Friday, February 18, 2011

Off Topic: Friday Fun: Les Mis International

After having One Day more stuck in my head for two straight weeks I recalled this collection of Val Jean's singing parts of "Do You Hear the People Sing?" in their native languages.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Algebra Study Videos

All of the vidoes for chapter 6 can be found on the YouTube Channel Playlist for Chapter 6:

But for those that need a quick refresh of what's on tomorow's test:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Test Prep Reposted

Here are two articles from earlier this year that I wrote to help students prepare for upcoming exams.  There are exams in both Geometry and Algebra between now and the day we leave for midwinter break.  I'm reposting them for those that might find the advice in them useful.

Click on Read More to see them:

Geometry: Stagecraft Project

For those that need the extra review/ assignment here is the Stage Modeling project again.

This is due 2/28, the Monday after Holiday Break:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Algebra: Quiz 2 Answer Key

Geo: Quiz Answers

Friday Fun: In FRENCH!

Students have been asking a lot lately about me playing the World of Warcraft in the evening. I'm guessing it's a way to mock me.

Well.... would they mock the world renowned martial arist and action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme?


Talk about Math: Forced Perspective

In geometry we've been talking a lot about the use of camera tricks to create various optional illusions related to scale.  One trick often employed in the theatre is to use different scaled back drops and flats to make the stage appear to be deeper than it really is by having the scaling shrink as you move away from the action.  Only if an actor walks upstage and stands next to the small scale tree do you realize that the tree is not 40 feet away, but only 10. 

It's nearly impossible to talk about these kind of scalings without talking about The Lord of the Rings, a cinematic masterpiece that combined computers and cutting edge digital technology as well as some good old fashioned 1920's era camera manuevers to create the illusion that Elija Wood was a 4 foot hobbit, towered over by Ian McKellen's Gandalf. 

But how did they do it?  Click below to see:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Algebra: Quiz Friday

So... what's on the quiz on Friday in Algebra?


Geometry: Quiz Friday, Test Friday

Friday 2/ 11:  Quiz on Chapter 7 Sections 1, 2, 3 (no proofs) and a hint of 4.  Expect a lot of movie magic and other modeling problems.

Friday 2/18:  BA Test on Chapter 7.  There will be a study guide available on Monday.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Quizzes: Policies and Practices

When do students know about quizzes?

Generally I announce quizzes a week in advance.  In addition to saying something verbally to my classes students can check for quiz dates in the following places:
  • On this blog I often have posts with the label "Quiz dates".  If you click on the label on the right side of the page you will see all the posts with that label.
  • I post in Skyward the day of the quiz so it appears on a student's calendar view.
  • For BA Exams I also create an event on the Facebook page.
How much is a given quiz worth?

All quizzes are weighted so that they are worth the same ammount.  That is all quizzes are effectively 100 points.  This last quiz in Algebra was 9 items, which was then "Weighted" by a factor 11.11 making it worth 99.99 points. 

Overall quizzes represent 30% of a student's total final grade.

I was absent.  What now?

Students who are absent the day of the quiz can take a Make Up quiz later that week.  This will be a different quiz and often will not have mulitple choice problems, but rather short answers instead.  This is so that I can give the official quiz back without waiting for all students to make up absent work.

Can I retake a Quiz?


Okay.... what can I do?

You can Redo the problems you missed on any quiz.  This means you take the problems you got wrong and rework them on seperate paper.  You must, for each problem you missed:
  • Have the right answer
  • Show the work, or provide explanation as to why that is the right answer
  • Write a sentence to explain why it is the right answer.
Once you have done that, show me the reworked problems during class work time, or after class and you will earn back half the points you missed.

Where can I get the answers to a quiz?

I will be posting the "Answer Key Videos" at the end of the day for any given quiz.  These will be posted on the YouTube Channel (see the links to the right for that), here on the blog, and posted directly as a link on the Facebook page.

In addition I will be posting the actual answer key in the room as well.  Students are responsible to review these resources themselves.

Alg: Extra Credit/ Brownie Point

In class we did 3 example problems.  If we had done a 4th example, what would have been the name of the person the problem was about?  Email your answer to me by midnight 2/8.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Algebra: Quiz Monday

Friday's Quiz in Algebra has been moved to Monday 2/7.  The Quiz will include items from 6.1 (what is a solution to a system/ Solving by graphing) 6.2 (solving by substitution) and 6.3 (solving by elimination).  Because Monday is a PLC day it is likely we will use the entire period for the quiz.

I expect all homework collected through Friday to be passed back no later than Tuesday (since we might run out of time to pass stuff back on Monday) and will give all students time to review their work for extra credit reworkings.

I also want to apologize for the "scare" about me being home with a sick kid today (friday).  I had not thought about it but I have been out, often at bad times, with both my own bouts of illness and with Xander's.  It's part of managing a household where when someone gets sick you can't just leave him home with a few DVD's and some microwave-able soup.  There is also a careful balancing act with my wife as to who stays home and who works on a given day because we can't send a sick child to daycare and staying with my parents is not always an option.

I commend my students for their patience on those occasions when being a parent conflicts with being a teacher.  In this case, today, Xander is fever free, but still spending the day with his Nana (my mother) since his fever yesterday kept him out of daycare today (he needs to be fever-free for 24 hours before returning).  I am very lucky to have the kind of relationship with my parents where they are willing to get up at 6:00am to drive over and pick the little guy up for a day with them so my wife and I can both get in to work.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Geometry: Too Cute not to Share

Snow Day Extra Credit

Geometry Option 1:  Quadrilateral Pancakes

That's right.  Make 5 different quadrilateral pancakes and email me (at my work address of RobertOsterman(at)wlcsd(dot)org ) pictures of them.  Let's see those Rhombuses, Squares, Kites, Parallelograms and if you're truly daring the elusive, the mysterious, the often whispered of but rarely seen Isosceles Trapezoid.

Disclaimer:  I am not responsible for any mess you make, or any trouble you get in.

Geometry Option 2:  Quadrilateral Mnemonic

A Mnemonic is a trick used to help remember a set of things.  For your exam which will be given on the day you come back from your snow holiday (for 4th hour) or the following day (for 1st) you absolutely need to memorize, simply, a lot of stuff.  You need to memorize all the properties of diagonals.  You need to memorize all the conditions of quadrilaterals.  You need to memorize if a square is a rhombus and if a kite is a rectangle.  Come up with something to help remember one ~Set~ of things.  Some examples would be:
  • A phrase such as "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally" to remember the quadrilateral Heirarchy.
  • A visual layout (but not a venn diagram or concept tree like we used in class.)
  • A poem or rap explaining how the sides of shapes change as you go from Quadrilaterals down to Squares.

Here is your challenge:

Step 1:  Figure out the volume of snow in your yard.  Remember that the volume for any 3D shape is V = Length * Width * Height.  Now you may have to be a little creative about how to get around your house, or how to figure out the area of your yard.  Also you can pick any moment today to do your measurement of snow depth (since it's still coming down here).

Step 2:  Take an ammount of snow, and measure it's volume.  Then let it melt, and see how much water you have.  I recommend getting a cup of water (as in a measuring cup), and then bringing that in and letting it melt.  A microwave will speed this up.

Step 3:  Calculate how much water you would have if the volume of snow in your yard were to completely melt.

Step 4:  Find out online how much water a typical person should drink each day.  Use that to figure out how many "days" worth of fresh water you and your family could have by simply drinking the snow.

You must show all your work neatly for this to be considered.

For All Classes:

Geometry Option 1:  10 Homework points
Geometry Option 2:  10-20 Homework Points
Algebra:  10-20 Homework Points

This is all Extra Credit and any student can turn in any ONE extra credit project.  If you turn in an assignment for a differnt class you only recieve half the points, however.  These are due to me at the start of our next class session.

As a hint:  If you get stuck, it's very normal (and probably acceptable) to ask a parent, older sibling or friend for some hints/ help.

And here's one set of pancakes!  (though they look suspicously like they were cut to shape....)

In the News: Time to get off the Couch Gamers!

As reported on Attack of the Fan Boy:
It has recently been discovered that  Microsoft may be planning to give the Xbox 360's biggest exclusive franchise, Halo, the Kinect treatment.  According to gaming reloaded, Microsoft has secured the domain name KinectHalo.  A quick check of the WHOis profile can verify that Microsoft did indeed register this domain on June 14th of 2010.  Is this the next Halo game that fans are waiting for?
If it's anything like I think it could be, it's time to get off the couch and start working out.  Doing things like jumping from prone to a sprint won't be a single button press.  It'll mean, you know, standing up and starting to jog in place.  But I gotta admit I will revel in the day when I can tell my mother (who yes, is ~still~ nagging me about how many video games I play) that "Yeah I exercised; I played Halo."