I remember drafting this post in May, but I guess it never made it out of my drafts folder. Until now, that is!
05/23/13 Here are some goals I jotted down for improving Trigonometry next year.
- Set better sections for student notebooks. The notebook sections I required this year were basically useless. Here’s what they should be:
- Notes and Classwork
- Quizzes and Tests
- Journals and Projects
- Trigonometry is not bathroom and drinking fountain time (yeah, it was a problem this year)
- Support the “function box” concept better*
- Make better intro learning activity for quadratic functions**
- Emphasize slope as a rate of change
- Contrast rate of change vs. accumulation
- More “discuss/work with a partner”
- Follow through on promise of notebook checks
7/10/13 Of course there are others, it seems hundreds more. Tweak that activity. Improve those notes. Allow them to critique their own presentations. Make sure homework assignments are worthwhile. But at the end of the school year, the bulleted eight were the goals that seemed big, essential.
*7/10/13 After coming across the illustration of inverse functions that I featured here, I’m not sure if I’ll continue to use the function box. I might.
**Number 4 is my primary curricular goal. At the end of last year I set a primary goal to improve the way I taught logarithms, with the result that this year the logarithm unit was one of the best of the whole year. Quadratics are the first non-linear functions my students study so their introduction deserves to be genuinely meaningful. Thus, it receives “primary goal” status.