Where I am now

I am joining Nousion late this summer. I took this class last summer, but didn’t finish it, so I’m back to tie up loose ends. Without linking or referencing, you can see my post for this assignment last summer below; it’s called “Digital Boy Scout.”

In the year since I tried this the first time, I have thought about digital citizenship and literacy a lot in the course of my work, but never very deeply. I subscribe to many of the ideas we share in this class, but I became a little disillusioned as I saw my students totally uninterested in and unimpressed with online presence. (Many rural students just aren’t there yet, and it isn’t necessarily my job as their math teacher to bring them there, but I can and try to model presence and good citizenship.)

And so, at the start of my second time through Nousion, to me digital literacy is a large set of skills, experiences, and intuitions that allow one to navigate the digitally connected world, whatever that may be. Digital citizenship is presence and participation in that world, on some level. Many people are just consumers of information, but it seems that the majority participate in social networking. Some go beyond the platforms given to them by Facebook, et al., to create a their own digital space: that’s us here. Good citizenship is participating responsibly and ethically in the world.

Now to catch up on learning what that means…

Equation with a Negative Rational Exponent

Below is a video tutorial on solving an equation with a negative rational exponent. Here are the steps.

1. Solve everything around the exponent. Get rid of any constants and coefficients.
2. Raise both sides of the equation to the reciprocal of the exponent.
3. Remember that the negative exponent flips the fraction.
4. Rewrite that as a radical and simplify it.
Don’t forget the ± when you take an even root.
The video is below.

Continue reading Equation with a Negative Rational Exponent

Solving a System of Linear Equations by Graphing

If you have a system of two linear equations, you can solve it by graphing. Here are the steps.

1.  Solve both equations for y to put them into slope-intercept form.
2.  Graph both equations on the same plane.
3.  Find the point where the lines intersect. This is the solution to the system of equations.

For a system of two linear equations, the lines could intersect once, at one point, for one solution; infinitely many times, if they are the same line, for infinitely many solutions (all real numbers); or not at all, if they are parallel lines, for no solution. Be aware of those possibilities.

Here is a video explaining how to solve a system of linear equations by graphing.


Continue reading Solving a System of Linear Equations by Graphing

Graphing a line

In case you forgot how to graph a line since 055, here is a quick refresher…

Step 1: Solve the equation for y. You want your equation to look like


where m is the slope of the line and b is the y-intercept.

Step 2: Plot the y-intercept. The y-intercept is the point (0, b).  Note that b is a signed number: if is negative, then your y-intercept will be below the x-axis.

Step 3: Use the slope m to plot the next two points. Your slope might be a fraction. If it is not a fraction, it is best to turn it into one by putting the whole number slope over 1. The numerator (top number) of the fraction is the rise. The denominator (bottom number) is the run.

Start at the y-intercept (0, b) and move up the number of units of the rise and, from there, right the number of units of the run. Plot the point where you end up. Repeat the process to plot a third point.

Note: If m is negative, then make the rise negative. If the rise is negative, then you will go down that many units instead of up. You will still move to the right by the number of the run.

Step 4: When you have plotted three points, connect them. They should form a straight line. If they do not, you made a mistake.

Below the break is a video tutorial with two examples.

Continue reading Graphing a line

Welcome to Math Lab!

This blog is where you will find class announcements and tutorial videos. Each week I will post video clips of problem explanations from class. If there is a question that I don’t get to answer in class, I will answer it and post a video here, as well.

Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions. The syllabus is linked below with my contact information.

(You will need to log into your UA Google account to open this link.)