Day 78: Precalculus Partner Posters
I was sooooo delighted that the discussion and student developed process stuck! Students easily handled the opening problem, had very few clarifying questions from their homework and seemed to “get it.” So did they? We did some additional notes involving trig expressions in algebraic situations. You know the kind of problems: 3sin²x-sinx = 2 and tanx·cos²x = tanx. It was fun to have students suggest different approaches to the quadratic situation (i.e. use u = sinx) and then substitute at the end. Nice discussion around NEVER divide out common factors, FACTOR them out for the second problem. Students seemed to have very little trouble.
Because it is block class today, we have enough time for a partner activity. Student had a worksheet #1 yesterday for homework and they will have worksheet #2 tonight. So I had students pick two numbers from a basket and pair up with the other person that had the same number: for instance, 2-20 meant worksheet 2 problem 20.
They had to write up the solutions for the 2 problems with their partner. Nothing too earth-shattering, but the discussions, reasoning, application of precision and arguments between students were great. I just love to see the Math Practices in action, don’t you?
Heard lots of “oh”s and “I get it now”s coupled with a general sense of comfort with the process. They were able to determine when and when not to use the calculator, some actually drew graphs to verify solutions and easily applied what they knew about quadratics to those with trig expressions in them. (WOW, it looks like I don’t have very many students in my class, but many of them are in the hall posting their first solutions…there are about 28 students, really!)
It turned out to be a worthwhile endeavor and I believe the students walked out feeling really confident! I asked a few of my “struggling” learners a variety of questions about the process and the “why” behind the process while they worked with their partners and most were easily able to answer them. Whoo-hoo for student discourse!