Days 3 and 4 of 180: Time to stop getting them ready and teach ’em!

Posted on August 9, 2013


Yesterday, blogging did not happen. It may be that blogging will never happen on Wednesdays. As all teachers who have kiddos of their own know, sometimes it is time to take care of one’s own first. It is supposed to be always, of course. But on Wednesdays, my daughter has hip-hop dance lessons after school, and…blogging loses to watching 8-year-olds doing cat daddies, reminding me that my knees can’t do that anymore. Thank goodness.

I figured I’d put the last two days into one instead.

In Trigonometry (both Honors and non-Honors, with differentiated assignments):

Yesterday they finished reviewing right triangle Trigonometry at the Geometry level. Common pitfalls were: they didn’t understand the concept of a mnemonic (SOH-CAH-TOA) even though we talked about how sine, cosine, and tangent were defined to be the ratios as described, they were welcome to make up their own mnemonic thing, and that thinking of the definitions as a “formula” was not conducive to understanding what they were.

Today, the proofs were done for the lengths of the sides of Special Right Triangles with hypotenuse 1 in preparation for the Unit Circle. The triangles are printed on card stock, and after the lengths are found with the Pythagorean Theorem using white boards, the magic unit circle numbers are written on the card on both sides. The triangles are made to fit into a unit circle that they will get on Monday. Both are attached below:

special right reference triangles – six pairs on each page
Unit Circle – no chart – the Honors kiddos don’t get a nice, easy chart to read…because I’m mean, and because they can do the extra work of making their own chart if they insist
Unit Circle – the non-Honors/College Prep kiddos get this one. I’m very guilty of doing more stuff for the “I hate math and I’m bad at it anyway” crowd.

Finally, they all got their “reporting sheets”: their work is done in their INBs, but I do not collect it. Instead, the work we do is graded by them (I have the problems the try to do — after a demonstration — all worked out, and those answers get projected on the screen the next day). Questions are asked before and after the grading. Yes, absolutely I know that the weasels out there are going to weasel. But I believe it is better that they know immediately if they understand how things are going for them well before an official assessment. If I grade it, they won’t know for a week. They turn it in each Friday; it will be returned that Monday.

Reporting sheet

In AP Statistics

Yesterday, they made sure they knew the difference between quantitative and categorical data by discussion.

Today, they learned how to display categorical data as bar charts and pie charts and the “when each one is better” rule. They then practiced making bar charts quickly and efficiently. Ha! They completely understood how since they’ve done it since elementary school…they decided to take the time to make ’em pretty.

A brief discussion was had about how the AP graders might appreciate “pretty”, but “completed quickly with labels” might be in their own best interest when taking said AP test.

In Statistics

They are currently making graphs of categorical data also. But the details are not emphasized. They made a simple pie chart by hand yesterday, and segmented bar charts today. They did fine with the colors of “black” and “white”…I wish they could teach the AP kiddos that concept. 🙂

As always, comments are welcome…DM me if you have file download issues and I’ll try to fix it (mrsakahoshi at yahoo dot com).

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