College Algebra is offered for dual credit in the fall. This year we connected with two other sites for this experience. I learned some tricks and did some troubleshooting with the connections or lack there of. Mr. Sheeks was an immense asset. As the semester changed so has our topic. We did some trigonometry and are now transitioning into some statistics. The word clouds you see above were created using poll everywhere and are decorated with some auto correct, ok began as pi on some devices, and humor. At this point we are exploring comparative data of effective medicine, how many chocolate chips in a cookie and will begin on sampling methods.
Algebra 2 has gone through many topics. The last chapter we completed was challenging and applicable. Logarithms appear is science class for many of these students and assist to help up find answers in the location of an exponent. As an NCIS enthusiast I am intrigued by the question of absorption of toxins with our bodies, carbon dating, time of death and other relative situations that could be investigated further. NeSA time is upon us as we look for areas to grow and covering those last minute topics.
Algebra 1 is more recently been learning about polynomials. Chapter 8 had us adding, subtracting and multiplying them. Chapter 9 had us working with algebraic division also known as factoring. The image on the left represents the product of (2x+3)(x+1) and we did more with starting given 2 x squared plus 5x +3 that making a rectangle resulted with those factors. We will continue to investigate, graph and solve quadratic functions.
Applied Math: This is an integrated mathematics course meaning that is transcends topics in pre-algebra, geometry, algebra and algebra 2. This class is intended to give each junior the opportunity to learn about all of the NeSA topics, regardless of previous experience. Our most recent topic have been geometry based with polygons, parallel lines, circles, and right triangle trigonometry. This week we began to work with the nets, surface area and volume of 3-dimensional figures.
At seven we moved from Chapman to Grand Island. My dad continued to commute back and forth to Chapman as he was the town banker. Mom worked at the bank during the busy income tax season as Dad prepared income taxes of many of his customers as well as sell insurance. (So as you can see, a math interest comes naturally for me.) Graduating from Senior High I then attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. My first teaching job was in Omaha with the Millard Public Schools where I taught at Millard North Junior High for two years before moving back to Grand Island to marry my high school classmate, Ben Kistler, and join the Wood River Rural staff. Two great decisions! Teaching has been fantastic and Ben and I have a wonderful life together. When Ben is not working as a pharmacist at Walgreens we enjoy attending Husker games, playing cards with friends, gardening, and roadtripping to the Orpheum and Lied for musicals and plays. But our most favorite time is spent with our family. Our oldest son Mike, his wife Jennifer, and two year old daughter Nora live in Santa Clara, California where Mike works for Google. Too far away for frequent visits so I try to grab all the hugs and kisses I can when they visit. Our other son Daniel is a financial advisor at Waddell and Reed with his practice serving clients in both the Lincoln and Grand Island areas. This is perfect as we get to enjoy his company when he travels to Grand Island for business. Plus it is always great to bounce ideas off of him.
So why did I pick teaching? Well, I am one of the lucky ones since I knew already at age seven what I wanted to be when I grew up. We had moved into Grand Island the summer before my second grade year and when fall arrived I was the new kid in class. Our class was huge---40 students to be exact. It was the biggest class in the school, but the principal said second grade is always big and then it drops off. Well…..ours never really did so the teacher couldn’t get around to everyone that needed math help. So I volunteered. She graciously accepted my offer and I realized already at this young age that this was what I was destined to be! I loved teaching my classmates and the kids really appreciated the extra help. I could speak the same language as they did if you know what I mean. Then in my senior year at GISH I was offered my next fantastic opportunity. As a teacher’s aide I was given a small group of six sophomore students that struggled with English and created a curriculum that was more on their level. My teacher, Mr. Kral, bless his heart, definitely believed in my abilities and just monitored what we were studying. I got to plan, check papers, and grade the class and he went with my decisions. Later on that semester I was given the opportunity to do the placement of these students for next year. After asking me if I felt justified in moving one of the students up to a more advanced class, he made the recommendation. She was placed in the level above and was successful! Wow, what an experience! Next, tutoring middle schoolers math while at UNL was the clincher. I definitely wanted to teach math in the middle even though some people who first meet me ask why would you want to teach math and that age level? Some say I am crazy (which after teaching this age group for years they are probably a little right) and others say bless you! But I can honestly say that I made the perfect decision----I love Math and Middle School is where it is happening!
We have entered the crazy time where we all know the end is near. Quarter 4. Here we begin enrolling for next year's classes, testing: including NeSA for juniors, ACT, MAPS for freshmen and sophomores among a myriad of school activities, jobs, volunteering and more. The Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Applied Math and College Algebra classes have been working on a few topics and had the opportunity to seek advice from and additional person during the first two months, Miss Synek. Miss Synek was in our classroom for 8 weeks for her mathematics student teaching and is now student teaching in another discipline, history.
A quick snapshot into some of the recent and upcoming topics in classes:
Algebra 1 recently finished adding subtracting and multiplying polynomials and is now beginning the chapter on factoring. This week students made a video to explain the locker problem and posted their videos on a padlet wall.
Algebra 2 will be watching John Baylor the first half of April in preparation for ACT and NeSA. We just finished a chapter on exponential and logarithmic function and equations. I find this exciting as it allows us to solve problem with compound interest, carbon dating, temperature, medicine, population and much more. We are now beginning a chapter with more complex areas of probability and statistics.
Applied math is currently in an angles unit and has spent time with lines, circles and triangles and will move on to surface area and volume of 3-dimensional objects after John Baylor videos.
College Algebra is not currently discussing this topic, as we concluded that portion first semester. We just finished up a trigonometry portion as well with the exciting Law of Sines and Law of Cosines. These allow us to understand the triangle congruences of geometry and solve for missing parts of a triangles that are not only right triangles. We are beginning a statistics unit this week.