Math = Gibberish: The UPSC Approach to Teaching Word Problems

If Sameera, Bobby, and Jose buy ten Snickers bars and then chase their dogs around the neighborhood for seven minutes, how many donuts will the monkey need to bring to the zoo in order to celebrate Javi's birthday? Raise your hand if this seems totally normal for a math class... Right. Well... this "word problem" … Continue reading Math = Gibberish: The UPSC Approach to Teaching Word Problems

Multiplying Polynomials *with boxes*

If you can't tell... I LOVE PROVIDING STRUCTURE (!!!) in math class.  I use boxes and circles to combine like terms, squiggly lines to indicate equal signs, and tables to work through transformations of functions.  While these structures are not necessary for the honors or highest level students to achieve success in math, I've found … Continue reading Multiplying Polynomials *with boxes*

LESSON PLAN: Tackling Trigonometric Graphs & Transformations

Tomorrow I will be "introducing" graphs of trigonometric functions to my IB Math Standard Level 1 class, so I've got Trig on the brain.  Yes, yes, they already learned it in Algebra 2/Trig Honors, but I find that it's best to build from the ground up when it comes to Trigonometry.  Sometimes students catch something … Continue reading LESSON PLAN: Tackling Trigonometric Graphs & Transformations

Graphing Functions: A Table Approach

Algebra 1:  Graphing's a cinch!  (For us... maybe not so much for our students) We teach linear and quadratic parent functions... and often fail at inverse variation We begin to help them understand the usefulness of finding the vertex and substituting values for x. We show the connection between evaluating and the graphing calculator table … Continue reading Graphing Functions: A Table Approach