There may be a Method to your Madness…

But you have to avoid madness in your methods. It is time.

Time to get ready for Year 12 Mathematical Methods.

So what do you have to do to be ready? Well that is an easier answer than you might expect – some of you have already have done it

What is this most important thing?

It is your bound reference – your key to achievement in Methods this year.

You already have a bound reference from Year 11 – what you must be doing at this point is reviewing and completing all your notes from 2010.

This means that you must have a organisation system, so when you wish to find a particular piece of information, you can turn to it directly and not have to search for it. If you do not have an organised bound reference, you must have one ready by the start of the second week.

Regulations on what a bound reference may contain and what rules apply are available at the VCAA website, here.

The best reason to make sure your bound reference is up to date is so you don’t have to do this:

or have this happen:

See you in class!

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21 Comments on “There may be a Method to your Madness…”

  1. Patrick Says:

    Hey sir
    For our hw what questions were we meant to do from chapter 1, for the extended response and all that?

    • CyberChalky Says:

      Hi Pat,

      There was no minimum specified – I look on it as a initial test of sorts. All students have had almost 7 weeks of time, and are studying a higher stream of VCE mathematics. If you don’t do *everything*, I wonder if you are really serious about your studies. In later units, students will be provided a book check (in fact the chapter 3 book check is already up at the gmail archive), and that specifies the *mimimum* expectations. When students are under more pressure throughout the year, I may be more lenient, but at this point, it’s time to show your absolute best.

      • Patrick Says:

        Right thats good then, cause im nearly finished everything, just wasn’t 100%

        Also i was wondering if you could link me to the chapter 3 booklist, so i can get an idea of the types of questions we’re going to do. Although i have a general idea, it’s also good for me to be specific

        • CyberChalky Says:

          Hi Pat,

          The Chapter 3 question list is up on the gmail archive, in the same location as the other files. However, you may want to spend time doing Checkpoints questions, as these are the exam/SAC style questions which are the hardes to master and need the most practice.

  2. Loughlin Says:

    Hello Sir,
    I’m not sure about everyone else but I’m having a ridiculous amount of trouble doing the really basic revision stuff in chapter 2.

    This is specifically literal linear relations, to the point where I am only getting the correct answer to 1/4 of the questions.

    This also brings me to the question: This is a CAS class, so when we do homework, how much of it do we determine manually and how much do we let our calculator do? How much working do we have to show?

    The fact that there are such big holes in my knowledge make me pretty frustrated, as my scores from the previous year indicate I was pretty ready to go into methods 3/4. I would have rather had a harder and harsher units 1/2 and actually have the skills necessary to cope with this.

    • CyberChalky Says:

      No-one.
      *No-one.*
      No-one is ever “ready” for MM3/4.

      You can always be better prepared. If you have the mindset that you will succeed, you will put in the time, you will persist, then (and only then) will you develop the skills you need to succeed.

      Of course, it is going to be hard. But confidence in your self, determination and effort will get you through.

  3. Loughlin Says:

    I mean, I can use my calculator to solve the problems but when I can’t handle linear literal equations by hand there’s a definite problem.

    • CyberChalky Says:

      I wouldn’t be panicking yet. While it is *critical* that you master literal equations, the fact is that they are different from numerical equations – speaking in terms of the mental framework necessary to process them. A numerical equation eventually has a solution that gels well with unerlying arithmetic in that it has a tangible answer – literals are left in a sequence of unknowns.

      Take a deep breath (and a good break) and come back to them in an hour.

  4. Loughlin Says:

    I may as well tell people that I can go on and do the simultaneous stuff, it’s the literal expressions themselves that are getting me.

  5. Loughlin Says:

    Ha, I actually can’t do those either. Time to go on with something else in the chapter. Hopefully there are no more gaping holes in my understanding.

    • Patrick Says:

      Your not the only that linear literal equations gets to.
      but i think that its great practice, and its a good way to get our algebra up to scratch.

      • CyberChalky Says:

        Sometimes the best way to transition from numerical to literal equations is to *temporarily* replace a/all letter(s) with a number, and ask yourself how you would start solving the numerical analogue you just created. Once you have an idea, revert to the literal, and go ahead.

  6. Brendan Says:

    I think Loughlins question on calculator usage is a good one. I myself am having a number of issues with some questions and it is rather annoying.
    Also, in reguards to our bound ref, would you recommend putting most of my last years and previous years stuff into it or start fresh with what I think I will need for this year?

    • CyberChalky Says:

      Calculators are essential. Sure, you it is possible to do *everything* that we do in MMCAS without them. After all, it has been done in the past.

      But: Calculators allow you to do some things faster.

      What you have to learn is when it is better to use a calculator, and to learn every short cut you can to improve your facility and speed.

      When using a calculator, particularly when using CAS type commands (e.g. solve(), nderiv(), etc) you must rember to write the command you entered into your calculator as your “working”.

    • CyberChalky Says:

      Bound references.

      I would advise, mostly that you build on last years reference – if you put a lot of work into it, you already have a partial practical functioning document.

      If you didn’t find it useful in the end of year exam, I would be re-writing it, trying to make it functional.

      Remember, it doesn’t have to be *pretty*, it has to be *effective*. Think back to your last outcome/exam/assessment task. What did you do – what do you wish you had had? Design your reference around that, leaving room to add in the future (specifically, during outcome preparation).

      • Brendan Says:

        Ok, thankyou. I will go over my bound reference again and see what I can take out and what I need to put in.
        Also, we will be adding things to them every lesson… or at least when we find something helpful during a lesson, correct? So Besides making sure I have it every lesson, would leaving a few blank pages after every topic I find a little difficult be advisable, or should I just stick with the half pages?

        • CyberChalky Says:

          Brendan,

          I’m not sure there is a correct answer for that. You have to decide what is best for you – I tend to think that _if_ you buy a big enough book, you should do both.

  7. Loughlin Says:

    During simultaneous linear equations, how do we determine which outcome gets us zero solutions and the other gets us infinite solutions without mapping them graphically and seeing whether they are the same line or parallel lines?

    • CyberChalky Says:

      What would you expect to see if two lines had infinite solutions?
      What is one factor that two lines with infinite solutions would have in common?
      What is another factor that those two lines would have in common?

  8. Loughlin Says:

    Also, how do we assign which pronumeral becomes the parameter?


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