Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Catching Up

So a few days ago I was happy that I was all caught up in everything.  Today?  Not so much.

Friday's the last day of the quarter and I've got a stack of papers thiiiiiis high on my desk.  Projects (kinda) that I collected from my precalc kids today, Algebra 2 systems of equations quizzes that were taken yesterday (which I should've graded last night but just couldn't bring myself to do after spending almost two hours carving pumpkins with the kiddos), and a myriad of make-up and late work that needs to be added in.

[side note: There's just something about random papers that annoys the heck out of me and I hate trying to figure out where they go and why.  I was actually considering this summer coming up with a half- or quarter-sheet for the kids to staple to their late/make-up work saying when the assignment was due and why it is being turned in late.   I might consider that for next quarter.]

And so I can avoid actually getting any real work done, there are a couple of things that went well today.
1.  My principal stopped in during my 3rd period class for what I guess was a formal observation (although I thought that we were supposed to be notified about them, but oh well.... I'd rather be surprised so I don't stress about it).  It was probably the best class for her to be here for, which was nice.  We spent quite a bit of time reviewing last night's assignment (solving exponential and log equations), took a little side trip to Wolfram Alpha to see if it would tell us about the origins of the term "natural log" because one of the kids was insisting they were abbreviated ln as a result of being Napier's initials (um, no), then went to google translate to check the translation of natural logarithm into French and Latin.  Hey, you know it's all about 21st century learning, right?

Then we went over a couple of the questions they still had about the Risky Business project that was due today (and that was seriously all for show - I never intended to do that with them but thought she'd appreciate the assignment.  She did!  She loves that kind of thing) so we did a bit of that before I gave them tonight's assignment.

2.  One of the days I dread the most in Algebra 2 is the day when we first start Linear Programming.  It's such a process that the kids really don't like it... and today was that day!  After a bit (ok, a lot) of whining about how long it was going to take them, the kids really settled down and hopefully will do ok on the problems I gave them to try tonight.

3.  Over the summer I'd put together what I could about the number of people on Facebook through the years.  I found something like this and typed up a list showing how many active users were on through the years.  Today (as we're finishing up with exponential functions and logs) I finally checked the values that I had and was delighted to find that the numbers are almost a perfect exponential function!  Nice.  So tomorrow I'm going to ask my precalc kids to come up with the date when Facebook has 1 billion active users. Should be interesting!

I'm out of stuff to say.  Guess I should get to work!  Boo.


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