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December 7, 2009

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Gateway and Learning Project catch-up

December 7, 2009

Today we took our Gateway on Geometry.  I didn’t find it too difficult since I did the practice test last night.  Students really have to know the circumference, area, and volume formulas of circles.  I also rememberd that any shape that comes to a point involves muliplying by one-third to find volumes.  We went to the computer lab afterwards and had plenty of time to catch up on our learning projects.  Maria also reminded us how to use Google Sites to make our final project of making our own website.

It is pretty cool to see how easy it is to make your own website.  I remember having to learn how to make a website years ago and having to remember how to embed codes.  It is about time it has been made as easy as it is now to make your own website.  Making your own website can be a great tool for anybody to use now.

I have had some of the kids helping me make more fun geometric shapes everyday.  The ones that I don’t trust to cut out the shapes or fold, I have them color the shapes.  The kids get a really big kick out of the fact that the tables have turned and they are helping me do my homework now.  Also, kids are terrible at ripping tape.  If they even do get the size of tape right, their greasy fingers eliminate any stickiness that was once on the tape.

Children’s play toys and cool presentations

December 3, 2009

Today we learned how to find the volume of Prisms





After Maria wrote down and explained how and why all of these formulas worked, she busted out a lot of interesting children’s geometric shaped toys.  We were told to measure their volumes.  I had an interesting one in which I had to subtract half of a cylinder’s volume from the volume of a rectangular prism.

There were also two presentations today.  I thought that they were both very interesting.  One was mapping out a net for making specific geometric figures. Students all had different styles of how to map out a net, but most of them all worked.  The other presentation was about measurement.  She had us measure the length of our hands from our palms to our middle fingers.  She also had us measure our heights.   There was a direct correlation of the length of our hands to our heights.  Our height is approximately 10 times the length of our hand.  Judging by the length of my large hands, I was supposed to be 6’5″, not 5’11”.  This confirms my years of suspicion that my parents are to blame for me not being taller.

Still full from Pi :)

November 30, 2009

Today we examined how it is we get the area and perimeter of  geometric shapes and why they work.  We all got sheets of paper with multiple shapes on them.  We cut out some of them to make them more tangible and we could rearrange the shape.  Most of it was routine, but finding the area of a trapezoid was a bit harder than I remembered.    We were taught how to find the perimeter of polygons and circles. We were also taught how to find the area of squares, rectangles, a rhombus, parallelograms, triangles, trapezoids, and circles.

I have been working on making geometric figures, but I am sad to report that all of the ones I had made have been flattened by a large suitcase.  I had them sitting in my backseat and I accidentally squashed them.  All of those little kids’ hard work for nothing.

Scavanger Hunt

November 25, 2009

Today we around the entire campus and took measurements of diameters and circumferences of the most interesting circles we could find.  We were being taught how to find the area of a circle in a fun and interesting manner.  My partner and I even went out in the rain to measure some modern art outside.  We learned that using a simple piece of string can be a very useful measuring tool when dealing with circles.  Maria wanted to show us that when we divided the circumference by the diameter, we would get pi. This link shows exactly how to find the area of a circle.

We were assigned to make a bunch of cool geometric figures out of paper.  There is a lot of intricate cutting, folding, and taping.  I really enjoy doing it.  I find it therapeutic.  I also have a number of children at my disposal, so I had my afterschool program’s room looking like Santa’s workshop with a bunch of little Elves making geometric shapes.  I have to say I was proud of myself at that moment.

Humbled by 7 year olds

November 23, 2009

Some of the kids in my aftercare program saw my math book sitting out and decided to take a look in it.  They saw that it was elementary math and proceeded to prove to themselves that they knew more about math than I do.  It was a little humbling having to prove to the kids that I was, in fact, learning how to teach the math, learning the math itself.  I did get to use some of the techniques and show the kids how to find the area of some shapes.  Their brains weren’t having the use of Pi in the circle formulas though.  It is surprising to see that kids as young as 3rd grade want to learn these how to do these math techniques.  They see that it is something advanced and they want to have the pride of knowing how to do it.  Kids can remember the formulas, but they don’t understand why they work.  Still, it was good practice.

The other day I had a great time playing with all of the children’s toys that Maria brought in to teach us about pyramids and prisms.  It was great to see that you can use such entertaining tools to teach your class.  I was pretty proud of the fact that I made a pentagonal pyramid out of straws and string.  Those many years of arts and crafts with little kids have come in handy!

First day of Unit 4 and already overwhelmed.

November 18, 2009

This was our first day of Unit 4. I originally thought, bring it on, but I was quickly humbled.  It appears as though we are doing Geometry and I think Maria wanted to show us exactly how much we don’t know about it.  She gave us all a massive amount of Geometric terms and began to define some of them.  It was a bit overwhelming and frustrating to try to keep track of them all.  It was also a good reality check that I don’t remember as much as I thought about Geometry.  We didn’t get through nearly half of all of the terms, and while this is a bit frustrating, there is usually a method to Maria’s madness.  These flash cards are a nice tool to find what you know and what you need to study up on.

I am learning how to make a blog as we speak.  After much deep thought, I have decided on the blog name Cosine Larry.  For all of you that don’t get the joke, educate yourselves on this former TGIF show called Perfect Strangers. I have  a strange sense of humor, but it DOES sound like he is saying Cosine Larry.