All week I have been having students practice writing linear equations in three forms: slope-intercept, point-slope, and standard form. I give them a little slip with blanks like so:
y = __ x + ___
y – __ = __ (x – __)
__ x + __ y = ___
And then I give them information like two points, or a point and a parallel line, and so on. The classes have improved on finding the equations each day we have done this, but this still heavily rely on me, especially when rewriting slope-intercept into standard form.
Yesterday and today I gave them parallel and perpendicular labs where they plotted lines, found the equations, and then compared slopes. This went pretty well both days. Some students did struggle to plot points correctly, but I think this was a focus issue rather than a lack of knowledge of how to plot points and then graph the line. Sometimes they would plot the points correctly but then connect the wrong ones when drawing lines. Next time I do an activity like this I will tell them to draw the lines immediately after the two points AND after double-triple checking to make sure that their points are correct.
The activity also went a little smoother because I had already given away the punchline by teaching a lesson on slopes of parallel and perpendicular lines last week. So the “what do you notice about the slopes” questions weren’t as challenging as they would have been if this was the first lesson on the subject. (I was given the activity after I had already taught a different lesson.) But it served as a great reinforcement because many of my students had not internalized the connections. (I’m still not sure if they have, but overall I think we improved.)
I also had a parent visit today. I realized as I was teaching that I was very similar to the student whose parent was visiting in that I found myself trying just a little bit harder and putting on more of a show when I had an adult audience than when I did not. That is not to say that I’m slacking by any means, just that I think I may have been more animated than I normally am. (And I am always animated.)
I left off here 6 hours ago thinking I would finish the post but I went to a movie instead.
Thanks for reading.