9/22 In Class–we began lesson 5 on factoring and repeated factoring. After we reviewed factoring and GCF (Alg 1 concepts that we reviewed earlier this semester), we reviewed lesson 2 and rational expressions in preparation for finishing lesson 5. We worked on adding/subtracting rational expressions and multiplying/dividing rational expressions, both of which require that a student can factor a gcf out of an expression, factor a binomial into two parenthesis, and factor a trinomial into two parenthesis. We worked thru finding the common denominator, as well, since that is part of lesson 5B, too.

Hwk–follow the agenda. Our first exam is in a few weeks, so begin to review and practice previous concepts, too.

9/15 In Class: Students began class with Bell Ringer 5 (a set of ACT problems that apply what we have worked on so far this year). We went over each problem and how/when to use the calculator to work problems. We also talked about an ACT strategy that I call PIYON or ‘plug in your own number’–whenever an ACT problem has variables in the problem and the same variables in the answer choices, choose a number to represent each variable and evaluate each expression, then choose the answer. Sounds weird, but it works! We worked through two using that strategy, I think.

Lesson 4–we went over all things radicals. Students took notes while I worked several example problems then we worked all the problems from lesson 4E (except the sci notation ones). This lesson is all review. These concepts were covered in Algebra 1 and reviewed in Geometry. I handed out preprinted notes for their INB’s in case they need help. I am adding some video clips of instruction to this email, too.

Hwk–follow the agenda. Students–read the agenda so that you know what the hwk is from the student workbook.

9/8

Hwk: Follow the agenda. I added a worksheet that was handed out in class. WATCH THE VIDEO LESSON FOR MODULE 3!!!

In Class: Students first completed their bell ringer activity which we then went over. This was an ACT practice BR designed to make them use their calculator’s special functions. Afterward, we began lesson 3 on scientific notation, simplifying rational expressions (fractions that apply the exponent rules) and simplifying, multiplying and dividing rational expressions (fractions with variables).

I gave them a handout on place value, which is what scientific notation is based on. I also sent a PPT Wednesday night that covers the subject. After teaching the concept (which is review material), I showed them how to change the mode on their calculator and use it for the homework problems. Not all of the problems can be completed using the calculator–some problems require students to convert sci notation to standard notation. There are certain numbers, usually small decimal numbers, that the calculator will not convert. That is why they need to know how to do it by hand, too.

Next, we multiplied and divided rational expressions. To do this, students factor each numerator and denominator, then follow the rules for mult and div to cancel like terms and simplify. Please remind your student that when dividing fractions, they are to keep the first fraction the same but flip the second one (multiply by the reciprocal) and then multiply the resulting fractions. They have an INB handout to complete for this.

Lastly, we worked lesson sheet 13A, #13-16, and 3E #20. These problems are adding and subtracting fractions by applying the exponent rules. After working several problems for the lesson, I went to each student and had them work 1-2 scientific notation problems and 1 fraction problem with me watching. I helped as needed. Students should:

1) Simplify each individual fraction

a) flip the negative exponents to positive exponents by moving the variable across the fraction line

b) multiply like numbers and variables within each fraction (keep the base, add the powers)

c) divide like numbers and variables within each fraction (keep the base, subtract the powers)

2) Add like terms (to be a like term, all variable parts of each fraction must be identical). X + X = 2X no matter how ugly the variables look. XYZ + 3 XYZ = 4XYZ.

I completely forgot to collect homework this week, so next week I will collect Lesson Sheet 2D and the INB problems from last week along with the current week’s work. I am attaching the key to the INB problems I handed out in class.

Parents, please sit beside your child this week and have them work lesson sheet 3B problems 13 – 16 while you watch.

8/25 Today was the first day that we used the student lesson book. Prior to today, we were reviewing important algebra 1 concepts. Today’s material was also review but is included in the MUS lessons. The lesson was a in-depth overview of exponents and the exponent rules.

We began with a bell ringer activity where students were to write the exponent rules given a prompt. I would say that most of the class did not know the rules well enough to write them down. We went over each rule then completed all of lesson 1A in their books. We did at least one problem from 1B that was more difficult then worked problems from 1C that I wanted to review.

We finished with a chain activity with exponents. Several students struggled to match a problem with its solution. For the activity, the student was given an expression like…(-3x)^3. Then he or she had to choose which expression matched it, so for this one, the expanded notation was (-3x) (-3x) (-3x). The struggle seemed to come when an expression had a negative. I am attaching the handout so that you can have your student can repeat the activity at home, if needed.

Hwk–follow the agenda: complete the assigned lesson sheets, the ACT activity in the INB and the chain activity in the INB (if not done in class).

I am attached some videos for additional instruction to the email. The first one works on expanding exponents using the rules.

8/18 In Class: we reviewed more polynomials–specifically multiplying poly’s, dividing poly’s and factoring poly’s. For factoring, we used the Box Method and worked thru several trinomials, reviewed difference of two squares and repeated factoring. We also looked at coming up with factors given the solution to a quadratic equation. Students also turned in their hwk, Bell Ringer #1, and the ACT summary.

Hwk–follow the agenda. Complete the worksheets handed out today–be sure to check your answers frequently and correct errors.

8.11 Today was a full day. We reviewed order of operations, solving equations (only did one large problem), simplifying expressions, polynomials, terminology and calculator operations.

Hwk–follow the agenda. For the Solving Equation Worksheet, students are to do all problems using the calculator and ALL OF THE ODD questions by hand (showing work, step by step). For the Order of Operations wkst, they should work each problem by hand and then check them using calculator. Don’t forget to watch the ACT videos, take notes and write your 2 paragraph summary.

**HANDOUTS TO PRINT AND PLACE IN BINDER:**