We have been busy, busy, busy this year in Algebra 2! Now that we're on Unit 4, I decided it was time that I get our pages from Unit 2 and Unit 3 posted! Our first unit of the year covered the basics of functions. I posted the pictures of the rest of Unit 1's material here. But, I had yet to finish or take a picture of our function transformations foldable at that time. This foldable was created after students had explored function transformations using an activity I learned about this summer called Move the Monster. I got a paper copy of the handout at the OGAP Common Core Workshop I attended this summer. But, I found an answer key to the activity online that someone else had posted if you want to see what the activity is all about.
My goal was for students to discover the transformations for themselves. Then, we summarized these findings in a foldable for future reference. I'll be honest. My Algebra 2 kiddos struggled a lot with this activity. But, I would like to think that it was a productive struggle.
|Function Transformations Foldable - Outside|
|Function Transformations Foldable - Inside|
|Unit 2 Table of Contents|
|Rate of Change Graphic Organizer|
I also made the decision to teach my students about linear functions in the form y = a+bx instead of the typical y = mx+b. Let me tell you, this is a hard thing to do. First off, I've always taught y=mx+b before. When I took Algebra 1, I was taught y=mx+b. My Algebra 2 students who paid attention in Algebra 1 love y=mx+b. Okay, maybe they don't love it. But, the idea of changing from y=mx+b to y=a+bx did not set well with them at all.
I was told, however, at two separate conferences this summer that my students would do better with exponential functions of the form y=a(b)^x if I taught them linear functions in the form y=a+bx. We will see. We will definitely see.
There are some things I like about teaching y=a+bx. It does make more sense to tell students that we always graph the y-intercept first when it comes first in the equation. However, standardized test questions seem to always write linear functions in the form y=mx+b. This does give me an opportunity to remind students that it doesn't really matter what order we write the equation in as long as we make sure that the signs are correct and that the slope is the coefficient of the x.
|Slope and Linear Functions INB Page|
|Outside of y=a+bx Foldable|
|Inside of y=a+bx Foldable|
Seriously, if you haven't watched Slope Dude, it will be the best 2 minutes and 36 seconds of your day. I promise. I don't know what it is about this video, but every time I have ever showed it, my students were narrating Slope Dude's adventures by the end of the video. Be forewarned: your students will also never refer to the slope as positive again. It will be "Puff Puff Positive." And, there may be an audible gasp whenever you say the word "Undefined." After all, it is the worst curse word ever in mathematics.
Months later, my students still are talking about Slope Dude. Last week, our Geometry classes started reviewing linear functions. Some of my Algebra 1 students from last year came by to tell me about it. When the Geometry teacher reviewed the four types of slope, the students insisted on calling the slopes by their Slope Dude names. I hear that the Geometry teacher was not impressed...
|Slope Foldable (When Closed)|
|Slope Foldable (When Open)|
|Linear / Nonlinear Card Sort|
|HOYVUX - Outside of Foldable|
|HOYVUX - Inside of Foldable|
|Graphing Linear Inequalities|
Many of my Algebra 2 students were very nervous about graphing linear inequalities. It was a topic that they hadn't really understood in Algebra 1, and they did not think they would be able to understand it. This was a lesson where my principal just decided to pop in for a formal observation. It ended up going well, though. I was worried at first. The students were telling me that this was going to be hard and that they wouldn't be able to get it.
Once we had worked through 3 problems together, one of my students announced to me, her fellow students, and the principal that "You have shown me the light!" Graphing linear inequalities quickly became one of my students' favorite parts of this unit.
We concluded our INB pages for Unit 2 by gluing in our two linear regression labs: Bouncing Tennis Ballas and Twizzlers. I posted about these two labs here.
|Bouncing Tennis Balls Lab|