Sunday, November 14, 2010

I swore I'd never do this...

Before I started teaching a year ago, I didn't understand the blogosphere. What made people think that there was an audience out there for their every musing? I swore that I would never be one of "those people" ... and then I started teaching. It took me about five minutes to realize that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and I sought solace in - where else? - the internet! I quickly found an online community of math teachers whose stories made me laugh, whose struggles I could identify with, and whose ideas I started stealing (er, "borrowing") by the handful. I survived my first year with my head (barely) above water, and now I'm a seasoned (ha) second-year teacher. As my profile indicates, I teach math and computer science at a public charter school in San Diego, CA.

I'm blogging now because I have a lot to say and, to be quite honest, my boyfriend is sick of hearing me blather on about teaching. I am now one of those people who knows there's an audience out there for my every musing. :) Seriously, though, I feel that if I can contribute in some small way to this amazing online collaboration that's going on, then it's worth doing.

I'll keep my first post short. I know that many have said not to let a catchy name stand in your way of creating a blog, but I just couldn't do it until I had the right name. And then, a couple of months ago, one of my students inspired me with a comment he made in class. My calculus class was starting limits by figuring out the area of a circle by taking the limit of the areas of inscribed polygons with more and more sides. At the end of our discussion, one students made a comment that was so absolutely perfect that I couldn't believe that in all of my years of studying math it had never occurred to me: "So a circle is really an infinigon?" I got super-excited as I tend to do when my students astonish me, and I told him that I would include that in my book one day ... for now, a blog will have to suffice.

7 comments:

  1. Infinigon! I never learned anything that amazing ever! I love it!

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  2. Congratulations on the first post. Can't wait for the next one!

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  3. I want you to teach me Math. Your use of words are amazing and peaking to my curiosity.

    Infinigon has got to be the most hilariously geeky thing I have heard in math that made me laugh out loud when I read it.

    Keep it up!

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  4. Thanks Patrick! I would be happy to teach you math anytime :)

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  5. Nice job, welcome to the blog world :)

    Employing Dan's "be less helpful" theme, how about posing the following question:

    Given eight fences, each with a length of 40 yards, what is the largest yard that can be created with the fences acting as a perimeter?

    They'll fiddle with rectangles and squares and odd shapes, but eventually end up with an octagon.

    Once they get to an octagon being the largest area, increase the number of sides. Then increase it more.

    Eventually they'll see that it approaches a circle. It's pretty cool.

    This is straight out of the IMP curriculum. Wish I could take credit for it.

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  6. infinigon0 and infinigon1 as emails for 12 years and counting. Love the infinite-sided polygon.

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