Alg II Unit One #SMPTargets

At the end of last school year, I convinced my fellow Algebra II teachers to write out a pacing guide following Jonathan’s (@rawrdimus) “pivoted” Algebra II sequence. I must admit I’ve been teaching a version of Algebra II for so long that I’m often leave that on autopilot while focusing on newer courses. With this new sequence and some new goals for the year, I’m hoping to change it up a bit this year while still not going crazy.

With that in mind, I met with our math coach and the other regular Algebra II teacher yesterday (he’s a brand new teacher so I hope to mold him into #MTBoS ways) to write some learning targets. Added goal/twist: make sure to cover an Standard Mathematical Practice within each one, a la Chris Shore.

If you haven’t downloaded Chris’s SMP posters, you need to do so now. They are listed under “my stuff” in the left column of his Math Projects Journal. I’m going to copy them two to a page and hand them out to students. I think it will be four pages that are going to get a lot of use during the year! My favorite part about them is the questions that he listed under each practice–really helps to clarify them for students (and, ahem, some teachers that couldn’t even list all 8 before his session).

So now that you have your practices ready, let’s put them into action with the first unit of Algebra II:

Alg II Unit 1 Learning Targets

1. I can persevere in evaluating numerical and algebraic expressions using order of operations.  Ms Craig will persevere in not losing it when told for the 4,793rd time that “my calculator says -3 squared is -9!”
2. I can reason abstractly and quantitatively when translating verbal and algebraic expressions.  Who is up for some contextualization and decontextualization? And by that I mean, who has a good activity for Alg II students about translating back and forth?
3. I can construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others when solving linear equations.  My plan with this is first day have them write out each step they are doing and/or do a flowchart equation. Then the second day do a “find and correct any mistakes with an explanation.”
4. I can model with mathematics when solving absolute value functions. I really want to bring in Kate’s exploration of absolute value.
5. I can look for and make use of structure to solve power equations with inverse operations. (i.e. solve an equation that has just an x squared or cubed)
6. I can attend to precision while solving equations with roots on both sides. I thought that would be good to talk about square roots in calculator and checking for extraneous answers.

So now I have a really stupid question that I will probably post on twitter as well: what can I do so I don’t have to write these out on the board every day? I really don’t have the space or the motivation to do so. Should I print them out and post them? Even if that means 180 sheets of paper? Times two classes? Give them to students as a typed worksheet so they can calibrate their learning as we go through the unit? Type them at the top of the day’s handout (if there is one)?

Category: Alg II | Tags: ,

3 comments on “Alg II Unit One #SMPTargets

  1. To answer your question about posting objectives: I provide a learning target tracking sheet to students and refer them to it daily at the start of each lesson. It helps students to know what to expect and it helps to keep me on track too.

    Here is an example of what I use:
    http://crazymathteacherlady.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/learning-target-tracking-sheet/

    • Oooh, I like this! Maybe I can modify it to include to tie in with lagging homework and spiral quizzes as well! Thanks for sharing, Lisa!

  2. […] explicit teaching of the practices through “Dual Targets.” (my blog post forthcoming)  Meg Craig (@mathymeg07) posted about the implementation of #SMPTargets in her own […]

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