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eMATH January 2022 Newsletter

Happy New Year! We’ve now closed the book (thankfully) on 2021. As 2022 begins, we know the challenges facing teachers, students, and parents are as daunting as they have ever been. As always, we’ve been working hard to create more resources that teachers can use in their classrooms. Before we detail the new resources we’ve added, all of us at eMATHinstruction want to give a huge shout out to all teachers. You are rock stars, and we want you to know that we appreciate each and every one of you.

Middle School Updates

In N-Gen Math 6 this month, we bring you resources for Unit 8 (Percent). First, we have the exit tickets for this unit and we have added a mid-unit quiz. We also have published the Spanish versions of the Unit 8 Review and Unit 8 Assessment.

For N-Gen Math 7 this month, we have new materials for Unit 6 (Linear Equations and Inequalities). We have now published the exit tickets and the mid-unit quiz for Unit 6. We have also published the Spanish language versions of the Unit 6 Review and Unit 6 Assessment.

Rounding out our new middle school additions, we have materials for Unit 7 (Exponents and Roots) in N-Gen Math 8. First, we have published the exit tickets for Unit 7, and we have also published the Unit 7 mid-unit quiz. Finally, we have also published the Spanish language versions of the Unit 7 Assessment and Unit 7 Review.

High School Updates

For Common Core Algebra I, this month we bring you two new resources for Unit 7 (Polynomials). First, we have the Unit 7 Mid-Unit Quiz Form C. We also have a nice fluency sheet on squaring binomials and factoring perfect square trinomials. This is a great sheet to have kids work on before doing work with completing the square.

In Common Core Geometry, we have two additions to Unit 6 (Quadrilaterals). First, we have added the Unit 6 Mid-Unit Quiz Form C. We also bring you a worksheet on the symmetries of the major quadrilaterals. This is a good set of problems for kids to think about lines of symmetry in quadrilaterals as well as rotational symmetries.

Our Common Core Algebra II additions for this month include one from Unit 8 (Radicals and the Quadratic Formula) and one from Unit 9 (Complex Numbers). First, we have added a practice set of problems on fractional exponents and roots. This is a set of challenging problems (great for extra credit) where students rewrite expressions using exponent laws as well as knowledge of roots and fractional powers. We also have the posted the Unit 9 Mid-Unit Quiz Form C.

Finally, in Algebra 2 with Trigonometry this month we have added the Unit 9 (Trigonometric Applications) Mid-Unit Quiz Form C.

In Other Algebra II News

Common Core Algebra II and Algebra 2 with Trigonometry

We have now combined our Common Core Algebra II and Algebra 2 with Trigonometry memberships. Going forward, we will be offering an Algebra II course membership which will grant access to resources for both of these courses. If you currently hold a Common Core Algebra II membership you now also have access to Algebra 2 with Trigonometry resources.

For the 2022-2023 school year, we will continue to produce new materials for Common Core Algebra II, but not for Algebra 2 with Trigonometry.

Looking to Spring

We look forward to winter becoming spring in the coming months. And with spring, our new N-Gen Math Algebra I should also be coming out. We hope to have samples available in late spring. For now, stay warm, stay healthy, and stay sane. Take time for yourselves and have faith that we will all get through this to warmer times.

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Common Core Algebra II Exam – First Thoughts – by Kirk

I don’t know about anyone else, but it was a long, long day for me. We had 475 students taking the Common Core Algebra II Regents exam for the first time at Arlington High School. The exam started at 8:00 a.m., but I was there at 6:30 along with Dawn Orlik, the head proctor of the exam, to begin setting up for it.

All 475 students were in one giant gymnasium for us. The exam actually went off without a hitch, which was fortunate given the time pressure we were under. Ten amazing Arlington Math teachers proctored the exam to all of these worried students, many of whom stayed the entire three hours.

And then, we went into overdrive mode!!! Our entire department, 23 math teachers, sat and graded from 11:30 until 3:00 in the afternoon. Organizing a large grading process like this is an undertaking all by itself, but I won’t bore you with the details. I myself spent the first half of the grading on problem #37, the 6 pointer!!! Then, I transitioned to the first four 2 point problems, #25, 26, 27, and 28. I also spent some time on the disastrous #33. So, those are the questions I am most comfortable discussing, although I did work through the entire Part II, III, and IV section and analyzed the multiple choice.

And then I didn’t bring a single exam home with me. So, now I have to give you my analysis by complete memory, which will be faulty at best. So, I’m going to give some bullet points until I can carve up an exam and have actual images of problems. Here we go:

I thought the test was fair and I overall liked the questions and the content.

I thought the multiple choice was a bit harder than I expected and the free response was a bit easier than I expected.

The multiple choice had too many problems in it where they tried to be “tricky” and ended up testing aptitude more than content. These included the one where they gave them the inverse and asked them for the original and the awful one with completing the square with silly leading coefficients of 4.

I loved the six point problem. I graded that one and students did really well on it. I liked the fact that students had to deal with a given model, then use a graph of that model to answer realistic questions.

I generally liked the free response. It made me sad that the hardest one seemed to be the systems problem with the circle. So straightforward. So mechanical. So botched!

VERY LITTLE TRIG. In fact, only four total trig problems and three of them were sinusoidal modeling. I was VERY annoyed by the two point trig graphing problem. Many students went 0 for 2 even though they had the correct midline and amplitude BUT had graphed more than one cycle plus had not labeled their period correctly. But, that’s the issue with trying to package a 3 or 4 point problem into 2 points. No tangent, cotangent, secant, etc…

I generally liked the statistics questions. A straightforward normal distribution in multiple choice and then two simulation questions, both on proportions, which I thought was a bit strange. I liked the controlled experiment question, but could it have killed them to tell us what mystery ingredient X was supposed to do (fight cavities, brighten teeth, better taste)? Come on, invest a little in your question writing.

I liked the rational algebra and polynomial work. It wasn’t too bad and stressed mostly important things. I graded the “is (x-5) a factor…” question and almost all kids got it correct. I do wonder about the use of limit notation in that multiple choice problem on polynomials, but we could easily incorporate that into lessons. It would be a nice tool to use. Even that weird proof question was on the easier side and lent itself to many different approaches.

Nothing on mortgages or Newton’s Law of Cooling. Yay! I also liked the Geometric Series question. It was fair and a good application of the formula. All in all, the sequence/series questions were challenging, as they always are, but not particularly tricky.

All in all, I think we felt pretty good about the test. I hope it helps put to bed the idea that this course still has a lot of trig in it. This is definitely NOT Common Core Algebra II and Trig. I think that a lot of precalculus courses will not need to incorporate a lot more traditional trigonometry.

I applaud NYSED for creating a test that was fair, stuck pretty much to what we knew it would, and didn’t go off the standards in any serious way. I’m hopeful they will get us the curve before their end date of June 23rd. My bet is June 22nd, if they hold true to form. I hope the exam went well for all of you out there, whether you were a student or teacher taking the test.