Percent Increase and Decrease

Here's a sample lesson on Percent Increase and Decrease designed for a 52-minute Pre-Algebra class. 1.  Start by watching the video on 'Percent Increase'.  Make sure that students have the handout so that they don't have to write down the application problem. 2.  Have students work on the two 'Group Work' problems on percent increase. 3.  Follow the same process for 'Percent Decrease'. 4.  Have the students do the Percent Increase and Decrease 'Matching Activity'.  You need to have the tiles cut apart for them already.  If there is not enough time to complete this in class (There usually isn't), suggest that the students take the activity home.  If you wish, have the students bring the completed matches back to the next class for credit.     View on screencast.com »     View on screencast.com » Percent Lesson...
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This Calculus Game Needs a Sweet Name… Any Suggestions?

I just finished this new Calculus game in anticipation of teaching a lesson on The First Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.  I'm looking to give it a good name.  Any suggestions? Calculus Game.pdf Download this file Jing Video and notes to accompany my lesson: View on screencast.com » Intergal_Video.pdf Download this file Jing Video and notes for the Second Fundamental Theorem of Calculus: View on screencast.com » The_Second_Fundamental_Theorem_of_Calculus.pdf Download this file Group_Work_Problems.pdf Download this file ...
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Solving a System of Equations with Two Unknowns

A Sample Lesson on Solving a System of Equations with Two Unknowns Before you begin, you may want to print the summary sheet below for reference.  The sheet happens to have a major typo, but I think that it's usually fun for the students to discover it themselves. I've been generous enough to correct the typo. SYSTEMS OF EQUATIONS Start out by watching this introductory video about solving an application problem using the addition method.  I recommend printing out the handout of what is covered in the video so that you can take notes as you follow along. View on screencast.com » VIDEO NOTES Go to Wolfram|Alpha and make sure that you know how to enter systems of equations there so that you can check your answer using this wonderful tool whenever you are at a computer.  Or even on the go, if you have a smartphone. This is a link to the solution for the problem shown in the video:  http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=solve+the+system+.34x+%2B+1.98y+%3D+3990%2C++.73x+%2B+2.45y+%3D+5865 Next, watch this short video on solving systems of...
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Could We Have an Open Dialogue About Race?

Let's face it.  I'm Asian.  I could definitely play the race card, but I don't.  Because I don't want to.  I don't think that it's the right thing to do.  I want to believe that it is dedication, hard work, and passion for what I do that is what will get me to where I want to be in life. Last semester, on the first day of class, there was a group of rowdy students in my class that would not be quiet even after I asked them to be quiet more than five times.  The principle that this is unacceptable behavior for the college classroom is the least of the issues.  Although, in the back of my mind, I could tell that this particular group of students did not respect me. I talked to my supervisor about this group of students immediately after the first class.  I tried to brainstorm some ideas with her about why these...
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More Student Feedback.

I'm really happy to report that this is ALL of the student feedback from my Saturday class that recently ended: "Although I did not understand a lot of the material, the instructor was very informative and acted as if he had he students in his best interest.""Jon is a great instructor.  He really takes his time to explain the topics with out getting behimd schedule.  I wish more instructors were like him.  The course should be a week or two longer to fully grasp all of the concepts that are being taught." ...
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Encouragement for Any Teachers Out There…

I know it can be tough out there!  I just finished two of the worst semesters I have ever had back-to-back.  The students constantly had attitude problems and my supervisors scolded me for telling the students that their attitude was unacceptable for the classroom.  Well, I just received the first good news I have gotten in a while:  My online students (at at different school, that is) seem to like me.  It's comments like these that make teaching worthwhile. If I could give one recommendation for future reference, it would be: "Nothing, I really enjoyed having this class with the instructor! He had so much to offer us. He answered questions promtly and interacted with us in the discussions more than any other instructor I have had. It was great taking this class with him" The most beneficial part of this course was: "the Instructor and his knowledge and ability to communicate with the students and help them...
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Pi Day Exponent Activity

This year on Pi Day I was teaching exponents, so I created an activity surrounding many of the common errors that I see many students make when working with expressions involving exponents.  I have attached the file to this post, and I would hope that people would know what to do with it, but let me explain anyway: 1.  I printed and cut out about 10 copies of the activity (I wanted to have the students work in groups of no more than 3).  I also like to have 1-2 extra copies because it has become seemingly noticeable with my classes that there are some students who like to take the activities home with them.  Honestly, if a simple game like this gets them excited enough about math that they actually want to do play math again when they get home, I'm all for it.  By the way, it worked out best for me to place the cut out pieces in...
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I Use Matrices in Everyday Life, Do You?

I am teaching a Finite Math class this semester and the majority of students in the class are business majors.  I'm trying to make the class as relevant to them as possible, so I've been reading magazines such as INC, and Entrepreneur to try to get ideas for things that I can talk about in class.  Well, here is one problem I came up with for my lesson on multiplying matrices.  And by the way, I put a copy of the pie chart from the magazine on the Document Camera before even starting (I brought the magazine to class, actually). According to INC Magazine (March 2011), 54% of workers describe their workplaces coffee as tolerable, 30% great, 10% terrible, and 6% other.  Use matrices to answer the following questions: 1.  If a company has 5040 employees, how many fall in each category? 2.  Within this company, there are 3000 people in sales and 2040 people in marketing, how many from each department fall in...
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The Snooze Button is Now a Math Problem

Yesterday I came across this problem while planning a lesson on ratio and proportion:"When I woke up this morning, I hit the snooze button and got 10 extra minutes to sleep.  Every time I hit the button, I get 10 extra minutes.  At this rate, if my alarm first goes off at 5:30 and I hit the snooze button 4 times before I actually get up, what time do I get up?" After careful thinking, it turns out that I wasn't actually interested in this problem at all.  I was actually interested in asking questions such as:Does it make since to get 10 extra minutes every time you hit the button, or would it make more sense for the number of minutes to be related to the number of times that the button is hit? Personally, I would love an alarm clock that gives me 10 minutes on the first hit, 8 minutes on the second...
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