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eMath November 2018 Newsletter

I can’t figure out if it is mid-November or mid-January. It’s 30 degrees outside and we are expecting to receive 3 to 8 inches of snow and ice tonight. Too cold, by far, for this year. But, here’s a little Koch Snowflake to celebrate the impending storm:

Things are warming up at eMathInstruction as we post a new round of add-ons and work on a whole new trilogy of books (more on that in December). With that teaser out of the way, let’s talk about the add-ons for the month.

For Common Core Algebra I Add-Ons this month we bring you two of our Form C assessments. We now have Unit 3 (Functions) and Unit 4 (Linear Functions) Form C Assessments available. As we mention most months, these assessments mirror the first two (Forms A and B) and so can be used for various periods, makeups, etcetera. We likely will keep adding these year after year in order for teachers to have a great back supply of tests and questions to pull from.

In our Common Core Geometry Add-Ons we have more Geometry proofs and a Form B assessment. In Unit 3 we bring you some extra practice on  Additional Triangle Proof Day 2. This worksheet has practice writing longer proofs that involve both CPCTC (how could they not?) and partitioning. Not our students’ favorite proofs, but good to practice just in case. We also bring you the Form B of the Unit 5 Assessment (The Tools of Coordinate Geometry).

Common Core Algebra II Add-Ons bring you two additional assessments for Unit 4. First, we have a Form B of the Unit 4 Mid-Unit Quiz. Unit 4 is our lengthy unit on Exponential and Logarithmic Functions. The quiz should be given after Lesson 7. We also bring you the Form C of the Formative Assessment for Unit 4.

Finally our Algebra 2 with Trigonometry Add-Ons include an enrichment lesson and a full unit quiz, both for Unit 5. First we bring you Lesson 5.5 on the Discriminant of a Quadratic. This is a great enrichment activity that is particularly good for advanced/honors students who are comfortable with their algebra. It looks at the connections between the solutions to linear-quadratic systems and the values of the discriminant of the systems. We also bring you a Form B for the full unit quiz for Unit 5.

In other eMath news, we attended the AMTNYS (Association of Teachers of New York State) Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs, New York, recently. We got to speak to so many great teachers there. A shout-out to all of you that stopped by our booth, chatted with us, and shared some of your stories. Thank you also to all of the exceptionally hard working teachers at this conference that give talks that share your classroom work and great ideas. Finally, the largest recognition should go out to those who organize the conference, i.e. the officers and other members of AMTNYS. All of these folks are full time teachers and volunteers who spend countless hours of work to put on a this conference. They don’t get recognized for this work and know they won’t, but do it anyway because it helps improve math education for all New York students. If that doesn’t epitomize what it means to be a teacher, I don’t know what does. I tip my hat to you all!

Thanksgiving Break is soon upon us (and early this year). Enjoy the long weekend. May it be filled with family, food, and relaxation!!! -Kirk

 

 

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eMath October 2018 Newsletter

October in upstate New York is underway with its beautiful colors, chilly air, shorter days, and lots and lots of apples.

Here at eMathInstruction we are gearing up to attend the AMTNYS (Association of Math Teachers of New York State) Annual Fall conference in Saratoga Springs, New York. If you are attending the conference, please drop by and say hello. We love to chat with teachers who are using our curriculum to get vital feedback.

We’ve been busy in the last month creating new resources for you to use this year. We just posted the October Add-Ons for each of the courses. Let’s get into what those add-ons are for the month.

In our Common Core Algebra I Add-Ons we bring you some extra practice and another Form C exam. In Unit 2 we have a nice set of exercises to allow students to practice more on solving and graphing the solution sets to equations and inequalities. Some of the exercises are error analysis where students need to find the mistake and correct it. We also bring you the Form C Assessment for Unit 2. You now have three forms of the Assessments for Units 1 and 2. We’ll keep adding these on because teachers tell us that these extra assessments save a lot of time. Always feel free to let us know what add-ons you think would be helpful.

In the Common Core Geometry Add-Ons we also bring you extra practice and another assessment. We created a nice set of exercises that can be done towards the end of Unit 3 (Euclidean Triangle Proof). This set of exercises has kids justify why triangles must be congruent based on both rigid body motion reasoning and more classic Euclidean reasoning with congruence theorems. This is a great way to revisit two different types of thinking about congruence. We also bring you the Form B Assessment for Unit 4 (Constructions). Always good to have more than one assessment, especially when it contains lots and lots of geometric diagrams, as the Construction Assessment obviously has.

For our Common Core Algebra II Add-Ons its all Form C Assessments. We bring you both the Unit 2 (Functions) and Unit 3 (Linear Functions) Form C Assessments. Who couldn’t use an extra test with a system of three equations and three unknowns? Yes, that topic may be going away with the Next Gen changes, but it’s still in the curriculum now.

Finally, our Algebra 2 with Trigonometry Add-Ons also contain two assessments. We have now created Unit 3 (Quadratic Functions) Mid-Unit Quiz Form B. This quiz should be given after Lesson #8 in that very long unit. With two forms of this quiz now available teachers can mix and match or just give the new one for the year. We’ve also created a Unit 4 (Radicals and the Quadratic Formula) Form B Unit Assessment.

Well, a short newsletter for this month. I need to get back to writing. But, writing what?!? We plan to have a very exciting announcement in the next month or two regarding exactly that. I know my 5th grade daughter Evie is very excited to share the news. As always, if you have any suggestions for add-ons or questions about anything, feel free to contact us at: Info@emathinstruction.com

 

 

 

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eMath September 2018 Newsletter

It’s mid-September, which means classes have started and both teachers and kids are getting back into the school groove. We’ve been super busy here at eMathInstruction handling orders, sorting through technical issues (lost codes, lost codes, and more lost codes), writing books, and creating add-ons. We’ve got those up and ready for you, so let me lay out what’s new in September.

For Common Core Algebra I Add-Ons we’ve got two new Unit 1 resources. First, we have a new Skill Building set. This is our second for Unit 1 and we added it because it is so crucial that students establish these early skills, most of which should be a review from 8th grade and earlier. We’ve also brought you a Unit 1 Assessment Form C. That’s right!  This is our third assessment for Unit 1. We’ve heard from teachers that these additional assessments are critical, so we are committed to creating more of them for all of our courses.

Common Core Geometry is our “youngest” course and thus has the least add-ons so far. For this month’s Common Core Geometry Add-Ons we bring you two resources for Unit 3 (Euclidean Proof). First we have a Lesson 6 Warm-Up on parallel line terminology and properties. This is a great resource to use to review all of the terminology associated with parallel lines (alternate interior, exterior, same-side, corresponding). Use this if you think your students need this terminology review before higher-level work with parallel lines. We’ve also brought you the Form B (second) Unit 3 Assessment. We will get out a second assessment for each of our Geometry units this year, hopefully having them all done by February.

In Common Core Algebra II Add-Ons we bring you a couple of Unit 1 resources. We created a skill building set for Unit 1 similar to the ones we have for Algebra I. This set of problems gives students extra practice on some basic skills that they will need in order to be successful throughout the course. We also bring you the Form C of the Unit 1 Assessment. So, now you have three assessments for this unit to mix and match.

Algebra 2 with Trigonometry is our oldest course having been created in 2008, well before the Common Core Standards were adopted in New York (just a little history). For this month’s Algebra 2 with Trigonometry we bring you a Form B exam for Unit 3 (Quadratics). For Unit 4 we have a really nice Quadratic Modeling Extended Problem that has students play around with some projectile physics.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m pretty happy it’s Friday as I write this. As a teacher, you always sort of forget how good a Friday feels over summer break. But, once schools begins again, there isn’t anything quite like it. For now, enjoy your classes, your kids, and your beautiful fall weekends (Winter is coming).

 

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eMath May 2018 Newsletter

Well, Spring has definitely sprung here in the great Northeast. As I sit here massive thundershowers are hitting us. We even have a tornado warning! I grew up in Illinois, where the flat terrain essentially guaranteed that tornadoes were commonplace. But, surrounded by mountains (or large hills as some would insist) here in Red Hook, we don’t tend to see twisters here.

But, enough about the weather (actually I’m going to come back to it eventually). We are heading into the homestretch of the school year. With roughly a month to go before standardized testing sets in, teachers should be heading into full on review mode. To that end, let’s discuss the add-ons for Common Core Algebra I, Common Core Algebra II, and Algebra 2 with Trigonometry. Last year for each of these courses we put out short (10 points each) Unit Review quizzes for each unit. For both CC Algebra II and Alg 2 with Trig we put multiple quizzes out for the longer units as well. We released these quizzes between the April and May add-on rounds from last year.

This year we are releasing the Form B (or makeup) quizzes for all three courses. We organized the quizzes from last year and rereleased them as Form A. We then also released Form B as new content. For each course, both documents, Form A and Form B, contain quizzes for all units. These quizzes will help spot check the students as you conduct unit review. Since Teachers have access to the Word document as well, you have the flexibility to combine quizzes as you like and need to.

We will start up with more add-ons in August! Including add-ons for Geometry.

In other exciting news, eMathInstruction will host Live reviews for the New York State High School Regents exams!!!

Last year we live streamed reviews for CC Algebra I, CC Algebra II, and CC Geometry (in that order). We did this using only Instagram Live, since that was where we thought we could reach the most students. By the time we did our last review, CC Geo, we had over 20k viewers. Granted, some of them probably weren’t students at all and left as soon as they realized it was a big, old geek (me) talking about math, but still! Over 20 thousand unique viewers. Even if 5,000 were students, that would be great.

This year we hope to live stream it on Instagram Live, Facebook Live, and YouTube Live. We still have to work out the details on that. But, the dates and times have been set:

Algebra I Review: Monday, June 11th, 6 until 9 p.m.

Algebra II Review: Wednesday, June 13th, 6 until 9 p.m.

Geometry Review: Monday, June 18th, 6 until 9 p.m.

Kids will be able to tune in via Instagram Live (at least) and have a chance to comment (briefly) at certain times during the video. They will need to follow:

@emathinstruction

 

Last year we streamed to my own personal account (@kirkweiler if you want to see me post pictures of my garden), but this year we are only Instagram Live Feeding to @emathinstruction. Have your students follow that to watch. Once we know how to watch on YouTube Live and Facebook Live we will let people know via Facebook.

Finally, back to the weather! In my experience, many math teachers are weather junkies. We like both the predictable, science side of it as well as its probabilistic nature. A neat website to help you visualize the weather patterns, especially air velocity, is a site called Ventusky.com.

It’s a super cool site where those little streaks you see in the image actually move on the screen relative to the velocity of the wind currents. It is especially impressive when you are looking at a hurricane. Here’s a hurricane like pattern off the coast of Japan (thankfully not an actual hurricane/typhoon).

So, check it out if you have the time. It is a CPU drain, so just keep that in mind and close whatever browser window you use to look at it, either on your computer or phone, once you’re done.

That’s it for me for now. We’ll get back to you all with way more news about the Live events as we get closer. Make sure to announce them to your students so they can have a night before (literally) review. You never know who it might push past the passing line.

 

 

 

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eMath February 2018 Newsletter

It’s mid-month, which means it’s time for our newsletter. Valentine’s Day is now passed but we still have plenty of treats for you this month. So, let’s get right into it.

We’re going to start the discussion with Geometry, which is quickly starting to get filled out and ready for Version 2. We finished editing all of the videos and posting them to YouTube. That also means we were able to add the QR codes to the worksheets.

In addition to finishing the videos and adding the QR codes we have also increased the graphics quality considerably on the diagrams in the book. Every diagram that shows up in Geometry has been made by the FX MathPack, which was created by the Efofex software company, and which we sell in our Shop. The resulting PDF files are larger in size, but the sharpness of the images is now excellent.

We have, of course, posted the latest Common Core Geometry Unit Review and Unit Assessment. For this month, we released the Unit #9 (Circle Geometry) Review and Assessment. This is a monster review packet of problems along with a great assessment. That means that next month we will be releasing the final Common Core Geometry Review and Assessment (Unit #10 on Measurement and Modeling). Next year, of course, we will begin to release add-ons for Common Core Geometry, likely including new lessons (Intro to Parallel Lines, the General Area Formula for a Triangle, …) and make up assessments.

Alright, enough Geometry. Now for the Common Core Algebra I Add-Ons. This month we bring you a mid-unit quiz and a new lesson. Both are designed for Unit #9 (Roots and Irrational Numbers). We have a Form A and Form B mid-unit quiz that covers all of the material through Lesson #4 (Solving Quadratics Using Inverse Operations). We also bring you a lesson that connects the process of Completing the Square with area models. We think this lesson could be taught in either Unit #8 (after completing the square) or in Lesson #9 right before (or I suppose after) Finding Zeroes by Completing the Square. In the lesson, we look at why the algorithm of dividing the linear coefficient by 2 and then squaring the result makes sense from an area perspective. It’s super cool! I hope to have a video version of it next month.

For Common Core Algebra II Add-Ons this month we have two new resources for Unit #10 on Polynomial and Rational functions. First, we added Lesson #1.5 on the End Behavior of Polynomials. We felt like our current lessons on Polynomial Graphs and their Equations just didn’t do this topic justice. So, we added one that looks more closely at how the end behavior (a.k.a. long-run behavior) of polynomials is dependent on its leading coefficient and degree. We also added an activity on Rational algebra (called Rational Puzzles Activity). This activity has students investigate interesting patterns that emerge when you manipulate an integer and then explain these patterns using rational algebra. We think this is a really great activity for kids once they have learned how to simplify rational expressions as well as add, subtract, multiply and divide them.

Finally, for Algebra 2 and Trigonometry add-ons this month we have a huge new set of Trigonometry Application problems. Students can always use more practice with the Law of Sines and Law of Cosines and this problem set gives them plenty!

On a final note, recently my kids and I have really gotten into the 3D printing craze. The great thing about 3D printing, besides that it is now relatively affordable, is it has given rise to tons of free websites and other programs that allow for unparalleled 3D modeling. My favorite, right now, is a site called Tinkercad. This is a completely free online program from the makers of AutoCAD:

The platform is easy to signup for and quite easy to use. The great thing is that it allows kids (and adult kids) to play around with 3D geometry, including the movement (translations, rotations, and reflections) and scaling (dilation) of figures to achieve whatever you are trying to make. My kids and I had a challenge to model Luke’s original lightsaber (geek alert). Here’s a picture of it from online:

And here is my version of it on TinkerCAD:

Not perfect, but pretty good. The 3D print of it was small, but also awesome! This won’t be my last discussion of these types of programs. We live in an age when experiencing 3D Geometry is easier than it ever has been before. If we want kids to be able to visualize the cross-sections of solids, then why not allow them to cut them open? The programs that allow them to do this are everywhere and I would encourage math teachers to play around with them. In fact, if you have a new PC (even relatively new with Windows 10) you already have one of these programs pre-installed on your computer called 3D Builder. Here is a screenshot of a recent “Ball in Box” design I finished:

Alright, well, only one month (more or less) until Pi Day. Hopefully the snows will soon melt and give way to spring. But, I’m not holding my breath.

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eMath January 2018 Newsletter

Hello all! We are just about at the mid-point of the academic year, which means it is very, very cold in upstate New York. We are working hard at eMath this January to bring you new materials and to continue to update older ones. Let’s get right into the add-ons for this month.

For Common Core Algebra I Add-Ons this month we bring you a new lesson and an additional problem set, both from Unit #8 on Quadratic Functions and Their Algebra. First, we have added a lesson on solving Linear-Quadratic Systems Algebraically and Graphically. This is a topic that some already do in Algebra I and others will do once the New York State Next Generation Standards kick in a few years from now. We thought we’d get a jump on those and add this lesson now. We’ve also added a problem sheet with extra Quadratic Word problems (technically Lesson 9 in this unit). I think you can never go wrong with more quadratic word problems as kids need as much practice with these as possible.

In Common Core Geometry, we continue with the Unit Reviews and Unit Assessments. This month it is Unit #8 on Right Triangle Trigonometry. We’ve put together a great packet of Review problems and a good assessment that should help you assess your students’ knowledge of this important subject. It looks like at this pace we will be publishing the last Unit Review and Assessment in March (Unit #10 on Measurement and Modeling). That will round out Common Core Geometry for this academic year.

For Common Core Algebra II Add-Ons we have two new lessons in Unit #9 on Complex Numbers. We’ve always felt that this unit was a bit brief so we added lessons that we think would be great for enriching the unit. The first lesson (#2.5) is on the Division of Complex numbers. This is a challenging topic both conceptually and mechanically. The second lesson (#5) is on the Complex Plane. Graphing complex numbers and finding their modulus (absolute value) are emphasized in this lesson.

Finally, for Algebra 2 with Trigonometry we bring you a nice add-on for Unit #8 (Trigonometric Algebra). We created a nice review set of Trig Equations that emphasize all of the equation solving techniques in this unit, including basic equations, quadratic trig equations, equations involving trig identities, and equations that need to be solved graphically. This is a great problem set to use as additional review at the end of this unit.

That’s it for now. Here at eMathInstruction we’d like to wish everyone a happy and thoughtful Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As we go through some rough times in our country and we question our basic identity on a daily basis, we hope that this day above all others makes us reflect on the commonalities that bring us together rather than the differences that seem to be tearing us apart.

 

 

 

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eMath December 2017 Newsletter

Well, its cold and dark outside, so it must be December. The waning days of 2017 are upon us. Since it is mid-month, it’s time to release our latest round of add-ons and give you the latest eMathInstruction news. But, first, let’s do the add-ons.

For Common Core Algebra I Add-Ons this month we bring you two new lessons, both in Unit #7 on polynomials. We added lessons 7 and 8 which look at both multiplying and factoring polynomials with the help of area models. The second lesson specifically looks at how to factor trinomials by essentially using the AC Method of factoring, but in an area array so that students can more easily see how this factoring relates to the previous lesson where we multiply binomials using area. We do plan to eventually make videos for these two lessons as we feel they are a great addition to the curriculum.

As usual, our Common Core Geometry additions this month are in the form of a Unit Review and a Unit Assessment. This month it is Unit #7 – Dilations and Similarity. We’ve put together a huge packet of problems on this unit that should give your students lot of extra practice on these tricky concepts and how they link together. It does look like, at this rate, that we should have the last Unit Review and Assessment for Geometry in the March add-ons.

Our Common Core Algebra II Add-Ons this month include one video and one new lesson. We made a video for a lesson we released last year in Unit #6 – Using Structure to Factor Expressions. This is a great lesson where students need to recognize the structure of complex algebraic patterns in order to efficiently factor them. We’ve updated the lesson to add the QR code for easier access to the video. Our new lesson comes from Unit 8 (Radicals and the Quadratic Formula). The lesson is on A Closer Look at Extraneous Roots and should be taught after Lesson 2 on Solving Square Root Equations. This lessons takes an in-depth look at why certain square root equation have extraneous roots introduced and why squaring an expression is an irreversible algebraic manipulation.

Finally, for our Algebra 2 and Trigonometry Add-Ons we have two nice new resources. First, we have a Unit #7 (Trigonometric Functions) mid-unit quiz, Form B. Last year we put out a Form A for this quiz and we decided it made sense to create a make-up for this quiz as well. We also created a large set of practice problems on graphing sine and cosine functions. This is a nice resource that gives students lots of extra practice in terms of graphing sine and cosine functions (without a horizontal shift) and also coming up with the equations based on the graphs.

That’s it for add-ons. Besides those, we’ve been hard at work on other projects. Just this week I went down to Long Island and visited Ward Melville High School in the Three Village School District. They had won our contest earlier this year with the dubious prize being my teaching at their school for the day. It was a blast!!! Hopefully we will eventually have video and pictures to share. I got to teach in a black box theater (definitely a first and maybe a last time for me). I mainly taught a Geometry lesson on using linear functions to model the following (mathematical) doodle:

It was a nice activity because it necessitated the use of both the slope-intercept (red portion) form of the line and the point-slope form of a line (blue portion). We also used the online graphing program, Desmos, to create the doodle. Of course, my tendency to take it way too far lead me to create a Desmos graph that would allow the user to vary the number of lines plotted so that graphs like this could be created:

Here’s that Desmos sheet if you want to play around with the doodle yourself:

Mathematical Doodle with Adjustable Line Count

And just because we are on the topic of Desmos, here are some other Desmos graphs I created that are particularly fun to play around with. Feel free to open these and play them as eye-candy for your students as they walk into the door.

Archimeade’s Rotating Spiral

Logarithmic Spiral with Rolling Ball

Complex Ferris Wheel

Lissouj Figures

Dynamic Polar Roses

Rotating Spiral

Well, I think that is longer than what anyone wanted to read. It’s time for me to get back to creating curriculum and stocking up the wood stove (did I mention it’s cold in upstate New York today?). Have a wonderful holiday season everyone. Enjoy the long break coming up!

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eMath November 2017 Newsletter

Hello All! It’s November and next week if our first big break of the year. Thanksgiving comes early this year. We always want to take the opportunity to thank all of the teachers, schools, and students who use our materials and give us feedback. We appreciate all of your help in making our curriculum better, including giving us feedback on which add-ons we should create.

Speaking of add-ons, let’s get to them. First up, Common Core Algebra I Add-Ons for this month. We’ve got a couple different items for you. First up is a new video to go along with our Unit 6 Percent Warm-Up lesson that we added on last year. We’ve updated the lesson with its QR code. For teachers who have students that need just a bit to get them back up to speed on what percents are, have them watch this video and do this lesson. We’ve also created a nice performance task for Unit 6 on modeling different types of interest. This is a great assessment for individuals or groups. It gives you a good sense for how well students understand linear versus exponential functions. We’ve included a sample rubric, but encourage teachers to decide how to grade this task.

For Common Core Geometry, we’ve added another Unit Review and Unit Assessment, specifically for Unit #6 on Quadrilaterals. If you need a ton of quadrilateral problems to assign over holiday break in another month (or so) check this set out.

Common Core Algebra II Add-Ons include a new video and a new lesson. We recently created a video for our lesson on Factoring Using the AC-Method. We put that lesson out last month as an add-on, but now we’ve put out the video and updated the lesson with the video QR code. Remember, if kids have the latest edition of the iOS for iPhone, the camera has a QR reader built in. We also added a new lesson this month that follows up the Locus Definition of a Parabola. In our new lesson, More Work with the Directrix and Focus of a Parabola, we look at what I call the focal length formula of a parabola, i.e.,

At first I was a bit hesitant to introduce this formula, but after all was said and done, I liked the lesson and how it ties in to the previous one using the distance formula to derive the equation of a parabola based on the focus and directrix. Hopefully this lesson will help students with basic focus/directrix problems on the New York State Regents.

BTW, anyone notice anything different between the cover of the June Common Core Algebra II Regents exam and the August Algebra II Regents exam (besides the date)?

I can’t quite put my finger on the difference, but I know there is one.

Finally, for Algebra 2 with Trigonometry Add-Ons we have a few different items. First, we added a Unit #6 – Polynomials and Rational Functions mid-unit quiz. This quiz covers the first five lessons (through simplifying rational expressions). We created two forms of it to help with absent students. We also added our Unit #6 Polynomial challenge. This is a graphing activity for kids that utilizes the online site Desmos to help kids better understand the factored form of a polynomial equation. We’ve previously released this activity for Common Core Algebra II and kids love it. If your school has access to Chromebooks or iPads this is a fun activity to do, especially before a holiday break.

Besides add-ons, we are busy with many other projects here at eMathInstruction. Progress continues on website improvements as well as our prototype e-textbook app. We are looking forward to visiting Ward Melville High School in the Three Village School District on December 13th. It looks like I’m going to be teaching a bunch of Geometry that day. I’m so looking forward to it!!!!

Have a great Thanksgiving Break everyone. Eat, drink, and be merry. See you soon.

Kirk

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eMath October 2017 Newsletter

Happy October to all!!! The weather in upstate New York is starting to get colder and the trees are finally changing color. As the holiday season approaches (my son considers Halloween to be the first legitimate holiday), we have been busy working on a variety of different things at eMathInstruction.

Without further ado, let’s get right into the add-ons for this month. Our Common Core Algebra I Add-Ons consist of a performance task and a mid-unit quiz. We’ve created a Unit #4 Performance Task on Linear Modeling. This isn’t a lengthy assessment but it will give teachers a good sense for how well students understand linear modeling and how they react in a situation that is somewhat non-routine. We’ve included a sample rubric for the teacher, but teachers may want to create their own. We’ve also created a mid-unit quiz for Unit #5 – Systems of Linear Equations. This quiz (with two forms of it) covers through Lesson #4 (up to and including the Elimination Method).

The Common Core Geometry add-ons for this month can be found under the Unit Reviews and Unit Assessments. This month we published both the Unit #4 (Constructions) and Unit #5 (Coordinate Geometry) Reviews and Assessments. The Construction Unit Review is long and contains all of the classic constructions (up to this point) as well as applications of these constructions (such as reflecting a point across a line). The assessment for this unit is understandably a bit different. We plan to publish one or two unit reviews and assessments per month until all have been completed. We plan to have them all finished by the March add-on round at the latest.

We did something a bit different for Common Core Algebra II Add-Ons this month. We went back and recorded videos for two Unit #4 add-ons lessons we had already created, specifically Lesson 7.5 on Exponential Modeling Revisited and Lesson 15 on Asymptotes of Exponential and Logarithmic functions. We’ve modified the worksheets so that they now contain the QR Codes for the videos. Did you know that the newest OS on the iPhone has an automatic QR reader built into the Camera app? It’s true. All a student, with the latest OS on an iPhone, has to do is point their camera at a QR code as if they were taking a picture of it and the link will open to our video. As well, we also created a lesson on factoring trinomials using the “AC” method, i.e. the product and sum considerations of a trinomial. We are considering recording a video for that an another Algebra II lesson for next month’s add-ons.

Finally, for Algebra 2 and Trigonometry Add-Ons this month we created two forms of a Unit #4 quiz. This unit is on Radicals and the Quadratic Formula. The two forms of the quiz cover all topics through work with the quadratic formula (through Lesson #7).

In other eMathInstruction news, we ran a contest this month to gauge the interest level in having me come and teach for a day at a school. Over 100 schools gave us feedback on Facebook. We had a drawing about a week ago and Ward Melville High School in the Three Village District on Long Island won the drawing. So, I’ll be headed there in mid-December to teach some classes and talk with students. I’m really looking forward to the visit! We are hoping to do another one of these drawings in the spring. Maybe I’ll be coming to your district to do some Regents Review. Who knows?

We have just begun very preliminary work on our Common Core Algebra I App (or eBook). We are working on all sorts of functionality for our new electronic only textbook. Included will be a button to allow problems to be read to the student (or sub parts of problems), the ability to play a video showing the solution to a lesson problem (instead of having to watch the whole video), and the ability for teachers to be able to turn the answer key on and off for given lessons, avoiding the need to separately purchase the answer key subscription. We hope to have an initial prototype of the book done by the end of the academic year and to have it fully functioning by the time the Next Generation Math Standards go into effect in New York State (2020-2021?).

That’s it for now. I hope that the school year is progressing well for everyone, students and teacher alike. New school years always bring surprises, both positive and negative. As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or other feedback don’t hesitate to contact me at Kirk@emathinstruction.com.

 

 

 

 

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eMath September 2017 Newsletter

A new school year has started in the great Northeast. The light is getting dimmer while the trees are getting prettier. We’ve been all sorts of busy this past month at eMathInstruction working on making our site easier to use and coming up with add-ons to the courses. Let’s get right into those.

Let’s begin with the Common Core Algebra I Add-Ons. This month we’ve added two new lessons. One fits into Unit #3 between Lesson 6 and 7 (so I’ve given it Lesson 6.5). The lesson title is Motion and Average Rate of Change. We’ve seen quite a few motion problems on the Common Core Algebra I Regents Exam, so I thought it was time we devoted a lesson just to them. We also added Unit 4 – Lesson 9.5 on Solving Absolute Value Equations. We emphasized simple algebraic equations and more complicated graphical ones. Interestingly enough, there is no mention of solving any absolute value equations algebraically in the Common Core Standards, only graphically. Which is why you’ve only seen them that way on the Regents exams. Here’s a good example from June of 2016.

Moving right along to Common Core Geometry, recall that our add-ons to the Common Core Geometry curriculum this year will be the Unit Reviews and Unit Assessments. This month we’ve added on every student’s favorite, Unit #3 – Triangle Congruence Proof. We’ve given you a long set of additional problems and a nice assessment. We’ve also published the standards alignment documents in our Table of Contents section. If you’ve been itching to do some standards mapping to our Geometry curriculum, check out that link.

For our Common Core Algebra II Add-Ons this month we bring you an additional assessment and lesson. We created a Unit 3 Formative Assessment make up exam. This rounds out the Form B exams for Common Core Algebra II. Now each unit has both an assessment and a mirror make up assessment. We may consider adding additional make up assessments if teachers think it’s a good idea. We also added a lesson to Unit 4. Lesson 7.5 is titled Exponential Modeling Revisited and looks at moving between time units in exponential modeling. For example, if a growth model is given in hours, what would its equivalent look like if modeled in days instead. We’ve seen numerous questions on the New York State CC Alg II Regents exam on these types of questions.

Finally there is the old-faithful Algebra 2 with Trigonometry Add-On for this month. After a great deal of resistance on the part of yours truly, I’ve finally created a lesson on factoring trinomials with a method other than guess and check. I created Unit 3 – Lesson 6.6 – Factoring Trinomials Using the AC Method. Teachers who are familiar with this method of factoring already probably have a sense for how this lesson will work. I still believe guessing and checking is important for students, but this method does work and does produce reliable results, at least it does if a student can find the two integers that satisfy the product and sum conditions.

A final note on add-ons in general. I’ve been struggling with how to arrange them and have decided to keep placing resources into the add-ons so that they are in Unit order. That means add-ons from last year mix with ones from this year. For teachers who want to only see new add-ons, this isn’t the greatest way of organizing them. Still, for the teacher who just wants to see what resources are there for a particular unit, this is a very effective way to  have them arranged. As always, if you have any thoughts either way, feel free to reach out to me.

In other New York Math News, it looks like the Board of Regents finally voted on and adopted the New York State Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards (or NYSNGMLS). Click on that link to open the full 170 page pdf document on the standards. They were just adopted so there are many news articles on them. Here’s a good one out of Albany itself:

Goodbye Common Core: New York’s New English, Math Standards Are Here – Albany Times Union

One of the most important parts of this piece is the following excerpt:

I’ve been waiting on some official word of the timeline before we started to modify our own text. Looks like I have a few years to make that happen. We may, when the time comes (2020), publish a New York edition to our Common Core texts. I’m hopeful by that time we’ve moved to an electronic only textbook. Thanks to Brian Battistoni, my good friend and colleague from Arlington High School, for the heads-up that the Next Gen standards had been officially adopted.

Well, I think that’s it for now. I’m hopeful that everyone has had a good start to their school year. As always, if you are having any troubles with your subscriptions or any suggestions on the curriculum, don’t hesitate to email me at: Kirk@emathinstruction.com. I’m busy, but never too busy to help.