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eMath January Newsletter

It’s January in upstate New York, which means it is really, really cold with no end of winter in site. For our friends in Arizona and other warm climates, now is the time to really enjoy how great it is not to have radical season change. We are quickly heading towards the mid-year point here and we have eMathInstruction news to report and add-ons to add on.

Let’s get to those add-ons. First up are the Common Core Algebra I Add-Ons. We start with monster packet of factoring questions. I’ve always found it useful to have a day where I have kids practice on all of the major types of factoring and that’s exactly what this packet does. It is arrange by difficulty level, although with factoring that can vary. We then move on to Unit #8, on quadratics, with a Trinomial Perfect Square Warm-Up worksheet. We created this warm-up to give students who struggle with factoring a bit of practice with factoring perfect square trinomial before they start the process of completing the square. Finally, we have a Unit #8 Formative Assessment Form B exam. Again, these make-ups have been the most popular add-on so far so we will continue to crank them out for the course.

Moving on to the Common Core Algebra II Add-Ons, we have lots to offer this month. This month the add-ons are all centered on the length Unit #10 – Polynomial and Rational Functions. First up is a mid-unit quiz that assesses knowledge through Lesson #7. Next we have a lesson and homework set on the Sum and Difference of Perfect Cubes. This is likely different from what you might expect. I find memorizing the formulas for these two polynomial identities less than useful, so I emphasize factoring these by first finding a zero, then a factor, and then using Polynomial Long Division to finish the factoring. We of course offer up for this month a Unit #10 Formative Assessment Form B for all of those kids who miss the first one or just if you want to use a different one from the original. Lastly, we have a great graphing activity called the Polynomial Challenge. I put this out last year, but cleaned it up and made it better for this add-on. The activity uses Desmos and has kids find the equations for over 20 polynomial graphs. We did this at Arlington last year and it worked great. It’s hard to imagine any student working through this and then not understanding the connections between the zeroes of a polynomial and its graph.

Lastly we bring you the Algebra 2 with Trigonometry Add-Ons. As we promised at the beginning of the year, our emphasis for this year on Algebra 2 with Trigonometry was to  create and publish formative assessments for the course. For this month we are adding a Unit #8 Formative Assessment (Trigonometric Equations and Identities) and a Unit #9 Formative Assessment (Trigonometric Applications). These are challenging tests and will truly assess how well students have mastered the trigonometry in this course.

We continue to move along on many other fronts at eMath. We are on the verge of being listed on the New York City ShopDOE/FAMIS system. This should help all of the great schools in New York City to more easily order our products. We are also moving ahead on the Common Core Geometry Answer Key with approximately 70% of it completed in its first form. It should be ready for quoting purposes in February and ordering by Memorial Day weekend for next year. It will likely be a less costly subscription that our others because we plan on adding the unit reviews and assessments next year as add-ons. We will start the Geometry videos in mid-February and will likely be putting them up on YouTube as soon as we get each of them done and edited. We have some surprises coming with these videos, so watch for them.

That’s it for now. Enjoy the rest of your January and early February. Good luck to all the schools that will be administering January Regents exams here in New York. May your students think clearly (and get good night’s sleep the nigh before). As always, if you have any questions, please send them my way at: Kirk@emathinstruction.com.