Update – Grade 9 Academic

First, I must apologize for the lack of blog posts over the past few weeks. Instead of blogging about each week, I think I will blog about key activities/events that are happening in class.

I am so impressed with my Grade 9s and how they really seem to be understanding the math and not memorizing it! I haven’t taught 9D in the past 4 years. I have taught grade 9, but we offer enriched math and AP at my school, so I have been teaching the 9 Enriched for the past few years.

We are part way through the second cycle. The first cycle test average was around 82% with no students being unsuccessful.  We recently switched to marking the tests using levels. The 4 teachers teaching the course took a half day of release time to mark the cycle tests to ensure we were being consistent.

The second cycle started with us returning to patterning. In the first cycle, we only concerned ourselves with graphing in the first quadrant. We now looked at graphing in all 4 quadrants, graphs having a negative multiplier and graphs having a negative initial value. We then extended this to graphing using the slope and y-intercept method. The patterning still seems like a great way to go about introducing all the linear concepts.

From this we moved on to do some geometry. We reviewed the angle theorems within parallel lines and explored the interior angles of a polygon. We used a linear relation activity to determine the equation. Students got the relation y = 180x – 360, which of course is the same as the usual (n-2) x 180.

We also introduced some algebra this cycle with collecting like terms and adding and subtracting polynomials. We introduced this using the Order Up activity.

One of the main differences between the 9D and 9P curriculum is the analytic geometry strand. We moved onto explore the multiplier (slope) between two points. We looked at this problem:


Most students approached this problem using a table and were able to determine the pattern rule.


Then, I gave them this problem.


Right away students realized that using a table and filling in the missing numbers was not going to be the most efficient method. We talked about some possible strategies. A couple of students suggested that the multiplier is rise over run and the rise is caused by the number of blocks and the run is caused by the step number. We explored this thought and came up with multiplier. Students then used a table to figure out the initial value.


We then moved on to finding the equation of line between 2 points. Up to this point, we have been calling the slope the multiplier. We will move towards calling it the slope/rate of change now.


We solved a few problems together. We have worked on equations prior to this so solving for b was not too bad. Sometimes the fractions scare them a bit.


I then gave them a couple to do on the VNPS. They did an awesome job!

Next week we will have our next cycle test. We are going to review equations and angles, as well as, look at optimizing area and perimeter.

I have found another great reason for teaching grade 9. I can recycle my jokes #funnyhogg.


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