Blogs, STEM and leaf Information

Was this past week really only 7 days?

It has been quite a long week. I am sitting at my desk, trying to grade. However, each paper I look at causes my mind to wander even more. At this point, I want nothing more than to throw the papers to the side and take a nap. Instead, I wanted to fill you in on what’s been going on.

Exams

If you’ve looked at any of the recent posts, you will notice that this was exam week for all of my classes.  I had two Calculus exams on Monday, I just finished giving a mathematical reasoning exam, and I have another one to give tomorrow.  It is because of this that I am in my current predicament.

With the new semester; however, I wanted to try some new things.  I change something up every semester, but I thought I’d try to incorporate more from an online perspective into the classroom.  The result of this decision it the last 12 posts on this page and the 9 new videos I’ve uploaded to YouTube.  If you have looked at them, I hope you found them useful.

While I’ll let you make your own decision on how good they are, I did want to mention some of the results I had.  I was actually surprised by the amount of use these seem to get.  In particular, the number of views of each of the videos is approximately the same as the number of students I have in the respective classes (except for the truth tables video).  I know that there may have been other people viewing these, or the same people viewing multiple times, but I see this as encouragement that the majority of the students found these useful to actual look through these.  With regard to the posts, there was much more variability in the number of views.  The more difficult problems had the same number of views as the videos, but the easier problems had significantly fewer views.

I’m not sure exactly why this is the case, but I would venture to guess that many students found the videos sufficient for easier problems.  On the more difficult problems, the written version was then probably used to supplement what they had watched on the videos.  I haven’t given a survey or run a statistical analysis, but this would be my guess from the initial viewing of the data.

Therefore, if you are considering such a venture in your own classes, I would recommend sending them here so that you don’t have to do the work 🙂 Yes, I would appreciate you doing this, but if you had a class I haven’t posted material for, I believe that the time invested in making the videos and posts was worth it.  The students really seemed to appreciate it, and I will continue to do this for future exam.  The only change I would may focus more on the difficult problems and either give shortened, or no, solutions to the problems that students are less likely to have difficulty on.

Music Class

In Our first music class! Paula told you about her and Arthur’s first adventure at a music class.  If you haven’t yet, I would suggest reading the post as she did a great job explaining how it went and what they both got out of it.  However, Arthur also brought something else home with him other than musical knowledge.

Yes, he brought home a cold.  It took a day for him to start feeling it, so we didn’t actually know this at the time of the first post.  Once he did get sick, it wasn’t really that bad of a cold.  It was, however, his first cold.  As such, he really didn’t know what to do with.  He got upset and screamed because it was difficult to breathe, and he stayed upset about this until we cleaned his nose out.  Then, when we tried to clean his nose out, he got upset because he didn’t want to get cleaned off.  He stayed upset about the cleaning until he again had difficulty breathing…

And on the circle went throughout the weekend.  It kept him up late at night and has completely thrown his sleeping schedule off, but at least he is finally feeling better.  We chose not to take him back to the music class yesterday, because we didn’t want him passing around to anyone that missed it the previous time, or back to those that already had it.  I’m sure he’ll enjoy going back next week.

My brother

In Snowboarding Accident, I let you know about my brother’s mishap on the slopes in Aspen.  It seems that many of you wanted to know what happened, so I wanted to provide a short update on this front.   I don’t have a lot of news, but Joe did say that, while he is still broken, he is getting better everyday.  He is able to get around with help, but can’t place any weight on his leg.  Hopefully things continue to go smoothly, and I will let you know as I get more news.

Grading

Now, I have a “wonderful” weekend of grading to look forward to.  I am already tired from the lack of sleep and extra time spent preparing this week.  If it was anything but grading, it wouldn’t be bad to keep up the work, it’s just difficult to overcome the exhaustion to do so something that you just don’t enjoy.  I’ll just have to keep interrupting my grading by writing more posts or filming more videos.  I hope to see you again Saturday.

 

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