Friday, September 7, 2012

Quarter I, Week 1: ScreenCasts, SmartNotes and Code, oh my!

Here we go again: once more into the breach! We're back in full swing at good old BSHS. It's as if we never left! I have 6 preps this year if you count Computing Independent Study after school which starts next week. 

You will note, in the links for each class below, that I assign the viewing of ScreenCasts as part of the homework. These videos are viewed AFTER a new topic is introduced in class. I guess you'd call it a "mini flip?" Most of the ScreenCasts are 30-40 minute long recordings from prior years in a lecture format. Now-a-days my classes are more "hands on." For example, the Computing courses have plenty of group work and labs. Also, nearly every day, my math classes are "WhiteBoarding!" 

Another new trend for this year is a transition to SAGE. SAGE is an online Computer Algebra System based on FLOSS software. SAGE is much like Mathematica and it's FREE! I've been using SAGE to teach Discrete Mathematics with Python in Computer Math (now Computer Science Honors) for years now. I'm going to try to ween my preCalculus classes off the Graphing Calculator and on to SAGE this year for the first time. So, you will start seeing ScreenCasts, SmartNotes AND Code in the preCalculus blogs. I cannot use SAGE in my AP Computer Science class as they are learning Java. Neither can I use it in AP Calculus BC as they need to use a TI89 on the AP exam. So, the AP Calculus BC blogs with only include ScreenCasts and SmartNotes. Further, the AP Computer Science blogs will only have ScreenCasts and Code.

This week's YouTube Wednesday (see above) was Tom Lehrer's "New Math." This is a great video as I'm teaching about Octal file permissions in Linux this week in my Computing classes. It's great in math class to talk about change of number base algorithms too!

My 6 preps for 2012-2013 are: 

(1) Math 4R is preCalculus for Seniors (Regents track but without a Regents exam). 

(2) Math 4H Honors is preCalculus for Juniors and leads to AP Calculus BC next year. 

(3) Math 5HBC is AP Calculus BC. 

(4) CSH is a new full year Honors class leading to AP Computer Science next year. CSH is replacing CM/ACM: Computer Math/Advanced Computer Math. 

(5) APCS is AP Computer Science. 

(6) CIS(theta) is Computing Independent Study for any Senior who has taken AP Computer Science already and wants to learn about Linux Clusters!

They each get their own blog post:

Math 4R: preCalculus for Seniors

Math 4H: preCalculus Honors for Juniors

Math 5HBC: AP Calculus BC

CSH: Computer Science Honors

APCS: AP Computer Science

Here's a little background music from David Arnold:

Don't forget to have a Star Trek: TOS 46th Anniversary BBQ!

I hope you enjoyed this week's update!

Learning with Technology,

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