I have SO MUCH to blog about right now! Yesterday we had an “Un-Conference” at school and I had some really cool conversations with people in the education world. I’ve also continued teaching mathematics, despite the appearance on here otherwise. I’ll be back soon with more updates, but for now, read the words of others:

Constructions Castles
This is SUCH a great idea from cheesemonkey wonders – taking geometric constructions and giving them a visual purpose. I’m not teaching these this year, but next year if I do I’ll try this out.

The SPECTRUM Alert: 8 Steps Schools Can Take to Prevent Autism Elopement Tragedy
In the category of terrifying problems I didn’t know about, have you heard of “autism elopement”?

Is This Working?
I love you, This American Life. This episode is centered around behavior management in the classroom and the positive and negative consequences of disciplinary actions. What makes this story great is that it is never prescriptive and gives a fair assessment of the pros and cons of very different systems at various schools. As a teacher, it’s impossible to hear this without a thoughtful consideration of your own management systems.

Reflective Writing in Math
I have a handful of students whose writing in my math class is never quite reflective enough, and Mary Dooms has a solution over at Curiouser and Curiouser. Come midterms time, I am trying out this chart!

100-Year-Old Math Teacher: Just Can’t Stop Teaching!
She is so inspiring! I also love/hate how Diane Ravitch sneaks an anti-charter message into this human interest story.

# A quick love letter to Desmos

Desmos is so lovely. Unlike GeoGebra, which is great, too, it can graph polar things!

It is super user-friendly: to get theta you can click the button for it, or you can just type “theta” and it knows what you mean. It is very easy to edit and delete functions. Making a slider is as easy as typing a non-variable letter and just clicking on it. Idea that I’m having too late: type in r = 2 + bsin(theta) and drag the slider to show how cardioids and limaçons and the loopy ones are related!

I had the students do an investigation about polar graphs in pairs. Last year I gave them some work ahead of time about what polar coordinates were, but I decided to postpone that this time. I thought it might be better to let them discover more on their own.

I’m attaching my PDFs, but mainly I just gave them a good amount of each type of equations and asked them to sort and then to generalize.

I cut these functions out and put them in an envelope: polar task chart and functions
These are the instructions: polar task