Friday, November 18, 2011

Two more days...

It's felt like months since we've had a day off of school (except for weekends, of course, which are normally so crammed full of stuff that I am able to relax more during the week!).  That Labor Day to Thanksgiving stretch is certainly a killer!  But can you believe that it's almost Thanksgiving already?!  Yikes.

Working on trig in precalc and it seems to be going pretty well!  I've taken a page out of Ms. Cookie's book ( I referenced it here) and have been giving them a unit circle every day to practice with (writing degrees, radians, ordered pairs).  I don't know if I'll go so far to "grade" it, but they are definitely appreciating the value of knowing all of the points and angles around the circle.  On day 1 I had 3 kids (one in each class) complete the entire unit circle in 4 minutes.  On day 2 I was up to about 12.  Niiiiice.

Yesterday was when I introduced reference angles for the first time... but I let the kids come up with their importance.  After our unit circle 4-minute frenzy, I gave them this half sheet:

I was really pleased with some of the relationships they saw in the angles.  Recognizing the reference angles with our special radian angles was a piece of cake (and I'm embarrassed to say I'd never made the connection before!) and in two of my classes they saw that all of the degree answers were the same value from the x-axis.  Hopefully that will help the idea of the reference angle stick!

I'm heading to my alma mater tomorrow (Miami University!) for a math competition.  Our calc teacher takes a group of kids each year and I've never been able to go until this year. I'm not going as an official chaperon, but I am riding the bus (ew) because it's totally out of the way for the calc teacher to come to school then drive to Oxford (she lives halfway between the two).  Should be a fun time - I know most of the kids she's taking (I think there's 9 of them) and it's supposed to be a pretty day.  Besides, any day that I can get a bagel at Bagel & Deli is a banner day!

Just gave a factoring quiz in Algebra 2... I feel like I've rushed a lot this year with them, but it's so hard to slow down because they're all doing so well!  I'm almost 2 weeks ahead of where I was last year and feel like they haven't missed out on anything.  My plan is to include factoring on everything we do now so that they don't forget it when the time comes when we actually need it.  We'll see how that goes. :)

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