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Hey Thump

Discussion in 'Open Discussion (Work-safe)' started by buckiprof, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. buckiprof

    buckiprof 21st Century Buckeye Man Staff Member

    Hey Thump, have you done anything neat/unusual/different for your students this month?
  2. scooter1369

    scooter1369 Chief Toad Fart

    There was the "wedgie incident".
  3. BuckBackHome

    BuckBackHome Wolverine is largest member of weasel family

    Wasn't Tuesday "Teachers Wearing Thongs Day"?
  4. scarletandgrey

    scarletandgrey Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult!

    That's everyday for Thump....:tongue2:
  5. BuckNutty

    BuckNutty Hear The Drummer Get Wicked Staff Member Bookie

    I hear he gave a pretty nice lecture on balloon knots last week.
  6. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    One shouldn't need to put a knot in a condom to get it to stay in place.
  7. Thump

    Thump Hating the environment since 1994

  8. bucks4me

    bucks4me "Dry" Humor

    *chirp chirp*
  9. buckiprof

    buckiprof 21st Century Buckeye Man Staff Member

    It's Mathematics Awareness Month.
  10. Thump

    Thump Hating the environment since 1994

    Every month is Mathematics Awareness month in Mr. Thump's class! :biggrin:

    I'll tell you one thing, the poor kids have been getting tested to death. They had the Ohio Achievement Test, Algebra Prognosis Test, and week-long Terra Nova testing.

    Wanted your opinion on this, our district pushes students to use calculators, I on the other hand don't allow students to use them very often b/c they don't know 6 x 9 w/o a calculator. Once I feel they comprehand the concepts, I then allow calculators.

    The biggest problem I see in MS is that it seems teachers don't make students memorize their multiplication tables anymore. Without that, they can't divide in their head or very effectively reduce fractions.

    It's very frustrating. :smash:
  11. exhawg

    exhawg Mirror Guy Staff Member

    I was always better at the x= shit than simple math. If not for my TI-81 and 82 I never would have made it through a bunch of math classes or pretty much any other class they let us use the calculators for. I probably knew more about programming those calculators than chemistry, econ, accounting, and several other classes combined. :p
  12. Steve19

    Steve19 Watching. Always watching. Staff Member

    Good for you, Thump. I agree, its the fundamentals that they need first and it sounds like your students are lucky to have you.
  13. buckiprof

    buckiprof 21st Century Buckeye Man Staff Member

    Glad to hear every month is like that in your class! For the record, the theme this year is Mathematics and Internet Security.

    Oh the calculator debate. I firmly believe that there are basic math facts that everyone should know and this means without the use of a calculator. Multiplication facts would be one of them. Now in my little world, this basic fact list that should be known increases as one progresses through mathematics. For example, I don't expect anyone to know what sqrt(50) is to 2 decimal places, but I do expect one to know that it is a little more than 7. Not exactly a math fact, more of a number sense deal, but still I see it as calculator related for some.

    Now I happened to be at OSU in the mid 80's, when graphing calculators hit the scene and OSU was ground zero for GC's thanks to OSU professors Frank Demana and Bert Waits. (I actually was at the right place at the right time!) What I found was that GC's were becoming a crutch just like scientific calculators can become a crutch for younger students. When a student looks at the equation 2x + 3y = 6 and can't state what the graph would look like without using their calculator, there is a problem. I expect my calculus students to know the general shape of quadratics, exponentials, natural log, sine, and cosine, to name a few, without the aid of a calculator.

    Now I use the GC and require my students to have one for class. It is a tremendous tool, just like any other tool, to help in doing mathematics, but it is only a tool. It is far inferior to our gray matter! In my calc class on Friday, we started parametric equations. Hell yes we graphed them using the GC; it is quicker and more efficient and it allowed my students to get at the concept. To me, utilizing technology should be an aid to help understanding the concept at hand. On Monday and Tuesday, we begin polar equations and calculus of polar equations. This topic actually is a perfect marriage of brain power and technology. To determine an area enclosed by a polar graph, the difficult part is determining the limits of integration. Since polar equations are of the form r = f (theta), using the derivative (that almost no calculus book discusses which pisses me off), dr/d(theta), which gives the rate of change of distance from the pole with respect to theta, one can use this derivative to find relative extrema, which in turn can be used as theta (min) and theta (max) on the GC and "seeing" if these bounds for theta produce that region whose area is trying to be determined, hence the limits of integration. The power of calculus (from our brain) to figure bounds, testing on the GC to see if the correct region is graphed, then setting up the correct integral and evaluating,.......a perfect marriage of technology, brain power, and concept.

    I seemed to have rambled a bit there Thump, but I have strong opinions about calculator usage. I don't deny it, I embrace it even, but I REFUSE to let it become a crutch for my students.

    Now the texts I have written are actually GC optional. Again, a strong opinion of mine, but a text should not dictate to a professot when and where to use a GC; that is up to the professor and said professor's academic freedom. We are finding that there are more professors today that like GC optional texts than there were as recently as 5 years ago.

    So at the level I teach, it seems that the great calculator wars of the late 80's through the 90's has cooled down. It seems that they are still going on in elementary and secondary school. Your students will be much better off Thump that you actually "make" them learn some basic facts and I hope as they go through school, they continue to have teachers who make them know other basic facts (like basic shapes of basic functions). These students are much better prepared for calculus!

    A final bitch, what really grates me like sandpaper underwear, is people who "teach" trig and let students use cheat sheets for trig values, identities, etc. These "teachers" are so screwing their students for calculus!
  14. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    Is it 7.07?

    No calculator. :biggrin:
  15. buckiprof

    buckiprof 21st Century Buckeye Man Staff Member

    Slide rule? :biggrin:

    Yes it is. Not too difficult to get that accuracy knowing that it can be written as 5*sqrt(2) and knowing that sqrt(2) is about 1.414, but I'd be damn happy with them just knowing it is a little more than 7.

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