This post doesn't really fit into any of the MTBoS explorations this go round, maybe what makes my classroom uniquely mine round 2.
First off, I made the best smoothie of my green smoothie life, cures whatever ails you and gives you a mid morning nutrition blast that has become quite the habit. Pack it in a mason jar for that needed pick me up: Into a strong blender goes: 3 pitted dates, 1 pear, 1.5 carrots, rib of celery, 1/2 inch cube of ginger, two big handfuls of spinach, and .75 cup of water. Start blending on low, turn off, pack with a spoon, then blend on high until smooth. Heaven!
I have been working to pull my Advanced Algebra students out of the Algebra/Geometry For All model and into the "let's get ready for college thinking" mode. Instead of "here are three ways to know and graph quadratic functions", I let the graphs drive the equations, forcing the students to come up with silly scenarios to write model equations. They were a lot more fun to grade and a lot of pride went into them. Honestly, I am not certain yet that deeper learning happened, as the kids stressed about getting them done. I did do one CCSS tweak to the whole thing. The first round was so awful and so lacked understanding, that I made comments on sticky notes, and had the students revise them. I realize I could have had the students do this step, and I needed to get the project going in the right direction before the students would be able to comment.
I asked the students to come up with three equations to model quadratic functions, one that utilized vertex form, one that utilized factored form and one that required students to use a system of linear equations to find a, b, and c. A lot of good discussion came up around where to place the axes and what does it mean when a isn't negative, even when we know our graph should be upside down. The graphics, of course, were the best part. I thinking mapping the path of Skittles into the mouth of the a person across the room, frogs lapping up flies mid jump, and swan divers make a case for a little psuedo-text license. Just saying.