With the conclusion of the algebraic portion of the MPM2D course (we only have the trigonometric unit yet to cover) the students are looking forward to their summative evaluation. We've been doing review for the past week or so through the application of what we learned in linear systems and quadratics to do the intersection of lines & parabolas and lines & circles. It's a good way to combine the substitution method, and all the aspects of factoring, quadratic formula, discriminant and using graphical methods. I've been pleased that the students transitioned to the linear-quadratic system without difficulty; they were able to anticipate the process.
As part of their preparation I've added on to our MapleTA question banks. While we have a lot of algebraic questions (factor this, CTS that, find the axis of symmetry, etc) at the suggestion of one of my students I've added on questions of the type "when you see..." Students do get confused by all the algorithms and when they need to be used. While we always stress understanding, for many of them a little bit of repetition can be helpful.


dougpete said...

Are you using the Ministry licensed ExploreLearning Math Gizmos, Cal? I did a workshop this past week and the folks dove into the product with all kinds of enthusiasm. Particulary with trigonometry, there are lots of manipulative exercises for the students students. It's great to hear that the students are looking forward to the SE.

Cal said...

I do use ideas from ExploreLearning -- if I see something I like, I try to make a version in Maple or GeoGebra. They do have some great stuff; it really encourages the experimentation side of mathematics. Unfortunately, as an independent school we're not able to use Ministry software.