Polynomial Personal Ads

Every year, my students study the general characteristics of polynomial functions. We investigate the various shapes of various functions and slowly shift parameters to watch changes in the graphs. Eventually, we deduce the roles of the constant term, leading coefficient, and degree. It should be noted that Desmos makes this process much easier than years previous. Just set up the generic polynomial, add sliders, set specific ones to play (depending on what you want to investigate), and have students discuss in groups. See sample here. (Sliding “a” to “0” invites an excellent conversation; same with “b” etc.)After we work with …

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CCSS: Support from the North

I can’t–for the life of me–understand why someone would argue to eliminate high level mathematical reasoning in favour of memorized tricks, but that seems to be the case with those arguing against the Common Core State Standards. I cannot fathom how this can be the case except to chalk it up to a case of “he-said-she-said”. Change (especially in something as resistant to it as mathematics education) breeds ignorance. And Ignorance breeds fear.Let’s face it: The public are scared of reform efforts and most teachers aren’t far behind. There are multiple (legitimate) reasons. Time Mathematical Proficiency Control / Power Outside Testing Pressures …

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