Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Book Love Affair

I have passionate feelings for this resource and turn to it whenever I need great ways to ask questions or great real-life examples. I got my copy at an NCTM workshop, and am doing the happy dance ever since. For example, in precalculus today we were talking about function notation, and after we did some "math" graph and table and equation examples, I pulled 2 context examples from the book. One was a table having to do with NFL revenue for a number of recent years, and one was a velocity vs. time graph for a man going to the store.

They both generated discussion about the amount of money NFL made (billions!) and interpretations of the velocity graph and why it may be so "wiggly" going up and down and such and how you knew when he reached the store. The questions were worded such as: find v(24) and interpret the meaning. So they had to think about what "24" meant in this problem and what the "y" value meant and put it all in a coherent sentence.

We also started a discussion on graphs such as y = abs(f(x)). We first refreshed our memory on abs(x) (much needed for some folks). Then I had them make a table for f(x) = x*x - 2 and graph it. Then I had them hold up their hands in the shape they thought y=abs(f(x)) would be .... some, of course, held up "V" hands. So we made the table values and graphed JUST the points, and then I showed them the visual of "flipping" all the negatives "up". Ooh, ahh. That was a good segue into doing the same table/graph thing with f(x) = x ..... then doing y = abs(f(x)).

On a whiny note, my 6 class sizes so far are: 31, 22, 17, 26, 39, 34.

I'm just saying. .... but maybe that's the norm in other schools. BUT, I rember my math teacher friend in another state complaining that she had LARGE classes one year .... "26".


  1. Not the norm for anywhere!

    Our principal says that learning doesn't decrease after reaching 24 students in the class. So according to him if we have 24 we can have 34. Our math teachers had that many a few years ago.

    I have a physical science class that a was at 21 until the LD teachers thought it would be a good idea to put all of the LD kids into 1 hour so they could be monitored and I got a para. That moved the class to 28 (7 are on IEP's, at least 3, maybe more, are considered at risk of not passing and the math skills are so low!) And it is the longest class period of the day! I could go on, but I better stop.

  2. Anonymous4:57 PM

    I guess your principal hasn't tried to manage a large class. It's doable, but obviously, there's less of you to go around.

    And sheesh ... to top that off, challenging kids in class. Deep breaths and kind thoughts sent your way.

    Ms. Cookie

  3. Anonymous12:41 PM

    Our contractual limit in high school (New York City) is 34, but 34 is too many for most classes. Anything 16 - 24 seems to work well.