Jul 242016
 

Exponential growth is a topic that deserves especially thoughtful treatment as part of a high school education because a person who has thought deeply about this ubiquitous phenomenon pays attention to and conceptualizes certain critical issues in, for example, science, economics, and social science, in a fundamentally different way than one who is oblivious to or overwhelmed by the concept. (For one of the more extreme examples of the importance of being in the habit of thinking about growth models, see Section e—pun entirely coincidental, I'm sure—on page 2 of a bill passed by the North Carolina House of Representatives in April 2012, which got lots of attention after it was featured on the Colbert Report.)

Jan 092016
 
Quadratic Functions with Desmos Activity Builder

I thoroughly enjoyed using an activity I created using Desmos Activity Builder over the course of the past couple of days with my precalculus students to help them think in new ways about quadratic functions. These are intelligent people who have graphed plenty of parabolas and solved plenty of quadratic equations in Algebra 1 and 2, and have [...]

Mar 192015
 
Fresh eyes on end behavior of rational functions

Over the past few years of teaching precalculus regularly, I've experimented with a variety of approaches to rational functions in an attempt to find one that will result in students discovering and eventually truly understanding how the equation of a rational function determines its graph. I have never felt very successful. Too many students get confused somewhere along the way, come to [...]