Algebra 1 – We are still working on exponential functions and the kids are getting really good at writing the equations for the graphs, and using their calculators (or phones) to find values. Last week we worked on a lot of little problems, then made a web seeing that we could make tables, write equations, make up a situation and draw a graph from a problem. The only thing we didn’t think we were that good at yet was writing the equation from the graph, but I think if we had actual points that it wouldn’t be a problem. This week we’ve worked with compound interest vs. simple interest and made step graphs comparing the amounts, and compared interest compounded annually to quarterly and monthly. In one class we even looked at daily compounding. Then for decay we played a theoretical penny game (I forgot to count out groups of 100 pennies for the teams, although I did have pennies at school!) where we tossed 100 pennies on a table and took out all of the tails each time. The class calculated how many times they could toss the pennies until there was only 1 left. We also looked at the equation and talked about how many there would be at time 0, which reinforced that something (other than 0) to the 0 power is 1. We figured out how many pennies there would be at time -1 or time -2 too. Another problem dealt with Carbon 14 dating, and there we looked at time -1 and decided that even though we could find the “number” it wasn’t really relevant since a person only has 100 grams of carbon when they’re alive. We did a little more exponent practice, changing negative exponents to positive in various situations, then, since we had about 15 minutes and I thought they were pretty confident in the equations….played Grudge to work on homework problems! In my second class we only had 8 minutes to play Grudge, but again, it had everyone involved and they used the time well. Fun times!

Math 7CP – We are continuing with our percent unit. The class had a quiz last week that started out as individual, but a lot of the kids didn’t finish it. So the next day I had them work together at their tables, to help each other figure out some of the problems, and to check their work. Then I had them trade quizzes and correct (I had put 2 tables on it and decided that it would be a bear to correct….so I wasn’t lazy, I was using my resources LOL) them by circling any problem numbers that had different answers. I went over all of the quizzes and put on the scores. I feel pretty confident that they didn’t just copy each other on the second day because I was walking around, and it definitely helped their scores! But that wasn’t the fun day. We had a 4 day weekend due to President’s day(s) in our district, so when we came back on Tuesday we worked on the large whiteboards on the wall and did percent increase and decrease. I had done an example with the class and then used my iPad and Doceri to write new problems as I walked around. They had to show their work and used calculators. The kids like working on the big whiteboards, it was a minimum day (all Tuesdays are) so I think it was a good intro to percent change. The next day, I had a worksheet for them. We did the first one together, and then played Grudge for the rest. It was a great day. The whole class was involved and checking each others work, making sure they wrote “increase” or “decrease” and working hard to get finished with the problem so they could go erase another team’s X from the board. I play it by giving 4 X’s to each table, everyone at the table has to show me their work and complete answer before they can have 1 person go erase an X, and if they call me over and everyone has the wrong answer they 1) can’t go up that time and 2)have to correct it before they can do the next one. It was a 47 minute period and we finished with 4 minutes to spare. So we played Simon Says for 3 minutes. I’m Simon. If I had given the class the worksheet and told them to “work in their groups” some kids would have done it, but a bunch would have fooled around and not finished. I don’t play Grudge that often, but when I do the kids love it.

Math 7 Accelerated – We’re still working on Transformations, and have now included dilations. Monday the kids did an activity from CPM where they have a few shapes and have to follow directions to translate the shapes to make a picture. It becomes a rocket with the moon in the sky. I like that activity. After that they had a quiz on rigid transformation, then we started dilations. I like how CPM teaches it, there are a lot of thinking problems, then an activity where they distort the image by multiplying x and y by different factors. From dilations we move logically to similar figures! Today we are supposed to work on corresponding sides, but I’m going on our snowboard/ski trip (it’s the last one of the year) so I’m having the class do a transformations review with the teacher that’s subbing for me (Thank you Gila!!). The week wasn’t as fun as Math 7’s (no Grudge!) but still a good week.