My Q*Bert Teaches the Binomial Theorem video last year for Kate Nowak’s contest was quite popular.

This included one person wanting videos in all of Algebra 2. I’ve got some summer time, but not quite **that** much time. (I am co-teaching Representation and Number for K-8 Teachers; and yes, one of these days I’ll get ’round to blogging about all my experiences working in preparing teachers.)

Still, I want to make another video this summer, so here’s a reverse contest of sorts. Post a comment with what you’d like me to make a video of. Feel free to make it hard! I’ll pick the most convincing argument and come up with something (and if I’m feeling really saucy, I’ll also make a video on the runner-up). I promise (as I hopefully pulled off with Q*Bert) to use the dynamism of the video format rather than just converting a standard lesson.

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Kate Nowak, on June 5, 2011 at 6:04 am said:These are my real snoozers in Algebra 2:

Finding roots of polynomial functions of degree > 2

Solving systems of higher order functions

I look forward to watching the results of whatever you end up doing!

Jason Dyer, on June 5, 2011 at 6:06 am said:Convince me! Why are they hard! Details!

(Not just being ornery, it’ll help to know more in creating the details of a video.)

Kate Nowak, on June 5, 2011 at 6:20 am said:Oh! Sorry. It didn’t occur to me to make a case. I’m only on my first cup of coffee.

In Algebra 2 we only look at functions with real roots so I tend to stick to 1. the graphing calculator and 2. functions that are easy to factor by grouping. But I don’t have a way to attach meaning to them, so my lessons aren’t sticky. I’d like to have a way to present them that isn’t purely abstract.

I have ideas about exploring them as the products of their linear factors, but I haven’t even begun to develop it as a lesson. So maybe you will do it for me.😀

Rachel, on June 5, 2011 at 6:06 am said:Finding roots of higher order polynomials is a good one, I would also like to nominate properties of logarithms.

joshg, on June 5, 2011 at 9:00 am said:If you could make a Q-Bert level of quality video teaching about trig proofs, you win the internet.

In our curriculum at least, trig proofs & identities are really the first solid exposure that our students have to algebraic proofs. They’ve seen some geometric proofs prior, but the concept of logically proving two things to be true is still this completely foreign thing to them.

I have *no* idea how you would turn this into a compelling video, but I would love to see the results.

samjshah, on June 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm said:I’m throwing my support behind log laws/rules.

root, on June 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm said:I’d say that while there are natural contexts that lend themselves to interpretations with trig functions (astronomy), logs (radioactive decay), and polynomial equations (projectile motion, taking into account jerk factor, etc), systems of linear equations with more than 4 variables are hard to imagine as anything more than exercises in tedium. Visualizing hyperspace is very difficult for most people, so you could use the time dimension to make it a little easier. Alternately, kids would be riveted if you created a configuration space for a biped robot, showed how the variables changed as it underwent a series of motions, and generate systems of equations to account for center of balance or something.

Scott McLeod, on June 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm said:How about ‘Why you should care about Algebra 2?’