Building off of Michael Fenton’s quadratics matching activity, I created a polynomial matching activity. I like it, but I don’t love it. I want to somehow push students to prove whay they make their choices, not just state them & I want to add more questions at the end that require students to connect the various representations of a function, so please leave suggestion in the comments!
I am writing this with next school year in mind. I don’t want this to happen anymore:
In my algebra 1 class, we have been working with polynomials. I would like it to be more real world / project based, but when we started this unit, I was so swamped, I had nothing to use, and I resorted back to my traditional ways. Adding, multiplying, factoring polynomials. They learned it like little monkeys, memorizing processes. This became evident when I gave them some application problems to work on in small groups with a sub while I was at NCTM Denver. IT WAS A DISASTER! They can multiply 2 binomials, buy cannot find the area of a square where each side is represented by a binomial. Actually, they flip out if the assignment is formatted differently then they expect.
While at NCTM, learning all about perplexity / Singapore teaching / PBL … I have the same dilemma in reverse in my mind…How do I help students to learn to apply their skills to multiple situations and relate the abstract to the concrete? Is the abstract not necessary as long as they can solve concrete problems?
Will they develop the ability / confidence to apply skills to new situations through their struggling if I use more PBL?
I have been lurking & stealing from other blogger math teachers since 2010, and after a tough few school years, and an awesome 3 day experience at NCTM Denver, I am convinced that it is time.
I like SBG, but am struggling right now on how to incorporate and assess more project based learning / RME. It is late Sunday afternoon and I have not even started grading, and I have not yet put together lesson plans for tomorrow….I will post more soon!