Algebra 2 Unit 1: Characteristics of Functions Interactive Notebook

Unit 1: Characteristics of Functions

Page 7- This foldable came from Kathryn Belmonte and you can see the pictures of each flap below.

Page 8 After learning the difference between a function and relation, students do this sorting activity and justify what makes it "not" a function. This sort came from Mrs. H.

Page 9- This notation foldable came from my friend Brooke Seals.

Page 10- This was a worksheet that I turned into an INB sorting activity. First they had to write in the different forms given only one piece of information. After that, they did the sorting and glued it in.

Page 11-12 - This DIX-ROY organizer came from Sarah Hagan and I'm not sure where I got the other graphs and domain and range.

Page 13-14 Increasing and decreasing intervals came from here. We labeled I and D but then highlighted the positive and negative parts.

Page 15-16 This operation with functions foldable came from Brooke Seals. The practice problems came on the RHP came straight from Kuta.

Page 17-18 Function Composition foldable on LHP came from Brooke Seals and practice problems on the RHP came from a worksheet that I don't remember the origins of- let me know if it's you!

Here are the files:


Ideas for 2015-2016

I know it's only March but we're on the downhill slide of the school year and I always like a place to document my thinking and ideas.

Here, in no particular, completely random order, are some ideas that hopefully you can draw some inspiration from:


  • Color coordinate pens to each content area's INB.
  • Color coordinate all handouts for each unit the same across all content areas.
  • Make extra INBs for students who move in
  • Copy everything possible for INBs over summer (table of contents, tabs, pages I know for sure I will use again)
  • Poster or INB page about find percent +/- and percent error, fractions, less than/greater than, prime/composite, percents
  • Duck tape dry erase INB pages
  • Page protector taped inside cover of  INB for graph paper
  • Save last 18 pages for Would You Rather writings every other week; focus on improving by one MP standard at a time, shows growth over time
  • Tape runners?

Bell Ringers

  • Move Estimation to Tuesday and develop What's Wrong Wednesday?, math mistakes from real world advertisements. Maybe change Favorite No Friday?
  • Could "Which One Doesn't Belong?" fit in here? (shapes book)

Classroom Procedures

  • Don't disrespect my math! Two nice things about math when you disrespect it (I'll never use this in real life, this is stupid, all the comments math teachers have heard forever that make us grind our teeth)
  • Use document camera to have students present their solutions
  • Duck tape plunger to organize rolls of tape
  • Giant pencil poster on the door: bring me!
  • Require/sell individual dry erase markers.
  • Year long competition between class periods- reward attendance, class averages on assessments, bringing pencils to class, stacking binders neatly, all time bests on mental math, and basically anything that drives me crazy.
  • Start the year with introductions that are mirrored between me and the students: "How I'm different from other teachers (students)" and "What to expect from my teaching (my learning)"


  • Give a quarterly cumulative test and quiz over every concept to replace unit tests
  • Rewrite EOC exams
  • Document formative assessment with seating chart form
  • Group test?


  • Year long Feltron projects to increase writing, excel, analyzing, and design skills as well as give more grades
  • Biweekly essays based on wouldyourathermath.com (related to content when possible)
  • Task cards and stations to integrate more movement and conversation in class (practice and review)
  • Fraction and percent boot camp!!

Check back for updates!


Solve By Square Roots Row Game

Here is my INB pages for solving quadratics by square roots, modified from Sarah Hagan.

Here's the file for the plus minus signs:

For extra practice, I made my own row game for practice. If you're not familiar with it, one partner does the left side and the other partner does the right side. They should get the same answer for each problem, even though the problems are different. If they disagree, they have to check each other's work for mistakes.

Here's the file.


Systems and Forms

Being the only math teacher in a high school teaches you a lot of things.

One thing I've learned without realizing it is that creating systems is a way to fix problems. And fixing systems is the easiest way to fix problems.

I read about having bell work/bell ringers/warm up work before I ever started teaching and I guess that's the one thing I've truly done consistently my entire career. Each year I change it to meet the needs I feel like the students have. It may seem like a little thing but it is an easy place to address gaps since I already have a system in place. Students always know they will be doing some kind of bell ringer so it doesn't matter what I throw up there, the expectation is already set. This year we are working on mental math, talking points, estimation, patterns, and error analysis. I'm already thinking ahead to next year on how to incorporate measurement and probability.


Students wanted a way to improve their grades but I don't believe in extra credit. So I decided to let them retake quizzes. I try to create a second version of a quiz (especially when I've seen a lot of bad scores) right away and ask students in class if anyone wants to retake it right then. I used to ask students to come in and retake it but they didn't have time, I didn't have time, and they didn't know what to expect. Now I have a much higher percentage of students that actually do retakes.


I could never keep up with missed work of students who were absent. I bought a file folder holder (I don't know the real name) and labeled one slot for each class period. All missed work goes straight to the slot with their name on it. So right after I pass out papers to the class, I write the names of the absent student on it and put it in the slot. I also labeled a section of my whiteboard Quiz/Test and wrote down students who were absent on the day of a quiz or test. After passing them out to the class, I write the absent student's name on it and hang it on a clip behind my desk.


On test days I would get overwhelmed by students who didn't finish in time and I would have piles of tests in different places all over my desk. So I created a Finished basket and a More Time basket so that everyone's test has a place that is NOT on my desk.


Super frustrated at students who can't bring a pencil to my class when they don't have to bring anything else! So I created a system of pencil borrowing...which changes every year but hey, I don't give up easily, :)


I had a lot of different supplies I wanted available to students but didn't want a lot of students up and down all the time. I ordered carts to keep supplies organized and within arms reach.


When doing study guides to review for tests I was overwhelmed by half of the students asking for help and half of the students just wanting to know if there answers were right. I started hanging up answer keys on the board so students could check their work which freed me up to answer questions from those who really need my attention.


I got tired of listening to the thoughtless and mean comments students make to each other on a daily basis. Enter the Two Nice Things rule where students must immediately say two nice things to the person they just spoke rudely about (even if that person is not in that room or even if they say it about themselves).


Basically when something frustrates or annoys you, it's time to create a system/routine/procedure to address it. And if the results don't make you happy, then fix/change/update your system.

Anything that you repeatedly say or questions you repeatedly answer should have a form. Any paperwork that you do repeatedly should have a form. If you find yourself jotting down things on post-its, napkins, and the back of papers lying around, you probably need a form.

We do bell ringers every day at the beginning of class so they have a bell ringer form that they use every week. It's in the basket on Monday, they use it all week, and I collect it on Fridays.

As cheerleading coach, there are certain expectations and rules that I have so I have a contract that parents and students sign.

I get a lot of the same personal questions asked over and over (age, college, high school, where do I live, my family, music I like, etc) so I started the year with a powerpoint about me to answer those ahead of time.

For our evaluation we have to have a binder with different artifacts or evidence of things we do. So I make forms. It's an easy way to keep yourself more organized and accountable. For me, it take the stress off of my brain trying to remember everything when I can create a system or form to do the thinking for me.

Even the INB is a form of a system, It's used in all my preps, it replaces textbooks and notebooks, promotes engagement, and is used as an organizing tool. I'm thinking about pages to include at the beginning of next year to address some gaps I'm seeing this year like percents, changing decimals to percents, prime vs composite, perfect squares, and less than vs greater than.

And when you are the only teacher in your 'department' you have to do evvvvvvvvvvverything.

Forms and systems are your new work besties for life.


Labeling Congruent Parts

I think my new obsession is going to be task cards. I tried my first set and I'm pretty sure that I will make a million over the summer for next year.

I've been wanting to incorporate more movement and conversation so I used them by taping them up randomly around the room. I made four per page so yay, less cutting for me!

Then I used my super cute clipboards and gave them four index cards. So they did four problems per card as they walked around the room. I've used this activity before but I've read a lot of different ways to use them so I guess I'm more excited about that.

I'm doing a section on labeling congruent parts which I've never done before but I think will be super helpful for proofs.

They are basically using the given to label triangles and then write congruence statements.

Here are the answer keys: