## Friday, August 7, 2015

Deriving the quadratic formula is probably one of the most challenging tasks an Algebra 2 student will have to complete during the year, and without a doubt, one of the most frustrating!

When the day arrives to derive the formula, I tend to make a big deal out of how difficult the day is going to be, how frustrated they will become, and how proud and excited I will be if they don't give up; how proud THEY will be if they come close to the end.  I also give out TONS of encouragement and of course lots of help.

I let students go mostly on their own, with some guided notes to help as they struggle through the class period, and I wander around helping students as they are working and discussing the task with their peers.

Each year, I continue to be amazed as they take on this difficult task, trudge through it, hurt their brains and continue on!  Each year, among and beyond the frustration, there are high fives, congratulations and proud moments of accomplishments!

**The guided notes with entrance and exit tickets that I use with students are available to fans of my FB page "The e Elephant Loves Math" for FREE (for a limited time only), and can also be found in my TpT store.

## Saturday, July 11, 2015

### Inverse Functions

When I taught inverse functions last year, I really wanted students to have a context to apply them to.  In the past, I just taught them the steps to write inverse functions and the concept was definitely lost on them.
So I came up with this little exploration activity to help them see how inverse functions are related to each other.  It's all based on a fictional trip to Europe where students convert money and temperatures.
You can find the activity at my TpT store by clicking on the image.

## Saturday, March 28, 2015

### Zombies and Exponential Functions

While searching for a "fun" and engaging task or activity to introduce linear vs. exponential functions, I found this blog post from Learning with Tape about a zombie outbreak!  AWESOME!  I couldn't resist trying this out in my class.  I teach a remedial class called Algebra AB, which is the first semester of Algebra 1 over the entire year.  I was leery of this activity and knew that I needed to have a very structured activity that held each student accountable for the thinking and processing involved to fully comprehend the basic main goal: to understand that a linear function will have an adding pattern, or increase/decrease at a constant rate and that an exponential function will have a multiplicative pattern and why their graphs are shaped the way that they are. So after much thought, the help of the original idea from Learning with Tape and some zombie clip art I came up with this lesson plan, that involves a fun zombie simulation, an extension activity and an exit ticket.  Students were very engaged and loved the activity!  Success!

## Thursday, February 7, 2013

### Verb Dice (Conjugating Verbs in Spanish)

I purchased some "Cool Cubes" this year and have been putting them to good use.  The students were really excited about them at first and I think the first time I used them we just wrote vocabulary words on them,  rolled them, then said the word in Spanish and English.  Needless to say, they became "NOT Cool Cubes" after that.  The next time we used them to conjugate verbs and they moved back up a notch on the coolness factor.  Anyway, we used them again today to practice the present progressive.  I like them because it gives students a variety of choices for subject pronoun, verb matches.  They like them, because, well, they are big foam dice!  You don't need cool cubes to do this activity, and in fact, until this year I have just been using two dice with a "key" on the board.  They use one die to tell them what they subject is and the other for the verb.  For example, 1): yo 2): tú, etc and then on the other die 1) comer 2) hablar etc.  They roll the dice and conjugate verbs and use them in sentences.  Roll a 1 and a 2 and say (or write) "Yo estoy hablando (en la clase de español)".  It's a fun alternative to a blah worksheet and the students seem to enjoy it.  If you would like to try it out in your class and don't have cool cubes or dice I've included everything you need to give it a try in your class.  Just click on the image and get what you need!  We used these today with the present progressive tense, but you can use them for any tense!  You might try laminating them and using a hot glue gun to glue them together (at least, that's what I would do!)  I also included a blank cube so you can write whatever you want!  Again, I would laminate first, then you can write, erase, reuse! Your own cool cubes! How cool!

## Friday, February 1, 2013

### Tener and Tener que

My Spanish 1 students are learning to use the verb "tener" and "tener que" in the present tense.  Every year I see sentences like "Tengo que la clase de arte." and my ears hurt inside my head. :)  To try and combat this very common error, I helped students write sentences using both tener and tener que and then had them draw and color pictures of their sentences.  It seemed to be helpful, I didn't see any "I have to art class." sentences.  If you'd like a copy of the template I used, click on the image below!

## Tuesday, January 29, 2013

### Spanish Reflexive Verbs

We are learning about reflexive verbs in Spanish.  This can be a somewhat odd concept for English speakers as we do not necessarily have reflexive verbs in English.  We have been doing several practice activities and I want to try and help students write sentences that have all of the pieces they need.  We worked through a fun sentence unscramble activity and then did some drawing and independent sentence writing.  I think they're beginning to grasp the concept! I'm including the sentence drawing activity we did here, click HERE to get a copy.  If you'd like to check out the sentence unscramble activity we did, click on the image for more details!

## Friday, January 18, 2013

### Factoring the GCF in Polynomials

AHHH, polynomials!  You've got to love 'em.  We've been working our way through parabolas and quadratics in my Algebra 2 class and in preparation for solving quadratics we are learning how to factor.  Of course, we started by factoring the GCF from polynomial expressions.  I created a few tic-tac-toe game boards for factoring the GCF to give the students a more fun way to practice and thought I'd share them with you all!  Click on the image to get the game boards!  Enjoy!

## Thursday, November 1, 2012

### Pilgrim Hat Clipart Freebie!

My poor, little, neglected blog... school started and I fell off the face of the blogosphere.  So, here's a freebie to say "Welcome Back" to my little blog!  Click the image to get this pilgrim hat clipart set.