September 18, 2006

Blogging On Blogging

I'm a little concerned about you guys. We've been working on memorizing the exact values in the unit circle ... or ... is it that I've been working on it? Hmmmm ... I know some of you are working hard at it and are seeing the results in improved scores on the mental math exercises we've been doing. What really struck me about today was your reactions to the quiz. Many, if not most of you, we're unhappy with how you did. When I asked you what you were going to do about it you said: "Study harder." When I asked you what that means ... < silence > ...

When we talked about the Critical Path To Success one of the things I pointed out as being an important step along that path was getting together in study groups. When I asked how many of you had formed a study group just yet ... < silence > ... Can you see why I'm concerned? Also, everyone still hasn't joined the blog and a number of you haven't yet read Students Made This! If we could all get on board with that already I can install a chatbox on your blog so that you can form virtual study groups online. Let's get on this folks. Your success in school is directly related to the effort you put in ... and some of you are falling behind in your effort ... and we're not even three weeks in yet. You are the master of your own destiny so make it happen. ;-)

We were talking about exactly what sort of post you're supposed to make to get that mark on your test. The kind of post I'd like you to make should have one or more of these characteristics:

  • A reflection on a particular class (like the first two paragraphs above).

  • A reflective comment on your progress in the course.

  • A comment on something that you've learned that you thought was "cool".

  • A comment about something that you found very hard to understand but now you get it! Describe what sparked that "moment of clarity" and what it felt like.

  • Have you come across something we discussed in class out there in the "real world" or another class? Describe the connection you made.

  • Respond to a Blogging Prompt I posted. (see below)

Your posts do not have to be long. I'm far more interested in the quality of what you write rather than the quantity.

Blogging Prompt
To help us along our blogging journey I've decided that I will also occasionally post a Blogging Prompt. It will be easy to find because I'll always put it under a heading like the one above this paragraph. Feel free to create your own Blogging Prompt for the rest of us if you like. If it's a really good one (i.e. has rich possibilities for blogging) we'll count it as your post. ;-) Here's my first one:

We've learned how to measure angles using both radians and degrees. Blog a brief paragraph identifing ways in which these two types of measurement are similar. Blog a second paragraph outlining the ways in which they are different.

This sort of compare and contrast exercise can be made easier to do using Venn Diagrams. Draw two large overlapping circles. List the similarities in the overlapping section and the differences in the appropriate non-overlapping sections. If you like, you can use this web tool to do it online. If you do blog about this prompt and want to post your diagram we'll talk about how to post pictures sometime in class. ;-)

Happy Blogging!

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