Making Practice the Priority
Michael Pearson
By Michael Pearson
High School Math
September 14, 2018
Most people don’t jump into the deep end of the pool before warming up. So, that’s what we do in our math classes every day. Practice is key, so I find a flipped classroom style works well to encourage repetition and solidify concepts. In a flipped classroom we focus on working on problems in class and let the girls review my lecture online in the evening. This model works particularly well for those with learning challenges. Every week I provide problems for the board and each student signs up for their choice of one to solve. This practice creates a lot of energy in the room with the focus on a good faith effort.    
I recently put one problem on the board for the Pre-Calculus and Analysis class to solve together. Part of the exercise provided an alternate way of solving the problem which really surprised some of the students!  
What, specifically, are we up to the first few days and weeks of this school year?  
Calculus II
The students are reviewing some of the more advanced skills they learned last year.  
Our students are learning the tools of the trade with an ancient and venerable compass and a straight edge. We will soon move into bisecting angles and segments, drawing perpendicular lines, and duplicating angles and segments. I believe that much of the thrill of geometry comes from seeing how precise these old tools can be! In contrast, we will eventually jump forward in time and use some snazzy electronic versions of the compass and straight edge.  
Pre-Calculus and Analysis
Students are currently learning how powerful their calculators can be when trying to fit experimental data to theoretical curves.  
Up next? We will soon roll out a new Robotics Club for 7-12th grade!  
My favorite part of teaching is helping the kids and answering their questions so I’m looking forward to the new year ahead.
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