# New Factor Pair Spoons Game

The Factor Pair Spoons Game is a new game that was inspired by participants in the Professional Development Series that I’m conducting every month this semester at my college.  Last month’s topic was ‘Playing Games to Learn Math’ and I asked the participants to come up with a game for a topic that they felt was a difficult topic for students.  This game is a variation on what they came up with.  The spoons game was one of their suggestions, but they ended up turning it into more of a rummy-style game because they thought that the spoons might become too chaotic for some students in the classroom.

# New Logarithm Mania Game

Logarithm Mania is a new game for students to practice solving logarithmic equations when the base, the argument, or the value is missing.  I have always struggled with teaching this concept because although the basic equations included in this game are easy to solve, if they are not mastered, then solving more complex logarithmic equations becomes extremely difficult (you know, the ones where we ask students to do factoring and apply the properties of logarithms).  I hope that someone finds this game useful.  As always, any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

# Spring Break 2013

I will be using this post to document my Spring Break 2013 activities from Friday, March 1 to Sunday, March 11 and Tuesday, March 26 to Sunday, March 31.

Friday, March 8, 2013

11:30am – 12:30pm Dentist appointment and lunch at the newly opened “Ken’s Country Kitchen” down the road from where I live.  Going to this restaurant was a major mistake.  The portions were huge, just like I like them.  However, the food was awful – especially the hashbrowns.  They were burnt and crispy on the outside and mushy and absolutely horrible on the inside.

12:30pm – 1:30pm Worked on typing up new ‘Factor Pairs Spoons’ Game that was based off of the ideas that the participants at one of my recent professional development workshops came up with.  I’m very proud of them that they came up with such a fun game in the limited amount of time that I gave them to do it.

3:30pm – 8:30pm Worked on getting some of the smaller tasks off my check list, such as making an offline recording of an Adobe Connect recording from a few weeks ago and setting up the registration for the upcoming Calculus in Action workshop on Saturday, May 18.  By the way, registration is open if you know a calculus teacher in Detroit area who might be interested in attending:  http://bit.ly/cia2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

2:30pm – 3:30pm Worked on typing up new ‘Logarithm Mania’ Game.  I am very excited about this game because I haven’t been able to find many logarithm games on the Internet even after searching for several years.

3:30pm – 12:30am Went to the Red Wings vs. Oilers game at The Joe.  It was my first time ever going to a Red Wings game.  I had a lot of fun at the game (despite the fact that I like baseball more) because I went with someone who actually knows something about hockey and was able to explain a few things to me about how hockey actually works.  After the game the person I went with wanted to go to Hooters.  I had never been to Hooters before and I doubt that I will ever want to go back.  The food and service was very sub-par compared to the high prices.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

2:00pm – 6:00pm Picked up some packages from the front office at my apartment complex – including the Monopoly Golden Ticket game I ordered online from Target and 40 customized refrigerator magnets I ordered with my college’s name on them (they were free).  Went to the bank to get the ATM card replaced that I accidentally shredded.  Had lunch at a new restaurant — I went there expecting another restaurant, but the new place that was there was OK.  Went shopping at Five Below because I wanted to pick up some new board games and they always have really good board games at really good prices.  Walked around Barnes and Noble and almost bought some books, but I realized I would never have time to actually read them.  Ended my afternoon with a haircut.  My hair was getting really long, itchy, and uncomfortable.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

2:30pm – 6:30pm Typed out textbook listing for the next academic year, read through a grant proposal, held a training session for an upcoming AMATYC Webinar speaker, and lowered my Natural Gas bill.

6:30pm – 8:00pm Picked up Detroit Tigers Season Tickets from the FedEx Facility and had some excellent Del Taco food.  I like Del Taco a whole lot more than Taco Bell because I always feel like I’m getting my money’s worth when I go to Del Taco.

Monday, March 4, 2013

8:00am – 4:30pm Went on Historic Houses of Worship Tour in Detroit.  I wasn’t sure where the tour was going because the brochure wasn’t very clear.  I enjoyed the tour, but there was a lot more down time than I needed because it was designed for the primarily older crowd that was on the tour.    I would have preferred a more fast paced tour where I would have either seen more things or it would have ended earlier.

4:30pm – 5:30pm Went to Olive Garden for dinner.  I really wanted some Zuppa Toscana.  I also decided I wanted to try the Herb-Grilled Salmon from their new ‘Lighter Italian Fare’ menu, but I didn’t want broccoli as the side.  The server was new and didn’t know how to substitute for the side that I wanted.  I felt bad because she went to the manger to ask for help, but she explained it wrong to the manager, so she was told that she couldn’t do the substitution that I wanted.  So, I ended up just ordering a side of spaghetti and meat sauce.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

12:00pm – 5:00pm Went to The Bridge Connection in Southfield to learn how to play Bridge.  Most of the people who signed up for the event signed up in groups of 2 or 3, so I volunteered to move to a table with 3 older women.  I initially signed up for this because I have always been curious about how to play bridge since I remember always seeing the bridge column in the newspaper as a kid.  I also thought that I might learn a new game that I could modify to use in my math classes.  Well, the fact of the matter is that Bridge is a very difficult game to play.

6:30pm – 7:30pm Ate Dinner at Noodles and Company.  It was the first time I had been at a Noodles and Company since they served me raw chicken.  They have some new appetizers that were really good.

7:00pm – 9:00pm Checked e-mails.  Since I didn’t check e-mails on Saturday, I thought that it was time to catch up before they stacked up too much and I got overwhelmed.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

10:30am – 2:30pm Had lunch with my mom and went grocery shopping at Kroger.  I hadn’t went grocery shopping in a while, so I needed a lot of food.  I bought an assortment of frozen fish and chicken products.

2:30pm – 4:30pm Played Dr. Seuss’ Oh The Places You’ll Go Board Game with my parents.  The game was a rough mixture of ‘Would You Rather?’ questions and what seemed sort of like Trivial Pursuit.  I did not like this game at all and would not recommend it to anyone.

4:30pm – 5:30pm Took a nap.  I told you that spring break was no different than any other time, right?

7:30pm – 11:00pm ‘The Lion King’ at the Detroit Opera House.  The first half of this show was excellent, but the second half left a very sour taste in my mouth.  I’m not sure if it was the actor who played the older Simba or the dance moves that they had him do, but I liked the kid who played the younger Simba a lot better.  My recommendation is to leave after the first half.

Friday, March 1, 2013

7:00am – 3:00pm Checked e-mails.  I find it very stressful that it took me this long to purge my inbox of all e-mails, but it’s something that definitely needed to be done before the break could go on any longer.

3:00pm – 4:00pm Took a nap.  Napping is one of my favorite things to do, even when I’m not on spring break.  So, why should spring break be any different?

5:00pm – 7:00pm Had dinner at Texas Roadhouse in Madison Heights near 12 mile and John R.  I found out that one of my students works as a server at this restaurant.  I had the pork chops.  I was very hungry since all I had really eaten all day was a box of goldfish crackers.

8:00pm – 11:00pm MOSAIC ‘Singsation’ at the DIA Theatre.  MOSAIC is a really great organization and the students always put on such a wonderful performance.  This evening was no different.  If you know of a youth who would be interested in singing, acting, etc., check out MOSAIC.  No previous experience is required.