Today is the first day that my students will begin using their ActivExpression Personal Response Systems. I often refer to them as “clickers.” I love that these clickers help keep all of my students engaged at all times and give me so many opportunities for formative assessments of my students learning at any point in the lesson.
Since this is the first time my students will be using these devices, I am going to allow for some time at the beginning of class for students to get used to them and for any technical difficulties or dead batteries. I also will do a few quick polls of fun things just to give students a chance to play. I may ask questions like what is your favorite TV show? Or what is your favorite thing about Camelback High School? Questions unrelated to math, just to get them used to the clickers.
Also, if allowing students to use calculators today...this will be a good time to model a few of the basic operations of the graphing calculator. This year my students will be using the new Ti-Nspire CX calculators. So these are definitely going to be new and different to my students so the kids will also need time to ‘play’ with these.
Today, I plan to just model how the basics of these calcualtors work. Mainly, showing students the two scratchpads. Today, they will need to be comfortable graphing. So I will go over shortcuts like ctrl+g to get the graphing bar and ctrl+t to get the table. Also, some students find the shortcut doc+b helpful to clear the screen. I will also model the non-shortcut apporaches to these, i.e. using the menu button to find what they need.
After yesterday's lesson, I learned that students mainly recalled linear, quadratic, and square root functions... but nothing else. So I decided to allow calculator use for today's graphic organizer activity. I thought this would speed this up a bit. However, it took my students about 30 minutes to complete just the top 4 rows of this graphic organizer so I will be extending this lesson to a second day. (Note: The original lesson has already been revised. This lesson plus the next day's lesson, Shifting Functions: How do they move?, were split into two days)
Just to note: We received new calculators this year so my students are getting used to these along with learning how to log into their clickers so technical difficulties took up the rest of the period. Hopefully your students can get through a bit more.
On pages 2-6 of the flipchart there are 4 Clicker Questions to check students current understandings of parent functions. I am going to be sure to emphasize to my students that this is what they were supposed to learn today. These are the types of questions they should now be able to answer after completing today’s activity.