May 30, 2011
All are architects of Fate,
Nothing useless is, or low;
Wow. Did a five hour tutoring session with a high school student (private school) for his final in precalculus tomorrow. It capped a long day. But he should have done this two or three days ago!! Then he would have had more time to assimilate, practice, memorize, and understand!!! But we have a life to live; we cannot always do everything in an optimum way.
May 29, 2011
An 8th grade student of mine who goes to a school in Klein ISD earned a 96 on his final exam!! Good job!!
And an 11th grader in the Woodlands earned a B in AB Calculus!!! Good job! That’s a tough course for an 11th grader!!
ALL TO MYSELF, I find the way
Back to each golden yesterday,
Faring in fancy until I stand
Clasping your ready, friendly hand;
The picture seems half true, half dream,
And I keep its color and its gleam
All to myself.
All to myself I hum again
Fragments of some old-time refrain,
Something that comes at fancy’s choice,
And I hear the cadence of your voice:
Sometimes ’tis dim, something ’tis clear,
But I keep the music I hear
All to myself.
May 18, 2011
Jolie O’Dell posted an infographic on Mashable.com showing why sitting too much is bad for you. If you value your health, take it to heart (and mind). The infographic is just a quick presentation of the idea; I’ve read a lot more about this; I’ll have to post other related info some time.
May 12, 2011
Someone posted a video of pendulum waves on YouTube. Absolutely amazing. Beautiful.
May 11, 2011
There is some interesting material about math symbols at The History of Mathematical Symbols by Douglass Weaver and Anthony D. Smith.
For example, they say:
Percent has been used since the end of the fifteenth century in business problems such as computing interest, profit and loss, and taxes. However, the idea had its origin much earlier. When the Roman emperor Augustus levied a tax on all goods sold at auction, centesima rerum venalium, the rate was 1/100. Other Roman taxes were 1/20 on every freed slave and 1/25 on every slave sold. Without recognising percentages as such, they used fractions easily reduced to hundredths.
In the Middle Ages, as large denominations of money came to be used, 100 became a common base for computation. Italian manuscripts of the fifteenth century contained such expressions as “20 p 100″ and “x p cento” to indicate 20 percent and 10 percent. When commercial arithmetics appeared near the end of that century, use of percent was well estasblished. For example, Giorgio Chiarino (1481) used “xx. per .c.” for 20 percent and “viii in x perceto” for 8 to 10 percent. During the sixteenth and seventeenth century, percent was used freely for computing profit and loss and interest. (NCTM p146,147}
May 10, 2011
Kseniya Simonova makes “sand animation” for the show Ukraine’s Got Talent. Amazing. Watch some of the other videos on YouTube, too. I had seen these videos a long time ago, but was recently reminded of them by a friend.
May 9, 2011
What do all of these diseases have in common?
- Alzheimer’s, dementia, cognitive decline and memory loss (collectively referred to as “aging”)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological disorders
- Mental illness (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychosis)
- Cardiovascular disease
- Learning or developmental disorders in kids
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Autoimmune disease and immune dysregulation
- Male and female infertility
Answer: they can all be caused by vitamin B12 deficiency.
But what does it do? For what do we — and our children — need it?
Vitamin B12 works together with folate in the synthesis of DNA and red blood cells. It’s also involved in the production of the myelin sheath around the nerves, and the conduction of nerve impulses. You can think of the brain and the nervous system as a big tangle of wires. Myelin is the insulation that protects those wires and helps them to conduct messages.
Severe B12 deficiency in conditions like pernicious anemia (an autoimmune condition where the body destroys intrinsic factor, a protein necessary for the absorption of B12) used to be fatal until scientists figured out death could be prevented by feeding patients raw liver (which contains high amounts of B12). But anemia is the final stage of B12 deficiency. Long before anemia sets in, B12 deficiency causes several other problems, including fatigue, lethargy, weakness, memory loss and neurological and psychiatric problems.
Chris also says:
B12 is the only vitamin that contains a trace element (cobalt), which is why it’s called cobalamin. Cobalamin is produced in the gut of animals. It’s the only vitamin we can’t obtain from plants or sunlight. Plants don’t need B12 so they don’t store it.
So make sure you — and your children!! — eat meat!! Or at least supplement!!
I’d recommend you read the rest of the article. It has more good, important information.
May 6, 2011
In “More Argument, Fewer Standards” (Education Week, April 19, 2011), Mike Schmoker and Gerald Graff start off seemingly hot, saying:
If we want record numbers of students to succeed in postsecondary studies and careers, an ancient, accessible concept needs to be restored to its rightful place at the center of schooling: argument. In its various forms, it includes the ability to analyze and assess our facts and evidence, support our solutions, and defend our interpretations and recommendations with clarity and precision in every subject area. Argument is the primary skill essential to our success as citizens, students, and workers.
Sounds good, right? They call for teaching students to use “evidence” and “clarity” and “precision.” Can’t argue with that! Sounds perfect!
But let’s see what else they say. What is their context? What is their underlying epistemology? What is their view of logic and of concepts?
In the meantime, let’s immediately begin, as the new standards urge us, to give students hundreds of opportunities, every year, to dismantle and defend arguments about increasingly rich, complex texts. From the earliest grades, let’s have them argue about the pros and cons of almost anything: literary characters and interpretations, global warming, capitalism vs. socialism, Sarah Palin, or the comparative quality of life in the United States and Canada (based on statistical analysis). Let’s ask students to explain their reasoning for which alternative-energy source we should invest in as they read, talk, and write about what they are learning in novels, textbooks, newspapers, and magazines.
© 2011 Editorial Projects in Education
And there we have what they are really after: divorcing concepts and minds from reality. Students, the authors say, should be encouraged to argue about things about which they know nothing or about which they are cognitively not ready for. The hierarchy of knowledge should be ignored and violated — but, like a building, if you take away the lower floors, the building cannot stand; like a tree, if you take away the roots and grounds, the tree cannot survive, live, and flourish.
Divorce argument from objectivity, hierarchy, context, and the evidence of the senses, and you have a Platonic hash.