I forgot to write a post last week, so here’s 2 weeks worth of learning fun!

Algebra 1 – We finished our chapter on Explicit and Recursive equations. I had never taught Recursive before (I may have said this…). Anyhow it was fun. Here is a question from the group quiz: “Jackie and Emma were discussing two sequences. Jackie was writing out the first ten terms of the sequence given by and Emma was writing down the first ten terms of the sequence, when the teacher asked them whether their two sequences had any terms in common.

*“Well, none of the first ten terms are the same,”* Emma said.

*“But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a term in common later in the sequence,”* Jackie responded. *“How can we check?”*

*“I know,”* Emma said quickly. *“If the graphs of the sequences cross, then they must have a term in common. The graphs of these sequences are linear, and since they aren’t parallel, they must cross! We’re done!”*

*“Wait a minute!”* Jackie exclaimed. *“I’m not sure that just because the lines cross, the two sequences must share a term. We might be overlooking something.”*

Help Jackie and Emma by discussing Emma’s conclusions and either explaining any errors she made or convincing Jackie she is right. Then, find any terms the two sequences have in common.”

We had compared functions and sequences – domains and graphs specifically. One of my classes said the point they have in common is the -17th term…every single person. My other class had 12 correct answers “terms aren’t negative, they start at 1…” and 17 that again said the -17th term. The questions on the back were equally good (there were 2), and it ended up that some kids got them all right, some all wrong, and no one in the one class got them all correct. Sooooo I passed them back the next day and had the groups help each other (class discussion in the one class) and they made corrections. Then they attached their team quiz and corrections to the individual test and I’ll count the 3 points on it!

Math 7 CCSS – We are working on probability. We started out last week with the MARS task “Counting Trees” where they are sampling and estimating. We did the “pre-task” individually with study carrels up for 12 minutes, then they discussed their methods in groups and with the class. I think it went pretty well. I liked the reflection where they had to talk about what their assumptions were. The class knew what they were assuming! We played Grudge for review for a quiz we had last Friday. I modified the rules (actually Maddy, my coworker did, I just copy her!) to these: 1) students work independently for 1 min (or so, depends on problem) 2) students share answers at table and discuss so everyone understands answer. 3) They raise their hands when the table is ready and I check that everyone has the work and answer, then 1 person goes up and erases an X from the board (I started with 4 X’s per table). If they don’t all have the work when they call me over they can’t go that time. Sometimes I’ll add an X to every team. Then we go to the next question. I think they really liked it, and they were all engaged so that they could compete as a table. I think it was the first time this class had done it, and I’ll do it again with them 🙂

When correcting the quiz I just highlighted anything they needed to correct (in this case everything I highlighted would have lost points, sometimes it’s just little things that I’d like them to fix, but they don’t know which loses points). I wrote down their score and posted it in the gradebook, but it wasn’t on their paper. They had to do corrections and turn it in again. I think they like doing corrections better with highlights rather than -1 written on the quiz. (In my algebra classes I was checking everything really well and turning it back if everything wasn’t correct (I admit I don’t do this every time) and I have kids on their 3rd try of correcting! (which is why I don’t do it every time…I know… I should….)). We’re using the CPM CC2 book for the probability lessons (Ch 1 and 5). I think they’re enjoying and learning! yay!

Math 7 Accelerated – We just started chapter 5 in the CPM CC3 book, which is systems of equations. I LOVE how CPM introduces systems! The chapter starts by teaching how to eliminate decimals and fractions from equations by multiplying. For fractions they call it Fraction Busters. The kids are getting better at it! I had an extra review/practice sheet for them, and it helped them and me (I was at my UCSB Math Leadership Cadre meeting on Tuesday, so had good practice. For systems, CPM starts with the Iditarod race! One girl has a dog team and starts in Fairbanks, her friend is on a snowmobile and starts in Nome. They’re given a graph with the different check points the girls have passed, and need to extend the lines to find when they meet up, who finishes first, and who is going the fastest. We discussed it as a class and the kids had really good answers. Today we did my favorite problem “The Chubby Bunny”. Who could stress about that?! We were writing equations from problems, basically in slope intercept form, then setting them equal to each other and solving for them. I LOVE how the kids start right off by writing the equations, they aren’t just given 2 random equations to “solve”. Tonight’s homework has 2 lines that are parallel – they graph them then solve algebraically. Wow! You get “no solution” when the lines are parallel! Yep, since “solution” is where the 2 lines cross, it makes sense that parallel lines don’t have a “solution”!

I put up the poems from math 7 on my door, and my friend Helen cut out letters for me. Here you go:

I’ve tried to clean the spots off my door! They’re kind of rusty or something.

It’s been a good 2 weeks!

Debbie, these 2 weeks were indeed really good ones! Parallel lines have no “solution” – I bet your students will really enjoy that. Love, Mom

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