eMath September Newsletter

As Labor Day Weekend starts to fade in our rear view mirror and mid-September approaches, it’s time for the monthly eMath Newsletter. I’ve been really busy since mid-August, mostly filling orders, answering lots of questions, and helping folks troubleshoot our new online Answer Key Subscription Service. My apologies for those who had trouble setting up their accounts. As always, email me if you have any issues.

I’ve also been working hard in the last few weeks on the latest round of add-ons that come with our Teacher Plus Subscriptions. I just posted them on the site, so those that have that access (and those that don’t) should go over and check them out. As usual, I wanted to tell you a little about them in the newsletter.

For Common Core Algebra I (our most popular course), we have three/four new selections. We came out with a mid-unit progress quiz for Unit #2. We put up a Form A and Form B for your convenience. We created a worksheet that gives students more practice with linear word problems. This one should definitely be done after you have done Lesson #7 in Unit #2. It’s a really good sheet that can be used as extra credit or just more practice for struggling learners. Finally, we created a small worksheet to prepare kids for inequality work later in Unit #2. This sheet is great for a two year CC Algebra I course where kids have a really hard time comparing two numbers using the greater than and less than operators.

For Common Core Algebra II, I started off with one of my favorites, a Desmos Classroom Activity on Forms of a Line. Students are supposed to come out of Common Core Geometry with some exposure to both the slope-intercept and point-slope form of a line. This Desmos Activity allows students to practice in an interactive way with equations of lines in both forms. It could be used as extra credit, extra practice, or even to replace Unit #3.Lesson #3. Don’t worry if you’ve never done a Classroom Activity on Desmos. I’ve also created a detailed Teacher Direction sheet. Email me if you still have questions.

I’ve also created a mid-unit quiz for Unit #4 of Common Core Algebra II. This is a mammoth unit, so I thought having a quiz that covered the topics from the first seven lessons would be helpful. It’s not a long quiz, but it assesses all of the fundamentals of exponential functions. Finally, I added a brand new lesson to Common Core Algebra II on the asymptotes of exponential and logarithmic functions. The term asymptote does not arise in the Common Core Algebra II PARCC standards, but New York State put it on their June Regents examination in CC Alg II, so I thought it might make sense to have a lesson on these important graphical features. No video, yet!

Finally, Algebra 2 with Trigonometry. I feel like this is sometimes the forgotten child of the three courses. It has been all but phased out in New York State, and, yet, plenty of schools still use our text. We love the course and recognize the important differences and similarities between it and Common Core Algebra II. For this month, I’ve added three new resources for the course. First, I have a full (but somewhat short) Unit #2 Quiz (on linear functions). I also included a Unit #3 Mid-Unit progress quiz. Unit #3 is a long unit on quadratic functions and their algebra, so I thought it appropriate to see what kids know after the first eight lessons. Finally, I included a brand-new lesson in Algebra 2 with Trig on Factoring by Grouping. This lesson was long overdue.

Now that I’ve gotten the add-ons out of the way, let’s talk about Common Core Geometry. I’ve really taken a pause on that since late August. I’ve simply been too busy with running the business and writing the add-ons, but now I should be able to get back to writing it. I’m in the middle of Unit 5 right now (the first four units have been posted) and hope to have it finished by the end of next week. I’ll post all of the first draft pdf files at that point. I’m going to continue to write units and maybe record some videos (just to try out some new tech that I have). My goal is to be done with all lessons and homework sets in first draft form by December winter break. The answer key and videos will take some time as well, but, with some hard work, I will hopefully be done with it all by late winter/early spring. Only then will we have Common Core Geometry subscriptions and workbooks to sell at eMathInstruction.

For those of you already working with the curriculum, I image some will be almost done with Unit #1 soon. Unit #2 in CC Geo is on transformations and many of the lessons involve the use of tracing paper. We create our own because we couldn’t find anything on the market we liked. I’m hoping that by Monday of next week (9/19/16) we will have it on our site for sale. It will come in 50 sheet spiral packs that students can rip sheets from (for $5 each) or in stacks of 500 (for $20 each). Here are a few pictures of the tracing paper:



Finally, a note on  our new software products from Efofex. There’s been a lot of interest in the programs given their ease of use. I was talking to a teacher on the phone about Geometry just a couple of days ago and he was bemoaning how difficult making diagrams for geo can be. Efofex MathPack, one of the packages we sell, makes creating these things so easy that I’m chomping at the bit to get back to writing it all. I just wish the software would have been around back in 2005 when I first started work with the Arlington Algebra Project. Imagine how long this would take using the standards graphics on MS Word?

Right Triangle

And my own least favorite graphs to draw, exponentials:

Shifted Exponential

If you are interested in seeing what the Efofex software can do, try downloading a free 30 day trial of it. No muss, no fuss, and no spam if you decide you don’t like it. It just stops working. If you have any questions about it, don’t hesitate to contact me.

O.k. So, that’s about it for September. I hope that everyone’s school year is starting off well and the temperatures are cooling everywhere (I’m sure Phoenix is still quite hot my Arizona friends). I’ll be working hard on Common Core Geometry and more add-ons in the next month. Tune in for all the updates in the October newsletter. As always, contact me via email if you have questions or suggestions: Kirk@emathinstruction.com.


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