Today was “quiz day” in calculus (self-check days for the kids to gauge how they’re progressing and what they still need to practice). One of my classes got done early, so I decided to carry on with tomorrow’s lesson: THE POWER RULE! I gave different groups their own function and asked them to find the derivative of each (using the limit process). When they finished, they wrote their derivative on the board next to their original function. When the table was completed, I sat back and said, “So…can you spot the pattern? Do you see the shortcut?”
As soon as you say shortcut in a math class, you’ve got immediate buy-in. The kids studied the table closely and one by one I heard, “Ohhh!!! I SEE IT!” It was delightful. I can’t wait to do the same with my other calc class tomorrow.