The last unit I will be covering before Algebra 1 state testing will be radicals. We're in the middle of the unit now, and I feel like we are moving at a snail's pace. I guess one of the reasons I am being so intentional in how I teach radicals is because my Algebra 2 students tended to struggle with them this year. I wrongly assumed that they had had an in-depth introduction to them in Algebra 1.
I'm also trying to fit new material and EOI review material into a 50-minute class period. By focusing on only one facet of radicals each day, I am able to find time to do both.
Here is how my unit on radicals has progressed so far:
Day 1 - Vocabulary Survey; Prime and Composite Numbers; Prime Factorization*
Day 2 - Parts of a Radical
Day 3 - Simplify Radicals
Day 4 - Simplify Radicals, continued
Day 5 - Add and Subtract Radicals
Day 6 - Multiply Radicals
I still need to cover dividing radicals and rationalizing the denominator.
* I tried out a new vocabulary strategy on Day 1 that I read about over Spring Break. I haven't blogged about it, yet. I was hoping to finish the unit first so I could share my students' experiences and feedback. So, check back soon for that!
I have really been emphasizing vocabulary this semester. This unit on radicals is no exception. I learned a lot from teaching radicals to my Algebra 2 students last semester, and I'm putting that knowledge to work to create the best possible learning experience for my Algebra 1 students.
Confession time. Even though I have a BS in Mathematics, I started my teaching career without knowing crucial words like "index" and "radicand." Do you know how frustrating it is to constantly have to keep describing the index as the small number that can be found to the top and left of the radical symbol? It's frustrating enough to make you stop your lesson and google "parts of a radical." After that terrible experience in Algebra 2, I decided that I would teach my Algebra 1 students the crucial vocabulary words from the start.
I created this graphic organizer over the parts of a radical for our interactive notebooks. Students were allowed to choose their own index and radicand.
|Parts of a Radical - Graphic Organizer in Interactive Notebook|
|Parts of a Radical - Practice Sheet for Interactive Notebook|