This year I’ve committed to posting each unit of both my Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 INBs.
My district is moving to a standards based curriculum, and has identified priority standards for every course. These are the standards we are required to address and assess our students over, so they pretty much form our units.
Algebra 2 INB Posts:
Unit 1 | Unit 2 | Unit 3
Other Algebra 1 INB Posts:
Our second unit in Algebra 1 addresses A.CED.2 for linear functions only:
Create equations in two or more variables to represent relationships between quantities; graph equations on coordinate axes with labels and scales.
I honestly hate how I broke this unit down into skills. This unit is VERY long, because we have to cover both graphing and then writing linear equations, and there are a lot of components to both of those things. What I WISH I had done, and what I will adjust to do next year, is to split this standard into two “units” for the purposes of their INBs, and done one unit on various things they need to be able to know before working with linear functions (see skills 1, 2, and 5) and one unit on completing the actual standard. Maybe I’ll call it “Pre A.CED.2” and “A.CED.2” 🙂 I also wish that I had added a few skills or adjusted what a few of the skills say, but I’ll get to that as we get into each skill.
You can find more about my index pages in previous INB posts linked above.
Skill 1: I can identify a function and describe its domain and range
This is the first year that I have NOT EVER said ANYTHING about the vertical line test when teaching about functions, and I think it was fairly effective. I really focused on the definition of each x-value being paired with ONLY ONE y-value, and that one idea translates better to graphs, tables, mapping diagrams, and other representations. I liked the extended Frayer diagram and using a highlighter to identify what components of the non-functions made them non-functions.
We used the cards from Sarah Carter’s Function Auction as a card sort for our INBs. I had students sort them on their tables, and then we went through each relation and debated whether it was a function or not, again highlighting components that made non-functions non-functions. I had them choose three functions and three non-functions to glue into their notebooks as examples, and emphasized that they should choose three that they were potentially confused on before we discussed, because those things would probably confuse them again in the future. I also suggested that they choose one table, one graph, and one other representation for each category.
For the domain and range notes, I only wish that I had not put separate graphs for domain and range. When we got to assignments, students struggled with finding both on the same graph and kept asking if they could have another copy of things to do domain and range separately.
The function machine notes come from Sarah Carter – my students this year did a better job with not freaking out at function notation than ever before, even though I also used these notes last year!
Skill 2: I can identify when a relationship is linear
For this skill, after we took the notes on how to identify linear and discrete/continuous situations, I had them complete the card sorts on the first two pages of this Desmos activity I made. (I froze the pacing to the first two pages and then we completed the rest of the activity later as practice) Students then chose 3 examples for each case from the card sort to include in their notebooks. We went over the correct sorting as a class before they did this part, and had discussions about cases where there was disagreement.
They continued struggling with the whole discrete vs. continuous idea throughout the unit – I would welcome if you have better ways to explain that! In the end, I didn’t stress too much about that because it isn’t explicitly assessed, but I do wish that they felt more comfortable with the concept.
Skill 3: I can graph a linear equation written in standard form (Ax + By = C)
This skill went pretty well, although my students struggled to retain this skill throughout the unit, so I obviously didn’t sprinkle in enough standard form practice problems later on! I don’t think I gave them quite enough structured space on the inside of this foldable to find the two intercepts, but otherwise I’m pretty happy with that. The discrete or continuous one they definitely did not have enough room to write – you can see that I barely had enough space and I am organized and know how much space to plan for and don’t have high school boy handwriting…so that one needs some adjusting.
Skill 4: I can graph a linear equation written in slope intercept form (y=mx+b)
Students did well with this one, although I wish that I had gone with my original plan to use my giant bedsheet graph and make students walk out the slope for each of the examples, because I think most of them copied my graphs from the board after we had walked through and so they didn’t physically go through the same process to get the two points as I did and then later struggled with how to create the two points themselves. Some kept wanting to back to the origin to do the slope from, some were reversing the variables in the slope, and a host of other misconceptions. I think making them walk out the graph and seeing their classmates do it would have sealed this in their brains more firmly from the beginning.
**side note in the graphing section, I wish that I had made a separate foldable portion for horizontal and vertical lines, because even though we watched Slope Dude later and went through them within these examples, they struggled every single time they came across one of those cases.
Skill 5: I can find the slope (rate of change) of a linear function
I actually kind of screamed a little bit, on the inside but also out loud in my classroom, when I came across this slope foldable on teachers pay teachers (for free!). First of all, it gives me a space to incorporate Slope Dude, everyone’s favorite video of all time (I say frequently to groans from my students, but one of them asked if we could watch it again “if they all did well on their tests” as a reward or something, so I think it really is their favorite), and second, it almost looks like the Deathly Hallows symbol when you open it up!!!!! Yes!!!! Harry Potter Slope!
**side note: I just youtube searched “Harry Potter slope” to see if anything existed there and this is probably the funniest thing I’ve ever watched.
I wish that I hadn’t tried to include the extra examples around the outside of it though, because it just got incomprehensibly covered. I want to make a poof book foldable with extra examples, and also want to add in initial value to both those examples and the “slope in a situation” foldable.
Skill 6: I can write an equation in slope-intercept form
This is where it became obvious to me that I should have split this unit somehow. My students already felt like this unit had been going on forever, and were getting overwhelmed. It just needs to be divided into smaller pieces for them somehow.
I split this skill into three sources to write equations from: graphs, tables, and situations/scenarios. The graph notes are from Sarah Carter.
None of these were bad, persay, there isn’t really a particular thing I would point out that I really disliked about how I presented this, but I just need to rethink how I come at this next year. My students said that the pocket notes about creating all representations were “way too much writing”, but I’m honestly not sure of a shorter way to get practice with that content. Again, just some rethinking needs to happen. I welcome suggestions!
Skill 7: I can write an equation in point-slope form
Point-slope form, on the other hand, went much better than I think it ever has before. The consistency of putting the form again at the top of all three foldables helped, I think. I even had a substitute during the day they were practicing using point-slope form from x/y tables and I came back to almost all proficient practice scores! That being said, I could tell this was at the end of a very long unit for them and they were just worn out from trying to keep everything straight. If I adjust the structure of a lot of these sections for next year I think it will go much better.
If you want to use any of these files, follow the links included for those I got from other places, or download PDF’s and editable files of the ones I created here.