A month or so ago I was reading Square Root of Negative One Teach Math where she referred to using something called Conics Cards in class with her Algebra 2 classes. (Here's her original post and here's a follow up.) I'm not a big fan of conics (zzzzzzzz.....) and seeing as how we have 10 days left of school, I wanted to find something to spice 'em up.
So I e-mailed Cindy Johnson, the lady who Amy gave all credit to for making the cards. She was kind enough to e-mail me lots of documents: the cards, the assignments, the NCTM description. Amy helped out with even more information. I copied, laminated, cut, assembled, and typed.
And yesterday it began.
The idea is that the kids are given a deck of cards with equations, graphs, and "information" about the four types of conics. They use their reasoning powers (and a little guidance from a packet) to match up an equation with its graph with its information. It's a great idea (I thought) and put a lot more of the learning on the kids.
It didn't go that great. See that last sentence I wrote? It put a lot more of the learning on the kids. Some of them had some big issues with that. They're so used to being spoonfed what they're learning that they didn't even know where to start. I did a lot of walking around to groups and explaining things. (And I freely admit to the spoonfeeding...that's definitely something I need to work on early next year. Be less helpful.) Today they came in; we reviewed the idea of the parabola and how everything fits into the equation, and everyone was happy. Today's lesson was on circles and everyone knew what they needed to do. They were able to match up the parabolas and then worked on the circles with no problems.
Much much happier today - them and me.
(Let's not talk about the one boy who sat and played with my rubber band the whole time.)