Monday, October 29, 2012
Transformations Unit
I'm working with F.BF.3:
Identify the effect on the graph of replacing f(x) by f(x) + k, k f(x), f(kx), and f(x + k) for specific values of k (both positive and negative); find the value of k given the graphs. Experiment with cases and illustrate an explanation of the effects on the graph using technology. Include recognizing even and odd functions from their graphs and algebraic expressions for them.
After discussions with both @druinok and our precalculus teacher, I decided to hold off on the f(kx) portion. @druinok shared that in her state, they don't do the horizontal stretches and compression in Algebra 2 and our precalculus teacher said that until you are working with a periodic function, the horizontal and vertical appear to be the same. So I will wait to bring in the f(kx) part until we get to graphing sine and cosine later this year.
I began very similarly to what Rebecka Peterson did by introducing parent functions to my students on day one. Here is what I gave my students:
Sunday, October 28, 2012
My Weekly Diigo Links (weekly)

The 20 Best Pinterest Boards About Education Technology  Edudemic
The 20 Best Pinterest Boards About Education Technology http://t.co/TDJ1W696 via @edudemic

Expanding Horizons Through Education: Tic Tac Toe Game
Tic Tac Toe review game  in teams.
tags: review games

Divisible by 3: Transversals, Tape, and Stickies
Identifying the angle relationships formed by two parallel lines cut by a transversal.

came across this today great stuff for Stats teac
came across this today http://t.co/mDzTFfz great stuff for Stats teachers!!

Nice list of Android apps. Great tools for science and math. http://t.co/Z6CsUgjU #mathchat #scichat

TeachThought11 Essential Tools For Better ProjectBased Learning
11 Essential Tools For Better ProjectBased Learning http://t.co/45BkAMzL via @teachthought

New academy in Middle East breaks tradition, inspired by U.S. school  Video on TODAY.com
link to TODAY show piece on my school, King's Academy in Jordan, that ran this morning: http://t.co/dRy6y5Rv

Tax Basics for Middle Schoolers  Scholastic.com
Lessons on tax basics
tags: financial literacy taxes

Common Core Resources  katm.org
Kansas has put together #CCSS resources from NC,Ohio & Arizona all in 1 spot.Check out the flipbooks http://t.co/7c16o1kC #edchat #edreform

Why Learning Should Be Messy  MindShift
Via @MindShiftKQED: Why Learning Should Be Messy  http://t.co/FXOM4qKL
Friday, October 26, 2012
The Current State of Teachers
Sunday, October 21, 2012
What a difference a year makes
 this group of kids has been under the old curriculum a longer time (not buying this one... last year's group only had one less year and they did horrible)
 I've been highly influenced by the Math Twitterblogosphere and I finally figured out how to explain it well. :)
 We had a different Algebra 1 teacher for the first time in 5 years.
My Weekly Diigo Links (weekly)

Classroom Games  Microsoft Office Games PowerPoint Games
Website with templates (free!) for different review games.
tags: review games templates

Math Tales from the Spring: Football Frenzy
Practice activity using football and "yard" cards  students have to correct get the lower yardage question to move forward. First group to score a touchdown "wins."
tags: practice review games

Teaching Through Concrete Examples: The Intermediate Value Theorem « Bowman in Arabia
Teaching Intermediate Value Theorem  great concrete examples (and nonexamples).

Composite Functions and E.S.P.  mathcoachblog
Using number tricks to demonstrate composite functions.
tags: composite functions alg2

The “StudentCreated” Quiz  blue shirt khaki pants
The "StudentCreated" Quiz http://t.co/urfkIY4q

Online Common Core Test Items Released by Smarter Balanced Consortium  THE Journal
Latest #CCSS Test Items Released: http://t.co/HPj2bNmV #education #teaching #assessment #standards
tags: CCSS education teaching assessment standards

Fraudulent Educational Reform in America  Global Research
This article scares me, and makes me want to do better for my learners at the same time. "Fraudulent Education Reform" http://t.co/HwK7uN9H

Carl Malartre (of @BuzzMath) has a blog about education & technology. Thoughtful guy. Worth a subscription. http://t.co/Bq8ZW2wj

Ohio Resource Center > My ORC Collection > View a Folder
Check out our new collection of MARS tasks and add them to your collection using our collection tool http://t.co/bvfqociJ

Newest blog post: What if 21st century teachers could selfdirect and personalize their own professional development? http://t.co/HWJydh8L

A List of 16 Websites Every Teacher should Know about
A List of 16 Websites Every Teacher should Know about http://t.co/TD2sPymI via @medkh9

Setting the domain or range with piecewise functions – Customer Feedback for the Desmos Calculator
@lmhenry9 whoops, piecewise! A little more info is posted here http://t.co/jzp4e2aJ and also here http://t.co/s5xHuI3Q

@lmhenry9 here's an example of using piecwise with Desmos: http://t.co/muDFGkTO

Checkbook Reconciliation Exercise
Checkbook reconciliation exercies
tags: financial literacy checking
Monday, October 15, 2012
Piecewise Functions
The first thing I did was introduce piecewise functions via Mathalicious' Domino Effect lesson. (shameless ad  I've met Karim and had wonderful conversation with him. He and his company are doing some great things to help teachers. It is worth the money to subscribe and have access to the lessons. Go check it out. I'll wait. :) ) I had used this at Hedge's suggestion  she had used it in her Algebra 2 classes to introduce piecewise functions.
On the second day, I adapted what Maggie has done with her PreCalculus students when introducing piecewise functions. She created an investigation where the students graphed the individual functions and cut out the pieces needed and put them together on a graph. What a great idea! Granted, right now we are working with piecewise linear functions, but the idea is fantastic. So, I took her idea and modified it to fit what we were doing with piecewise functions. Here is what I came up with:
I should add here that the graph is larger and has the printed axes on it  for some reason, I can't get it to show correctly when uploading to either box or scribd. If you want the file, try the updated post or send me an email at lmhenry9 at gmail dot com.
We only had time to work through the first two functions, We did the first one (mostly) together as a class, so that students would understand how to put them together. Once the first one was complete, we talked about what a piecewise function is and how it is created. We discussed the domain restrictions and why we cut out the individual pieces. On the second function, we talked about how to determine which xvalues to use in the table and they walked through the process. When it came time to cut out the functions, students asked how to determine where to cut the graphs and we discussed the domain restrictions again. Here are some samples of what my students did:
When the kids returned on Monday, we went over the last question and discussed how to deal with the more openended domain. I then went over 2 piecewise examples with them without doing the formal cutandpaste. With the remaining 20 minutes, I had students work on 5 problems in class. Most students got through all 5 problems and I was surprised that not only did they have very few questions on how to start, but that they were working successfully on the problems they attempted.
What a difference compared to previous times I have taught this concept! In the past, I have not even broached this topic with the regular Algebra 2 students, only the Advanced students, and even then, they have struggled with it. What a huge difference  students actually seemed to understand what parts to graph and to put it together on one graph. I am really pleased with how this turned out. Thanks Hedge, Mathalicious, and Maggie for all the great parts to this lesson!
Sunday, October 14, 2012
My Weekly Diigo Links (weekly)

Approximately Normal (in the classroom): It's going so right, something MUST be wrong.
How Hedge does quadratics. Somewhat similar to what I do  I like that she did square root after factoring.
tags: quadratics alg2

Oct 10: Three Act Math Problems  by Global Math Department
"Never assume that anyone even cares"  Benjamin Baxter as quoted by @ddmeyer #globalmath http://t.co/Fi0ZneEo
tags: globalmath

CEMC  Web Resources  Problem of the Week  University of Waterloo
Has a problem of the week
tags: problem solving resources

Has a practice check register sheet
tags: financial literacy checking

Has printable practice lessons on writing checks and filling out the check register
tags: financial literacy checking

Checkbook Reconciling Exercise  download
Word file that downloads  a practice reconciling exercise
tags: financial literacy checking

Checkbook Reconciling exercise
tags: financial literary checking

teachers? dunno. Were they ever on? And I just fou
@MSeiler teachers? dunno. Were they ever on? And I just found this: http://t.co/7XH4Yr5 Might work.

Why I Gave Up Flipped Instruction
Very interesting blog post on how her classroom became very student centered. Started with flipping, which faded out and gave way to something way better.
tags: instruction

Gazette » 12 Tips to Manage Time and Increase Efficiency in the Classroom!
Gazette » 12 Tips to Manage Time and Increase Efficiency in the Classroom! http://t.co/bEBbnr5I via @TeachersNet

5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make With iPads (And How To Correct Them) – From Tom on Edudemic  http://t.co/lh2y8EVC

Everybody is a Genius: Angle Pairs
Making cards to summarize the angle relationships and then using them to help decide what to do.
tags: angle pairs geometry
Sunday, October 07, 2012
My Weekly Diigo Links (weekly)

What if your Word Problems Knew what you Liked?  EdTech Researcher  Education Week
+1 The last paragraph. RT @bjfr: What if your Word Problems Knew what you Liked? http://t.co/tCwtvZqe via @educationweek

Add It Up Partner Activity and Games – MS Sunday Funday!  I Speak Math
Rachel's add 'em up activity
tags: practice

Math Teacher Mambo: Group Projects
Worskheet to give at the beginning of a group work project.
tags: groupwork

I do. We do. You do. « the radical rational…
How Pam teaches a new concept.
tags: teaching

Writingfonts  Make Your Own Handwriting Font
tags: font

misscalcul8: Put the Common Core into Practice in Your Classroom
Common Core Resources
tags: CCSS

math. macs. teaching.  Infinite Sums  iPad Training and Use
Towards the bottom, an interesting way to introduce piecewise functions with maps.
tags: piecewise functions alg2

math. macs. teaching.  Infinite Sums  Linear Inequality Exploration
Good introduction to linear inequalities in real world terms.
tags: linear inequalities alg2

math. macs. teaching.  Infinite Sums  War on Bad Lessons: Learning Approximation
Making videos about quadratics  a la Dan Meyer's basketball video.
tags: quadratics alg2

math. macs. teaching.  Infinite Sums  Why Is This So Hard?
Converting to vertex form without using completing the square. Brings us an interesting question  why do we use completing the square to get a quadratic equation into vertex form when this is MUCH easier?
tags: quadratics vertex form alg2

Foldable Parents « To Accumulate a Rate — Integrate!
Foldable with 8 parent functions  maybe worth exploring for transformations for me?

EPSILONDELTA: Function Transformations/Domain and Range: Day 1
How she began transformations  has a copy of her introducing parent functions sheet. I would like to adapt that to work with my Alg 2 students.
tags: transformations

Ohio’s 2012 Statewide Education Conference « Tools for Teachers
Teacher Tool: Ohio’s 2012 Statewide Education Conference Coming Soon. http://t.co/MLwLU1FS #OHEdConf #ohioed

An Idea on Differentiated Learning « the radical rational…
@lmhenry9 the link to the video is in this post An Idea on Differentiated Learning http://t.co/efa7osKE hope it gives you an idea

New Statistical Analysis Lesson Plan: Math Lesson Ideas
MT @Mcoaty: openended math problem  Statistical analysis to rank baseball players #CCSS objectives included http://t.co/jgRa3Git #mathchat

Yo: A Math Teacher's Blog: Teaching an Old Word Problem New Tricks
Sticky notes were hands down the winner today in class. The students amazed me today: http://t.co/f1ahaSut

Plan Student Assessment With Common Core in Mind  Transforming Learning  Education Week
#CCSS and #assessment  it's a balancing act http://t.co/7v8Jka0f #education #teaching
tags: CCSS assessment education teaching

Oct 2: My Favorite Things  by Global Math Department
Big thanks to @misscalcul8 @mathteacher24 @Fouss @approx_normal @jreulbach for sharing their favorites! Archive: https://t.co/J9MPKmU2

Row Game  Operations on Functions.docx  File Shared from Box  Free Online File Storage
@lmhenry9 For operations:https://t.co/2lvCqFq

@lmhenry9 For compositions: http://t.co/wt0dLiw

Schools no longer are nocellphone zones  The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio schools no longer are nocellphone zones  The Columbus Dispatch http://t.co/4z8FgdmL #ohioed #edchat #edtech
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
What would YOU do??
Although I do try to do grouping with them, unlike most of the students in my other classes, when the groups are of mixed ability, the students who struggle don't necessarily want help from the students who know what they are doing. We did a relay in class to review this week and I said that all students had to have the problem worked out before I would check their boards (and that I would be checking all of the boards) and I had students who would not even copy down what was on the other boards. Now, as a veteran teacher, I do recognize that is a two fold issue  not only is it an issue of not learning, it is now a discipline issue. I would like to deal with it from the not learning aspect rather than the discipline side first, with the hope that I can avoid the discipline issue.
Any suggestions? Please leave them in the comments. Thanks. :)
Monday, October 01, 2012
Change is Hard
But then I start reading Mathematics Formative Assessment and we had a Waiver Day last week where a lot of the discussion was around formative assessment and now I feel like I suck as a teacher. As it is, I have been stressed and barely on top of stuff and it is extremely easy to revert to my old, established ways of just teaching and students watching, taking notes and then having to work out the problems.
During the Waiver Day, one of the speakers was talking about making formative assessment part of the daily culture of your classroom. I wish I could remember what exactly she said or what triggered the thoughts in my head, but I got to thinking that maybe I didn't need to do my lessons the same way each day. Right now, I still pretty much start with a warm up, go over homework problems, then teach the lesson. As it is right now, I don't have time to do an exit slip  I am pretty much filling the period. I want to do exit slips  I know I need to, and to be honest, I'd like to get to a point that I could try Socrative with my students. But if I don't have enough time in class to get to a paper exit slip, how am I going to have time to get to Socrative?
Another thing that was discussed, albeit briefly, was flexible grouping and differentiation. This is something else that I haven't done before and probably ought to be doing. It was presented to us as a part of using formative assessment to form the flexible groups. They didn't give us a ton of information about it, so I suppose that I will have to go do some research about it in my ever
One small good thing that I have done in the last week is I did put together a Google Form to survey my students as to what they know/remember about functions, which is our next unit. In the past, I have just taken for granted that they remembered (or guessed what they wouldn't remember) what was previously taught. I did do a pretest at the beginning of the school year the last couple of years, but I wasn't happy with it. So, this is what I came up with while mowing the lawn Sunday:
(Hopefully this will continue to show up after my students are done with this)
I did like doing the preassessment this way. I very quickly got an idea after the first 510 responses where my students stood because I had a fairly good representative sample of students with varying abilities. What I did find out that they didn't know a whole lot about functions and function notation. I didn't ask them about the idea of onetoone and based on what I saw in their responses, I'm pretty sure they don't remember much about it if at all. I am rethinking how I am going to teach functions. Originally I was going to start right at operations with functions, but I think I am going to have to spend a day reviewing what functions are beforehand. At least I know that now. :)
Back to the original reason for posting... I still pretty much feel like I am totally sucking as a teacher. I am still pretty much teaching the way I was taught and the way I have taught for the last twenty years. I am looking at some of my students and seeing that they are not engaged. I already see a couple of my lowerability students already not putting forth much effort and one in particular who is starting to become rather challenging  not participating in group activities and bringing down his group in the process, which happened today. He and I will have to have a conversation here shortly I can see.
I am looking ahead to functions and trying to figure out how I'm going to help my students learn the material. I wanted to type "teach" there, but as I was about to type it, I thought that if I said "teach," I already knew what to do. I know how to explain to my students how to work through the procedural stuff. But that doesn't help them learn the material. I'm trying to figure out how to help them learn the material. Me teaching and them sitting and getting isn't going to work. I have been telling myself that for 23 years now. The problem is, I haven't done anything about it. Compounding that, I don't really know what to do. What do I do differently? How do I structure class so that my students are learning and I am aiding them in their learning rather than imparting information to them?