In Praise of Algebra II Teachers

We started angles today – yay! I love trig, and the beginning of it is purty.

We’ve had four different Algebra II teachers in four different years, so I’m never entirely sure what students will know walking into my class. They all cover the same material, but every teacher has their stronger topics and their weaker topics.

Last year’s teacher was thorough. These kids have seen things. She also worked with a curriculum development specialist to overhaul the curriculum and get it into really good shape. At the end of last year, she asked me what I’d like her to cover with an extra couple of days. I mentioned the unit circle, handed her all my lesson plans and card sorts and games, and let her do her thing.

Apparently, she did an awesome job. The students know about radians! And are halfway comfortable with them! And voluntarily produced the words “unit circle!” I’m excited.

We even had time at the end of class today to do a card sort activity (that someone in the mtbos posted, but I can’t remember who…sorry!) where the kids had a sheet of angles, and a bunch of cards with radian measures and degree measures, and they had to match them. They did great. Also, I was proud of them for going at it with basically no directions except “Pick up a blue, yellow, and orange pack from my desk and match them. The blue sheet should be vertical.”

So, to last year’s Algebra II teacher: thank you. You rock. You served your students very well, and I am blessed to get to enjoy the fruit of your labor. Bless you.

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