Happenings in Mrs. Meyers Advanced Math

January 28, 2014

     The time is drawing closer for juniors and the state mathematics testing.  Some will get nervous and some will just proceed with the attitude that I will try my best and see what the outcome will be.  Hopefully, all juniors will have a positive feeling about taking this important test knowing that they are not allowed to use a calculator to help them out.

     We have already covered the concepts of number sense and algebra during the first semester of this course.  The students have done an outstanding job thus far.  No complaining about the fact that they are not allowed to use the calculator.  They have renewed their ability to work with the four basic operations of mathematics and are very proficient with them now.  I must say that I am extremely proud of them. 

     Now we proceed to the final two areas to be covered  ...  geometry and data analysis/probability.  Presently they are working with right triangles and the three basic trig functions.  Along this path they have recalled the use of the Pythagorean Theorem and the great Indian chief SOHCAHTOA.  Just so that everyone out there knows :  SOHCAHTOA is an acronym for the basic trig functions.  SOH means sine opposite hypotenuse.  CAH means cosine adjacent hypotenuse. TOA means tangent opposite adjacent.  As long as they have or may find the missing side of a right triangle, they are capable of finding the trig values.

     During our study of the Pythagorean Theorem, they also had to brush up on their ability to simplify radicals.  This includes the three NO-NO's when dealing with a radical:  #1 No perfect square may be left under the radical symbol.  #2  No fractions under the radical symbol.  And the final NO-NO  #3  No radical in the denominator if it is in fraction form.

     We will be continually reviewing the concepts from first semester so that students are always keeping in mind how to work with algebra and number sense problems.  After the state test has been finished, the students will spend the remaining days of the semester working on problems that they will encounter when they take the ACT or SAT tests during their senior year of high school.