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Showing posts with label Algebra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Algebra. Show all posts

Monday, November 12, 2012

#GBE2: Numbers


There was a time in grade school when I considered myself to be good at math. To further my beliefs, we'd take achievement tests where I consistently scored higher in Math than Reading or Language Arts. In fact, I did so well, my dad got the idea that I was ready for Algebra in seventh grade, even though some smart teachers thought otherwise. Thus began my numbers demise. I am living proof that there are few things worse than pushing a kid into a class in which he or she is not ready.


Math fits perfectly into Piaget's psychological theories. Have you ever tried to convince a toddler that a fat wide glass has more juice in it than the tall skinny one? If you succeeded, you're probably the first because there is no way most toddlers can grasp that concept, as there was no way twelve year old me was going to 'get' Algebra. It has nothing to do with intelligence, and everything to do with emotional maturity. I just wasn't there yet.

As a result of being pushed beyond my math readiness, I struggled with math throughout high school. Come college, I enrolled in a required Freshman math class. I took one look at my text and horrible memories of struggling through this stuff terrorize me. As a result, I made the mistake of signing up pass/fail for the easiest class of my college career. The difference? Come college, I was ready for this stuff!

As an adult, teaching math is probably my greatest strength because now, not only do I understand numbers, but I think I have good insight as to why some kids don't. Also, I've seen how my number talented son had no trouble securing a job post college. He used to joke with a friend about how he could add but couldn't read and his friend could read but couldn't add. In hindsight, I'm glad Daniel could add.
Although my youngest did not consider herself to be a mathematician, with her friends, they created a great T-shirt idea. Well the adults in charge didn't think so because it never became a shirt. It read something like this: Holy shift! Look at that assymptote on that mother function. IB. We have class.


Here's a great Abbot & Costello math clip.






Saturday, January 7, 2012

Silly Sunday: Teacher Arrested

Not so breaking news:

NEW YORK -- A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule and a calculator.
 
At a morning press conference, the Attorney General said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement.
 
He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction. 'Al-gebra is a problem for us', the Attorney General said. 'They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values.'
 
They use secret code names like 'X' and 'Y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns', but we have determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country.
 
As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'There are 3 sides to every triangle'.
 
When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, 'If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, he would have given us more fingers and toes.'
 
White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the President.