Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Overview

Insights Into Algebra 1: Teaching for Learning is an eight-part video, print, and Web-based professional development workshop for in-service teachers. Participants will explore strategies to improve the way they teach 16 topics found in most Algebra 1 programs. In each session, participants will view two half-hour videos and engage in activities designed to help them examine their teaching practice, implement what they are learning, share their experiences with other teachers, and reflect on their ongoing development. The Web site includes a wealth of resources that complement and extend the videos, including step-by-step guides to the lessons and teaching strategies presented in the videos. The workshop print guide provides everything you need to know to conduct this workshop, including discussion questions and activities for workshop participants. Use these components for professional development in two-hour weekly group sessions, or on your own.

Video Program Descriptions

Workshop 1: Variables and Patterns of Change
In Part I, Janel Green introduces a swimming pool problem as a context to help her students understand and make connections between words and symbols as used in algebraic situations. In Part II, Jenny Novak's students work with manipulatives and algebra to develop an understanding of the equivalence transformations used to solve linear equations.

Workshop 2: Linear Functions and Inequalities
In Part I, Tom Reardon uses a phone bill he received to help his students deepen their understanding of linear functions and how to apply them. In Part II, Janel Green's hot dog vending scheme is a vehicle to help her students learn how to solve linear equations and inequalities using three methods: tables, graphs, and algebra.

Workshop 3: Systems of Equations and Inequalities
In Part I, Jenny Novak's students compare the speed at which they write with their right hand with the speed at which they write with their left hand. This activity enables them to explore the different types of solutions possible in systems of linear equations, and the meaning of the solutions. In Part II, Patricia Valdez's students model a real-world business situation using systems of linear inequalities.

In Part I, Tremain Nelson and his students use a basketball toss as a launching point to learn how the constants in the equation y = a(x - h)2 + k transform the parent function y = x2. In Part II, Tremain and the students apply what they learned in the previous lesson to model several bounces of a ball dropped below a motion detector.

Workshop 5: Properties
In Part I, Tom Reardon's students come to understand the process of factoring quadratic expressions by using algebra tiles, graphing, and symbolic manipulation. In Part II, Sarah Wallick's students conduct coin-tossing and die-rolling experiments and use the data to write basic recursive equations and compare them to explicit equations.

Workshop 6: Exponential Functions
In Part I, Orlando Pajon uses a population growth simulation to introduce students to exponential growth and develop the conceptual understanding underlying the principles of exponential functions. In Part II, a scenario from Alice in Wonderland helps Mike Melville's students develop a definition of a negative exponent and understand the reasoning behind the division property of exponents with like bases.

Workshop 7: Direct and Inverse Variation
In Part I, Peggy Lynn's students simulate oil spills on land and investigate the relationship between the volume and the area of the spill to develop an understanding of direct variation. In Part II, they develop the concept of inverse variation by examining the relationship of the depth and surface area of a constant volume of water that is transferred to cylinders of different sizes.

Workshop 8: Mathematical Modeling
This workshop presents two capstone lessons that demonstrate mathematical modeling activities in Algebra 1. In both lessons, the students first build a physical model and use it to collect data and then generate a mathematical model of the situation they've explored. In Part I, Sarah Wallick's students use a pulley system to explore the effects of one rotating object on another and develop the concept of transmission factor. In Part II, Orlando Pajon's students conduct a series of experiments, determine the pattern by which each set of data changes over time, and model each set of data with a linear function or an exponential function.

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