Friday, November 6, 2015

Imaginary Numbers

Two posts in one week.  I'm even amazed.  Never mind the fact that I'm writing about activities we did a couple weeks ago.

We were in the middle of a solving quadratic equations unit and had already covered simplifying radicals and solving with square roots.  I introduced imaginary and complex numbers and wanted to spend some time practicing simplifying negative radicals.  We started with a foldable about imaginary numbers with some practice problems inside.

We then moved on to practicing with a Solving Scramble activity.  I gave the kids 16 problems that involved imaginary numbers, simplifying radicals and solving using square roots.  They used white boards and worked with a partner to work each problem.  

On the big white board in class I had all of the solutions in a scrambled mess.  They checked themselves by looking for their answer.  If it wasn't there, they went back to figure out what they did wrong.  I really  love these self checking activities because it gives them immediate feedback without all the questions to me of "Is this right?"

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Solving with Square Roots

Looks like I'm on a once a month post schedule.  I had really hoped to post once a week, but life just seems to be getting in the way.

We are working on solving quadratic equations by square roots.  I wanted the kids to get some practice in class before I sent them on their way with practice for home.  I chose to use one of Kagan's structures, Rally Coach.  I taught them four of the team cheers from Kagan and they loved it!  Getting silly in math, why not!  I think them seeing me super animate each cheer was exactly what we needed to liven things up a bit.  Even weeks later they are cheering each other on with the silly cheers.

Each set of partners received a recording sheet with about 12 problems, with the sheet folded in half longways.  The partners take turns solving the equations.  The one solving the equation talks their partner through the entire problem.  I told them that they can't write anything they don't talk about.  After partner A solves the first problem, Partner B gives them a cheer and they switch roles and turn the paper over to the other side.  It's really a pretty easy activity, but it's the silly cheers that make it so fun.  

This was the first time I have tried a Kagan structure, but I'm loving the student engagement I saw and will definitely be trying some others.