Wednesday, August 19, 2015

SOC Life Lessons

I saw "Straight Outta Compton" last night as a pre-HS-kids-are-coming-monday-so-soak-up-the-end-of-summer treat, and I can say it's the best movie I've seen all summer year. 

Disclaimer, hope you are sitting down for this shocking piece of information, but I'm a 50 year old whitey and I don't know my rap music history/musicians/themes. And yet, still the best movie.

Here are some life skills that were phenomenally shown in SOC:

  • Just because someone seems like they know what's good for you and how you should live your life, that doesn't mean they are right, even if they love you.
  • Friends are important. If they screw up and hurt you, be willing to get past it and keep them close.
  • People in power that don't do the work are so tricky in finding ways to make money off of your hard work.
  • If you have a passion and talent, pursue it in some form, not just to make money, but to live your life fully.
  • Movies are teaching tools and don't have to be preachy to teach(y). (like I said, I knew nothing going in, but I can discuss Dr. Dre and NWA and such with you now without a deer in the headlights look.)
  •  Be willing to stick to your guns about what's right and wrong.
  • Even potty mouths (long live potty mouths) have something important to say.
  • The path you are on now is not necessarily your path for the rest of your life.
  • There are many ways of changing the world.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Calculator Contract

I am fortunate enough to teach at a small school and only have about 30 or so calculus students every year, so that I can hand out TI-nspire calculators for the year for their work. This has been happening for about 4 years, and I was a little lax the first year and a couple got stolen or "lost". Then the next year, one student brought one back all wide eyed and just stated that it stopped working. Finally, like the slow person I am, I mentioned MORE strongly from then on that they were responsible for them and owed the school money if they were damaged or lost. One student actually did end up paying for one. 

This year, I want to make it more official (sheesh, I am really slow), and have them sign a contract at the beginning of the year. Here is what I came up with. Hopefully, there won't be any incidents.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

First Day Precalculus 2015

And so it begins again. Next week we go back for teacher/school work, and on August 24th the little kidlets come and join us. I'm not doing so well on having an "Epic Last Week of Summer", or maybe I am just thinking about it the wrong way. 

* I tried to find matinees to see. Eh, seen all the movies I wanted to. 
* I thought about going out to lunch, but I have delicious recipes I tried at home (Hello Sizzling Vegetarian Fajita Salad ala Chevy's recipe, and thank you Google search for an Apple Chipotle Salad Dressing recipe). 
* I thought about shopping for back to school clothes, but I decided to alter 2 dresses I already have at home (again thank you Google for showing me the how-to's and benefits of lengthening a dress that has shrunk to "slutty proportions" in the dryer .... Who wants to see too much "older lady" leg?).

So I'm at home, finishing (finished) my Python edX online course, doing my exercises (thank you, Kayla Itsines), and thinking of new first day activities. Here's what I have come up with for Precalculus.

.........  and the back page: ............

 My goal is not to have them come up with some definitive answer, but rather to think about the problem and discuss it with each other and see what they think they need to do and to know how to check for reasonableness and units. I'm expecting a lot of false starts (yay!) and miscalculations and restarts and discussion and thinking. Hopefully, it's intriguing enough to want to try things out. I know that I played around with it some.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

APCS Concept Map

For the same reasons I specified in this post, I've created a concept map for my APCS class this coming year. I'm excited about teaching it again (after a year break), and hopefully, I can garner enough interest to have the class again in 2 years. We are a small HS, our kids are overbooked, and we all have to work for getting our elective classes to make each year.

Here is the file if you want to modify or use it.