Monthly Archives: March 2012

Reflection on Blogging

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Blogging was a new experience for me.  I had considered asking my computer savvy son to help me set up a blog but this course forced me to experience blogging on my own.  I rather found it enjoyable.  I plan to continue with blogging but may change to my interests of quilting and cooking instead.

By taking this course I learned that online courses are no more difficult than face to face classes.  I rather enjoyed doing my course work when I wanted to in the comfort of my own home.  Because this is a career change for me, this course helped me become more comfortable with the subject of Math in general.  I’m becoming confident that I could teach Math if I choose to next year.

I am amazed at how interrelated math is with nature.  I especially enjoyed the nonlinear patterns web quest and learning about Fibonacci, the Golden Rule and Fractals.  I think these theories help us with design principles that work when decorating our homes, designing a quilt pattern or putting together a coordinated outfit.

Yes I will use journals with students.  I see the value of students taking the time to write down their thoughts, feelings and questions about Math.  I also think it would be a great way to assess how students are grasping the content material in classrooms that are larger than ideal size. My writing responses to the students would be a way to give the students a little more individual attention, not always possible during the class period.  I especially like the idea of a blog.  Students would be more open to writing if they can do it on the computer.  I also think blogging would be more convenient because I could read the blogs while at home without dragging a stack of journals home.

 

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Factoring Quadratics

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For this blog post I will list the steps used to factor a quadratic equation.  A simple quadratic equation looks like this: Ax² + Bx + C.  Factoring means you are trying to reduce the equation into simpler terms.  For this example I will use the equation  x² + 6x + 8.

Steps:  #1.  Determine the factors for “c”. 

                        Ex. Factors for 8 are 1×8 and 2×4

            #2.  Which set of factors will add up to “b”.

                        Ex. 2+4=6

            #3.  Determine the factors for “a”

                        Ex. (x) (x) = x²

            #4.  Write the following binomial

                        Ex. (x + __) (x +__)      

                        and fill in the correct factor from steps 1 and 2.

                        Ex. (x + 2) (x + 4)

 

I have always been the type of person who has to write things down in order to reinforce my learning.  Writing involves thinking about the concepts just learned, putting those thoughts into my own words and writing those thoughts down.  By taking the time to organize the information and make connections to what I already know I can better understand the new material.  Many of my students would benefit from the same process.  I will ask students to keep a journal or blog when the computer cart is available to our classroom.  The writing prompt I could give to students is to explain how to factor a quadratic equation to a younger sibling or friend.