Monday, June 23, 2008

So Long ...

And so we begin where we left off ... don't let the sky be your limit. ;-)

I'm so glad we've had this time together,

Just to have a laugh or learn some math,

Seems we've just got started and before you know it,

Comes the time we have to say, "So Long!"

So long everybody, I'll see you in September! Watch this space for pointers to new blogs for each of my classes.

Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu, and all those good bye things. ;-)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Class Survey

The exam is over and we did a little survey in class. The results are below; 13 students participated. If you'd like to add another comment on what you see here email me or leave a comment below this post.

Without any further ado, here are the results of our class's survey. Please share your thoughts by commenting (anonymously if you wish) below .....

Classroom Environment
The questions in this section were ranked using this 5 point scale:

Strongly DisagreeDisagreeNeutralAgreeStrongly Agree

The bold numbers after each item are the average ratings given by the entire class.

1. The teacher was enthusiastic about teaching the course. 4.92

2. The teacher made students feel welcome in seeking help in/outside of class. 4.69

3. My interest in math has increased because of this course. 4.23

4. Students were encouraged to ask questions and were given meaningful answers. 4.38

5. The teacher enhanced the class through the use of humour. 4.46

6. Course materials were well understood and explained clearly by the teacher. 4.31

7. Graded materials fairly represented student understanding and effort. 3.85

8. The teacher showed a genuine interest in individual students. 4.38

9. I have learned something that I consider valuable. 3.50

10. The teacher normally came to class well prepared. 4.54

Overall Impression of the Course
The questions in this section were ranked using this 5 point scale:

Very PoorPoorAverageGoodVery Good

1. Compared with other high school courses I have taken, I would say this course was: 4.77

2. Compared with other high school teachers I have had, I would say this teacher is: 4.77

3. As an overall rating, I would say this teacher is: 4.77

Course Characteristics

1. Course difficulty, compared to other high school courses:

Very Easy
Very Difficult

2. Course workload, compared to other high school courses:

Very Easy
Very Difficult

3. Hours per week required outside of class:

0 to 2
2 to 3
3 to 5
5 to 7
over 7

4. Expected grade in the course:


Specific Feedback
[Ed. Note: Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of students, over 1, that gave the same answer.]

What was your best learning experience in this course?

Workshop classes (4)
Explaining our work on the SMARTboard (2)
Great teaching with humour
Understanding math concepts instead of just using formulae (2)
Being comfortable with everyone
Learning the language of mathematics
SMARTboard (2)
Interaction (2)
Learning not to be afraid of making mistakes
Developing Expert Voices project (2)
Getting feedback
This blog
Learning in other ways than with a textbook
Learning to solve problems (2)
Learning innovatively in many ways

What was your worst learning experience in this course?

None (5)
More 1 on 1 help in class
Class kept getting unfocused (3)
Circular Functions Unit
Sometimes had to rush
Not asking questions

What changes would you suggest to improve the way this course is taught?

Fewer SMARTboard technical difficulties
Better scribe posts
Show formulae (how to "plug in values") first then explain or derive them
Mr. K. did an incredible job
I was motivated by Mr. K's enthusiasm
Wanted to hear the "Mr. K. Quote" just before the exam
Study periods for tests
More workshop classes
More group work
More guidance for Developing Expert Voices project
Wanted to hear about The Golden Ratio
Give homework for marks
Too much humour
Make Developing Expert Voices projects simpler and more straight forward
We were occasionally distracted — could have got more done
Course was better than I expected
For once I actually enjoyed math
Stay on task
Don't get off topic (2)
Have an alternative to blogging

It's interesting to compare the items that were considered both the worst and best learning experiences. Also, take a look at the list of worst learning experiences compared to suggestions for next year. Help me do a better job next year by commenting on what you see here ....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Student Voices Episode 4: Justice, Lawrence, and Richard

First an update on this podcast: While we have received few comments on this or any of our class blogs the number of times the audio files have been downloaded is remarkable ...

Episode 1: Jessie 2440 downloads

Episode 2: Tim_MATH_y 1766 downloads

Episode 3: Chris, Craig, Graeme 1367 downloads

Thanks to all our listeners. We might get one more published during this school year but this may be the last until September. In any case feel free to let us know your thoughts about what you heard; every comment is appreciated.

In this episode of Student Voices Justice, Lawrence, and Richard talk about how they put together their Developing Expert Voices project and what they learned in the process: how they they best learn math, how it can best be taught, and many other incidental things like team work and organizational skills.

They have titled their project with one of my favourite reminders to all my students: Mathematics is the Science of Patterns. If you watch any of the video content they created you'll hear several "in jokes", listen for them. Without any further ado, here is the podcast. A copy of the poster they made for their work is below.

(Download File 12.2Mb, 25 min. 30 sec.)

Photo Credit: Shadow singer by flickr user EugeniusD80

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Judgement Day in Less Than Half a Day

Hi friends,

Provincials are coming. It is TOMORROW!!! But don't fret, it is nothing bad. I believe that the reason why people do bad on the exams is because they are nervous or scared and that there isn't sufficient time. The exams are just longer tests. It isn't much more difficult than a test but a bit more tedious because of the lengthy and copious amounts of queBenofschool here. Seeing that my good ol' buddy m@rk didn't scribe I decided to do it for him. What we did TWO (YES TWO [2]) days ago was study for the provincial exams coming up. Thestions in under 3 hours. All that you have to do is just relax, feel confident in all of the studying you did (Don't be over confident because the will backfire. Just be enough that you are beginning to feel comfortable.) Studying would be the best way to cope with that pre-exam fear. Hopefully everybody asked others for help because listening to a peer is just as good if not better than asking a teacher. The voice of a peer is very valuable. There are many ways to be prepared for the exam and it varies among students. So there isn't a right way but only a wrong way to prepare. It all depends on you and what makes you feel comfortable in situations like tomorrow Provincial Math Exam. My method for studying might not be good for others but it makes me feel comfortable. Hopefully everybody has that comfort zone in their studying.

Remember that time is a major issue for many people. That is why studying helps. Studying helps us all see the path to solving that problem quicker, more elegantly, and most of all more efficiently. The exam may play around with words or problems. They might word it differently, so just take your time in reading the questions carefully. If it helps, read the questions out loud but quietly because when you read with just your eyes your brain doesn't register it like when you read it with sounds being heard.

To end this scribe as well as ending the final scribe I tell you this. Sorry if I can't be poetic like my friend Francis but I can be positive. Good Luck at the exam and remember not to be scared. Just feel comfortable and everything will be fine. Drink lots of water, bring water to the exam, bring pencils (note the plural), erasers (again the plural), and a lucky charm that are magically delicious. You can even bring a real rabbit's foot but not a real rabbit's foot because that is CRUEL!
Mr. K I have one favor to ask you. Could you use that before test line I just said above before the exam. I'm sure everybody will be happy when they hear that.

Don't let the sky be the limit. Surpass the sky. And like what my good friend Andrew says, "Carpe Diem!" Which means seize the day. Hope to see everyone again in Calculus!!!

Good Bye and Good Luck! =)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Last Class of the Jabbamatheez.

Today was the end of of our classes together. It's been quite fun learning about everything from circular functions to Geometric sequences, especially because of all the skits Mr. K put in.

Well, we started the class by solving a geometric sequence, given the 2nd and 3rd term. We had to find the 8th term given this. Since it was a geometric sequence, we know that there's a common ratio. To find this common ratio, we found the product of the 2 terms. Which was 12/24 = 1/2. We then found where y = 0, if we were to graph this. We found the 1st term by going backwards, which means you would have to multiply the 2nd term (24) by 2. 24 x 2 = 48. Then to find the term of 0, we would double that, which was 96. We then multiplied 96 by (1/2)8 because we need to find the 8th term, and it had a common ratio of 1/2. The answer was 0.375

Last class we found out where the infinite geometric sequence came from, but today we learned that when the common ratio is greater than 1, then it is a diverging series, because it will keep going on and on, thus meaning it is infinity. So when |r| > 1 then r = ∞
When the common ratio is less than 1, it's called a converging series, because it hones in on one value, which is 0. So when |r|<>∞ = 0.

This was pretty much all we learned, so we did some questions after. There was a question about a super ball. At this point Paul pulled out a super ball for Mr. K to use, and it gave the class a little interaction. The ball would start at 200 cm and drop to the ground, it would rebound 3/4 of the distance it fell. We had to then find the total distance travelled by the 4th bounce. This question was easily accomplished using a diagram.
The initial distance being 200 cm, we can multiply by 3/4 to find the distance it bounces back up, then multiply that distance by 2, because it travels that distance twice, bouncing up and falling down, then we multiply the distance from the second bounce by 3/4 (150 x (3/4) = 112.5) to get the distance going up, then multiply by 2 for it going up and down,(150 x (3/4) = 112.5 x 2 = 225 cm) then multiply the distance from the 3rd bounce by 3/4 again (112.5 x (3/4) = 84.375) then multiply that by 2 because it goes up that distance and down hat distance, so it would be (84.375 x 2 = 168.75) add all the values together to get 893.75
You can also use the geometric sequence equation to find this also.
After this we had to find the distance travelled until the ball stopped, so we used the infinite geometric series which was 1200, given all the variables, and you would add the initial value which was 200, and that would be 1400 cm. This was the last question.

That was all we did for our last class. I know, we need something special, because I'm the last scribe and this whole course has been oh so special, because of this reason, I wrote a poem. It's a Kyrielle poem. With 8 syllables each line, and rhyming scheme being aabB ccbB ddbB. Enjoy.

One More Step

Unluckily today's the last,
Of this most enjoyable class.
Though it's not the end for us yet,
As we move on just one more step.

Mr. K, we give you homage,
For expanding on our knowledge.
Never dull, you were fun instead.
As we move on just one more step.

Leaving with a fantastic smile,
As every thing's been so worthwhile.
Now to continue, and to prep.
As we move on just one more step.

-Francis Bowers

er... Scribe List

What Am I even doing this for? There's no more scribing! XD

Quote of the Cycle ;

"There's no such thing in the world as absolute reality. Most of what they call real is actually fiction. What you think you see is only as real as your brain tells you it is."

Stay Phi everyone,

Rence ~ Out

... and I wonder, if you know... what it means, to find your dreams come true...