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Category: Algebra

Reusing Flip Materials In Online Class

Reusing Flip Materials In Online Class

Last Spring I flipped my elementary algebra class. For each section I used a cycle of three assignments in MyMathLab to make it all work. FLIP Assignment This was a media assignment that incorporated concept videos, example videos, and homework exercises. Students completed these assignments before class. Reflect Quiz This was a 5-question quiz, focused on the problem types I felt were the most important in that section. The first attempt loaded a personalized homework, and students could take the…

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TBT – Agile Students

TBT – Agile Students

One of my goals is to be an agile teacher. I also want that for my students. Often students arrive in my class preferring to work with one method that works for every problem of a certain type. I want them to flexible and use the most efficient solution depending on the particular problem. Case in point – quadratic equations. Students who have seen this material before want to use only the quadratic formula, as they know it can be…

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Wildcard Wednesday: Winning Students Over With Technology

Wildcard Wednesday: Winning Students Over With Technology

Today I led a highly structured class that made effective use of technology, and finally got some skeptical students on board. Several students told me when they got to class that they were having a hard time with rationalizing denominators, and fortunately I had my lesson set up to begin there. We started by rationalizing a one-term denominator and then a two-term denominator by hand. I explained how and why we began rationalizing denominators in the first place, and although…

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Students Generating Their Own Data

Students Generating Their Own Data

Lately I have been thinking about how great a job we have done in modernizing our intro stats courses, and how we have not done that in our algebra courses. In statistics we have embraced technological changes, such as transitioning from the binomial formula to binomial tables to using technology like StatCrunch/TI to compute probabilities. In algebra, that sort of transition is far from wide spread. When students have more ownership and control, they are more motivated to learn. In…

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Wildcard Wednesday: Wolfram|Alpha

Wildcard Wednesday: Wolfram|Alpha

Last week I came across a Wired article: Wolfram|Alpha (& AI) Is Making It Easier To Cheat, and reading the article brought so many thoughts to mind about teaching mathematics in today’s world. Here goes … 1) We need to make sure that students understand that HW is a learning tool, not just something that earns points. — George Woodbury (@georgewoodbury) August 25, 2017 I feel that we often assume that students know why they do homework and that they…

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TBT – Reflection

TBT – Reflection

The cycle of learning that I use with my students is one of Discover – Engage – Reflect, and today I want to focus on Reflect. It is hard to imagine that true learning can happen without some sort of reflection. What have we done? How is it similar to what we have done before? How is it different? What are my key takeaways? What concepts are not as clear as they need to be? On Monday I revisited using…

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TBT – Graphing Absolute Value Functions

TBT – Graphing Absolute Value Functions

This week in my intermediate algebra class we covered graphing absolute value functions. I began by having students create an x-y table for . We plotted the points and they could tell the shape of the graph, and I asked them which point was the most important point. They knew it was the turning point of the graph. So far, so good. Next, I put up this equation: . I then gave them a few minutes to figure out where…

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Using IF-AT as Part of Exam Review

Using IF-AT as Part of Exam Review

One of the highlights of the recent ICTCM conference was Eric Mazur’s keynote address about “Assessment For Learning.” He mentioned an assessment technique known as IF-AT (Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique) that reminded me a great deal of the review strategy I have been using in my intermediate algebra course. (Here’s a blog on that review strategy.) I thought it was a great idea to try, so immediately postponed my elementary algebra exams on systems of two linear equations in two…

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Learning Catalytics- #ICTCM17

Learning Catalytics- #ICTCM17

This Saturday I will be speaking at ICTCM about how I use Learning Catalytics in my Statistics and Algebra courses.  Collecting Homework  I started slowly in my Statistics courses, using Learning Catalytics to collect “written” homework. I often give written assignments to supplement MyStatLab exercises, and Learning Catalytics allows me to collect certain problems or parts of certain problems. The answers are automatically graded and scores are transferred to my grade book in MyStatLab. This strategy encourages students to do…

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A Student Shares a Great Observation

A Student Shares a Great Observation

Today in my elementary algebra class we were reviewing solving systems of equations by addition or substitution. We were going over a system where students were having trouble determining what number to multiply each equation by in the system in order to eliminate the variable x. We had been discussing that the goal is to find the LCM of 12 and 14, but I told them that on exam day they could always fall back on multiplying each equation by…

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