Sunday, August 30, 2015

Teaching Analyzing Functions in Pre Calculus or College Algebra (and a FREEBIE!)

This year I am teaching Pre-Calculus - Yay :)  I have taught the course before, but it has been several years ago.  We are going to be working on analyzing functions soon, so I thought I might do a round up of activities/lessons/worksheets that I have found that look like they might be good to use in class.

1)  Analyzing Functions from Graphs and Tables - This is my own set of worksheets that I made this summer once I knew that I was going to be teaching this course.  

This set contains 7 worksheets.  

Worksheets 1 and 2: Students will work with a single graph and answer questions about function values, where a function has a maximum or minimum, what the maximum or minimum value is, and where a function is increasing or decreasing.

Worksheets 3 and 4: Students will be given two different functions on a single graph. Students will work on finding values of things like f(x) + g(x); f(x) – g(x); (f(x))(g(x)); f(x)/g(x); and combinations of these functions.

Worksheets 5: Students will be given two different functions on a single graph. Students will work on finding the value of the composition of the two functions.

Worksheets 6 and 7: Students will be given a table with values for f(x) and g(x). Students will use the table to find the value of the composition of functions.

Would you like to see a sample page from this packet?  Here is a link to the first page [FREE] - if you find it useful, I hope you might leave a comment on this post or a rating on TPT :)  FREEBIE!

If you like the sample page, here is a link to the full product on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Full Product - Analyzing Functions from Graphs and Tables

2)  Next up from my friend Jean Adams at Flamingo Math - Here is a Functions and Graphs Stations Activity.  You can use this activity at the end of your unit - students love getting up and moving around the classroom!

3)  Do you need help teaching function notation?  Here is a link to a blog post from my friend Karrie at Mrs. E. Teaches Math  How I Teach Function Notation.  Need to follow up?  Try this maze with Operations on Functions.

4)  Need help with the composition of functions?  Try these two activities:

     A) from Janet Knox:  Composition of Functions Cut and Paste

     B) from Sandy Pinder (Weatherly):  Composition of Functions Worksheet

Hope these help!

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Congratulations to the winners of our STEM Teachers of TPT Giveaway!  Kristen and Denise won the product giveaway and Megan won the $10 TPT Gift Card.  You all should be receiving an email from me with your prizes!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Secondary STEM Sellers Back to School Giveaway!

Are you ready for Back to School?  Me neither quite honestly, but time marches on and it must be done :)

So, a group of my favorite Secondary STEM Sellers have gotten together to put together a great giveaway package for you!  Two people will win this fabulous package :) and one lucky person will win a $10 TPT Gift Card!

Here are the sponsors and the products they are giving away:

1)  Teaching High School Math - that's me :)

Sudoku Bulletin Board

2)  Flamingo Math

Functions Lab Stations Activity

3) Joni Kilberg Kessler

Slope End of Unit Task Cards

4) Janet Knox

Graphing Reflections and Shifts of Parent Functions

5) Mrs. E. Teaches Math

Midpoint and Distance Formula Stations

6) Education with Doc Running

Exploring the Art of Fractals

7) Lisa Tilmon

Scientific Notation - I Have Who Has Game

8) The Blakenator

Distance and Midpoint Quiz

9) Gramma Elliott - Educational Tools

Arthropods Magnified by a Scanning Electron Microscope

10) 4 the Love of Math

Intro to Algebra Interactive Notebook Pages

11) Math Giraffe

Coordinate "PLANES"

Would you like to win the products listed above?  Two lucky winners will win the package and one person will win the $10 TPT Gift Card :)

Get chances to win by following each of our TPT Stores.  Enter Below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Using Exit Tickets in Math Class

Using exit tickets in math class has really changed my teaching.  Let me tell you why...

1)  I think the biggest, most important thing that exit tickets have provided me is something worthwhile for the students to do the last 5 minutes of class.  Sometimes my lesson doesn't get me all the way to the bell and having an exit ticket ready to go keeps my class busy all the way until the end of the period.

2)  Using an exit ticket (or quick check as I sometimes like to call them) gives me a really quick way to assess how students are doing on a small slice of material.  I don't know about you, but I usually do not have the time to grade daily homework.  I JUST CANNOT. DO. IT!  But, seeing a small stack of one quick problem to grade for each student is something that I can definitely do in just a few minutes.

It is truly eye opening to get a response from each student.  You really thought that everyone understood everything you were talking about, but when you get the quick check you can see that many students have understood the concept, but others are still struggling.  You know who to work with during the next class period.  Not only that, but you have an idea of what specifically they are struggling with.

3)  Exit tickets keep students engaged and responsible.  If students know that they are going to have to show you what they know at the end of the period, they are less likely to tune out.  You never know when something will be said that is on the end of class assessment.

Do you use exit tickets in your classroom?  I'll be back later this week with some more information about how I use them in my calculus classroom and how I hope to incorporate them into my geometry class this year.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Super Secret Number Puzzles - Calculus Edition (FREEBIE!)

I have developed an activity that can infuse a little excitement into the classroom while students practice valuable skills.

The idea in this activity is that students are given a set of problems (usually between 8 and 10) that help them practice a very specific skill.

Students solve all of the problems that are given.  Then they find the sum of all of their answers (this is the super secret number) and then…(here's the fun part) they check to see if they have correct super secret number by scanning the QR Code that I post in front of the room.  [If you don't have QR capabilities, you can still use this activity - you can just wait until the students are finished and TELL them the Super Secret Number - it's still fun :) ]

I have Super Secret Number activities available for the following Calculus Topics:

1) Chain Rule

2) Equation of Tangent Line

3) Implicit Differentiation

4) Position, Velocity and Acceleration

5) Curve Sketching

6) Natural Logs and Exponential Function Derivatives

7) Riemann Sums and Trapezoidal Rule

But, just for you blog reader, I have a bonus Super Secret Number Puzzle - Finding the Value of a Derivative at a Point!

Download it here:

Derivative at a Point

Are you interested in buying the bundle?  Click Here:

Super Secret Puzzle Calculus Bundle

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summary of Responses to the Golden Rectangle Experiment

From time to time, I will update this post as to the responses for my Golden Rectangle Experiment.

Before looking at the graph below to see how the research is going…make sure your vote.  Go ahead, I'll give you a second…go back to this post and vote.

The Golden Rectangle Experiment

As of today, June 26, 2015:

91 people have voted and here is a chart to represent the results of the voting.

As time goes on, I will report back :)

Monday, June 15, 2015

An Experiment About the Golden Ratio

This is an experiment that deals with the Golden Ratio.  I am not going to explain anything about the Golden Ratio here.   I just want to know, which of these rectangles is your favorite?

Vote in the google form below.  Be nice, don't vote twice :)

And, if you wouldn't mind typing in your zip code, I sure would like to know where I am getting votes from.

I will add another post soon so you know which rectangle is winning!