Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bedford Day 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Back to School Night

Back to School, 2013

Welcome Parents, 

Algebra II (3), Algebra II (4) and Trig/Stats (4)

About me: 
This is my 5th year in Bedford.  I taught in Lawrence, MA for two years before BHS.  I taught English in China for 3 years.  

Contact Information:  Patrick_Morrissey@bedford.k12.ma.us, or call (781) 275-1700 Extension 8018. Twitter:  @pmm888

Class Blog: www.pmm888.blogspot.com

Important Topics:
  • Missed work:  All on Dropbox (Moodle for Trig/Stats).  Google Calendar has my agendas and homework assignments.  You can have access to my calendars! See post on August 30, 2013 on my blog.  
  • ASPEN:  Grades and attendance posted on a regular basis. Public immediately. ABS=Absent, EX=Excused, NTI=Not Turned in.
  • Calculator: Recommend; at least scientific calculator. More info at the BHS Math Web Site.  
  • Textbook: May leave at home. I will provide an outline of where we are in the textbook.  Each unit has defined Objectives shared with students. 
  • As a department we have worked to align out units to the Common Core in Algebra II, and we are working toward a digital curriculum.   
  • Extra Help: X block, Tuesdays after school, mornings from 7:20 a.m.  Ask for advanced notice. Email is fine. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Mr. Morrissey’s Calendar for 2013-2014

Links to Mr. Morrissey’s Calendar for 2013-2014
Dear Parents and Students,
Please find the link below for our class and follow these directions to add to your iPad. 

  1. Copy the link below by touching and holding the link on the iPad.  
  2. Go to Settings>>Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  3. Click on Add Account.
  4. Chose Other
  5. Under calendars chose “Add Subscribed Calendar.”
  6. Paste in the link
  7. Press next.
  8. Press Save.
  9. Go to Calendar app and verify our class is in the Subscribed section.

Please let me know how I can make this system better.  The smallest suggestions make the biggest difference. J
Mr. Morrissey

B: Trig/Stats

CD: Algebra II (4) 

D: Algebra II (4)

E:  Algebra II (3)

Bedford High School Google Calendar:

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Algebra II (4) Unit Objectives

May 19, 2013

Dear Parents,

MCAS has come and gone and there are 12 class meetings left until finals begin.  For your son or daughter we have an assessment on Friday this week on Radical Functions. 

Late this year we began using giant posters in our rooms of each unit's objectives.  

Please check out Our Objectives Poster.  It's been a great addition to class as I can reference it with the students during class.  It really focuses our work together. 

All the best,

Patrick Morrissey

Alegbra II (5) Assessment Reflection

May 19, 2012

We our Logs test with our two class average at 92% with a median of 97%.  This unit we did not have any videos.

Please see the link below for student work that I plan to review with students in class.

We are not in the Sequences and Series Unit with 12 classes left before final exams.  The school year has come and gone so quickly.

I hope your son or daughter has enjoyed our time together.

My Best,

Patrick Morrissey

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Algebra II Videos and MCAS

April 28, 2013

Dear Parents,

Two topics condensed into one email.

  1. The MCAS Math for 10th grade is two weeks away on May 13/14 (Mon/Tuesday).  In class we've taken a practice test, and completed a unit on Probability and Statistics.  In the next two weeks we'll review the results together.  Please encourage your son or daughter to come X block for extra MCAS practice.  
  2. For Level 5 we are finishing our unit on Logs/Exponentials and we have not had any videos.  After our test I plan to solicit feedback from students via my Google Form on how this unit compares to past units with videos.  Students are adaptable for sure, but what is the optimal learning experience?  In Level 4 we are finishing Rational Functions and there are videos, but I am teaching the material in class and deemphasizing the videos. I will also solicit feedback about this experience.  I am constantly trying to improve from feedback.
Level 4 Rational Functions Test on Tuesday (30th)
Level 5 Logs Test on Monday May 6.  

The end of the year will soon be upon us.  

My best,

Patrick Morrissey

p.s. I plan to make a Google Form to solicit feedback from you too!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sequences and Series....

As we begin the Sequence and Series Unit, work on this problem whenever you find you are "done." Mr. Morrissey p.s. Think problem came to me from a fellow educator on Twitter!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Algebra II (4) Update

April 2, 2013

Dear Parents,

Tomorrow your son/daughter has a quiz on graphing rational functions. We've spent 3 classes practicing this material including two practice quizzes.  I am hopeful for this quiz and ending the quarter on a positive note.  There was a real engaged and communal spirit in both classes today.

I'd like to tell you of a new feature of class that I believe will really help us.  I have a giant sized poster of this unit's objectives that I made collaboratively with the other 2 Algebra II (4) teachers that summarizes the four key objectives the students will be able to show mastery of.  It serves as a great reference point for me during classes.

As always, reach out to me if you have a concern about your child.

All the best,

Patrick Morrissey

Algebra II (5) update...


On Wednesday (tomorrow) we'll have a quiz on Exponentials Functions, and the following Wednesday we'll have a quiz on logs and log properties.  I want to spend adequate time on this new unit and I did not want the coming vacation to rush us.  For your information the 3rd quarter ends tomorrow.  

I am trying this unit to teach without videos and at the end of the unit I will use my feeback form to get the students input on what they liked and did not like.  I am looking forward to it.  

All the best,


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Algebra II Assessment Reflection

March 18, 2013

Algebra II (5) Parents,

We've had our Radicals/Rationals test and the results are really great.  The median is a 94 and the average was a 91.  This is for 27 students.  That being said, if you look at the "raw" column of my data spreadsheet large groups of students in Level 5 still making mistakes that are costing them points.   The green column is the data with partial credit.  I emphasize with students how much of their work is correct, but there is still room for improvement.  In the sign errors and algebra where tiny mistakes are made.  Continuous improvement and the pursuit of excellence!

Nevertheless, I am really happy with these results.

Patrick Morrissey

p.s. This report is being released on March 28 because I had students who had not finished the test.  The MCAS period delayed this.

Here is some great work.  Three different methods to solve the same problem...AC Method, Long Division, and Synthetic Division.  A fourth method is to factor.  

Below,  Nice work remembering to check for "extraneous" solutions. 

Below, this student has the habit of mind to check her work!.

Below, great work making sure to factor the numerator to look for a possible "hole."

 Below,  this student tried to factor a non-quadratic.  

Below, this expression needs a small simplification.  Do you see it?


Thursday, March 7, 2013

All Algebra II students

Dear Parents,

With the English MCAS soon upon us I want you to know in Algebra II Levels 4 and 5 we will do at least one entire practice test and also a mini unit on Probability and Statistics to prepare for MCAS math.  I have found that reviewing Geometry is useful to students as they haven't done it for some time.

If our in-class review is not sufficient there will also be MCAS Academics outside of class time for extra practice.  I will provide the schedule to the students and to you when it is confirmed.

In all of my Algebra II classes there will be a test on Friday (3/15) (Thursday for B Block), and then the MCAS begin the following week.  Homework during MCAS week will be less.

Please do not hesitate to write or call about your MCAS questions or concerns.

All the best,

Patrick Morrissey

p.s. Ask your son our daughter to explain the problem below.  Last year 53% of BHS students answered this question correctly. It has to do with the point-slope form of a line.

The answer is B.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Algebra II (4) Quiz Student work. 

Here is some student work from our most recent quiz.  The average was a 90% in both of our classes.  Ask your son or daughter to explain to you the mistakes when applicable.  

After vacation we are still in our polynomials unit and will have a short quiz on the second half of the unit before a final unit test.

My Best,

Patrick Morrissey

2 to the negative 1 can never be negative. The answer is one half.  

Below, the student did not take the reciprocal of (1/2).  Answer is 8.

Below is an example of great work.  This student converted the bases all to 5 and then used the exponent rules we learned.  Nice work!

Below, this student needed to expand/FOIL.  Do you see why the answer is 75?

This student seemed to ignore the base of 10.  The answer is 100.  Explain to me why.
 Below, this student forgot the difference of squares. That will be important to know.  Looks like I didn't take off points :).

The new Common Core State Standards talks about showing student multiple ways to solve problems and solving them side by side.  This is a great example of direct and synthetic substitution,  :)

Take a careful look below, can you spot at least two mistakes?

Algebra II (5) Assessment Reflection


Hello Parents,

I hope vacation is going well for you and you children.

A few quick notes for Algebra II (5).

  1. We had our first quiz since the midterms on Fractional Exponents, Composition and Inverses.  The average was a solid A and it was the best performance by all students in Algebra II 5 to date.  
  2. Students spent time before vacation making videos on Educreations on the entire unit on functions.  Ask your son or daughter to share with you the video(s) they made.  It was a really great to watch them in action. 
  3. MCAS is not for a few months, but I want to let you all know that I will be doing some targeted MCAS practice in class, including at least an entire practice test and a mini unit on Probability and Statistics.  The former has made for quite a successful MCAS track record in the past for students in Level 5, and the latter is a topic that students need the most practice in. 
  4. After vacation we'll be doing a short unit on Rational Functions and we'll have a test on Rational Functions and Functions together.  The students already know this and the videos they made will be a good review for them. 
  5. I had a parent recently tell me that they did not think their student had a textbook in our class.  To be sure, our notes/curriculum follow the school's textbook, but I have made my own version of the notes over the past four years teaching this class.  The impression that we aren't using the textbook is a reasonable one since I have made worksheets and problem sets for most of our work together.  Students have access to an online version of the textbook as well.  Our topics remaining are:
    1. Functions (Ch. 6)
    2. Rational Functions (Ch. 8)
    3. Logs and Exponentials (Ch. 7)
    4. Sequences and Series (Ch. 12)
    5. Conic Sections (Ch. 9)
My Best,

Patrick Morrissey

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

AMC10/12 Math Jam


Tomorrow night, Wednesday, February 6, we will host a free Math Jam to discuss problems from the 2013 AMC 10 A and 2013 AMC 12 A competitions.  The Math Jam will begin at 7:30 PM ET (4:30 PM PT), and last 1.5-2 hours.  We hope to see you there!

You can learn more about all of the Math Jams at Art of Problem Solving by going here:


If you have any questions about this or any other Math Jam you can email us atclasses@artofproblemsolving.com.

The AMC Math Jam is FREE.  To join the Math Jam, please log on towww.artofproblemsolving.com using your Art of Problem Solving username about 10 minutes before the Math Jam begins, and then click on the Classroom bar that appears near the top of the site.


Richard Rusczyk

Alcumus Algebra Resource

Dear Parents,

I've been using Art of Problem Solving's problem generator in class lately.  Could you help me to ask your child if they have made an account?  If not, encourage them to do so.

Alcumus link here

Below is a sample problem in the category "Square Roots."  Ask your child how to do.  It's 16.

This is a really wonderful resource with questions sorted by topic and answer keys and written out solutions.  You can also go back to past problems in the "report" tab.

My Best,

Patrick Morrissey

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Do the Math!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Midterm Reflection Algebra II (4)

The midterm in Algebra II (4) had an average of 80% with a median of 84% for 42 students. The midterm is worth 10% of a student's final grade in Algebra II.  

We will start our unit on Polynomials next.  There will be at least one quiz and one test, and I hope for two quizzes if possible.  

My best,

Patrick Morrissey

#3 graph

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Infrequent Error with Fractions

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Equation of Perpendicular Line Question

January 20, 2013 Algebra II students, I was asked by a fellow student about Problem Set Equations of Lines #2 Problem #11. Here is a worked out solution. My Best, Mr. Morrissey

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Midterm Formula Sheet

January 19, 2013

Here is the formula sheet for Algebra II midterm levels 3-4-5. 

Mr. Morrissey 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Algebra II (4) Review for Midterm

January 14, 2013

Algebra II 4/5 Midterm

Ch. 1-2:  Absolute value, inequalities, and most importantly equations of lines
Ch. 3: System of Equations
Ch. 4 Quadratics
Ch. 5 Polynomials (Level 5 only)

Advice:  Review all old assessments and look at my assessment reflections on my blog. Answer keys of assessments on Moodle.  The problems in this document will be tough, but should be doable. 

Part 1: Multiple Choice 25ish questions on core material for all levels.
Part 2:  Level 4 or 5 Multiple Choice Problems
Part 3:  Open Response Problems

Level 4 Assessments:
Fundamental Operations Quiz
Linear Equations Test
Systems Test
4.1-4.2 Quadratics Quiz
Completing the Square Quiz
Complex Numbers Quiz
Quadratics Test

Mr. Morrissey





Friday, January 11, 2013

Chinese 50 RMB Bill

Made out of eggs.  Pretty cool.  I hope this isn't one of those Internet hoaxes!

Mr. Morrissey

Monday, January 7, 2013


From Mr. McGowan...
  • Attention Math students.  The 2013 AMC-10 and AMC 12 Exams will be given on Tuesday February 5th (Day 3).  4000 schools around the world administered this exam last year.  Many Colleges and Universities ask for your AMC score on their applications.  If you do not sign up now, there will not be an exam for you on February 5th.  Please put your name and email address on the sign up sheet in C108, or email Mr. McGowan.

Algebra II (5) Students...

Look in the tab called "Educreation Videos" for today's homework video called "Graphing Polynomials.

Mr. Morrissey

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Algebra II (4) Assessment Reflection #6

January 1, 2013

Quadratics Quiz up to Writing Equations of Quadratics. 

The average was 74% for my two classes. This was the toughest quiz to date. The quiz came immediately before vacation and was the first time students had to use the Quadratic formula. In class we are going to look closely at student work on this post.

All comments are for the picture immediately below.

This graph is going the wrong way...

 This is a nice job especially since the graph is upside down.

Below, where is the origin?  

When writing an equation of a quadratic we must know which equation (vertex or intercept form) is most appropriate to start with.  Here, the student used vertex form incorrectly.  This problem gives you the x intercepts so intercept form is the best first step.
 Below, same mistake.  This equation could never be right since there is no "x" value.  

Now lets look at some problems that involve simplifying the Quadratic Formula. Here the student made a common mistake of not making the part under the radical a negative 108.  Also, the square root of 108 can be simplified.

Next this student used "r" in the quadratic formula, when all of the coefficients were already known.   The work should have been only numbers.  

Below, the 6 in the denominator was divided evenly into the part under the radical.  

Below, can you spot the small simplifying mistake?  

Below, the same type of error was made like the problem above.  
Finally some small errors to be mindful of...

Below is the assessment data. Raw % and % Correct when partial credit is factored in.  Quadratics is a major part of our midterm exam and we'll be spending time before midterms reinforcing this unit [and the topics that came before like equations of lines and systems].

My Best,

Patrick Morrissey