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Camp Out on Conic Sections - The Ellipse (and Circle, too)

Get ready to think about ellipses (and circles, too), geometrically and algebraically, combined, as you learn, use, and understand the basic concepts of this interesting conic section of Algebra 2 and Precalculus.
Denise Nolen, BS, MEd Sec Math
84 total reviews for this teacher
2 reviews for this class
Completed by 9 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
60 minutes
per class
3x per week
over 1 week
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does a "Multi-Day" course work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

How Outschool Works

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Class Experience

On Day 1, students will learn the definition and representation of conic sections, in general, and the specific geometric definition of the ellipse as well as the circle, which we will treat as a special case of the ellipse. As we discuss the ellipse, I’ll lead students through creating a visual model of the definition. As time permits, we will begin another visual model to develop the formulas for the standard graphing form of the equations of ellipses (and the circle), based on orientation. Students will be encouraged to re-copy their visuals and to make them colorful, if they wish, and share with us the next day. I find that colors can make learning and memorizing easier.
Day 2 will be spent finishing the formulas visual and graphing as many ellipses and circles as possible. I will work alongside the students, gradually giving them less instruction as they catch on. It will be fun to see what they are able to share with classmates and how quickly they will be able to explain what they are doing and help each other along. I will provide some additional problems for students to try at home and check with me and others the next day.
We will spend most of Day 3 doing the reverse of the graphing we did on Day 2 by writing equations based on the graphing characteristics. I think of this skill as being a bit like the TV game show Jeopardy where you must come up with the question! As time permits toward the end of Day 3, I may have the chance to lead students through the algebra method of completing the square for equations that are not yet in standard graphing form.
After Day 1, students will be encouraged to make an additional hand-drawn/written copy of the two visuals they created in class, making them colorful, if they wish.
After Day 2, students will be encouraged to finish up re-copying their visuals and to practice what they learned that day by completing a problem set that I will provide. Solutions will be provided the next day.
After Day 3, students will, again, be provided with additional problems and solutions to continue their practice at home. Then, I encourage them to teach what they learned to at least one other person!
Students will need: 1. Pencil, eraser, straightedge, 2. Download and print student materials that will be posted in the classroom on Sunday before the first day of class. Please let me know if you have trouble viewing or printing the materials.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
There is no formal assessment for this camp course.
3 hours per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.


Denise Nolen, BS, MEd Sec Math
Lives in the United States
Math Tutor for Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 & 2, Trig, Precal
84 total reviews
151 completed classes

About Me

Sometimes, a student might need a little extra guidance with their math work. Other times, a student wants to move ahead and be more challenged in their curriculum. I am available for one-on-one math tutoring (homework help, re-teaching, or... 
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