Time and Distance Are A Funny Thing

First week back from Spring Break is always daunting, don't you think? Kids are feeling the hints of summer freedom, they forgot that the "F word" is factoring, not the expletive, and the STAR is looming.

And it is also an interesting time for a maturity growth spurt for my Freshman Algebra students.

On Wednesday the third day back:

Student 1 to Student 2:       I am so going to tell Mrs. K. (their 8th grade Algebra Teacher) how much I hated taking all those notes but now I am SO glad I have them so I can figure out how to do this stuff.

Okay, I'll admit I was so butt hurt. Really. But then I got to thinking about it. Now they want to learn it. Why now, and why are they not using their interactive notebooks? Because maybe now they are motivated. Maybe now, they see big picture and they see the math in context, not just as a set of procedures. Does the SAT or a Physics textbook problem set say, "For this problem you will need to set the quadratic equal to zero and then you need to take out the GCF?" Of course I summarized for the students in a flipbook what it means to factor, but I don't give them a problem set with each step illuminated for them. I just keep repeating, "remember the flipbook we made about factoring? Read the first page!"

What do you think?

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  1. I like that factor flipbook idea. I may have students create one of those as a review, because they need more practice with factoring. I always start by showing them every little step with factoring - but getting them to be able to choose the correct process on their own is challenging. My current strategy is with flowcharts - it's ok.

  2. Thanks for responding. Yeah, I use a flow chart too for Graphing Quadratics...like IS IT FACTORABLE??? Yes, then for Pete's Sake Factor it and then find the vertex, or no, use the vertex and the y-intercept and a mirror point...would LOVE for them to get 1-4-9, wouldn't that be amazing?

  3. We always have Spring Break, 1 week, and then the next two weeks are blocked off for state exams. I used to use a similar flipbook when I taught factoring (one of my favorite algebra topics). I have to work on not letting student comments get in my head. I know what you mean about being "butt hurt". :-)

    1. Thank you so much for your supporting words!


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