Monthly Archives: January 2012

My Mathography


To be honest I am having trouble remembering my school years.  It was ages ago.  I pulled out my old report cards to see if they would jog my memory.  My kindergarten records states I could count and understand numbers to 10 but, I was not checked off for recognizing numbers to 10.  It’s hard to believe children now a day have to be able to count to 100 before entering school.  My three year old granddaughter can recognize numbers at least until 10 and almost counts to 20. She consistently skips 13. 

            My early memories of math are lots and lots of worksheets.  Many of the worksheets were busy work to keep us quiet and well behaved while the teacher was running reading groups.  One early thing I learned in math and enjoyed were patterns.  The problems would show a shape that is moving or changed and you would select the example that represents the next in the series.  I enjoy puzzles and these problems were similar to puzzles. I still enjoy puzzles, especially Sudoku.

            Mr. Winslow was my favorite teacher.  He taught 9th grade algebra.  He had a good sense of humor and could relate well to students.  My self esteem was low in middle school but I felt comfortable in his class.  Mr. Winslow’s patience and encouragement allowed me to have the attitude that I could be successful in his classroom.  I really amazed myself by getting a 98 on the New York State Regents exam that year.  I am not a good test taker and up to this point, a high B was my personal best.

            Math was not my favorite subject but I’m not sure I had a favorite subject.  School was not my favorite place to be.  I much preferred being home.


Math Stories for the Everyday




My son and daughter-in-law moved to a new home last weekend.  For a housewarming gift my husband and I decided to surprise them with a portable dishwasher.  Having a dishwasher was high on their wish list but this home does not have one.

I researched dishwashers on the internet.  The kitchen does not have room for a built in.  The two options available are a small counter top model or a full sized portable. This is a family of 4 so the small countertop model would not be practical. It only fits 6 place settings at a time. The other negative issue is it would sit on the countertop.  My daughter-in-law likes to decorate cakes as a side business and needs all the countertop space possible.  The full sized portable model is the best option.  The full sized model will hold 14 place settings.  There is an ideal area in the attached dining room to store the dishwasher when not in use.  It will actually hide the hook ups to a stackable washer/dryer that used to be in the space.


We visited two stores and had one model to choose from at each store.  Following is a chart I kept while comparison shopping.




Miles Maytag




List Price



Repeat customer discount









Total Price



Price after Rebate



We decided to purchase the model from Miles Maytag because it was cheaper and we like to buy local.


Portable dishwashers are more expensive than built in models.  I asked the salesman why.  I thought he would say it’s because the sides and top are finished.  He explained it only costs them about $8 on the extra finishes.  The main reason is supply and demand.  There is little demand for these dishwashers and it is expensive to keep the assembly line open and running.


My husband and I bought a dishwasher for our home early in Jan.  It was a Maytag and cost $477.77.  I decided to calculate the percent of change.  Original (built in) cost $477.77.  New (portable) cost 614.79. 

First I determined the difference:  614.79 – 477.77 = 137.02

Next I applied the percent proportion.  P = r

                                                              B    100 

137.02 = r__             Cross multiply:   13702 = 477.77r

477.77    100        Divide each side by 477.77:     28.679071 = r

The portable dishwasher was a 29% increase over the built in.


The last thing I am curious about is volume of the countertop model vs. the full sized portable.  Here’s a chart of the measurements.  (Can you tell I like charts?)  I will use the formula: V = lwh




Counter top

Full size

Height in inches



Length in inches



Width in inches



Area in cubic inches










Donna’s Introduction



I call York, PA home.  I am married, we have one son and two adorable granddaughters.  My hobbies include cooking, quilting and reading.

I have been a Family and Consumer Science Teacher for 31 years.  Due to budget cuts my district eliminated my program.  I decided to take an educational sabbitical instead of being unemployed.  Hopefully I pass the Middle School Math Praxis so I can return to the classroom for a couple of years.  I would like to retire with 35 years of service.

Goal one is to develop math strategies and techniques to help me make the adjustment into a math classroom.

I have never taken an online course before.  Goal two is to become more familiar with the computer as a tool to aid in my education and that of my students.