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
Why Dan Meyer will always be a math family favorite. Dan Meyer’s famous Graphing Stories continue to be useful to me as a high school algebra teacher as I move more into inquiry based learning to engage my students. Here’s an example of how students can develop Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for algebra while … More Meyer-Graphing Stories in Algebra 1
The intro to a statistics lesson in my textbook is a problem about an anthropologist who discovered an early hominoid ulna in Europe. Ugh. I wanted to quit teaching. How could I totally alienate my students with this huge yawn? When would they ever… But wait! Data analytics is a whole world full of exciting … More A Stats lesson I dreaded until….
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
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
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
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