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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Log Laws

(Update! After this post and all the comments, I modified the student handout to include a little proof section after each part. You can find it here.)

Hate em. Can't teach em. Kids are confused by em. Kids never, ever remember em when they need em.

This year, like last year, we took the definition of a logarithm and knocked it out of the park. We were all feeling good after Day 1. "This is pretty easy." "Why does everyone say logs are such a big deal." Etc, etc. Right on, kids. Right on.

Then on Day 2, boom, the fit hits the shan. We left class looking dazed, bewildered, scared. Well this is my third year teaching Algebra 2 and I decided that This Would Not Stand. (I guess I only have one good, new lesson per unit in me every year. But like ten years from now, LOOK OUT.) So we re-did Day 2, differently, and even though losing a day in Algebra 2 gives me an ulcer, it was worth it.

What was I doing that was so awful? This:

Barfity barf barf. It's like I forgot how to teach math. I think I thought this topic was sort of hopeless and useless so I gave up on it for a little bit.

This is what we did that was better. Go get it here if you like. (Note: It uses the mathtype plugin for Word.)