### Fourth Quarter at Fairfax High

The week after spring break, students at Fairfax High are still waiting for their third quarter grades but are already rounding the bend into the final lap of their school year. The assignment sheet for the Algebra II class shows the state Standards of Learning test is only a month away! Before then, they need to learn about variation, conics, series and sequences. Oh, and do a whole lot of review.

This morning, many of the teens rested their heads on their arms as they puzzled through new vocabulary and some new ideas during a lesson on variation. Teacher Tricia Colclaser went over the differences between direct variation, or Y= KX problems, versus inverse variation Y= K / X and joint variation or Z = KXY. We looked at different problems and to figure out whether the variables have a direct or inverse relationship. Example: Longer days and shorter nights have an inverse relationship but the brighter sun and the warmer temperature have a direct relationship.

It mostly made sense. And it was fun to play with numbers again. A problem we were asked to solve: z varies directly with x and inversely with y. Write the variation if x=3, y=4, and z = 2.

By Michael Alison Chandler  |  April 15, 2009; 10:54 AM ET
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This is pretty trivial once you know the vocab. It only requires some simple arithmetic to solve...

The relationship between x, y, and z is of the form z = kx/y. 2 = k*3/4, so k = 8/3.

I've missed you, math blog. :-)

Posted by: tomsing | April 15, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

This is a little off the subject, but I am looking for the Metro piece a month or two back regarding Michelle Rhee's ultimate desire to have algebra II as a DCPS graduation requirement.

Anyone help me find it? The Post doesn't have the best search algorithm for is archives.

Thanks.

Posted by: paulkp | April 19, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

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