Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What Have You Learned?

Given some of the test results that I have seen, I want to give everyone a second chance to show me that they understand the work we're doing and the concepts that we're learning.

So here is my question to you:

Can you name one concept or topic that you have learned and understood this semester (not just this marking period)? Explain in your response what you understood about the concept.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Shape of Parabolas

Question: How does the
co-efficient of the x-squared term
affect the shape of the parabolain a quadratic equation?

Please use proper math vocabulary when expressing your answer.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Can the Mystic Ball Read Your Mind?

It's time to ask a new semester of students to try this:

Check out "The Mystic Ball" at http://www.mysticalball.com/

Did it read your mind? Did it guess the right symbol?

More importantly, can you explain how it was done?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Systems of Equations

For my Second Term students:

Describe in your own words any one of the ways that you can solve a system of equations. Please give more than a one-word answer.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Let's Talk Triagles

More about triangles!

Take a look at this Flash animation, Let's Talk Triangles.

Comment on what you think about it. Is it helpful?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Can You Explain It?

Mathematics is just about getting the right answer to problems. It's also about knowing the strategies that tell you how to get the right answer, and knowing when to how to choose the right strategy. (It's also involves recognizing if your first method is incorrect and finding a second method, but that's for another day.)

THINK about the questions below. What approach would you use to solve these problems.

1) You have a quarter and a dollar bill. You owe your friend twenty cents.
Can you pay him what you owe him or not? Explain.

2) Your friend tells you that I can't give you change from the quarter, but he can give you change of your dollar. Does that make sense?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Triangle review

There are two ways to classify triangles: by the lengths of their sides and by the size of their angles.

Here's a little workout where you can practice.

See if you can make it through all four steps.

Is this a useful exercise for you? Does it help you remember the different kinds of triangles?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Can The Mystic Ball read your mind?

Check out "The Mystic Ball" at

UPDATE: This is not the same Mystic Ball site that was originally posted in 2006, which is a shame because that was a good one.

Did it read your mind? Did it guess the right symbol?
More importantly, can you explain how it was done?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Have you tried Kakuro?

"Do you Su Doku?"

That was the catchphrase last year when Su Doku became the latest national craze. There are plenty of Su Doku books you can buy and there are free puzzles available on the web.

Are you remember for a new challenge?

Try Kakuro, a combination crossword and number puzzle. Free puzzles can be found at:

Give them a try. Warning: once you get the hang of them, they become highly addictive.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Texas Instruments Activities Exchange

I've been doing some work with Texas Instruments graphing calculators.
TI has a website called the Texas Instruments Activities Exchange, located at:


Has anyone downloaded activities from the site? Which ones? What subjects?

Has anyone submitted an activity to the site?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Welcome to Mr. Burke's Blog

Hello. I am a mathematics teacher in a New York City High School.
This page is devoted to teaching math, and is published for the benefit of my students. However, everyone is welcome to participate.