Beginning to teach lines Part 1


So I know the second half of my Algebra 1a class is going to be focusing on the linear part of Algebra 1.  I want to look at multiple representations of linear relationships, and I want to tie these relationships to something they can see and measure.  Here is what I have done and I will also talk about what I want to do.

Start with solving proportions

I have known that I ultimately want my students to be able to interpret position versus time graphs, so I decided to start with introducing ratios and solving proportions.

I started the worksheet above with this idea from Sarah Hagan (of Math = Love Blog fame).  I wanted to stay away from even mentioning cross multiplying when solving proportions because I see students try and use it everywhere… regardless if it applies or not.  So I really emphasized solving an equation techniques.  I also wanted students to get used to working with units.  These numbers have meaning.  Please state the meaning.
We spent a lot of time writing and solving proportions.  Some were doing really well with it.  I then wanted to begin a graphical representation of ratios and all the proportion solutions.

Students were expected to come up with their own scale for the graphs.  Also, I have been emphasizing all year long that a graph always needs three things, the quantity for both axes, the units for both axes, and the scale for both axes.

So now I wanted students to find other solutions from looking at the graph.  Also notice that I am asking students to write the ratio of distance over time.  Again, that is to preface our slope discussion, and to show that this distance over time has meaning!

There is more to come… part 2 will be up soon.

Decimal Scales

I used some of the decimal scale slides from this site today.

It really got my Algebra 1a students thinking.  And it was a great lead in to us talking about graphing and determining a scale for the axes.  It really helped to bring out their misconceptions of scales having different size intervals.  This was a great exercise for them today.


Today in Principles of Engineering (11/2/15)

Please continue with your exploration titled Define Relationships in Series Circuits.  You will be expected to talk to others.  This work isn’t easy, but I know with perseverance you can figure out what I am looking for.  Remember to be on your best behavior for our guest teacher.  I tell everyone I have awesome classes, so remember that I have high expectations for your behavior.

Please know that the last page of circuit evaluations need to be done by hand first.  You will check your work with a circuit simulator and then build the circuit.  But you will be tested on these concepts by evaluating the circuit by hand.  Here is how I would start attacking any circuit evaluation.

  • Find the total voltage and resistance.
  • Use Ohm’s law to find the total current.
  • What do you know about the current in a series circuit?  I bet you now know the current through each resistor.
  • So you know the current through each resistor and you know the resistor value.  I bet you can use Ohm’s law to find the voltage drop across each resistor.
  • As always, remember your units and metric prefixes..

I hope this helps.

I will need 1-2 volunteers to take the Chromebooks back to the library.  Could this happen in the last 5 minutes of class?  Thank you!

Today in Algebra 1a (11/2/15)

Please log into Google Classroom.  You will receive a worksheet (Evaluate My Geometric Expression) from our guest teacher.  You will work on that (without a calculator) in small groups and enter your answers into the linked form.  You will get back an email telling you which problems are right or wrong.  Please work on correcting the problems that are wrong.  If you do not finish in class then this work is your homework.  If you finish early you can work on IXL work.

Please know that I have high expectations for your behavior.  I know everyone has something to do.  I know some of you should be thinking of retesting on past skills.  Please stay focused on the task at hand.  Show our guest that you are as awesome as I say you are.  Thank you.

Today in Engineering 2 (10/16/15)

Students of Engineering 2,

As always, please treat our guest teacher with the utmost respect.  Basically, just be you.  I do believe the best students at HHS are in room 43.  Today is a day you get to show everyone how true that statement is.

I know all of you have projects to work on.  I will need my TA to get the brown Chromebook cart.  It will need to be returned to the library before the end of class.  Juniors who missed the class last meeting will need to have a quiz preview.  Solutions are posted online.  We will have a quiz on Monday.

A new project has been posted in Google Classroom.  Please read through it before you begin.  I have a clarification on inputs in our input/output table.


By the way, let’s have a recap of our 3 projects so far.

Project name: Turned in/Not turned in

  • Logic Circuit Beginnings: 7/5
  • Project Logic Gates: 2/10
  • Project Minterms: 0/12

Let me know how I can help.

If the kids have been respectful and hard working then they can enjoy this TED talk.  Please note that the total run time of the video is about 16 minutes and that class ends at 9:40.



Tablet PC List

Here are the items you need to have a successful wirelessly connected tablet PC.

A computer with a digitizer.  Some examples include:

A way to wirelessly stream your video signal.

Programs I love

  • FluidMath is awesome for quickly showing graph manipulations.
  • Desmos is such a great graphing program.
  • Geogebra is a great Algebra/Geometry drawing utility.
  • PenAttention is a useful piece of software which highlights the location of your stylus for pointing out information on a screen.

Is there something I am missing?  Do you have any questions or comments?  Leave a comment below.

Geogebra Project Resources

Below are some resources for our Geogebra Project: Multiple Representations of Trigonometric Functions.  Remember, this is due on 5/29.  Please send me an email at  Without that email I will not look at your work.

A sample of what I am looking for.


Some beginnings…

A reminder… all of these resources have already been posted.  This is just a collection of them in one place.