Search Results for: algebra

Search Results

Algebra 2, the Gateway Course

I’ve been teaching a ton of algebra 2 the past three years.  I squawk periodically, and the admins give me variety for a semester or so, but then the classes come back. Back in 2016, I taught 5 classes, all of them full, over the two semester block courses, or about 160 kids. Last year, […]

Assessing “Upper Level” Math Students on Algebra I

A2/Trig I am teaching Algebra II/TRIG! Not Algebra II. First time ever. Last December, I gave the kids a packet with the following letter: Hi! I’m looking forward to our course. Attached is a packet of Algebra I review work to prepare you for our class. If you are comfortable with linear and quadratic equations, […]

Polynomial Operations as Glue: Second Year Algebra

A couple years ago, I suddenly realized that my students rarely evaluated quadratic expressions. And when I thought about it, I could see why. Create a table of values for y = x2 -6x – 16. Start with -3 These are kids who aren’t too great at working with negatives, yes? And it’s a whole […]

Algebra 1 Growth in Geometry and Algebra II, Spring 2013

This is part of an ongoing series on my Algebra II and Geometry classes. By definition, students in these classes should have some level of competence in Algebra I. I’ve been tracking their progress on an algebra I pre-assessment test. The test assesses student ability to evaluate and substitute, use PEMDAS, solve simple equations, operate […]

Algebra 1 Growth in Geometry and Algebra II

Last September, I wrote about my classes and the pre-algebra/Algebra 1 assessment results. My school covers a year of instruction in a semester, so we just finished the first “year” of courses. I start with new students and four preps on Monday. Last week, I gave them the same assessment to see if they’d improved. […]

Algebra Terrors

A day or so before the school year began, I went to an empty classroom that had a supply cabinet. This classroom was way better than mine. It was 3 or 4 feet wider, had shelving and a smart board. Now I didn’t care much about the smart board, but all smartboards have document cameras, […]

Algebra and the Pointlessness of The Whole Damn Thing

The whole algebra debate kicked off by Hacker’s algebra essay has…..well, if not depressed me, then at least enervated me. A recap: Hacker: We shouldn’t make everyone take algebra. No one needs algebra anyway; we never really use it. Statistics would be much more useful. Algebra is the primary obstacle to high school success; millions […]

Teaching Algebra, or Banging Your Head With a Whiteboard

The Five Big Ideas of First Year Algebra: Identifying the slope and y-intercept of a line from a linear equation, and graphing a linear equation provided in slope-intercept form. Solving multistep, single-variable equations that involve distribution and combination of like terms. Using substitution or elimination to solve a system of equations. Binomial multiplication Factoring a […]

Intelligence and Algebra

A few years back, I was reading up on an interesting theory about working memory, as it seemed hopeful that working memory, not IQ alone, had some predictive value in learning algebra. I periodically google for new results in any field I’m interested in—not interested enough to pay for access to the papers, but I […]

Algebra Student Distribution–An Example

I thought I’d provide some data that I never see in the discussions about student achievement or teacher evaluations that seems to me to be highly relevant. Last year, I taught algebra I. I taught more algebra I than any other teacher: 4 sections. Three teachers had three sections; one teacher had one (and won’t […]