Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Slow Start

To my 4 followers, sorry for the slow start. I have finally set up a Wiki where I will be posting all of my worksheets, lessons, PowerPoints, and activity descriptions. The link is <>.

 I would love for it to become the collaborative location where anyone willing will also share their ideas. They will just need to request to join. If anyone has any better ideas due to the set up or navigation being confusing, let me know.

I want to emphasize that I would love to gain followers who are interested in the cause to help young people become interested and enthusiastic in learning. I have said this before, but my goal is to inspire students to be curious and in awe at all there is to know- lifelong learners. I want them to be confident in their ability to access whatever it is that they want learn. I want to give them the opportunity to be as hands-on with math as possible. On my blog, I will be posting the topics my students are learning. If there are any business people, engineers, researchers, doctors, physicists, economists, anyone! who has had hands-on experience with the topics I teach, please, teach my students and me.

Pre-Algebra:  This week, we will be wrapping up a fairly involved lesson on fractions then we will be moving into ratios and proportions. I went through the book at first. Basically, I did the typical drill the skill of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions. We worked a lot of the book first. Then, I had them create a model of my bathroom scaled to be 1/8 of the actual size. I did post the worksheets and the rubric I used for this project on the wiki (

Overall the project went well. I would like to do this project again next year. I will be changing a lot about it. For one, I will be making days strictly for working on the worksheets. I had a problem with getting my students to do the work that would result in accurate scaling. There was a lot of down-time which I would have to really prompt my students to multitask and do the paperwork that would prepare them for the next step. For example, while they were gluing sticks together to create the 2x4's, they would literally be watching glue dry before I would go over to them and push them to be working on measuring outlet boxes, or measuring and scaling the next object to me made/constructed.

Algebra: We are going to be moving into quadratic equations and factoring.

Precalculus: We are going to be learning the Law of Cosines this week. We will then be learning about vectors. I am excited to be presenting them with one activity this week. I am in the process of planning a plane vs. wind activity. Students will be working in pairs- one student will be a plane and the other student the wind. The wind will be applying a certain force on the plane with the desire to get the plane off course. The plane will be trying to get to a certain location by taking the wind into account. I will be posting that up shortly.

Calculus: We just got into integration and the antiderivative. We will start off this week by finding the area underneath a curve. This year, being the first year teaching calculus for me, I have not been happy with the pace I started out with at the beginning of the year. I started teaching with the book as a guide for my lessons. As a result, I dedicated too much time to the review of precalculus content. Next year, I know exactly which things we will focus on as review. Now that I have taught precalculus, I know exactly what the students have been exposed to in the precalculus class. I also know what my calculus students had difficulty remembering and thus what I will need to focus on as review.

 I will definitely be focusing on the rational root test and other concepts with graphing polynomial and rational functions.

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