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

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

Calculating Slope From 2 Points *with tables*

Finding the slope seems to trip students up every year, even though we work step-by-step through the different variations.  Students seem to master each individual piece (*EXCEPT maybe the slope formula... hence, this blog post!  We'll get there...).  We always have great conversations about types of slopes, making connections between all the different representations: special … Continue reading Calculating Slope From 2 Points *with tables*