At the start of the unit I polled my students, and of the 63 I have in geometry, only 3 had prior exposure to programming. Those 3 had parents in tech and had done some science/engineering summer camp activities, and were looking into it on their own. I was a little surprised, because when I was a kid, my elementary school all got some programming exposure on Logo on C64s back in the 80s.
1) Be prepared for the fact that many will not have taken a math class in many years, some 5 or more. They will recall little from their previous math classes other than intuition. Their arithmetic skills are poor. Be sure you are evaluating them on their understanding of the stats material, and be forgiving of arithmetic errors
Big agreement here. Check out A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper for an accessible book that explores some of the common misconceptions about stats. Learning what stats say (or don't) is far more useful than learning to crunch the numbers.
What's being cut is Constellation. NASA's budget is being increased and refocused, to as "former astronaut Sally Ride, an Augustine panel member, described the strategic shift as a "significant vote of confidence in NASA" that brings it "back to its roots as an engine of innovation.""
Math has been gutted of meaning, but this is changing. There are solid curricula out there that are being used, such as IMP ( the Interactive Math Program) or PBL (Project/Problem Based Learning) style lessons. An example of PBL that I used last year with my 8th graders was in modeling a bride. They were given a plausible scenario (school buildings are getting a 2nd story added on to reduce the number of portable classrooms, they had to design and model a bridge between these 2nd stories.) So, we went out and measured distances, built newpaper bridges and tested how much weight they could hold to find relationships for thickness v. load and length v. load, calculated needed load support based on population, class flow, 8th grader mass, etc., graphed some data in Excel, and used their formula and data to built a cost-optimized bridge. They had fun exploring some rich problems (and some frustration, as it did require some thought) and gained a better grasp of linear relationships, a key concept in 8th grade.
This type of teaching isn't widespread, but it was being advocated by my college advisers. One of the problems with doing this kind of math is the lack of public support. In the school district I'm in, about half the high schools were giving an option to use IMP to students, but parents complained and such, and now only a few charter schools use it. Still, support is starting to spread some, so the more interesting approaches are being slowly revived.
For those interested in this topic, check out What's math got to do with it?" by Jo Boaler (new edition out later this month.)
I've recently started calling home and putting the call on speaker phone, which has had good results when there's a viable phone number.
Things I liked:
- Hugely detailed world (Warhammer has lots of back story)
- Diverse classes (each of the 6 races has 3 or 4 classes, each class is somewhat unique)
- Public Quests (fun quests you can join casually with others on, very well done.)
- Quirky humor (some races more than others, Greenskins especially amusing)
The biggest reason for me quitting WoW was the time commitment in the end game raids. Warhammer doesn't seem to require the same solid block of time that WoW did, which for me, as someone with a family, is huge.
Blagsvedt's site works as a "village LinkedIn" by replicating "online the process by which Indians hire in real life: through chains of personal connections." One of the more significant hurdles in building such a site is in making it accessible to those who have limited computer access."
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