Saturday, May 28, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Conic Cards (a summarization)
 I thought it helped for the most part. At times I wished we would've had written notes to look back at.
 It was good that we had to learn somewhat independently. Somewhat bad because we are not used to learning this way.
 I liked it forced group work and made it really simple.
 It was good I learned quickly and easily.
 It was great. I learned because I had to. Math is typically very boring for me and I can't help but fall asleep during lessons no matter how much I fight it, but the cards kept me focused.
 I liked it b/c we were in groups and it was something different.
 It was harder to learn that way, but it was okay.
 It was in between. I liked working in groups but I always feel like I learn better from teachers.
 I didn't like the fact that we basically taught ourselves.
 The cards were confusing at first but they helped me see what each category needed and what they look like.
 I didn't like it at first but after the 2nd day I understood and got used to the pattern. I think it worked well.
 I liked them. It was something different than notes everyday.
 I liked it I think it really helped me get the information.
 It was a good way to switch it up. The only bad part was not really having notes.
 I thought it was a good idea. I understood how to deal with conics using the cards. I also like how it was more visual learning.
 I liked them. It helped to show the similarities and differences between all the equations.
 Visual learning and somewhat kinetic, more teamwork
 I liked using them because it made me pay more attention. It was great practice, too.
 All yes's for the first question.
 Review with you teaching at the end of each class making sure everyone knows what they are doing.
 Change groups each day.
 Although you seemed stressed running around it worked well.
 I think you should just maybe help a little more. (I'll consider that one a success! :) )
 I would spend a bit more time on hyperbolas.
 It made more sense to me when my peers were explaining it than when we went over it as a class.
 I think that it would be nice to use the last 10 minutes of class to review the topics to make sure everyone understood.
 Explain it more before we start, it was a little confusing in the beginning.
 Yes but with notes.
 Maybe a little more time explaining it.
 Add a sheet with actual formulas to keep, not just on a card.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Things I've Tagged (weekly)

Infoporn: How Flatscreen TVs Get Cheaper  Magazine
tags: alg2 exponential precalc

Precalculus Final Exam Description.doc  Powered by Google Docs

http://mathstudioweb.uccollegeprep.org/UCCollegePrep/MathStudio/Projects/PC_Unit3_Project.pdf

http://faculty.piercecollege.edu/yoshibw/talks/cmc310/KYoshiwaraCMC32011Handout.pdf
tags: alg2 discovery_learning

Online converter  convert video, images, audio and documents for free
tags: converter media mediaconverter

http://bit.ly/iXV6vw The livebinders with APPS for teachers keeps growing! check it out on my webpage here! #toprankin
tags: toprankin

Real Life Vectors Planes Landing In Crosswinds  Great Maths Teaching Ideas

tags: precalc

tags: alg2

http://beta2.schoolworld.com/EastBrunswick/files/filesystem/PCH%20Summer%20Assignment%201011.pdf
tags: precalc_summer

http://mendham.wmrhsd.org/WWW_FILES/19/85/LINK_DOCS_85/Advanced%20PreCalculus%20Summer%20Packet.pdf
tags: precalc_summer

http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/uploadedFiles/schools/sherwoodhs/precalc.pdf
tags: precalc_summer
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Conic Cards
So I emailed Cindy Johnson, the lady who Amy gave all credit to for making the cards. She was kind enough to email me lots of documents: the cards, the assignments, the NCTM description. Amy helped out with even more information. I copied, laminated, cut, assembled, and typed.
And yesterday it began.
The idea is that the kids are given a deck of cards with equations, graphs, and "information" about the four types of conics. They use their reasoning powers (and a little guidance from a packet) to match up an equation with its graph with its information. It's a great idea (I thought) and put a lot more of the learning on the kids.
It didn't go that great. See that last sentence I wrote? It put a lot more of the learning on the kids. Some of them had some big issues with that. They're so used to being spoonfed what they're learning that they didn't even know where to start. I did a lot of walking around to groups and explaining things. (And I freely admit to the spoonfeeding...that's definitely something I need to work on early next year. Be less helpful.) Today they came in; we reviewed the idea of the parabola and how everything fits into the equation, and everyone was happy. Today's lesson was on circles and everyone knew what they needed to do. They were able to match up the parabolas and then worked on the circles with no problems.
Much much happier today  them and me.
(Let's not talk about the one boy who sat and played with my rubber band the whole time.)
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Things I've Tagged (weekly)

Thanks to My students will be trying to determine
Thanks to @ddmeyer My students will be trying to determine "Will the Tennis Ball Hit the Garbage Can?" http://bit.ly/iqzFsO

http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/pdf/Calculus_Cheat_Sheet_All.pdf
tags: calculus

The Mary Celeste « ZeroKnowledge Proofs
tags: reasoning Mary_Celeste

No Homework Grade! No Way!  A Recursive Process
tags: sbg homework_grade

tags: precalculus projects pal

TEACHINGchemistry  My Top iPad Apps (May 2011)
tags: ipad

tags: alg1 dealornodeal

SMART Exchange  USA  Deal or No Deal
How much fun would this be for an endoftheschoolyear review activity? I used to love Deal or No Deal :) http://fb.me/V9s2IBmh
Friday, May 13, 2011
EOCs. Boo.
My district decided this year that we were going to give EOC tests this year in Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2. Ok, that's fine. But here are my problems with it: we're giving the tests in the beginning of May (our last day of school is June 3), we're giving it in addition to our final exam, and the test itself basically means nothing. Sure, I can count it as a grade, but there's nothing highstakes about it to really make the kids care. For the kids who care about their overall grades, that's fine.... but in my generallevel Algebra 1, it's basically a day of torture for me.
I noticed on the Algebra I test that there were several topics that we actually didn't cover during the year (like simplifying radicals and probability) so this week we did a review each day of different topics. I spent a couple of days on probability (we rolled dice, flipped coins, and played Deal or No Deal), one day on graphing lines/inequalities, one day on writing equations of lines. I worked hard each day to come up with some review problems to go through in class and for the kids to practice with.
So today is test day. First, a bunch of the kids (and I only have 9 students here to take it) were surprised to hear that we were taking a test. ("What? You didn't tell us! We have to take a test?") Then they were mad because it was scantron and 48 whole problems.... even though I told them to take as long as they needed and I would give them more time to work on Monday.
I passed out the test in sections. The first section is noncalculator... which is great except that I've let them use calculators all year (because quite a few of the kids can't work with positives and negatives). Two of the students finished the test in approximately 5 minutes. They tried to turn it in and I refused. I sent them back to their desks and told them to actually work on some of the problems. (One girl insisted that she had. Uh huh.) When I finally gave them part 2 (after a couple of other kids who seemed to be legitimately working finished the first part) they both sat with their heads down, didn't open the book, and turned it in a few minutes later. One student "didn't hear" me say three times that they could write on the test and also "didn't hear" me say that the first part was noncalculator.
The one thing that I do appreciate right now is that there are two boys still working. These two boys are the smartest ones in the room but some of the laziest. (One of them dropped down from College Prep for 2nd semester because of his behavior (but that's a whole different whining session) and the other insists that he's going to take an Honors level math class next year... I offered him college prep but I don't know that he's going to go for it.)
My one savior is my autistic OCD student who is currently down in a special ed classroom working on the test. It will probably take him a week to do it (even though I cut out some problems) because he's so meticulous and feels the need to do things over and over until he feels like they're right. And he'll score the highest.
Fourteen more days. Fourteen more days.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Things I've Tagged (weekly)

tags: alg1 dealornodeal

I Want to Teach Forever: Lesson Idea: Probability using Deal or No Deal
tags: alg1 probability dealornodeal

How to Convert Video to Work With iPad iMovie  Gadget Lab  Wired.com
How to Convert Video to Work With iPad iMovie http://bit.ly/jrFrhk via @silverstar22b #yam #iPad

Sine Of The Times: Angry Parabolas
tags: angrybirds alg2 precalc

Apps in Education: 50 really useful iPad 2 tips and tricks
50 really useful iPad 2 tips and tricks http://zite.to/ljZ6D5 via @Ziteapp
Friday, May 6, 2011
10' x 20' paper.... #WCYDWT?
1. How many times can it be folded? (submitted 10 times)
2. How many “normal” pieces of paper would fit on the paper?
3. What’s your words with friends name? (This boy's been bugging me about that for a while now... I told him if he got a 100% on our next quiz I'd play him.)
4. If we trace our hands all over it, how many hands can we fit?
5. How many times can you fold the paper long ways?
6. How many times do you have to fold it to be the size of a normal piece of paper?
7. We can draw pictures on it.
8. We can make a cootie catcher or push paper.
9. We should fold it and run across it to flatten it out.
10. What will the surface area be/how much it grows or decays?
11. How many normal notebook papers could fit on this big piece of paper?
12. What is the area of the paper?
13. Decorate the paper, keep it in the room for future generations to see.
14. Can we make an airplane that can take flight?
15. How thick will it be after folding it as many times as possible?
16. What is the circumference of the fully folded paper?
17. How thick would it get if we folded it 8 times?
18. Make a paper airplane and see how far it can fly.
19. What is the surface area of the paper?
20. How many Mrs. Fouss’s can fit along the paper?
21. What’s the area?
22. What’s the perimeter?
23. How big of a cootie catcher could we make?
24. Does width and length affect how many times you can fold it?
25. How many people can we fit on the piece of paper?
26. Make a paper airplane it throw it off the roof.
27. Find the area.
28. How many sections will it break up into?
29. Is it possible to make a giant origami shape?
30. Giant cootie catcher!!!!!!
31. How many pieces of paper it could make.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Seniors.
Dear Mrs. Anonymous 
(Your student) decided not to take today's quiz and is sitting with her/his head down. S/He hasn't done an assignment in approximately a month and currently has a 23.5%. We started a unit on calculus a week or so ago, so it's really a shame that s/he's not working along to try and get a head start on what s/he'll be learning next year.
With about 3.5 weeks left in the school year and considering that (your student) earned the minimum of 55% last quarter, please consider this email my notice that s/he will not be passing the semester. I hope s/he takes the opportunity this summer to review a lot of the knowledge that s/he'll be expected to enter a calculus course with.
I've dealt with this student all year in actually doing assignments. S/He was in my college prep Algebra 2 class last year and while they're very bright, doesn't do any "unnecessary" work. S/He got into this class against my recommendation and has definitely shown why I thought it was a bad idea. S/He has yet to complete any projects that we did in class (and isn't that the fun stuff?!) and assignments are iffy. I've been in touch with mom before... this is what I got last time:
I had encouraged her/him to drop the class, but s/he is considering staying to learn what s/he can because s/he will be taking Calc in college next year.
I think the seniors are already admitted in their colleges and get senior itis the last semester, it must be hard to keep them motivated. Hopefully everything works out as it should. (Name) is an adult, 18 years old, going off to the Marines and college in the fall so I certainly don't want to battle anything with her/him in her/his senior year. I am confident s/he is a smart (wo)man and will be able to do whatever s/he applies her/himself too, that is her/his only difficulty, applying her/himself.
I hope that when my children are this age I can be the parent that runs the middle road.... not the helicopter, hovering parent but not the total handsoff, it's totally up to them parent. It's sad to me that this kid has no guidance about what s/he should be doing right now.