Unit Circles: Relevance in CCSS

In an effort to weed extraneous & irrelevant material from algebra our curriculum to both make it more relevant, it might be tempting to remove Unit Circles because they are not included in the list of widely applicable prerequisites of the Common Core.  The unit circle is traditionally taught by having students memorize “special angle” positions like … More Unit Circles: Relevance in CCSS

Queuing Analysis in Algebra: 21st Century Career Connections

Would the textbook publishers please step up?  Our students need to know how math is used in real jobs these days and I don’t have time to  research all that.  Sure, AutoCAD and other software replaces writing y=mx+b, but take a look at the algorithms in this video to understand one way linear equations are … More Queuing Analysis in Algebra: 21st Century Career Connections

Absolute Value equations: “You are there” relevance

One of the most motivating experiences I can sometimes create for my students is a feeling of what it can be like as an adult in an interesting career.  The little extra time that kind of activity monopolizes is well spent.  The idea of absolute value is found everywhere something is being built or produced: … More Absolute Value equations: “You are there” relevance

Quadratic Curve Fitting in Market Analysis

This activity is designed to: explain the usefulness of the vertex form of a quadratic strengthen students’ graphing abilities extend understanding of scatter plots from fitting a line to fitting a curve connect what we do in the classroom to real jobs to increase motivation open gateways to 21st Century careers for students might be … More Quadratic Curve Fitting in Market Analysis

Completing the Square: joy & motivation in quadratics

Somewhere within the quadratics unit students need to complete the square. This can easily be boiled down to a plug-and-chug exercise hammered into temporary memory, but it can also be one of the most memorable experiences of the quarter. Before my students have an opportunity to ask, “When are we ever…,” I start them off … More Completing the Square: joy & motivation in quadratics