Flickeration of the Mind…

Finally picked up a copy of Todd Oppenheimer’s book, The Flickering Mind. I was introduced to this book at a NCTM math workshop last year. So far it’s a good read. I am going to try and get through with it this month.

With my personal integration of technology in the classroom I can identify with the author’s point of the student’s disconnect in learning. I will further reflect on my reading as I get more saturated with Todd’s thoughts.

Book Spotlight: Sir Cumference & the First Round Table

In the spirit of high-stake testing…

Nowadays, it is recommended for math teachers to integrate reading into their discipline. Believe it or not, literacy skills are very important for student success involving word problems. So I’ve decided to spotlight some great math related books on my blog from time to time.

I wish to start off with sharing the first book of the of Sir Cumference series. The book Sir Cumference and the First Round Table by Cindy Neushwander is a great tale of how a medival dude solves a problem with King Arthur’s meeting table.

I’ve found this book great to introduce or have the discussions about the area of rectangles, the properties of circles, and some neat constructions. If you own an document camera, it would be a great idea to use it to blow up the awesome illustrations by Wayne Geehan. The book is a great read and I will share the others in the series later!


In this day of the Information age, is it acceptable for students to use this or any text-speak language?

In Math… I have noticed the growing usage of IDK on student work. Sorry if I assumed that you know what IDK meant, but it stands for “I Don’t Know.” As teachers always reply, what is it that you do not understand?

Maybe when we think that we are getting ahead by being brief in communicating, we are really getting behind in how we clearly communicate. I am not bashing the Web 2.0 generation, but there is a proper time and place to keep it short. When it really matters, you need to be specific and to the point. I guess that’s the battle that English teachers deal with constantly – the students’ on-going text-speak usage when it is & not appropriate.

However, mathematicians or people that think logically may embrace the brevity of text-speak. SO LT ME END BY SYNG CHOOS YR WEAPN WSLY FR YR BTTL MY DPND ON HW CLEARLY U CMMNCT YR PLN OF ATTCK! THS WS TRNSLTD BY TH FLLWNG TXT-SPEEK TRNSLTR.

#As(y) I was minding my own business on Twitter…

I ran into a twitter post by Wayne Sutton about this new site called tweetasy. The goal of tweetasy is write a whole story using only 140 characters including the #asy tag. I posted a few very short stories. On the website, you can also vote on the stories that you like, kinda like or don’t like. Check it out and give me some feedback on what you think!

Reading refined…

I am not sure if I am ready for this high price item (available on 2/24) that is supposed (to try again to) replace our beloved paper.

If I can do the same or more with my PSP, then Amazon, what is the benefit of spending $359.00 on this device. This is what they told me.

  • light-weight & thin
  • more battery life & storage
  • shop wirelessly to purcha$e titles
  • can play mp3s
  • access blogs via RSS & wikipedia
  • display reads like paper
  • speech to text (now this is hott!)

Supports (.MOBI, .PRC) but not completely .PDFs?! Reserve my place in line? Naaa…  Sorry Amazon, PSP or even an iPod/iPhone is a little more sexy and has way more functions than both of your Kindles.

However, I really need to have one in my hand and use it before I totally dismiss this product. I really like that feature of the capability to text-to-speech feature. I wonder how it sounds? I hope not like Marvin, do ya’ll remember Marvin?

Guess I’ll check out eBay and pick up a first gen Kindle or just scrape up some cash for a Kindle 2 (Right now…I think that IKEA has first dibs of any future purchases of mine).

Also, I will have to keep my ears to the street to find out if the same issues in this blog post by applies to the Kindle 2.

My eyes & built-in reading accelerator #ksrc – W1D2

Today it was suggested by Kump to have an eye examination if i have not had one within two years.

I guess I am due. Apparently your vision is key to optimal results in speed reading. I will probably make an appointment next month. I am due to be fitted with some contacts!

Wow, discovered that your hand is actually considered as a reading accelerator! However, your eyes must be trained to efficiently use your fingers when reading. We read slowly due to regression – relooking at words.  Regression whether it is conscience or unconscience is a BAD HABIT!

What? Improve my reading? I know how to READ! (W1D1)

Kump’s Speed Reading Challenge (#ksrc) – W1D1

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.
– Frederick Douglass

This weekend I decided since I kinda slacked up on my workout routine, I might as well exercise my mind in working on improving my reading (especially since I have a plethora of books around the house I am dying to read and blogs in my newsreader waiting for my attention!)

So, I finally cracked open this book that has been sitting around the house for years called BREAKTHROUGH Rapid Reading by Peter Kump. I will be starting with week one and share my results on this blog and results via GoogleDocs. I believe that this program runs for at least six weeks.

Peter has instructed me to do the following two things in the first exercise. First, I had to pick at least ten books to read (Listed my books on profile on GoogleDocs. Next, to write down any topic or subject that I would like to learn more about if I had the time. I selected Linux as my topic.

For the first week I need to locate a timing device (check), pen & paper (using Word processor), a book for testing, a book for pleasure reading, and a recording device.

Next, will be timing myself to rate where I stand. I will further update the results in GoogleDocs!

Real World Math Problem #1: Gas Prices



Being that the price of gas has calmed down, now we have lots of MATH conversations to share and great data to manipulate!

The above images are great for having students make conjectures or to produce a  quick write. To activate students HOTS, have them (NOT YOU!) create problems such as…

1. In each picture, what is the actual price for a gallon of gas? What is the average price?

2. What is the percent of change in price from gas pump A to pump C?

3. Which pump has the closest price of gas now?

We can go on and on, however if you have some additional question to share, please comment! Oh yeah, let’s not forget the awesome data that gasbuddy.com has to share. For example the following graph of the retail price of gas prices in the US. I’m sure you and especially your students can generate great stimulating questions.

Literacy in Math

Due to the great need for all middle school students to maintain or increase their reading skills, as math educators have embraced literacy strategies to integrate reading into the classroom. (If not, you should be besides word problems!)

Here are some great math related books to share with your students and are rated for the Accelerated Reader program.

(Credit: CC Thoughtsupplies)