Tuesday, January 31, 2012


  • I CAN celebrate my unique strengths and abilities
  • I CAN choose to dwell on the positives
  • I CAN treat everyone with respect even if I’m angry or disagree with them
  • I CAN take responsibility for my actions without making excuses or blaming others
  • I CAN choose my attitude and behavior, no matter what happens to me
  • I CAN make things happen for me instead of watching them happen to me
  • I CAN encourage myself with positive words
  • I CAN choose to try and learn from my mistakes instead of being paralyzed by what-ifs
  • I CAN set goals that are achievable and worthwhile
  • I CAN see myself being what I know I want later, by sacrificing what I feel I want now

Monday, January 30, 2012

Uneditted Videos

I have been struggling for some time now about creating and posting videos for my students and classes, because I am a perfectionist.  If I'm going to post something, I want it to be done well. When creating a video, I have yet to record myself perfectly. I constantly will make mistakes, say things twice, repeat myself, or say things twice constantly. Even if I don't make a mistake, my speech is so littered with "um" and "so" that it's embarrassing counting how many times I eliminate those.

Typically, when I create a video, it takes me 3-4 times the length of the video to edit it and do what I would consider a "great" job. For day-to-day lessons, that has proven to be unfeasible.

On the trip home today I listened to live radio and was reminded that the real world has a lot of mistakes, but that doesn't stop them.  So I decided that I would start publishing more videos -- but in a raw, uneditted format.  I will still produce high quality videos, especially for my physics class which is "flipped" and depends highly on video lectures for input, but I don't feel I need to do as high quality a job with my algebra videos, which aren't as highly viewed.

The same thinking, by the way, is the reason I don't blog very often -- maybe once a week.  I feel like I need my entries to be deep, rich, well written entries -- but they really don't.  After my Master's project is finished, I'll try to express more thoughts in rougher un-editted form.  Be ye warned....

Friday, January 27, 2012

Some Systems Videos

Hey guys,

It's been a while since I've posted anything since I've been working especially hard creating a lot of videos for my classes at school.  I'm now back into a flipped unit in physics, studying Torque and rotation with my students. If you're curious, you can follow the unit at our class website. I am creating this unit as a sample of a flipped unit for my Masters project at Cornerstone University, so I'm taking more time perfecting it than I normally might -- thinking about tying all the things I've learned together.

I've also recently created several videos for my algebra 1 students.  Though I am not flipping that class -- I do have a lot of students who are absent a lot, and I thought it might be worth it for those students for me to post videos of the lectures online.  Since I already have all my equipment up and out and ready for my physics classes, I talked through my algebra lessons too and here are those videos:

This is an introduction to systems of equations, and my explanation of the graphing method of solving systems:

Here's the substitution method, which we'll be studying next week -- I like the colors in this video -- it turned out pretty:
And here's the elimination method, or what my text book calls "linear combinations".  Elimination is a much sweeter name.
This is probably one of my favorite lessons to teach -- I just think the combining equations and one variable disappearing is a beautiful magic trick -- makes me feel like a mathmagician, as some of my students say.  The only thing cooler than adding two equations together and having variables cancel out, is dividing two equations together and having variables cancel out, a trick I often do in physics, especially when sine and cosine values are around.
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