's COOL!</a> and (if you use IoS, then <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/cn/app/factorman/id564193621?l=en&mt=8">FactorMan</a>). <br /><br />One more thing...on paper please list out the numbers 10 - 25. For each number list out possible ways to multiply two numbers to get that number as an answer and then find the sum of those factors. (you need only do the positive factors and stick with whole numbers)<br /><br />For example 24: <br />1*24: (sum) 25<br />2*12: (sum) 14<br />3*8: (sum) 11<br />4*6: (sum) 10<br /><br />Please keep the work from these "challenges" until after school starts. Details will be given as to why before the end of the first week of school... Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-11268355665725686432014-08-12T21:37:00.000-07:002014-08-26T09:26:40.684-07:00ACT Readiness- pt 4- Standards Functions The next standard is functions. All questions in this standard are applicable ONLY to the ACT, not the Plan or Explore tests. There are generally not a lot of trigonometric questions on the ACT, but here is where most of them will be found. <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SunH6NGU61o/U9suzMgIuFI/AAAAAAAABA4/Af6z1lVLasY/s1600/ACT_score_ranges.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SunH6NGU61o/U9suzMgIuFI/AAAAAAAABA4/Af6z1lVLasY/s1600/ACT_score_ranges.png" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LLlkTZtyRrw/U9u2srgTQTI/AAAAAAAABBU/IYK7XbUF9Gg/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Functions.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LLlkTZtyRrw/U9u2srgTQTI/AAAAAAAABBU/IYK7XbUF9Gg/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Functions.png" /></a></div><br />There is only 1 example for this standard. It is, predictably, a trigonometric example.<br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GAbW8fO5NBk/U9v1SKZkXkI/AAAAAAAABD4/Ivh-Wzf9JWQ/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Functions_Example_1.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GAbW8fO5NBk/U9v1SKZkXkI/AAAAAAAABD4/Ivh-Wzf9JWQ/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Functions_Example_1.png" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /> I know the temptation is to get a numeric answer, but let me remind you that ACT questions are supposed to be written in a way that they can be solved WITHOUT a calculator (and I don't know the sin,cos or tan of 70 degrees off the top of my head).<br /><br />For my students, let's first review the <a href="http://www.mathwarehouse.com/trigonometry/interactive-unit-circle.html">Unit Circle</a> and a <a href="http://astro.unl.edu/classaction/animations/coordsmotion/daylighthoursexplorer.html">Real life Trigonometric Function</a>. Do a web-search for data relating to another real life trigonometric function and copy data which could be graphed to be trigonometric, please send it to me. Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-16871057341449800342014-08-04T11:42:00.000-07:002014-08-26T09:27:47.600-07:00ACT Readiness - Pt 3 - Measurement and Plane FiguresThis one will be a two-fer as these standards are generally covered in Geometry (rather than Algebra). <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SunH6NGU61o/U9suzMgIuFI/AAAAAAAABA4/Af6z1lVLasY/s1600/ACT_score_ranges.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SunH6NGU61o/U9suzMgIuFI/AAAAAAAABA4/Af6z1lVLasY/s1600/ACT_score_ranges.png" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-qpC6XWN0UaA/U9u5zz2TKRI/AAAAAAAABBg/zMR4BZ2nt_E/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Measurement.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-qpC6XWN0UaA/U9u5zz2TKRI/AAAAAAAABBg/zMR4BZ2nt_E/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Measurement.png" /></a></div> Area and Perimeter of common shapes are usually pretty straightforward for students, unless they confuse the two. Additionally, at times a formula may be given and being able to identify what each letter in the formula represents may be tricky.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mVLvpxjBBvw/U9vfj7dtqVI/AAAAAAAABB8/2QsjLNVe8kg/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Measurement_example.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mVLvpxjBBvw/U9vfj7dtqVI/AAAAAAAABB8/2QsjLNVe8kg/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Measurement_example.png" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2wYwr0K9szA/U9u54QYD3nI/AAAAAAAABBo/08qjkF5L-TE/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Properties_of_Plane_Figures.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2wYwr0K9szA/U9u54QYD3nI/AAAAAAAABBo/08qjkF5L-TE/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Properties_of_Plane_Figures.png" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NJvQcyR8nk4/U9vfj3GKowI/AAAAAAAABB4/7MNUZGWv9W4/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Plane_Figures_Example.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NJvQcyR8nk4/U9vfj3GKowI/AAAAAAAABB4/7MNUZGWv9W4/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Plane_Figures_Example.png" /></a></div><br />Lots of triangle material here. Pythagorean Theorem is listed in two of the score ranges, and after the session the Global Math Department had on it a few months ago, even I learned something. I've got to come up with a way to share some of those insights with my students. <br /><br />For my students, tackle this <a href="http://www.brainingcamp.com/content/pythagorean-theorem/index.html">Activity</a>. There are 5 parts, try each one and don't give up until you understand the theorem and can apply it to solve problems. <br /><br /><br />Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-68546771561066637952014-07-31T22:10:00.002-07:002014-08-14T09:09:54.968-07:00ACT Readiness Standards pt 2 -Probability, Stats and DataThis is the second posting in a series primarily aimed at my students regarding the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards. My goal is encouraging self-assessment so that my students know where their weaknesses might lie, and hopefully getting them thinking about strengthening their skills before the start of school, or the official ACT assessment this upcoming school year.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />The second list of topics in this series is Probability, Statistics and Data Analysis. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MhszdkYNnyM/U9QrU22mGWI/AAAAAAAABAI/TIi7-kBDnNo/s1600/ACT_score_ranges.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MhszdkYNnyM/U9QrU22mGWI/AAAAAAAABAI/TIi7-kBDnNo/s1600/ACT_score_ranges.png" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-M8zSf7tJHGE/U9Qra6DF87I/AAAAAAAABAQ/ZBURDOgpl1s/s1600/ACT_standards_Probability,_Statistics_and_Data_Analysis.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-M8zSf7tJHGE/U9Qra6DF87I/AAAAAAAABAQ/ZBURDOgpl1s/s1600/ACT_standards_Probability,_Statistics_and_Data_Analysis.png" /></a></div><br /><br />In our school, students first see probability and statistics in Algebra 2 (though there are many related topics which should be addressed in middle school mathematics). A review of probability comes up in Algebra 2; for students wishing to learn more about these topics Statistics is available as an elective in their Senior year. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zXm2YnEd3r0/U9vlO3DPOfI/AAAAAAAABCg/izJP4EpwB0o/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Probability_Stats_and_Data_Example_1.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zXm2YnEd3r0/U9vlO3DPOfI/AAAAAAAABCg/izJP4EpwB0o/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Probability_Stats_and_Data_Example_1.png" /></a></div><br />For the first example, students need to know which one word in the question? Without knowing this math term, this is an impossible task, with this knowledge the question should be straightforward.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_1IeppE2b4E/U9vlPJW89zI/AAAAAAAABCk/0iF9ylRYgSs/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Probability_Stats_and_Data_Example_2.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_1IeppE2b4E/U9vlPJW89zI/AAAAAAAABCk/0iF9ylRYgSs/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Probability_Stats_and_Data_Example_2.png" /></a></div><br />While this is a "higher leveled" question, I believe that it is also one which we should be able to figure out quickly. Notice for a moment the wrong answers. A. We're looking at one of the 12 jelly beans, B. We're looking at 1 of 5 green jelly beans. Can you guess how they arrived at the other two choices?<br /><br />As mentioned in the first post in this series, our school's average Math ACT score is in the second range. With regard to these topics, this means that our students (on average) cannot find a missing data value or compute simple probabilities (20-23), manipulate data from tables or graphs (24-27) or compute weighted averages. <br /><br />As I will be teaching both Algebra 2 and Precalculus, I will be working more spiraling of probability & statistics topics into both classes. <br /><br />If you are one of my students, then I challenge you to review basic probability. I've got a special challenge for you this time. Read through <a href="http://mathwithbaddrawings.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/chapter-1.pdf">Bear in the Moonlight</a> and then follow it up with <a href="http://gdaymath.com/courses/permutations-and-combinations/">James Tanton is the man!</a> Once you've done that, email me to let me know you did it. (mr**&%hills@pre##$%#calc@gmail.com) remove spaces and special characters)<br /><br />Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-45610894003441415842014-07-26T15:14:00.000-07:002014-08-26T09:29:26.527-07:00ACT college and career readiness standards Mathematics Part 1I have found that I am rarely surprised by the ACT scores, in mathematics, that my students achieve. "A" students generally score better than most other students, but even these students do not score to their potential on the ACT. I'm sure that nerves and distractions play a part, but I also believe that many students over-estimate their comprehension and ability with using some of the mathematical skills which they've "learned". I'm hoping through a series of blog postings that I can encourage some self-assessment among my students <br /><br />ACT has prepared a document in which they give score ranges and the skills which they associate with students who can accomplish those skills. I plan on making a series of blog postings to share with my students, especially the Juniors, to help them better understand what they need to get the scores they believe they deserve. <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hcrRpWPeGNI/U9Qh2Ze_VXI/AAAAAAAAA_8/s8xm73xmPSk/s1600/ACT_basic_operations_and_applications_grid.png" /></div><br />If you look at the matrix, you will find that the skills required for higher scores are far more involved.<br /><br />The average math ACT score in our school is in the second range. This implies that many of our students, including some of the honors students, can solve "routine" one and two step problems, but once rate, taxes or averages are required the problems become too difficult. (20-23) Solving problems which require planning or converting measurements (24-27) should be well within the skill set of a high school math student. (especially given that ACT problems are written so that one does not require a calculator to solve them). <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3rjVEelMDJw/U9vhczG6PNI/AAAAAAAABCM/wNY6TdsQC7w/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Operations_and_Applications_Example_1.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3rjVEelMDJw/U9vhczG6PNI/AAAAAAAABCM/wNY6TdsQC7w/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Operations_and_Applications_Example_1.png" /></a></div><br /> The answer with the asterisk is the correct answer. Take a moment and work out each one and be sure you understand why the asterisk'ed answer is correct.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RgTGHB7JTKk/U9vhcyzjciI/AAAAAAAABCQ/WTSuUUAH_2s/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Operations_and_Applications_Example.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RgTGHB7JTKk/U9vhcyzjciI/AAAAAAAABCQ/WTSuUUAH_2s/s1600/ACT_Readiness_Operations_and_Applications_Example.png" /></a></div><br />If you are one of my students, reading this blog posting as part of our Summer Review Challenge, then I would like you to take a piece of notebook paper and write (or find) 2 examples which would fit into each of the lowest 3 ranges of scores. (so that is how many problems altogether?) Take a picture of them, or scan them and please email them to the email address I send in the previous remind101 messages.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-14764736971133481202014-07-05T23:26:00.002-07:002014-07-06T08:12:37.192-07:00Productive StruggleFor my few followers, please excuse my absence. My dad passed within the last 2 weeks of school letting out; and I had to travel across the country and have been dealing with a 'caregiver' committing mass fraud, so much so that my mom nearly was kicked from her nursing facility. <br /><br />Not what I wanted to post about..... <br /><br />Letter to my students next year....<br /><br />Hello....<br /><br /> We are here, together, for the purpose of learning math. But there is a problem with that statement. Anyone care to point out what it is? (all options should be discussed)<br /><br /> I don't seem to be doing any of the learning, at least not observably so. To me this is a problem. How can I expect you to be learners, when it doesn't appear that I am one myself? I promise to put myself in the same position, that of learner, right beside you. I will ask questions I find interesting, and would love suggestions from the class, without knowing the answers. Please do not expect that I will always just explain things, for I don't know everything. My goal is for us to collectively struggle at times. <br /><br /> Learning about math is a struggle. No one ALWAYS finds it easy, not really understanding 100% of it. I learn something new about the content which I teach, every single year. There are things which I will show you, primarily because they important or in a couple cases just cool, but I want more class discussion. To this end I will eventually restrict how much speaking I will do in a class. Students should at times struggle as well as be led.<br /><br /> The skills of mathematics, especially Algebra are important. List them: (I'm thinking properties of equality, distribution and composition) Anyone, play soccer or baseball or football? Make me a list of the rules of each of these games - who knows I might need one in time. Do you like the game? --if you're going to do this, don't read ahead yet -- (************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** Are the rules the game? What purpose do the rules have? What SHOULD happen when someone breaks the rules?<br /><br /> A mistake that many smart people make is not looking for the creativity in math. It is undefinable that there is math in art <a href="http://youtu.be/U_ZHsk0-eF0">Donald in Math Magic Land</a> . Soon enough I will show you that there is wonderful art in math. (I've got 2-3 art projects in functions)<br /><br /> Lastly, I have a challenge to you. (Commence with Bionic Bee.)<br /><br /> ((I have a great problem which I know 5th graders can solve in about 5-10 minutes, high school students, alg2 and above, usually take at least the class period and benefit from completing it as homework, and the one time I gave it to college calculus students I had phone calls begging for help....it might make a good task here))<br /><br />The Bionic Bee (I play a clip from Wild,Wild West with Will Smith)<br />(my apologies, I can't really draw it out here and honestly drawing it out is important)<br /><br />Two trains have managed to find themselves, though unaware, on the same track-heading towards each other. You're a spy, and while you cannot stop the trains, you do have one trick up your sleeve. The Bionic Bee! You launch it down the track, speeding toward the other train.<br /><br />It is capable of travelling 560 miles per hour, in a straight line, and also capable of instantaneously changing its direction 180 degrees (I do give the high school-ers and college students the angle as pi if I'm feeling mischievous). It has a full array of sensors, but it also has a programming flaw - once it does a 180 it will continue making that same degree change.<br /><br />The two trains are 980 miles apart (I've thrown Km in from time to time, but only on the 5th graders and guess what? It doesn't hurt their time....) One train is a new, green-energy steam train. It cruises along at 170 mph. The older diesel train barely manages 110 mph. Neither train knows the destiny that fate has in store for them.<br /><br />It is now 2:15 pm. What questions do you have at this point? (I normally just ask at what time do the trains collide and how far will each have traveled to get there?).<br /><br /><br />--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br />Sadly, though this isn't a lesson which I don't already know. I'm thinking for the 1st week of precalc it might make a good challenge. I just need to be on the lookout for content and level (to borrow from mostly every video game) appropriate, and definitely nontrivial. <br /><br /><br /><br />Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-72569587554800632772014-04-24T11:38:00.002-07:002014-04-24T20:57:22.612-07:00Standards of Mathematical PracticeI was one of the many people unable to attend the NCTM conference in NOLA. Instead I followed along with many of my favorite people on twitter as they shared their impressions and opinions of the various presenters and programs. It was interesting hearing from in many cases both presenters as well as people who attended the presentation. <br /><br />@woutgeo (Avery Pickford) commented that there are 385 content standards occupying 60 pages and 8 practice standards in 3 pages. If the practices standards are so important, why are they given so little focus.<br /><br />I said that it is much easier to assess, check off the boxes, the content standards than it is to evaluate (with fidelity) the usage and performance with regard to the practice standards. <br /><br />I have started to work on coming up with a couple of ways to address this problem. The first one is that I made up a sheet on which I start a problem and ask the students to identify what practice(s) were used to get to that point in the problem. The students then need to complete the problem and reflect on what practice they used to finish it.<br /><br />The problems do need to be carefully considered, as I don't want a problem which only uses a single practice and has a good place to split it so that the work still assesses whether the student understands what they are doing.<br /><br />Here is the first one I used with my students this spring. I have a couple ideas for other problems to use, but I haven't done them yet. <br /><br /><a href="https://app.box.com/s/ljvzvoibbng2e5cv3o4k">Practice Standards Assignment</a><br /><br />I am happy with the results I got from this first assignment. I am required to have students complete a math-based essay as part of the final exam given each trimester. I hope to use one of these at the end of this school year as the required essay. <br /><br /><a href="https://app.box.com/s/5rm2i7y6sd5buor6wrul">Practices student work</a><br /><br /><br />Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-1695589031191790632014-04-14T05:25:00.000-07:002014-04-14T05:25:05.925-07:00Made For Math Monday *Rational Expressions*Been a while since I've written one of these. I am finding that my students are slowly, but surely getting the concept of identifying discontinuities in graphs of rational expressions. We've been looking at them pretty piecemeal up until now, though.<br /><br />I wanted to get them practicing and its always more fun when there is folding and coloring involved, so we made cootie catchers! I used a template from <a href="http://www.teachinspireprepare.com/2012/06/vocabulary-fortune-teller-aka-cootie.html">Teach Inspire Prepare Students (TIPS)</a> which was a lifesaver as I am really not good at getting word to do what I want with regard to writing sideways in text boxes.<br /><br />When completed the cootie catcher is assessed by simply looking at the colors each of the innermost pieces are colored. I am including the file I made (from the earlier mentioned template) as well as the instructions and a scanned completed page. <br /><br />Here is the pre-solved cootie catcher <a href="https://app.box.com/s/16biydhcvglveelab0mf">Cootie Catcher Rational Discontinuities</a>. Below you can see a completed version. I liked having the students do different colors for the various discontinuities because high school students always love an excuse to color something in (and it makes it sooo much easier to see how the students have done).<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=7270534523387284719" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LdziM0-5Cyc/Ux4GTcU_xQI/AAAAAAAAAFI/R73cjjSdsKM/s1600/cootie_catcher_rational_expressions.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LdziM0-5Cyc/Ux4GTcU_xQI/AAAAAAAAAFI/R73cjjSdsKM/s1600/cootie_catcher_rational_expressions.png" height="640" width="483" /></a></div>As an aside, primarily because I started this posting 3 weeks ago, I can say that the group of students with whom I used this activity did particularly well on the portion of the rational expressions assessment which dealt with discontinuities. <br /><br /><br />Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7270534523387284719.post-75120963064447937332014-03-08T22:04:00.001-08:002014-03-08T22:04:01.199-08:00Thoughts on a precalc unitBeing my first time teaching this, I am still trying to conceive how I want to teach this class. I was given a "map" on how to cover the standards (all the plus standards in CCSS for secondary math). I am moving things around, but its still a work in progress. The unit I will be describing is definitely not the first, nor should it be the last one in the class. This is out of what I'm envisioning as 6 units.<br /><br />CPVM<br /><br /> Complex-Polar-Vector-Matrix<br /><br />Complex Numbers and Graphing<br /><br /> All basic operations, conjugates and graphs. Review distance formula in relation to Pythagorean Theorem. (Which is reviewed in a previous unit). Lots of standards to be covered.<br /><br />Polar graphing<br /> Not many standards here, but wonderfully fertile ground for what is to come. Keeps students using and thinking about trig. Pythagorean Theorem makes another appearance, keeps the students grounded with a comfortable concept. <br /><br />**shameless plug here: Global Math Department did a week on the Pythagorean Theorem a few weeks ago and I left with at least 5 good ideas for using it to help my students think more mathematically. <br /><br />Vectors: good number of standards here too. More Pythagoreas here too. Many of my students see vectors first in physics, but not all. Students helping others at its greatest. I'm tempted to challenge 3 students (in a class of 27-30) to be the helpers and offer them each class average on the quizzes plus 20 points, for their grade on those quizzes.<br /><br />Matrices: our students see matrices in Alg1, Alg2 as well. Basic operations and solving matrix equations without inverses is well covered. So is systems. At this level we are doing row operations (gaussian/Jordan elimination) and understanding these ideas. Also a really silly standard about writing a vector as a matrix is required.<br /><br />Currently, this unit contains the most standards of any of my units, by a high margin. It also was one of my students better units. Looking back I did parametric equations very poorly. I know I need to do more then just mention them, but I just haven't found the hook or way of engaging them. <br /><br />My thought is that this unit should take 4-5 weeks. Each topic should include a quiz and 1-2 days per topic where formative assessment should drive the discussion. (I teach in a school where this class is done over 2 trimesters and the class meets 5 days a week with 72 minute classes). <br /><br />One last thing... I wonder if the administration would accept that being able to most effectively teach vectors would require purchasing for me, and my classroom;a new pool table, balls and cue sticks. It can't hurt...Scott hillshttps://plus.google.com/116933212953785725251noreply@blogger.com0