Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Awesome Conics Projects

Here are some awesome conics projects done by my sophomores in Accelerated Algebra 2 at the end of our conics unit.  It was easy on my part.  I found Bob Lochel's Conics Project blog with video explanation.  I had the kids watch the 29 minute explanation video of the project as homework and then get to work.  I gave them little direction and they gave me such great work.  They had to basically create a picture using the 4 conics we just learned but could use other stuff too. They had to do the graph picture, the colored picture, all the equations (thanks @desmos!), and then they had to solve two systems of equations as well.  I didn't teach the solving of these systems but they rose to the challenge!  I am so proud.

It took me a while to take pictures, send them to myself, save them, find a slideshow to do this with.
 It took me forever to remember how to use picasa but here goes:

Picasa isn't working - check back soon.  Sorry

A radical activity - adding and subtracting

Last year I taught simplify, adding, and subtracting to my Accelerated Algebra 1 class all on the same day.  They didn't do so great since they had too much to digest.  I decided to break it into two days this year.  We got to spend more time on the simplifying and they did really well on the homework.  I knew the adding and subtracting lesson would be short so I wanted an activity.  There isn't too much to liven it up.  So, I came up with this Radical Activity since I have these dice in my cute little boxes.

I knew that not too many of them would actually work out to be simplified or added or subtracted, but some kids kept rolling to make it work.  Or, they got excited when they actually got something that worked.  It was short and sweet.  The kids worked in pairs and had good conversations and cleared up some misunderstandings (oh, you multiply by the number in front of the radical!)  I think they enjoyed making up their own problems and then working with them instead of a plain, boring worksheet.  Dice make anything more fun. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Catapults with quadratics for Alg 1

I created this project with some fellow teachers a few years ago for our Algebra 2 classes.  Last year, with the switch to common core, it got moved into Algebra 1.  They are doing well with it. 

The lab itself is here:  Catapult Quadratic Lab  I assign the project to groups of 3 or 4 at the start of the chapter.  They build it outside of class.  We have a 20 minute part of class after lunch where they just bring them into test them.  Then, they can bring them home to fix them if they need to.  The lab itself takes 2 class periods but it is worth it.  It happens at the end of the chapter and brings it all together.  They need to put the equation into vertex form and find the value of 'a' when they shoot from ground to ground.  On the second day of the lab, the catapult is moved up to a desk and shot for the target shooting that counts.  They need to take the desk height into account and translate their equation up and find the new x-intercept.  That is where the bowl goes.  They haven't tested it or shot it from that point, so they are amazed that the math actually works. 

Here are some pictures from day 1 when the kids are practicing shooting, timing, and then doing the actual measurements.  They have to measure in meters, which is a challenge onto itself. 

Another thing I stress is it isn't about the distance, it is about the accuracy.  We are going for the shot to be consistent.  I would also recommend no mouse traps - they snap too fast to get a good time recording. 

Unit Circle for Alg 2

I saw this Unit Circle Activity on the web and decided to put it on my wall.  There was a day where one class had to take state testing the other didn't.  This was my smaller class with 16 kids so it was perfect.  I found some garland on sale for 79 cents right after Christmas - all four colors.  I printed and cut out and had the library laminate the labels and voila.  The kids loved it.  I think it is beautiful if I say so myself.  Other teachers have commented on it.  The kids use it a lot.  I did warn them I was going to cover it during a quiz.  Quiz day came and I had 4 industrial pieces of velcro and a king sized sheet up.  They were sad.

It fit perfectly on my wall.  We used duct tape to stick it all.

 The following day with both classes, we made it on a paper plate.  We folded it, color coded it and I drew it on the board. 
 We quizzed on right triangle trig and evaluating last week and they did well.  We are moving into graphing all 6 trig functions.  Tomorrow we will do an activity with cutting straws to graph the sine and cosine waves.