Saturday, December 31, 2011

Put Out the Welcome Mat

As we start second semester, you may notice some new students in some of your classes. Not just new to the class, but also some that are just starting at AHS at the beginning of second semester. Perhaps some of you might take some inspiration from this video and help them feel welcome (and perhaps also rededicate yourself to getting the most out of your time here at AHS).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We took our final exam today. Check the portal for your results. Note in the comments next to your score which problems you missed, you'll need to know those for the first assignment for next semester (below).

Your homework (yes, really) is:

  1. Second semester Algebra keeps building on what we’ve done first semester, so it’s important that you go back and review any problems you missed on the final exam to try to master the concepts. Check the portal for a list of the problems you missed on the final exam. Download the Final Exam Correction Mapping (pdf), find those problems in the first column, then work the associated problem(s) from your textbook listed in the second column. These are not due until Friday, January 6, 2012 (this will be your first graded assignment of the second semester), but I recommend that you complete them sometime over break. This will not take you very long, but it's critical that you take charge of your own learning and continue working on the areas you are still struggling with.

  2. If you need to, organize your notebook. Again, you can't simply forget and move on from first semester, we keep building, so it's important to be able to refer back to your notes and assessments from first semester. If your notebook is getting full, then make sure you have a new 3-ring binder ready to start second semester (but keep first semester's handy for reference). If your notebook is, well, not much of a notebook, then start fresh second semester and do a better job.

  3. This is optional, but I would really appreciate it if you would fill out this evaluation of me. It won't take long, and it will give me some valuable feedback. Please try to complete it by the end of this week.

  4. You can still bring donations for Kiva to me the rest of the week - just drop by my office.

  5. Finally, make sure you relax, enjoy your time with family and friends, and be thankful for all that you have.
Thanks for a great first semester. I appreciate all your hard work and am looking forward to second semester.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

We reviewed for the final exam (lesson, pdf).

Remember that our final is first thing tomorrow morning, from 7:21 am until 8:46 am. While I anticipate you finishing in that amount of time, you can stay into the second final (which you have off) to finish if necessary. I will start distributing finals at 7:15 to anyone who is there (in case you want a few extra minutes), so please come in to class quietly when you do come in.

Don't forget to bring a calculator, at least two pencils, some scratch paper, and a note card if you want. Please also bring something to study/work on in case you finish early.

Your homework for tonight is:
  1. Review for the final (both the multiple choice from Friday and the free response from today). Make sure you have all of the above to bring with you to class tomorrow. Get a good night's sleep, eat a good breakfast, and try to get to class by 7:15 tomorrow.
  2. While not a requirement, I would really, really, really, really (did I mention really?) like you to take 5-10 minutes and thoughtfully fill out this evaluation of me. You don't have to do it tonight, but sometime this week would be great. Thanks.

  3. I will still be accepting donations for Kiva all week. Either bring them to the final tomorrow, or stop by my office any time all week. Thanks. (Total so far: $17.54; Last year: $71.41 from class, $300 total.)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

We began with our assessment over Absolute Value Equations and Inequalities (key, pdf). As we discussed in class, I've decided not to count this one since I've been gone so much lately. I'd still like you to review the key and try to master the material.

We then reviewed for the final exam (lesson, pdf).

Your homework for this weekend is:
  1. Review for the final exam.I gave you two packets, one for the multiple choice portion of the final and one for the free response portion of the final. You definitely need to do the multiple choice part this weekend. I will either post the key to the blog or email it to your google apps account (or perhaps both), most likely on Sunday (because I want you to work through it before getting the key). The key (pdf) is now posted.

    The second packet is the free response review. I highly recommend you work through that this weekend as well, although you don't have to. We will go over that in class on Monday, but I think it will be a much more valuable review for you if you have already tried to work the problems this weekend. So it's up to you, but I would highly recommend it.
  2. Any more donations for Kiva? It would be great if you could bring some in on Monday, although I will accept them all next week. (Total so far: $17.02; Last year: $71.41 from class, $300 total.)
  3. You might check out this article with suggestions for how best to prepare for finals.

How to Prepare for Finals

I ran across this article in my Learning Network so I thought I'd share it with you. It has some really good advice for some ways to prepare for final exams - it's worth the 5 to 7 minutes it will take you to read it.

Here are the highlights:
  1. When you study, don't just read: write!
  2. Study in groups (with a strategy).
  3. Get good exercise and sleep during finals week.
  4. Move around when studying.
  5. Connect smells to learning.
  6. When taking an exam, if you have a problem where you're just stumped, just start writing.
Again, go read the article for all the details.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Today Mrs. Blechschmidt kindly covered for me while I was on my way to Ohio. You reviewed absolute value equations and inequalities.

Your homework for Friday is:
  1. Prepare for the Solving Absolute Value Equations and Inequalities Assessment on Friday. There are a variety of ways to do that including, but not limited to: review the online pre-assessment; review your notebook and/or the openers and lessons posted on the blog; review the video, work some practice problems in your textbook or that you find online. You can, of course, also get help from me, another math teacher, a teacher in the Study Center, a peer tutor in the Study Center, or a parent, sibling or friend. Do whatever works best for you, but make sure you're prepared. The expectation is that you should all be able to do very well on this assessment.

  2. Continue reviewing for the final exam.

  3. Quarters for Kiva? (Total so far: $17.02; Last year: $71.41 from class, $300 total.)

Review for Final 19: Solving Absolute Value Equations

Watch the Solving Absolute Value Equations video.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We began with this opener (pdf).

We then learned about the absolute value inequalities (lesson, pdf).

Your homework for tomorrow is:

  1. Watch the Solving Absolute Value Inequalities video.

  2. Practice with a few solving absolute value inequalities problems if you want (less than, greater than).
  3. Complete the Solving and Graphing Absolute Value Equations and Inequalities on the Moodle. Please note that I misspoke in class today - there will be a "more difficult" inequality like #2 on the moodle, so please be prepared for that.

  4. Quarters for Kiva? (Total so far: $17.02; Last year: $71.41 from class, $300 total.)

Review for Final 18: Solve Systems of Linear Inequalities

Watch the Solve Systems of Linear Inequalities Video.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

 Sorry I was out. I'll get the opener and lesson posted as soon as I'm back and can get them posted. The lesson was to continue looking at function notation in the context of applications of functions.

Your homework for Monday is:
  1. Continue preparing for the final. Consider watching some of the review videos if you haven't been.
  2. Think about what you could "skip" this weekend in order to donate a quarter (or more) to Kiva.

Review for Final 14: Solving Systems of Equations by Substitution

Watch the Solving Systems of Equations by Substitution video.