Teaching Signed Numbers with Zombies, Ghostbusters, and Night Vision Goggles

Here are three new application problems that I came up with while teaching signed numbers this morning.  Remember, I came up with these on the spot, during class.  So, just imagine that the entire class is paying attention to each of these problems as I am writing them, trying to figure out what is going to happen next to Clyde in each of the problems.  I hope you enjoy these! 1.  Clyde was walking down the street and he lost 1/3 of his vodka.  A little later down the street Clyde encountered a zombie who wanted to steal another 2/5 of his vodka.  The zombie agreed not to kill him if he told him the total loss that he incurred, as a signed number. 2.  Clyde was running another scam where he collected $6.20 from people to buy an invisible potion of life.  The local ghostbuster caught wind of this scam and blackmailed Clyde with a...
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Regression on the Calculator

Here are a few notes on regression and other stuff I've noticed over the past week: 1.  Remember my calculator post from last week?  Well, some of my Finite Math students were still having a little bit of trouble using the calculator to do Regression on the calculator.  This website on Cubic Regression seems to have done the trick for my students, and I don't seem to be getting nearly as many questions about how to do regression on the calculator now have I have started to circulate this link around.  So, I figured I would throw it out there as a resource for everyone else! 2.   If you have a student who needs extra help and you aren't fortunate enough to be teaching from a Pearson book that uses MyMathLab, you can always send your students over to InteractMath.  The student just needs to choose a book with similar topics to that of which you are...
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Thousands of FREE Learning Resources

I have heard about these websites from various places throughout the past week.  I hijacked a few of the descriptions, but I would rather give a hijacked description rather than an inaccurate description.1.  CoSketch is a multi-user online whiteboard designed to give you the ability to quickly visualize and share your ideas as images. No registration or plugins required.  However, I can see this being a big problem for students with a low-maturity level who would love to draw right over what the instructor is drawing.  So, be careful!  2.  Thinkfinity is a free digital learning platform from the Verizon Foundation that offers comprehensive teaching and learning resources created by content partners such as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the International Reading Association, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the National Geographic Society, and more. Its content includes interactive student games,...
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Interactive Demonstration Tools

Here are a few highlights of some of the Interactive Demonstration Tools that I have come across in the past few weeks:1.  All Interactive Whiteboard Resources - Although the applets on this website are designed to be friendly for those classrooms with Smartboards and the like, I see no reason why these applets can't be used in any classroom.  In fact, I plan on use this Angle Measure resource when teaching my classes about angles in the upcoming weeks.  Other great resources on this website include this Translation Plotter, which helps students to visualize translating a shape in the Rectangular Coordinate System.2.  Interactive Slope Applet - Although I ran out of time to actually use this with my own class, this is a wonderful resource that lets students click and drag points such that when the line between the point changes, the calculation of the slope of the line also changes on the screen as well.  Very useful!...
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Joliprint, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Teaching Measurement

There have been so many times when I have wanted to print something from the web, but have had a very hard time getting it to print out correctly.  Joliprint is a resource that will definitely solve (most) of your problems.  For example, the other day, I printed this Convert, then Compete blog post from the Chronicle of Higher Education with the intent of having my students read the article and then write a paragraph response.  By the way, this turned out the be a very good activity that went along with the discussion of measurement in my Developmental Math class.  However, the print ended up being small and quite awkward.  Joliprint solved all of my problems, and I wish I had known about it BEFORE I printed this article for my students.  If you don't believe me, take a look at the before and after, and I think you'll be a Joliprint fan.  I know I am. Before...
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Tech Resources for Teachers: Backchanneling and more!

Over the past few months I have been trying to totally emerge myself into the world of Instructional Technology.  I have seen so many resources and as we all know, they eventually become repetitive.  I hate reading a list of "The Top Best New 100 Resources for Teachers" and half of them I already know about, and the other half end up being useless because they are either ill-designed or expensive. Well, with Richard Byrne's Favorite Tech Resources for Teachers comes a breath of fresh air.  There were so many new resources on this website that I hadn't heard of before, and they were in areas that I either really needed or wanted additional resources in.  These areas include Backchanneling and websites to create your own games!  I was really impressed with the unique categories on this list of resources, and I really think that it is really worth a moment of your time to check...
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Graphing Calculator Issues

In my Finite Math class I have been heavily stressing the use of the graphing calculator, especially since the college requires the calculator for the course.  I would definitely show the students how to use the graphing calculator anyway, it's just that since it's required, I feel as if I have an extra obligation to make sure that the students are using the calculator that they spent their big bucks on.  Anyway, here are a few issues that I have run into so far this semester (and unfortunately, I ran into all of the issues on the same night so it totally looked like I didn't know what I was doing): Issue #1:  When using 'Math Print', the Radical Sign has a limit. My calculator is the TI-84+, which has the operating system upgrade.  Of course my calculator was in the new 'Math Print' mode since that is the default.  If you know anything about this mode, you...
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Mid-Week Ideas, Anyone?

A couple of things I came across this week.  Of course, there were more, but here are the highlights:1.  TI-Nspire Videos over at Atomic Learning - These are wonderful walk-through videos which cover the basics, graphs and geometry, lists and spreadsheets, data and statistics, calculator and data collection. 2.  TopicMarks - I heard about this wonderful tool this week in my Twitter feed that summarizes text documents for you.  This has wide implications, such as allowing more free time to read other materials, or to just simply give an abstract for one of your own works.3.  Inequality Match Game - I actually found the direct link for this game from the North Carolina Public Schools first, and then hunted down the original source once I realized that the wonderful state of North Carolina has come up with what seems to be hundreds of activities for teaching math. ...
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A Paper Idea for Learning to Plot Points

First of all, congratulations to Maria Andersen for winning the Mindomo MindMap of the Week.  Now, let's document my journey over the next 30 minutes or so after I started hunting around the Play and Learn Mind Map.  And this is truly interesting, as it might show you exactly how I think sometimes. I started with the Play and Learn Mind Map, which led me to the Playing to Learn Math Mind Map (Also by Maria Andersen). I noticed that the Playing to Learn Math Mind Map (a work in progress) did not have any links to games about logarithms (although there is a spot for it). I started searching Google for Logarithm Games and I came across this post called This Game Really is Worth 1000 Worksheets, which is simply a printable war-style card game about logarithms. This site then led me to Let's Play Math, where I found a wonderful post about a Graph-It Game.  However, the Graph-It Game only...
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