Teaching Fractions

So, I’m sure that most people in the world hate fractions. Fractions are truly the make or break subject to decide whether you love or loathe math. I love math. I love fractions. But I’ve been convinced for years now that fractions are taught terribly by people who don’t understand them. I’m getting on my soap box. Third grade teachers barely have any higher level (algebra, calculus, trig., etc.) math training before we unleash them on unsuspecting children. These same teachers, more than likely also hate math, especially fractions. So they don’t teach them in fun and exciting ways. This creates an entire class of unexcited students who don’t grasp fractions. And once fractions become a staple in math, kids hate them. So I was thrilled to read an article about how to properly teach students fractions. It’s super exciting and enlightening.

Please let me know what you think.

-Jen

Fractions

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Finally, an assignment of my choosing. And I chose CHEMISTRY!!!

So, my professor finally asked us to do a post about something we like in our professional paths. I am a chemistry major with a minor in education. Which means, I love chemistry. I not only love it, I am slightly obsessed. So, I have spent nothing less than hours looking over cool chemistry things to post for everyone to read and be excited about. So, I am posting about how recently chemists have been able to photograph chemical bonds breaking and forming. This is nothing short of amazing and I’m sure it will completely change the face of chemistry, especially organic chemistry, in no time. And my second link is going to be about graphene. Which is the strongest material in the world. And here’s the coolest part of all: graphene is the material that chemists were able to photograph forming bonds!!! I know, it completely blows my mind as well.

Please, for the love of chemistry and science, feel free to post links or comments of your own exciting finds.

-Jen
Chemical Bonds

Graphene

24 Hour Media Fast……

This weekend I was asked as part of an assignment for my class to refrain from all media, technology, and information for 24 hours. I could pick when to start and some ground rules were established. We were not allowed to read books, watch tv, movies, talk on the phone, play on the phone, text, facebook, instagram, etc. I decided to start my fast on Saturday afternoon. I had finished making all of my plans for the next 24 hours, informed all people of my disappearance, and caught up on my homework. I was ready, although most of my friends were skeptical. Little did I know that time passes much more slowly and activities get to be much quicker when you don’t have outside influences to distract you. My roommate was out of town, so I cleaned the entire house top to bottom. I finally got around to setting my alarm clock (I had previously been using it as a decoration since getting a cell phone), cleaning out my makeup bag (YUCK!!), and doing some sewing. I went out dancing, but got there too early. I had forgotten what time it started. On Sunday I couldn’t seem to sleep in and the first thing I did was grab my cell phone to check out everything that was going on. Thankfully I was awake enough to realize what I was doing and put down my phone. Some of my friends thought I was ignoring them over the weekend. And I had a hard time not responding to people. Some things were hard to give up like texting and phone calls. But a lot of things got easier to give up over time like facebook. Overall I’m glad that I was able to participate in this challenge. It helped me realize how attached to my phone I really am. So now I’m trying to cut back and realign my priorities.

-Jen

How Do I Know What I Know…. Assignment #2

This post is in response to an assignment. These reflect my carefully considered thoughts. If you have any other insight or appropriate discussion points please feel free to comment. I enjoy reading them.

-Jen

1.How do you understand the information you know?
I understand the information I know by careful consideration. Information that I know, or know to be true, has been verified by scholarly sources or I have personally found to be true over time. I find that I understand information and know it by using a nature of science outlook. This simply means that I understand information and know it to be as true as it is right now. Which means, by all of the means available to date, it is correct and true. However, over the course of time, what information I understand and know can and will change.

2.What is the source of your knowledge?
The source of my knowledge is collected over a variety of sources and mediums. My sources of knowledge when it comes to interpersonal matters has been collected over time by my own experiences, the experiences shared to me by others, and through media streams such as books, music, and movies. My source of knowledge for aspects of hard science-type facts is collected through a variety of journals, textbooks, and my own hands on experiences. When it comes to very polarizing topics of opinion my knowledge source comes from my own personal beliefs, both sides of the debate, and raw data.

3.How does the information you choose to acquire (or ignore) shape your perception of the world around you? What factors influence your choice to pay attention to or ignore something?
Anytime that information is acquired or ignored is shapes my perception of the world around me. For months I chose not too delve deep into the Benghazi attacks. I did this because I knew I would get very emotional about this subject due to my very deep beliefs on government and politics. So for months I acted like nothing was going on. And my idea of the government didn’t change at all. However, once I did read about what happened from several different sources (on all sides), my personal opinions of the government have changed. I chose to ignore information that I find irrelevant, extremely polarizing, or something that at this current time I don’t have time to try and fix. I pay attention to things that will directly affect me or I know I can get involved with.

4.Does the context in which you acquire or receive information matter?
Yes. I get a lot of information from facebook. I know that this isn’t necessarily the best source of information. However, I have enough friends that reside on both sides of all issues that I can read a selection of things that they post. From here, if I find it necessary to learn more about the information presented, I will delve into my own scholarly investigation. This happened after a good friend of mine was lucky enough to visit Congress and talk to a Senator that is on the committee for the Benghazi attacks. Since I didn’t know what was exactly going on, I was forced to research the subject matter on my own. However, I have several friends who are anti-guns and pro-guns. So I like to read both sides of their arguments on facebook. I also keep up on a lot of current science topics by “liking” the page I …. Love Science. From there, I get to read excerpts of information that matters to me.

5.At what point do you become wise about something? Do you believe you are wise? If so, explain and provide examples. If not, what is preventing you from becoming wise?
Someone becomes wise when they know something to be true, but doesn’t force it upon everyone. I believe there are things that I am wise about. I am wise when it comes to how to help teach people. I am wise when it comes to a few interpersonal issues. However, I know that I don’t know everything about each of these subjects and I am always willing to learn more. I think that helps with being wise.