Last spring, right before our school year was so rudely disrupted, I had my precalc students work through a two-week unit on factoring and solving quadratics.
I approached it as a "practice what you need to practice" type thing, so I did the following:
1. Kids took pre-tests on Schoology for all of the different types of factoring and solving (GCF, grouping, difference of squares, quadratic formula, etc)
2. If they scored below a certain value, they were to watch videos and do some additional practice (I provided options such as Delta Math, MathXL, paper, etc)
3. Then they took a "final" assessment for each topic. If students scored a perfect score on the pre-check they didn't have to do the final.
It mostly worked out well, I think. Kids liked doing stuff at their own pace and only working on what they had to. I helped individually as needed.
But it also felt a bit un-organized. Maybe it's just the nature of the self-paced unit? Even though I was pretty clear with my due dates, some students didn't follow them. And using Schoology (with no math type) was a pain because of the lack of formatting. I found myself having to check all incorrect answers to make sure it wasn't just a formatting issue that made it incorrect.
So I decided to regroup a bit for this year. First, we're doing it waaaay earlier (obviously, since it's currently September and last year this was Feb-March). The biggest thing I decided to do to change was to use Delta Math solely as my pre-test and practice vehicle.
I invested $75 today in Delta Math Plus. Honestly, I hate paying for extras but so far am happy with my decision. Here's why:
1. I can set a maximum number of problems for the students to work out (using the DM "Test" feature). This is perfect for my pre-tests, and the students still get different problems than their neighbors.
2. I can individually assign to students who require the practice instead of posting assignments to everyone and them getting confused on why it's there if they don't have to do it, etc.
3. I created an assignment with my own custom problems.
4. Math type isn't an issue.
So my new plan is this:
1. Pre-tests for factoring on Delta Math. If you score above a 75%, you're done with that topic. If you are below that, then:
2. You watch the Edpuzzle for that type of factoring (I can assign it individually to the students through Schoology) and complete the Delta Math practice (again, assigned individually).
3. All students are assigned edpuzzles and Delta Math assignments for Sum/Difference of Cubes (because no one ever remembers that) and Factoring with Negative/Rational Exponents (brand new - this is the custom Delta Math assignment that I created).
4. All factoring assignments are due next Monday, upon which we'll repeat the process for Solving Quadratics. (factoring, quadratic formula, completing the square)
5. I'll follow up with a Final Assessment at the end of next week.
I also created a google form for the students to submit their individual scores on their pre-tests - I think it'll help me see who to assign what. It also will send a response to each student with their scores and info on what to do next.
My fingers are crossed that this will work a little more smoothly this year!
Also, one last thing - we're fully in person right now, with remote students working from home (I only have 3 remote precalc students). I feel good that all of this work lends itself to being either in-class or at home.