Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Christian Mathematics Teachers group

There is a new Google group for Christian mathematics teachers. I think it will be of interest to those who teach mathematical sciences, home school parents, public school teachers who are Christian, Christian school teachers - elementary, middle school, high school, college and beyond.
You can subscribe to the group by emailing christian-mathematics-teachers+subscribe@googlegroups.com. You can also join by going to https://groups.google.com/d/forum/christian-mathematics-teachers

One of the first posts/discussion was about resources for thinking Biblically about mathematics and the teaching of mathematics. The post included the following information:
 
At the bottom of my Bible site are some resources for mathematics teachers. These "Topical Mathematical Memory Verses" are a great way to begin class or to use as a personal devotional to remember why you study or teach mathematics.

Colossians1:28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that he powerfully works within me.
Whether we teach the redeemed or the unregenerate (those who are not Christians), may we strive with His energy to teach everyone with all wisdom (as Paul said in Col 1:29).

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Two more book recommendations:
On the way home from the Teachers Teaching with Technology International Conference I was reading a "Redeeming Science" by Vern Poythress chapter 22 "A Christian Approach to Mathematics"
(As I was looking up the link again to post here, I came across some reviews. I appreciated the warning about his view on Creation. I guess I hadn't got to those pages.)
I recently posted on my blog http://bird-godlydominion.blogspot.com/ about mathematical modeling. At the end of this post I link to a video by John Byl. Dr. Byl also wrote a great book related to mathematics and the Biblical Christian worldview.
Okay, I just came across this blog as I was looking for a link to the Christian Mathematics Teachers Google Group so we can share the link to join. Cheryl shares three books and gives a brief review. As anyone read any of these.


For more on the Biblical Christian perspective and how it relates to mathematics, mathematical sciences, and education, there is a group called the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences exists. I have enjoyed their conference that meets once every two years. http://www.acmsonline.org/index.html
Most of their members are college professors. Although this group will likely have teachers who are not at the university-level, college professors and those who are more loosely connected with education (homeschoolers, publishers) are welcome here.

I've had opportunity to present at some of the ACSI conferences. The papers and PowerPoints are available here:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Edit a Mathematical Model

Modeling is really important. For example, Common Core Math Practice #4 says, "Model with mathematics." Actually that is what tonight's webinar is about, "Model with Mathematics in the Common Core Algebra Classroom with TI-Nspire Technology."
The only TI-Nspire tool that actually says MODEL is in the Vernier DataQuest app. It is under Analyze.
On the handheld or software you can easily use the DataQuest application even if are not using a Vernier sensor. Click the Table View, or Tab and arrow to it, or press Menu, View, Table.
Put in your x and y data.

You actually don't even need to do this to use the Model tool, but it does make sense to mathematically model data.  This Model tool is the easiest way to set up 'sliders.' You will also get the smallest 'minimized sliders' that you can find on the TI-Nspire. They are referred to as spinners. That's why you'll see the 'spin increment' field. (I think spinners is a common designation for these 'minimized sliders' for people in other parts of the world. Many Americans have asked me why they are called spinners.)
When recently using model, I accidentally pressed enter. The model appeared before I had a chance to set the spinners to what I wanted them. This happened to several participants in a recent presentation workshop too. I heard a quality participant (thanks Diane) request for there to be a way to modify the spinner size AFTER you accidentally press enter.

https://04204729995477458584.googlegroups.com/attach/8263eeaee936dc4/03-11-2014%20Image001.jpg?part=4&view=1&vt=ANaJVrFTCUpJIKckG2hqETKuk0pjMFvfc0lkcnn0KajbrKymR5zdUdz0G0yFPlZXbI7thDeZlV-0AcD8PxyvlaBJc1dT1mDDYl1aeHwj868lljLvSY_N2Yw
I'm excited to report that you can change the set up to the model after it has been created. Clicking on the model just expands the model (this is the expected behavior in the left panel on DataQuest), BUT right-click on the word Model allows you to "Modify Model." On the handheld the contextual 'right-click' menu is activated by pressing ctrl menu when you are in the desired location. 

Here is a great video I just came across that explains more about models in science and theology by John Byl.

Model Data with TI-Nspire DataQuest

At a recent webinar called "Technical Problem Solving with Vernier® Sensors and TI-Nspire™ Technology" the stated purpose was: "Whether you are looking for STEM resources, teaching a secondary engineering course, or participating in Science Olympiad’s Technical Problem Solving event, this webinar is right for you! See examples of rich technical and engineering problems, and learn how TI-Nspire technology can help students investigate a given problem, analyze and interpret data, and design a solution. Explore how to gather data using the built-in Vernier® DataQuest™ application and the Vernier® EasyTemp™ USB temperature sensor, the Calculator-Based Ranger 2™ (CBR 2) motion sensor and the Vernier Colorimeter. Learn where to locate helpful resources for using additional Vernier sensors with TI-Nspire technology." Linda showed a website for the Winter Olympics 2014 and 2010, Summer Olympics, Golf, Hockey, etc…



 - Stability and Vibration in Alpine Skiing - click on the Lessons tab on the right.
   Do with Vernier damped harmonic motion activity with CBR2 motion detector
   Math connections - sinusoidal, exponential

Data was modeled (menu, Analyze, Model) with a function that was the product of an exponential and sinusoidal.
Question: Can a model be done before data is collected.
Answer: Yes, in fact there are 2 (or 3 ways) to predict the graph before collecting data.
1) Menu, Analyze, Model.


2) Menu, Analyze, Draw Prediction. This is less of a mathematical approach, but can still be mathematically useful - e.g. increasing, decreasing, positive slope, negative slope, etc.
3) With a CBR attached you can enjoy Menu, Analyze, Motion Match. For more tips with motion match see this pdf and word doc.
Mike showed Science Olympics  - check out Events,  Technical Problem Solving (sponsored by TI)


Colorimeter (affordable, device worth $1000s, but only $115) demonstrated with TI-Nspire Navigator, Live Presenter shows a students handheld
- concentration is proportional to absorption
- Collecting data with Vernier and TI-Nspire is a time saver.
- Linearizing data (very important in sciences, especially AP)
    - Linearize exponential data by taking the natural log of it.
    - This was demonstrated in a List & Spreadsheet.
It could also be done in DataQuest: Menu > Data > New Calculated Column
Note that the domain of y=ln(x) is x>0. So if any data is negative, they’ll need to be struck before taking the natural log of it. Menu > Data > Strike Data




Extra Tips:
- If you want to use your data in other Apps, or environments,
with OS3.6, you can now export the data to other apps by pressing MENU > 7: Send to...
- The menu> Analyze > Tangent on DataQuest is powerful.

*Technical Problem Solving with Vernier® Sensors and TI-Nspire™ Technology

Level: All
Whether you are looking for STEM resources, teaching a secondary engineering course, or participating in Science Olympiad’s Technical Problem Solving event, this webinar is right for you! See examples of rich technical and engineering problems, and learn how TI-Nspire technology can help students investigate a given problem, analyze and interpret data, and design a solution. Explore how to gather data using the built-in Vernier® DataQuest™ application and the Vernier® EasyTemp™ USB temperature sensor, the Calculator-Based Ranger 2™ (CBR 2) motion sensor and the Vernier Colorimeter. Learn where to locate helpful resources for using additional Vernier sensors with TI-Nspire technology with panelists Linda Antinone and Mike Smith
Link to documents and recording of the video are available.
The zip file for the documents does not contain any of the tns files with data. It contains a pdf of the PowerPoint slides that was used at the beginning and end of the presentation. Also included is the TI-Nspire Data Collection and Analysis Guidebook (available online with other guidebooks.)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

STEM Workforce

I went to STEM Workforce meeting in Indianapolis in April 2012 where a good number of decision makers spoke. The visuals from the presentations for these meetings that have been held throughout the country are posted at http://www.ndia.org/Divisions/Divisions/STEM/Pages/Events.aspx
This picture of the STEM pipeline can be found in one of the presentations. 
Check out the video at www.ndia.org/Divisions/Divisions/ST...fault.aspx (This gives the business and national defense viewpoint of the need for students to do hard things and study STEM.)

NMSI was at the Indianapolis meeting. It was great meeting some of their leaders and learning about their expansion into Indiana. This is also where I first heard about SeaPerch, which our school participated in last year. Other great STEM initiatives my students and I have participated in this year are TARC, Team America Rocketry Challenge, and VEX Robotics.

Another interesting bit of STEM news: The President of Texas Instruments Education Technology division, Melendy Lovett, was recognized as one of the top 100 STEM women leaders.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

TI-84 with CBR - how to turn off Auto Scale

I was recently asked, "How do you turn off 'Auto Scale' on a TI-84?" So I made a video to explain this. It also helps answer the question "how do you connect a CBR to your computer so that it will display on the TI-84 SmartView emulator?"
 YouTube video link
You may have noticed when you plug in a CBR2 using the mini-USB it automatically launches EasyData app. You can then just press ‘soft key’ for “Start” and a graph of the data shows up in real-time. However, if you are not moving, the auto scale makes it look like a jagged graph. This may be confusing to students. “If I wasn’t moving, why does my graph look like I was.” They may not realize that the y scale is only over a few millimeters, and this shows the amount of precision that the motion detector is able to account for as it determines the distance sound reflects off of a surface. “Attend to precision” is an important mathematical practice.
Not all of the modes do this auto-scaling. Distance Match does not auto scale. 


The scale can be changed after the data is collected, but the following demonstrates how to make it so that this is not necessary. Good news: Once this has been done, the setting will not need to be changed again for that TI-84. Press “Setup” and choose “2: Time Graph…”



Choose “Adv” for the advanced settings. Then “Edit” to change the “Auto Scale After Collect” to “No.”

Friday, January 10, 2014

Magnetic Field Experiments

This video, at the 40 seconds mark shows the magnetic field of the earth.  It also shows the simulation of  impressive gravitational assist maneuvers of a spacecraft that is scheduled to launch in 2017.

I have had students use the Vernier magnetic field sensor and the rotary motion sensor to examine the Earth's magnetic field at their location. When magnetic field versus angle is graphed, the data is sinusoidal. Variations of this lab available in lab books can be previewed on Vernier's website.

You can see images of the Slinky lab, or magnetic field in a solenoid, at this blog post. We updated the instructions that you can preview on Vernier's website. They are written for the TI-Nspire's Vernier DataQuest on our class website: View Download.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

NMSI teacher training in Indy

NMSI training in Indianapolis
This week I'm having a great time working with some excellent mathematics teachers from across the state

At 1:07 min and 1:55 min of the video of the news clip, you can see the group mostly Algebra 1, Geometry, Alg 2, and Pre-calculus teachers I worked with.  More about information about the National Math & Science Initiative is at nms.org and here is info specifically about the teacher training program.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Polarization lab

During the 4th quarter project, I have had students rig up a rotational motion sensor and a set of polarizing films with the light intensity sensor resting on the bottom polarizer. When the intensity of light is graphed with respect to the angle, the Law of Malus is confirmed.

This is an innovative use of the rotary motion sensor, that is able to be used with the TI-Nspire shown by using a Lab Cradle. This could also be done by using the USB cord and plugging the TI-Lab Cradle into a computer that has the TI-Nspire software.
A rubber band is connected to the Vernier rotary motion sensor a the cut plastic water bottle as shown below. The portion of the water bottle rests nicely on a ring stand.
An incandescent lamp or flashlight above the top polarizer was used in a darkened room.