Upper School Math teacher Deborah Clark is always looking for ways to connect the lessons in her classes to the interests of the students. This semester, students in her PreCalculus and Algebra I classes participated in hands-on learning through two outstanding units. Upon completion of a unit on polynomial functions, PreCalculus students created polynomial cubes. Students were tasked with displaying different characteristics of polynomial functions on each side of the box after learning to graph these functions. Prior to this culminating unit, these students studied end behavior and turning points of these functions as well as how to find rational zeros, irrational zeros, and complex zeros. Additional lessons included Descartes Rule of Signs, Fundamental Theorem of Algebra, and dividing polynomials with synthetic division and long division and using those processes to find all the factors and roots of the polynomials.
Algebra 1 students used technology to review graphs of functions. In preparation for this unit on learning to graph quadratics, students practiced graphing linear functions, absolute value functions and exponential functions they have already learned. In both classes, Mrs. Clark tied in biblical principles. “Learning polynomial reminds them that it takes many kinds of graphs and mathematics to describe the complex world God created. All the math, in both units, works because God is faithfully holding our world together and keeping it consistent. This same faithful God is faithful to save all those who come to Him His way and is faithful to work in them to make them more like Christ.”
These fun and nontraditional ways of assessing student learning gave an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their learning through a practical project rather than a test. Our Heritage staff continues to find new ways to teach these skills and engage students every day and these Math lessons are only one snapshot of the great things happening in Mrs. Clark’s class!