Sunday, December 19, 2010

Review: The Tourist

I don't recommend movies here often, and I'm fairly sure that your typical 9th grader will find it bit slow, and a bit too clever, and a little bit light on the explosions.

However, in it Johny Depp plays an American Math Teacher who is singled out by Angelia Jolie's International Woman of Intrique as a cover.  Wackiness ensues.  It's not a blockbuster but it will probably be the best movie I see over the break.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Gift Drive

Good on everyone who particpated!

This Week on Car Talk

This weekend on NPR's Car Talk they had a math puzzler.  Here's a short retelling of the puzzle:

In a particulcar club you can get a free drink if you know the code.  The waitress gives you a number and if you give the right number back, you get a free coke.  Here's what you observe:

She says 6.  Someone says 3 and gets a free drink.
She says 12.  Someone says 6 and gets a free drink.
She says 14.  Someone says 8 (not 7) and gets a free drink.
She says 22.  What do you say to gedt a free coke?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Traditions

As we slide into the holiday break I thought I'd take some time to be personal and share some stuff about how this particular teacher spends some of his two weeks off.  Obviously there is the required "Call of Duty Online during Nap Time" that most of you probably already assume I do.  And Xander has developed a deep love for Bon Jovi and Journy by way of "playing" Rock Band 2.  Mostly it involves him jumping around holding a microphone and shouting "Shot through heart!  You blame.  You give wuv a baname, baname."

Friday Fun: Legos!

I was really struggling to come up with a good holiday themed Friday Fun since you won't get to see one of these until we slip into the new year.  So I thought about what I always asked for, as a kid, for Christmas:  Legos!  And that, with the help of the Mythbusters, lead me to these two videos:

Then the Mythbusters take it on:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Algebra Review One Stop

Below the cut are a series of vidoes that hit the following topics from the study guide.  They are ~not~ the study guide problems but rather ones we did when we covered those topics in class.  To see the vidoes, click on the "read more" below:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Late Live Review: Geometry

Feel free to post a question here and check back at 9:00pm for answers for tomorrow's BA test in Geometry covering chapter 5.

Tuesday Pre-algebra First Meeting on Thursday

To better help students move through the Algebra curriculum I am offering a once a week review/ reteach session on Pre-algebra skills.  We will be looking closely at the primary skills required for success in Algebra that were covered in the various Pre-algebra classes students took in middle school.

This review is not a tutoring session for Algebra.  We will not be discussing anything from the Algebra class during these weekly review sessions.  Students who want specific help in class are invited to seek tutoring mondays, or wednesdays through fridays, or by other arrangements.

We will, at the beginning be working through specific review of core variable concepts, expressions, evaluation, and subsistution.  As our group grows comfortable, we'll look to other areas that may need focus.

Thsi group is limited to 20 seats and if those seats are filled, students will be put on a waiting list.  Students who are absent from a session without a parent note of excuse will be dropped from the program.  We will meet every Tuesday from 2:30 till 3:30.  Tardiness is unacceptable.

Geometry: Commonly Missed

To help students prepare for tomorrow's BA, here are some of the more commonly missed problems from the last quiz and from the review. These are pulled off the YouTube channel to help you guys focus.

Finding the Perpendicular Bisector:

Also here are the answers to the Practice Test from class:
Quiz #1 1c 3a 8g #2 2g 5a 7c 8j 9a 10g 11b
Test:  1b 2h 8j 9c 11d 14g 15c 16j 17c 18g

100th Post!

Wow. This is the 100th post to this blog. That feels very active considering we are only in the 4th month of school. Now to be fair a ~lot~ of the posts here are "friday fun" and other off topic things but at the same time, it's good to have this milestone.

Here's to the school year continuing and brining success to everyone who seeks it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Operation: Keep Up

This is the post I'll be updating throughout the day with more information to help Algebra try to keep up with where we are in the course so we can be ready for Thursday's Test.  We are going to have to hit the ground running on our next day back.

7:43 am:  Review Sheet is now Posted in Skyward.  Students should review it; it will be 'due' on Thursday.

Check back later for some home video explaining translations.

Snow Day Extra Credit

Due to the blizzard that kept us home, the roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis failed and the game there will instead be played tonight in Detroit.  Let's do the numbers:

Assume the following:
  • The game in the Metrodome was sold out.
  • 1/8th of everyone who has a ticket for the game in the Metrodome shows up tonight for the game in Ford Field
  • 1/2th of everyone who was at the Lions win over the Packers yesterday also shows up for the game.
  • 1/16th of the total seats in Ford Field are also claimed by people who just want to see a game of NFL football where you don't know who's going to lose.
Compute the percentage of Ford Field seats that will be filled tonight for the square off between the Giants and the Vikings.

Go Vikings!  (because, ya know, we're the Vikings....)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In case of a Snow Day

If we should have a snowday on Monday 12/13 (which is not impossible given the current state of the roads), the following will apply:

Geometry:  Your BA test will be on the second block day of the week.  That is Wednesday for 4th hour and Thursday for 1st (assuming that the schedule for the week is Blocks A, B, C then SRT).

Algebra:  Your BA will still be on the second block day which will be Thursday.  That means we will have ~ONE~ block day before the test.  Students should do the following:
Check the website for video lessons of Translations and Rotations
Check Skyward for the Study Guide for the second half of the Chapter.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Fun: OK Go Homage

I'm not linking the original video so you can spare yourself the commericial, but here is a fun bit of coregraphy to the song "Here We Go Again" by the band OK Go.

Geometry Rocks

Students in Geometry are tasked with writing a song based on one of the concepts that will appear on their upcoming BA test next week.  I do not expect them to start from scratch but to take an existing song and change the lyrics to fit their concept.  For example here is a short ditty about the Pythagorean Theorem:

The Itsy Bitsy Triangle (to the tune of the Itsy Bitsy Spider)
The Itsy Bitsy Triangle, had three-e sides.
The two little sides were scared and so did hide.
But then they found out, that they could both square-up
So A squared and B squared equaled C Squared, Yup!

It's not going to win a grammy but it's got a rhyme and it includes the formula.

The best inspiration for this really comes from Bill Nye the Science Guy:

It's the same song as Sweating Bullets by Megadeath, just with the lyrics changed.
For students who are stuck I suggest they look to rap songs as well because you get away from the musical and more towards the concepts of rhyme and meter instead.

Do Not Bully the Jedi!

There is a little girl named Katie who used to proudly carry a Star Wars water bottle to her first grade classroom.  Until she announced she wanted a plain pink one.  Why?

Kids at school insisted that "Star Wars" was only for boys, [Katie] wailed. She was different enough already -- the only one who was adopted, who's Jewish, who wears glasses, who needs a patch. If sacrificing Yoda for the color pink would make her fit in again, so be it.
Fortunately, Katie was not alone and thanks to the instant information spread of the internet, she learned quickly that girls could like Star Wars and that no one should be bullied for being different.

Read the full story here: "The Force is with You, Katie"

BA Days and Schedules

Here is the upcoming schedule for lessons, tests and quizzes for all classes over the next week.  Students are advised that this is no longer flexible as the Winter Break creates a clear end to lessons.


12/10 Friday:  Finish Piecewise Functions, begin Translations and Rotations.
12/13 Monday:  Continue Translations and Rotations.  Quiz on all of Chapter 5 (includes 5A and 5B)  Students will get review sheet for chapter 5B.
12/14 Tuesday (6th hour) or 12/15 Wednesday (3rd and 5th hours):  Review study guide.
12/16 Thursday:  Chapter 5B Benchmark Test.  Students will also have the opportunity to review their chapter 5A test in the same period.  Students should bring work for a different class, or recreational reading material to occupy themselves after the test. 
12/17 Friday:  TBA


12/10 Friday:  Review chapter 5 material.  (in 4th hour assign Geometry Rocks Project)
12/13 Monday:  Finish review of Chapter 5 Material
12/14 Tuesday:  Chapter 5 BA, Geometry Rocks Projects due
12/15-17:  TBA

When we return from holiday break we will have 2 weeks before finals and all material from before break will be on that test.  Students will be expected to work on an assignment over that 2 week break to ensure that all of this knowledge and skill mastery is not lost.

Monday, December 6, 2010

BA Dates


Geometry will be on the First Block day that class meets on next week.

Algebra will be on the Second Block day that class meets on next week.

Mark your calendars!


I wanted to write a public and personal note in relation to some of the comments made by students in class over the last few weeks to their classmates:

The Bullying Will Stop.

I eluded last week that this is not a small problem, and it is one with exceptionally wide reaching and permenant consequences.  Just doing a very quick google search yields a distrubing trend, and the names seem to mount over and over.  In Ohio, 4 took their own lives in reaction to bullying at their school.  Victims are boys and girls.  It can involve common classroom put-downs, and it can involve the use of the internet.  I wrote about this earlier this year in reaction to the death of a Rutger's student.

Students who feel that they are the subject of bullying are asked to seek out an administrator, a teacher, their counselor or the school social worker.  I, for my part, will follow our school no-tolerance policy and will be referring students as needed to adminsistration.

We can stop this.  We ~will~ stop this.

As said by Dr. Jared DeFife, at the beginning of his article for Psychology Today:

No high school student should ever be in a coffin instead of in a cap and gown


Friday Fun Delayed

In 2001, Jeep released the Jeep Liberty, coinciding accidently with the 225th anniversery of the signing of the US Declaration of Independence.  This document made the case that all Englishmen (and thus all Americans) were entitled to Life, ~Liberty~ and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Oddly, the men and women in the adverstising department decided to overlook this coincidence and let the year pass with the usual commercials of Jeeps making quick work off road in the mud.

Well, it only took 9 years but they finally decided to tap the historical potential of adveritsing.  However, they didn't do it to advertise the Jeep Liberty......

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Algebra: Quiz on Thursday

As a reminder there is a quiz tomorrow, Thursday, 12 / 2 in all algebra classes.