Archive for November, 2009

Reflections on Blogging

Posted in 1 on November 4, 2009 by coltswet

I was very hesitant with blogging initially, but I developed many ways that I could use it to help students when they leave school.  I definitely think blogging is a great asset for teachers. As far as this year goes, I doubt I will use it with my students because I have a set routine for my current students.  There is no doubt in my mind that I will have this ready to go next year, when I can introduce my blog to students in the beginning of the year with my syllabus and on Back to School Night with parents.

Throughout the course I was able to learn a lot about myself and my views on math concepts.  By reflecting on my math background through the prompts given, I am now more attentive to student needs.

The one thing that I found very interesting in this course was using virtual manipulatives to help teach concepts.  I used several of them in my classroom throughout the past several weeks. For example, algebra tiles for integer operations and the Algebra Balance Scale.  My students were very receptive to both tools.

I already use journals with my students, however, I ve learned to use them more efficiently.  I will use blogging in the future with my classes to help keep students updated with homework, vocabulary, and class examples.  I think its a great way to reach students outside of the classroom.

Factoring Quadratics – in My Own Words

Posted in 1 on November 4, 2009 by coltswet

Quadratic Equation Example-  Ax² +Bx+C

In a quadratic equation, we have 3 terms. A, B, and C.  Our first term is x squared, our second term is a coefficient, and our third term is a constant term.  In order to factor a quadratic equation we must first determine the factors of the third term C.  Then we must determine out of those factors, which two can we add together to match our coefficient term.  Since our first term is squared we will start both binomials with x. (x+___)(x+__). Lets say that “B” is 5 and “C” is 6.  Since our two factors of six that we can add together are 2 and 3, we will complete our binomial with each term. Our final quadratic equation can be factored as this: (x+2)(x+3).  Using the foil method we would get x² +2x+3x+6. Now we combine the like terms we get x²+5x+6.


By paraphrasing the words from the “key information”, I was able to get a deeper understanding of how to factor a quadratic equation.  This was an interesting way to make the task more concrete.  I will use this method with my students in the final activity of my lesson in which we summarize the days concept by answering the essential question.