Functions. Also, snowboarding.

Two things are occupying my mind right now: functions and snowboarding.

First, functions. Just finished up the unit on functions and transformations in FST (2nd half of an extended Alg2 course) , and I’ve been reflecting on what was good and what was bad.

The good? Using Desmos and sliders to see the effects on the graph. Doing a simple but effective investigation on f(x)=1/x. Color-coding graphs of transformations when there are multiple happening at once.

Could be better? I didn’t start color-coding until we were transforming sine and cosine. Kids like colored pencils and picking out what color to use. Next time I’m going to start doing this right away. I also did a function wall project where the students had to transform a function and add it to the wall (see picture). This was OK but I waited until the day before the test and had them do all at once. I should have had them add to the wall gradually, as we did each function.

photo (4)

The bad? My review day. I feel like I didn’t do much of a summarizing activity. I threw the function wall project at them and then gave them a practice test. Not the most helpful. Next time I’d like to culminate the unit with a final summary. Maybe some sort of writing activity or graphic organizer.

What else? Curriculum. The curriculum I was given just confines the idea of functions and their transformations to one unit, which is ok, but I’m intrigued by the idea of examining the functions and their transformations one by one, a la Greg Waddell.

On to snowboarding. I had the crazy idea to start the snowboard and ski club at my school. It turns out the idea was popular enough that I’m taking 30 kids to a ski hill on Friday. Organizing everything and collecting money has been annoying (I don’t have the patience for record keeping, unfortunately), but it should be a really fun trip. I’m glad so many students are interested, and I’ve had two students step up as leaders. It’s been a good experience so far, and we haven’t even hit the slopes yet!


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