Sunday, November 30, 2008

What Should We Do?

There are some CRAZY people out there....

Last week, the Math Department went to a dinner at DePaul University to celebrate our Research Lesson Study. I got some really good feedback from people that attended our lesson. They were really impressed by the group conversations that happened during the lesson. Several commented on how you (the students) were able to discuss different answers and decide which ones met the criteria and which ones didn't meet the criteria. Ms. Fulton and Mr. Bywater are planning on re-doing the lesson in March, infront of an even bigger audience. I saw pictures of the lesson, but they are still working on the video.

While at the dinner, I mentioned about our class wanting to rent out the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier. One of the dinner hosts was really excited about that, and has promised to make some phone calls. Hopefully, he is able to excite some more people.

Ms. Jones will be finishing up her Student Teaching soon. I think her last day is in 2 weeks, but I will have to double check. What should we do, if anything? Ideas? Suggestions?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ocean Tide

Today we talked about Shelly and her sandcastles.
Here is the Sand Sculpture Capital of the World.

How do you think they made this?

This one reminds of me of my daughter's book, "Hands, hands, fingers, thumb, one thumb, drumming on a drum".

Now this is cool. How big do you think it is?

Back to our work....

To solve #4 from HW6, we discussed several strategies. We said we could use the "trace" function on the calculator. That worked pretty well. Then someone discussed how we could use the table on the calculator. This gave us more precise numbers, especially when we changed the increments on the table. A third strategy was to graph the equation y = -10 and use the "calculate" function to find the intersection points. This would definately give us the correct answer.

How could we do this algebraically?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Amplitude and Period

Today in class we talked about amplitude and period.

How would you define amplitude?
How would you define period?

Can you identify the amplitude and period from the graph below? (Note π is 180° and 2π is 360°) Eventhough we haven't studied this specific graph, can you create an equation using sine that will give you this graph?

Can you determine the amplitude and period just by looking at the equation? For instance, in the equation y = 12 sin (4x), what is the amplitude? What is the period?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Periodic Function

We are currently studying Periodic Functions.

Below are some examples of periodic motion that we could examine mathematically and find their periodic function.

Can you identify other examples of periodic motion? Add a comment and share your examples.

Cool Ferris Wheel Animation

Visit here for a cool Ferris wheel animation.

Is anyone familiar with Geometer's Sketchpad? Here is a Ferris wheel creation.

Can you solve this problem?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Goals Check-In

I want you to reflect on our goals for the High Dive Unit.

What goals have we address so far in class?
What assignments helped you develop those goals?
How confident are you in demonstrating evidence that you are a master of those goals?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Our Equation

Does our equation to find the height off the ground of the cart of the Ferris wheel always work?

h(t) = 65 + 50 sin (9t)

In class today we examined the sine of "large" angles and compared them to the sine of their reference angles. What did we discover? How does that discovery affect our height equation? Can we always trust our height equation, or do we need to know what quadrant our cart is in before we trust the height equation?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Inverse Trig Functions...

We used inverse sine today in class to solve our HW3. What is "inverse sine"? How does it work? As a student, can I just skip it and hope we don't have some big old quiz with tons of inverse sine questions?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Right Triangle Trigonometry

Need a refresher in Right Triangle Trig? Forgot how sine, cosine, and tangent work?
Watch these YouTube videos.
Here. Here. Here. Here.

Want more practice?
Visit these sites for more practice.
Here. Here. Here. Here.


Any questions?


Today we looked at our Unit Ferris wheel. What were some key facts about the Ferris wheel?

Visit our homework site for the answers to HW2.

Can you get those same answers? If you are having trouble, post a question.

What important ideas do we need to solve HW2?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Finding the height

Today in class we talked about how to find the height off of the ground of Al and Betty as they ride around the Ferris wheel.

Can someone post a comment to restate how we can find the height? What important mathematical concept do we need to find the height? Are there different positions on the Ferris wheel that are at the same height?
How would you calculate the height of a person if they were positioned at 1:30 (in between 1 o'clock and 2 o'clock)?
Can you generalize a procedure to find the height at any position? What information would you need?

Here is a link that might help.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


We should go visit Santa Monica's boardwalk. Now that's a cool looking Ferris wheel.

How are you doing on HW1? Any difficulties? Leave a comment.


How is POW1 going?

Is it possible for the monks to accomplish this task?

Anyone having difficulties?
Leave a comment.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

High Dive

We are finally done with Small World. Hurray!

Next up is the High Dive Unit. The High Dive is the first unit from our IMP4 book. Some students have an IMP4 book already. If you did not get a book, you will get pick it up on Wednesday.

Has anyone read the book, The Devil in the White City? I heard its really good. Its set in Chicago during the World's Fair in 1893. During that World's Fair, George Washington Gale Ferris debuted the Ferris wheel. While in the planning stages, fair organizers thought that Ferris was a lunatic and was dubbed "The Man with Wheels in his Head."

The World's Fair Ferris wheel was built on the Midway Plaisance, by the University of Chicago. This was no ordinary Ferris wheel.

From The Alleghenian newspaper: "It is almost impossible either by picture or description in words to give you an idea of what this wheel is like. A mere statement of its dimensions, 250 feet in diameter, 825 feet in circumference, 30 feet broad and weight more than 4,000 tons, does not mean much to the average mind. It may help the reader to understand what the structure is like if I say that the highest point of the wheel is as far from the ground as the top of one ten-story building would be if it were put on the roof of another building of equal height...There are thirty-six cars on the wheel. Each is 27 feet long, 9 feet high and 13 feet broad. .. Each car will seat, on revolving chairs, forty passengers. Therefore the thirty-six cars will seat 1,440 passengers. But with standing room occupied the wheel has a capacity of 2,000 persons."

Here and here are a couple of more links describing the Ferris wheel.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Assessment and Portfolio Moved to Thursday

Both the Small World Unit Assessment and Portfolio will be due on Thursday. Tomorrow will be another day for review, peer editing, and working on your portfolio.

Enjoy this historical night.

Move Small World Unit Assessment to Thursday?

Grades are now due Friday. Because of this, I am willing to move our Unit Assessment to Thursday. Is that okay? How do you feel about moving the date of the assessment?

Leave a comment to voice your opinion regarding moving the assessment from Wed to Thursday.

I will use the comments to make my decision -- contact your classmates and tell them to leave a comment.

Monday, November 3, 2008

More on the portfolio & assessment

Reminder: You can ONLY use the portfolio on the unit assessment. Your Appendix section has no page limit.

Here are the solutions to Quiz 6.
Here is a copy of the study guide we passed out today.
And finally, here are solutions to the study guide.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Other Grammy's

It was a wonderful show last night. I was really impressed with all of the acts. Its a beautiful thing seeing students outside of class.

Mr. Bywater did a piece on The Roots. Here are some cuts off of their first commercial release, "Do You Want More?"

Ms. Moody did a tribute to Tribe Called Quest.

But, we can't really talk about The Roots or Tribe without mentioning these...
and this list could go on and on....

What's interesting to me is that people are always talking about the "good old times"...
"I remember when hip hop was" blah blah blah. We didn't have this and this...It used to be more than just a dope beats with no lyrics...more than just a catchy hook...more than just something to dance to...But wait..."old schools" did have these...