Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Polynomial of degree 2: y=(3x^2)(+)(-4x)(+)(-2)Image via Wikipedia
LONDON - APRIL 02:  The Festival of Life Gospe...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
I am using clickers in my Prealgebra classroom this semester, but have not found a great collection of existing concept questions to use with those clickers.  Writing these questions is not a real strong suit of mine, so it's been a bit of a struggle to find/create good questions.  This is where the Quadratic Choir, my PLN (Personal Learning Network), comes into play.  There are three of us in the Quadratic Choir and we love to work on projects together.

Our name came about because we teach the quadratic formula sung to the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel."  The three of us have gotten together over the summer for the last couple of years to work on prep for the upcoming semester.  We don't always end up working on the same projects, but being with each other allows us to bounce ideas off one another as they come up.  I know that I am a more effective teacher because of the Quadratic Choir.  We support each other, help each other with ideas, tell each other when we need to say no to a project thrown our way, and just have fun together.

Over spring break, two of us met for a day and a half and were able to build a set of concept questions to use in our Prealgebra classes.  It is so much more productive, fun, easy to work with someone else on projects like this.  We created the list with a Google Document so that we could both be working on the document at the same time, which helped to streamline the typing.  We use Microsoft OneNote 2007 on a Tablet PC to teach our classes, and the 2007 version does not support mathematical expressions (unless they are images).  Because of this we did not use an equation editor to write our questions, instead we just used old school equation making with text alone.  It worked out reasonably well and now I can just cut and paste the questions I want into my OneNote notebook to use in the classroom.

This summer we plan on writing more clicker questions for Elementary and Intermediate Algebra, bringing in the third member of the Choir.  Using Google Docs should be even more useful with the new feature allowing real time co-editing of documents! 

Would you like to see our Prealgebra questions or even add to the list? We would love that!  The questions are matched up to the sections in Elayn Martin-Gay's Prealgebra 5th and 6th editions and many of the questions came from or were inspired by the text's Concept Questions. 
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Seth S said...
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Tracy Beach said...
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Maria said...


I recently compiled a list of the Top 25 Blogs for math in the classroom, and I
just wanted to let you know that you made the list! It
is published online at

Thanks so much, and if you think your audience would find useful
information in the list or on the site, please feel free to share the
link. The blog is just starting up, so we always appreciate a linkback
as we're trying to increase readership.

Thanks again, and have a great day!


jacky wilson said...

Math is magic it self. With out math we can not do any thing in our life. Really nice tricks you shared here will surely help with my math homework.