Thursday, July 18, 2013

CSI: Algebra Second Edition Now LIVE

If you have downloaded an Electronic Book that looks like this ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Please go redownload it! (There is a SURPRISE IN THE ZIP FILE)

What I realized now that I'm most of the way through my 4 CSI book is that I've gotten a lot better at certain things. CSI: Algebra was my first born and he deserved the same treatment all of my new babies have received so I went through a upgraded every single page. More color. More pictures. Reordered problems. Adjusted answer choices. Better tables. More alignment. You name it. I did it. 

Redownloading is free. Just visit your "My Purchases" tab on TPT redownload it! Get your surprise project and have a much better file! 

Get the Interactive & Customizable Version of CSI: Algebra at

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Business Valuation for Sharks -- Shark Tank Inspired Financial Literacy Project

Bringing the Entrepreneurial Spirit to your Classroom!
I might only watch one TV show. So what? It's the coolest show on the planet -- Shark Tank! This 21st Century Math Project takes students on an entrepreneurial journey that will help them understand some of the basics of small business finance.

It was also the landslide winner in next 21st Century Math Project Poll!

Name: Business Valuation for Sharks
Suggested Grade Level: 6-12
Math Concepts: Proportion, Percent and Data Analysis
Interdisciplinary Connections: Business, Financial Literacy, Accounting, Finance
Teaching Duration: 5-7 Days (can be modified)
Cost: $6 for a 22 Page PDF (3 assignment and answer keys) 

The Product:  Students will create a small business plan or invention that you will pitch to a panel of Sharks in hopes that you get an investment (your grade depends on it!) They will be putting their knowledge of
Can I just show Shark Tank and pass
out on my desk? Answer = Probably Not
equity, revenue projections and valuation to the test all built around their own creation.

Although I've never taken a business or finance class, I think the last two years of watching Shark Tank have taught me more than I could have learned in a classroom. Watching the show has shown me what top executives find important in business, what types of numbers they are interested in and which types of products garner more interest from them.

While it would be impossible to cover all of these skill in a single math project, I've laid the foundation for students to grab onto some key financial terms and I've applied authentic math at each turn. Proportions, Percents and Analyzing Data Trends jump into the deep waters with this math project inspired by the popular TV show Shark Tank. Students learn some basic fundamentals of owning their own business while they learn foundational finance terms such as equity, value, EBIT and multiplier.

Hey! Don't talk bad about the Common
Core. I'm just starting to figure it out.
Bring the creativity into the math classroom! Bring the entrepreneurs. Educators don't believe our students have enough opportunities to be creative. Business leaders complain young workers aren't creative. You can't turn on the internet without seeing a story about another high school dropout who started a business and made 19 bajillion dollars. How are we supposed to work on creative? Hmmm... how about... let them be creative.

While the Common Core standards are all well and good (and this is mapped to them!), the words Common and Core don't quite lend themselves well to creativity.

In all it is four different assignments --

-- “Equity Share”. Students will compute proportions to determine equity.

-- “Valuation Station”. Students will be introduced to a basic accounting formula EBIT which is one method

You mean... I might actually learn
something that I would in college?
to compute a company’s valuation. Students will be introduced to the concept of a multiplier and will calculate valuations.

-- “Revenue Forecast”.  Students will analyze data to look for trends and project future income. They will
combine this skill with the EBIT skill from the previous activity and will analyze multipliers of related companies to estimate a multiplier for their own.

-- “Swimming with the Sharks”. Students will create a small business plan or invention that you will pitch to a panel of Sharks in hopes that you get an investment (your grade depends on it!) They will be putting their knowledge of equity, revenue projections and valuation to the test all built around their own creation.

Let a student run with a good idea. Encourage their creativity!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Zombie Apocalypse -- Life Saving STEM Project / Safety Plan

It's inevitable. One day Zombies will take over Earth. If you are not preparing your students, you are being irresponsible. If you want to turn your "dead" exponential and logarithm unit into an "undead" one, this 21st Century Math Project might work for you.
Name: Zombie Apocalypse
Suggested Grade Level: 9-12 (Algebra 2 skills)
Math Concepts: Exponential Functions, Logarithmic Functions, Modeling, Predicting, Inverses
Interdisciplinary Connections: Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse, Report Writing
Teaching Duration: 1-2 Days (can be modified)
Cost: $6 for a 18 Page PDF (3 assignment and answer keys) 

The Product: Students will use data from the assignment to formulate an Action Plan for the United Nations Center for Disease Control.

Turn your Algebra 2 or Pre-Calculus into a forum for United Nations research and development. Specifically focusing on exponential and logarithmic functions, students will be given the notes of a renown scientist who herself has become a zombie. They must make sense of the notes before they too succumb to
Sweet. I'll start digging my shelter now.
the virus. Students will practice evaluating, modeling, analyzing and inverting these functions.

Lets not kid ourselves, there's about 12 different Zombie TV shows on right now. Someone must be watching them. I'm not a Zombie-junky myself, but I think it's a nice way to model some exponential functions.

In this 18 page document you will be given a mapping to the Content Standards, an outline for how to implement the project, handout resources for students to use, and an answer key. In all it is three different assignments --

-- "Zombie Apocalypse" will have students (or teams) answer the exponential function and logarithm questions and develop mathematical models and make predictions. Using regression functions on TI-Graphing Calculators or Excel is necessary. This
And everyone thought I was a zombie, ha!
should take approximately 1 class period. Along the way they will explore inverse exponential and logarithmic functions

-- “Outbreak”. In this task, half of your class will turn into zombies while the other have tries to cure them... or else they will become Zombies too.

-- “Z-Day”. Asks students to use exponential decay models to determine when the Zombie population is controlled.

Okay... Zombies aren't really my thing,
but I can see how this might apply to
other Earth-threatening Epidemics
Students (or teams) will create a report to the United Nations in which they design an Action Plan, Procedures for an Antidote and Suggestions for future safeguards.

As far as authentic math extensions could go, perhaps students can look at student attendance data around flu season (or exam season) and see if there's any exponential growth there :-)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

CSI: Algebra 2 / Pre-Calculus is Complete!!

And approved by Ben Franklin!
Nearly completing the high school curriculum, CSI Algebra 2 / PreCalculus is underway and will be complete by mid-July! 

Of course each unit can be purchased separately or you could save some cash and buy the whole eBook when it is finally available! 

For those 
unfamiliar with my CSI puzzles, I take a unit of math material, select a different world region and create a fictional crime spree with clues (aligned to the Common Core, hurray!)

When it is all together, here's what you will find. 

EDIT: (IT'S DONE! Here's a link to the new CSI: Algebra 2 / PreCalculus eBook)

Unit 1: Matrices (Washington, DC)  
Unit 2: Families of Functions (West Africa)
Unit 3: Radical Functions (Pacific Northwest)
Unit 4: Polynomial Functions (UAE)
Unit 5: Rational Functions (Central America)
Unit 6: Exponential & Logarithmic Functions (East Asia)
Unit 7: Advanced Trigonometry (Greece)
Unit 8: Conic Sections (Russia)
Unit 9: Series (New York City) 

Math it Up.