Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Saturday, June 30, 2012
What is the point of having a nice big tablet screen if that can't Pin some of those great pictures you find? Pinterest doesn`t have an Android app yet and none of browsers will let you install a pin it bookmarklet.
If, l like me, you don't mind a bit of hacking to get the functionality you like, just follow these directions:
1. Select all of all of the following text and then copy it:
2. Go browse, wander, and click through links to your heart`s content until you find some pin worthy content.
3. Reveal the browser`s address bar. Select all of the characters in the address bar and just paste the code you selected above.
4. Press 'go.'*
It's a bit of a pain in the ass and you can`t use the copy & paste clipboard while your`re browsing, but it does allow me to pin while using my Android tablet and it will suffice until something better comes along.
*This works for me using an Asus TF300T with Android ice cream sandwich installed from the factory with the Google chrome browser. Does it work with your system?
Monday, June 18, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
- Learning can happen in all aspects of your life. Kids should not think of it as something that should only, or can only, happen in school.
- What are the chances your child will find their passion or career in the classes taught in school? Even though math is needed for great technology careers, they figure out their favorite thing to do is program a computer or phone in math class.
- People teach differently and from different perspectives. Sometimes a kid needs to see material presented in more than one way in order to understand it.
- We prioritize what we value. If we actively make time for work, eating properly, hobbies, and learning it's because we actively want to accomplish those things.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
- School is boring and they spend waaaay too much time learning the same thing (she's pretty bright, so catches on quickly).
- She wants to be finished her work early and have more time to spend on her own projects (like writing short stories).
- She is sick of the moody and pervy (her word--but not in a gross way, more like mischevious) boys
- She doesn't feel like she can really talk with her favorite friends at school because they can be boring, are too much of followers, don't often get her sense of humor, and can be slow to catch on.
- The school rules are very much about obedience and don't make sense to her. Examples: even though her math teach has the current textbook page projected on the smart board for everyone to see, she still insists that each student turn to the same page in the book on their desk. The aids are very gruff and commanding in their rule enforcement and she doesn't understand the need for some of the rules or why they enforce rules arbitrarily.
Monday, January 23, 2012
From the Math is Fun event listing:
You can register at this link
Sunday, January 22, 2012
The snow on Saturday was pretty easy for me, a work-at-home mom who didn't have to go out until the late afternoon. Our new plow guy rules. Not only did he plow and sand, his son shoveled the snow from behind our cars and even moved our trash cans out of the giant snow pile. Very impressive!
My four year old can put on his own gloves (mostly) and even put on his own snow pants (mostly).
Accomplishments he notices but that I celebrate silently. He is getting bigger and bigger.
When my first child was little, I adored every new skill she demonstrated and mourned at the same time. I felt like I was always going to miss the gurgling smiles or baby talk words. Every advance was tinged with the loss of the adorable baby-ness that I so loved. Then it was the loss of the adorable toddler-ness, and on and on.
I remember speaking with a friend whose child was already a teenager. I was telling her how much I will miss all of the cuteness. "I just love how wonderful this age is," I said.
She replied, "All of it is wonderful. Every age brings something amazing."
And it is right. Now that my oldest daughter is 12, I can say that seeing her come into her own skin as a young lady is just as gratifying as cuddling her when she was just learning to speak. And as my son learns to be self-sufficient, I celebrate his independence and look forward to fully enjoying, with no sadness, each of his phases of development.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Bouyancy and Forces Science Demonstration: Floating Corn Kernels with Kitchen Basics (Optional Experiment Included in the End)
- A clear, tall container—I used a 1 quart Mason jar
- 3 cups of water
- ¼ to 1/3 cup of baking soda
- 1/8 to ¼ cup of unpopped popcorn kernels
- ½ to 1 cup of white vinegar
- Mix baking soda and vinegar in the clear container
- Add corn kernels
- Pour in vinegar (Over or near a sink! It may foam over the top.)—it may need a little stir
For those who just can't get enough, ask why the bubbles appear on the kernel (and wall of the container) at all. (Bubbles like to form on tiny, sharper places, nucleation sites.) They can try to estimate how many bubbles it takes to get the kernel to move up.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
I don't know what he was thinking. Although I am with my 12 year old, 10 year old and four year old all of the time, I am sure it must be intense for someone not used to it.
Yet he did take them and they had a great weekend. They spent a good deal of time playing outside because of the unseasonal warmth. The four year old, who is notoriously difficult to get to sleep, went to bed well all weekend--as long as he was sleeping with both of his sisters.
Now all of the kids are back home and we are resuming our usual routines with a little extra oomph because of my New Year's resolution to keep the house cleaner.
And that resolution has already hit a huge snag. I was prepared for my 12 year old to be truculent and derail our efforts.
The lovely, relaxing weekend I enjoyed while the kids were at my father's house has left me with a potty training regression.
Instead of just reminding the kids to pick up after themselves and establishing new chore charts, I'm cleaning furniture and giving baths four times a day. It is difficult to embark on new routines when I have to clean up emergencies frequently.
So I am back to setting timers every
Friday, December 30, 2011
Splash, two days, multiple workshops
Splash one day, multiple workshops
Online Class Honors Pre-Algebra, ongoing
Online Class Writing, ongoing
Girls Science Initiative, four days a year
Minds in Motion one day seminar
Writing classes at a local library, poetry and creative, ongoing
I am torn between feeling sorry for her and feeling pretty good that we were able to find all of those opportunities for her.
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Is this test harder than you thought? Easier? It is much easier than I thought it would be based on the man's exclamations and I find it hard to believe he could only get 10 questions right--and those being guesses.
There has been a lot of buzz around the Washington Post's blog on an adult who took a standardized test and failed it. For everyone who hates the idea of "teaching to the test", who homeschools by radical unschooling, or hates having teachers and budgets held to the results of standardized tests, the post is flaunted as proof that testing is unhelpful.
The adult who took the test is a member of the school board in the district. He is well-educated with grown children and an apparently healthy bottom-line. If he cannot do well on the test, then why are we expecting our students to know 70% of a test he did not?
His argument: I don't know this stuff now and I am successful, so why should high schoolers need to know it. Very simple answer: Not every kid is going to do what he is doing.
I see the same bias in homeschoolers who do not understand why kids need a strong foundation in math in their younger years. Even a certified secondary school math teacher in a seminar I attended implored stay-at-home mothers to envision how they use math and to use that knowledge as a basis for how they teach math to their children.
As long as you are OK that your child could never become an engineer, scientist, actuary, and a host of other math-dominated careers, even if they desperately wanted to be one, then, by all means, teach the kids only the math you now need as an adult.
Secondarily, just because you do not use something in your career or everyday life does not mean that there are not very good reasons to know it.
When I was in engineering school, I often heard the rumblings of other students (since I am at least young enough to have gone to school realizing that computers were going to be doing some seriously heavy lifting by the time I entered the work force), "Why should we bother to learn this? When we graduate, all we will need to do is press a button."
And how will you know what data to enter? How will you select the appropriate parameters for the program you are working on? If your program's finite element analysis grid size is wrong, then you may miss the failure point and you will have no way of knowing how much or little confidence to place in the results. You won't even know enough to calculate a confidence interval.
And if, for some reason, the computer spits a spurious result out at the end of its work, the engineer who was never taught the principles by which the code operates has no way of knowing that his design may not be as robust as he believes. Also true even for calculators.
Another misconception is that because an adult does not appear to need such information now, they have never needed that information. There are some very strident opinions that I hold today specifically because, at one point, I went through the hard work of applying some information that I knew way-back-when and confirmed. I cannot remember details at this point because I have had no reason to revisit them.
Does that mean that I will defend everything I learned at school? Hell, no. No one today will ever learn to draft blueprints by hand and will never be at a loss for having avoided it. Just like it would have been ridiculous to for me to learn the slide rule.
What is the difference? I know the purpose of those objects and I understand that purpose conceptually. The tools can change and the presentation can change.
I would argue forcibly that mathematics sees too much theoretical math pushed down into elementary grades (my daughter has worked on set theory, prime numbers, and exponents in 3rd and 4th grade without even learning about division) because teachers and curriculum developers think they are teaching harder things by introducing high-level concepts.
Mathematicians are part of this nonsense because they want to see children exposed to their favorite math-theory puzzles or fascinations because that is what turns them on about math. They think that if kids see these ideas earlier that they will be excited about math.
More frequently, the children miss out on developing a real number and operation sense because they were too busy trying to figure out how to divide numbers without actually ever having being taught division and they end up frustrated and puzzled.
As you can see, I am no 'test no matter what' advocate. I am also against using any one person's experience as a barometer for what children should be taught.