Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Factoring, Schmactoring.

So it turns out that a great deal of my Honors Precalc students can't factor.  Sure, they can do a GCF or a quadratic with a leading coefficient of 1, but throw in a value for a and they're sunk.


We got new books for last year and the Honors Algebra 2 book was supposed to be really tough.  It's a college text that the HA2 teachers were excited about teaching out of and thought the kids were really learning a lot more, which excited me as a precalc teacher.  That could cut out half of my curriculum!  What freedom that gives me!

Until I find out that they can't factor.

I refuse to spend class time re-teaching factoring, but it's something they have to know.  Someone at school reminded me the other day of Livebinders, so I collected some resources and put one together for factoring ax^2 + bx + c.  Hopefully that'll help me from having to re-teach.

I'm thinking that I'm going to start giving them short factoring quizzes.  Once they get 100%, they're done.  We'll keep re-doing them until everyone has 100%.  Now I just need to find some good factoring practice for them.

To be totally off topic, my precalc kids are currently working on a dot-to-dot puzzle from this site.  It's a nice change of pace!  And the simplifying logs one is really challenging for them.

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