Thursday, October 15, 2009

I had an e-mail from my principal last week saying that she was going to be out observing in the next couple of weeks and asking when a good time to come might be (in the next couple of weeks? really? can we narrow it down a bit?). I responded saying that anytime we don't have a test or quiz will be fine (which is true) but it also got me thinking that I need to find some activities to do to help spice things up. I think I've done a pretty good job of that so far this year (and I've been working hard to try and do it!) but I'm sure everyone realizes that being observed in class is just more incentive to do better.

In Algebra 2 we just spent 2+ painful days on piecewise functions. I was having a bad day when we started and don't think I explained them that well, but I really don't understand why they're so hard. One thing that really annoyed me that first day was that I started out with a chart of t-shirt prices (you know how when you buy stuff like that they get cheaper the more you buy? perfect piecewise function!) and we talked about how much it would cost for 8 or 15 or whatever, then wrote the piecewise function to match. (Wasn't that a good start? I thought it would be.) So then 2 minutes later as we were graphing a pw function, one of the kids said, "When are we ever going to see these?" I just scrolled up to the top of my sheet and circled the problem we'd started with. Didn't say a word. He was like, "Oh."

Anyway, today we moved on to translating functions. There aren't any good "life" problems that involve translating functions that I'm aware of, but I wanted to try some different activities for them, so I put a call out on Twitter asking if anyone had anything. I got three responses back, two of which consisted of my class lesson today. (Yay!) @msgregson sent me a copy of her Parabola Story then @dgreenedcp sent me a link to his translating function material that I pulled a worksheet from. My plan was to do the worksheet tomorrow, but we didn't get to the notes that I had ready, so we'll do them tomorrow and the worksheet I think will fit for tonight. We'll see how that goes! I <3 twitter!

My idea for tomorrow (originally) was to do the worksheet (that I gave tonight), then play some bingo with the cards that I made from this site. That might wait until Monday....