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

The AMC Math Jam is FREE.  To join the Math Jam, please log on 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!