Archive for the 'Intro to Algebra' Category

Variables in Algebra

Section 1.1   Section 1.1 Open

Both Handouts on a Single Page:

Each Handout on a Separate Page:

Powerpoint File (Easily Adjusted!)


Click to see the list of All Algebra Notes


Goals and Dreams and Other Things…

So I used the Mathematical Autobiography from Math Equals Love on Friday.  Thought I’d share some of my students answers.  I was surprised to learn that only a few students are shooting for an A or B in my class.  The rest wrote that they want D’s or C’s, with D’s being the overwhelming majority.  Hopefully the first round of grades will go in, and they’ll feel better and see that A’s are definitely attainable if they stick with it!

Notable Hobbies/Talents/Interests

Going to college and playing football



Crocheting and Texting

Video Games, Music

Cheerleading, Gymnastics

Doctor Who, Popcorn, KFC

Really good at computer designing

Motocross, drumming

I ride BMX at the skate park

Coloring my hair

My hobbies are fishing and hunting

Camping, Surfing, Wakeboarding, Hockey, Volleyball, Dirtbiking, Boating, Hanging out with friends, fishing, traveling, swimming, working out

Notable Dreams/Goals

Passing high school

To pass high school

To graduate

My goal is to go to college for 4 years to become an elementary teacher (at least she knows how long it will take!)

I want to be an anesthesiologist.

I plan to own my own tattoo and piercing shop

To be the best I can be and to graduate (I like this one!)

Go to college and become a game designer

Get a degree and become a structure designer

I want to open my own hair salon

Certify in power equipment mechanics

To enjoy life

Pass high school and get a good paying job

World Domination

I want to join the military if I can

Become Successful

To be on the UND Hockey Team

Be an author or lawyer

To one day get into a good vet school and become a vet

My dream is to play in the NFL, goals are to go to college

Graduate and become a criminal investigator

Rally Car Driver

I want to be a doctor

Own a photography company

To have a fun job which I work for a living

Be an NHL goalie, be rich, be successful, get into a good college, get good grades

Big house, wife, kids

Be a psychologist

Play in the MLB with a big house, kids and a hot wife

Go to a blackhawks game and meet Patrick Kane

Meet One Direction

none (this one hurt a little)


All in all, this helped me learn quite a bit about the students that actually answered the questions.  Awesome!



Drafting a Notebook (part 1)

So I bought a little composition notebook for $0.50 at Staples.

I have only a pen and a black ink printer at my disposal until my supplies come in…but, here’s what I’ve got so far:

Intro Table of Contents




(Underneath the flaps in the first section…totally wrote the variable expression under the numerical expression flap, but that’s why this is a draft, right?)


(the flaps on this page are cool because they open TWICE!)






And the PEMDAS foldable

(Very much inspired by the one at Math equals Love)


Suddenly I feel saddened that this is all I have when we’re so close to school, but then I remember that the real versions will have colored paper, markers and highlighters.

My draft is pretty boring, but functional.  I also wanted to see how I would do on paper usage.  So far, not bad.  In practice, I know that some of these activities will take up more than a single page, but since this is just a draft, I’m trying to organize everything as efficiently as I can.

So far, these foldables are very specific to my book, so I won’t be sharing.  If you’d like to make your own, this tutorial from A Turn to Learn is AWESOME!

Another thing I like about this format, is that I really get to think about what happens to the notebook over days spent on the same section.  In a class like Intro to Algebra, where we sometimes spend 3 or 4 days on a topic, it’s important to make sure that each day is meaningful.

Five more sections in Chapter One…here I go!

On Assessments and Apathy…

Today, one of my classes was joking about their nicknames, so I offered them some silly extra credit.  Write your nickname (or the nickname you want) and write three sentences telling me why it describes you.

In a class of 18, 4 students were willing to write 3 sentences for free points on a test.  And 3 out of those 4, wanted to be Batman.

You can tell that summer is near…