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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rational Expressions & Equations

Started a little planning for next year...the other trig teachers and I have divvied up the units and are each planning three. We are to produce a calendar with daily assignments, assessments, a Smartboard Lesson for each day, and keys for all.

Was working today on Unit 8: Rational Expressions and Equations.

I have the calendar and assignments done and have started looking through the lessons I used this year.

They pretty much suck. This statement might preclude me finding employment for next year but I don't care: I am at a loss for how to make this concept interesting or relevant to 16 year olds. All we are doing is simplifying and solving algebraic expressions and equations. With no context. It's going to be a brutal 10 days of instruction if I don't get it together.

I can make it extrinsically rewarding by including lots of partner/group practice structures.

I can attempt to start off with some word problems of the type that one could, if one wished, write and solve a rational equation. Your standard Tom can paint a house in 3 days and Dick can paint a house in 5 days etc etc. I find that these are either easy enough to solve without an equation, or too difficult for this level.

I really don't want to get into the harmonic mean.

Ideas? Help?