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Showing posts from October, 2014

In An Instant

Finger Foods! via Instagram

Painting The Sky

What color is the sky? It's not always blue! This week kindergarten used the fill bucket and paint brushes in KidPix Deluxe 4 as we explored the color of the sky.

As part of my TechnoKids curriculum, K5 is in a unit on colors. We started out going to the hallway window to see what color the sky was today. I think it's great that after all the kids agree the sky is blue, we actually check if they are right. Today was dark and stormy, definitely a different blue than yesterday!

We also looked through several sky photos, finding different colors in the clouds. The kids had fun drawing atypical skies, including a night sky with stars. I really appreciate the opportunity to combine God's creation with art and digital tools. Hopefully these kiddos will continue to be digital creators and not just consumers.

Simple Discriminant Radicals?

Find the exact solutions of imaginary numbers using the Quadratic Formula. Sounds simple enough, but everyone in our house was stumped. The kid's notes included step by step instructions.

Our problem was that in the notes from class none of us could figure out how to get from √ 56  to 2√ 14  . He had several examples of this sort of simplification but none of us could figure out what was going on. Eventually, I found a web site with enough explanation for me to make sense of it and explain it to him.

Now this may seem elementary to some, but clearly it contained steps we all had forgotten or never really understood in the first place. What made sense was the use of factor trees. 56 = 4*14 = 22*14 All three are the same way of writing the same value. By removing a perfect square (4) from the root and reducing it, we can multiply it back against the remainder, 2√ 14  .

Now I'm not sure how that helps anyone, other than the opportunity to cancel out or move the doubling of the r…

Annie Tops Popular Posts

Not surprisingly, several of this week's popular posts focused on the musical Annie. Even though I have been enjoying a week off for Fall Break, I spent the evenings helping run lights for the fall production at my kids' high school. My daughter also plays percussion in the orchestra.

During the opening night performance, a mom with her toddler arrived just as I was closing the doors and the show was beginning. The little boy was scared and didn't want to go into a dark, crowded room. Instead, they crept up the back steps and sat at the top of the stairs to the weight room, where we run lights.

Later I mentioned to them that these are one of the best seats in the house, second only to sitting right behind the curtain. Both mom and toddler appeared to have thoroughly enjoyed the show from their unique perspective, but I think the mom was thankful that the unique seating held her son's interest.

Popular posts from the past week:
It's A Hard Knock Life - Production wee…

Drumroll Please

Doors open at 6:30pm for opening night of Annie. Tickets available at the door! via Instagram

AWANA Grand Prix Time!

Purchase a car kit at club on Wednesday nights. Race day is Jan 31, 2015.
via Instagram

Bringing Ideas To Life

One of the joys of planning is seeing ideas take on life. The first image is a conceptual drawing for a high school production of the musical Annie. The second picture is from the actual stage production.

The design called for a New York skyline painted on the back wall of the stage. The stairway is a permanent piece built along perspective lines to give it a greater sense of depth.

It's A Hard Knock Life

Production week is full of ups and downs, especially when hanging lights! While other teachers enjoy a vacation destination over their fall break, I'm helping with set and lighting for a high school production of Annie.

Pictured is a scene in Shantytown, one of my favorites so far. The single set design works well for both the orphanage and Warbuck's mansion with enough flexibility to capture other locations. Of course pictures do not give the same feel as actually seeing the actors work in the space or feeling the connection between music and lighting.

Bethesda Christian School will be performing Annie this Friday and Saturday. Tickets are on sale at the office or at the door.

Ready for Day 2 #Nexus14

Painting the Town

Spent the first two days of fall break with some talented high school artists as we paint the set for Annie. It's always fun to watch students take an idea and make it their own.
Pictured is the production poster I worked up. The girl featured is playing the title role. After her mother finished sewing the dress, we had a photo shoot. I then carved out the background in Gimp and layered all the elements in Google Drawing.

Oral History Project Ideas

Collecting oral histories would be a great project for social studies or language arts classes, especially when focused on a particular facite of life. If you need advice on type of equipment or additional resources, check out Wesley Fryer's post. I would also add that Audacity is a great free audio editing tool.

Several years ago I participated in a community theater production of Foxfire. The Foxfire story began when a group of students thought it was important to record an older generation's way of life. I also own a couple of the Foxfire books and enjoy reading how people used to live.

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The Meaning of And

Word problems become harder when the definitions change. In this case it was a simple conjunction. My daughter was stumped on her 8th grade pre-Algebra homework when the formulas did not work the way she thought they should for the problem pictured.

She was trying her best to convert the text into a single complex algebraic expression such as D=(13+W)+(9-R). She was adamant that the word "and" represented addition while I argued it meant equals. My formulas were D=13+W and D=9-R, or 13+W=9-R but these did not seem complex enough for her. It is of course Algebra, and that requires complex expressions - right?

I would argue that the use of "and" in this case is grammatical and not a mathematical usage. Does this mean the problem is poorly worded? In fact, the entire word problem is rife with couplets: more than Wes AND less than Ross, write AND solve, scores for Damon AND Wes.

I'm not even sure how my mind interprets the context to reach my own conclusion and th…

Build and Share a Book Fair Wishlist

The Book Fair has rolled into our school library this week prompting a download of the Scholastic Book Fair App. By scanning selected books, users have access to trailers, audio snippets and a selection of similar books.

A wireless connection is required. I also appreciated that users could scan both covers and UPC bar codes. This makes it easier for students to scan books on the shelf without a lot of shuffling to find boring labels.

The best feature though is the wishlist. Students can record all the books they want then email or print the list. This would function a lot like a gift registry, allowing parents to review and discuss options before they make a purchase.

Using Calendar Numbers for Station Identification

Calendar numbers are a quick and easy way to identify computer work stations. Each month I change them out for a new image. It's a quick and easy way to keep the lab decorated in a current theme.

The calendar cards are standard printed cards available at any teacher supply store. I use plasti-tak to adhere them to the towers.