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Friday, September 09, 2005

Blogging On Blogging

A good class today folks! You gave good verbal feedback over the course of the lesson. Thank you. There's still a little more room for growth here though.

Today was our first extensive use of the graphing calculator. I know it can be a little confusing at first; it's hard to remember exactly where the various commands are hidden on the keypad. Don't worry about it too much. In a few more classes you'll feel like you've been using it your whole life. ;-) I know some of you are still trying to get your hands on a graphing calculator, if you have any trouble with it see me and we'll work it out together. One of the things I emphasized was the three different ways to represent a function; symbollically, numerically and graphically. This will become more important when you begin your study of calculus. It's also kind of neat to learn the meaning behind all that algrebra you had to grind out in Pre-Cal 20S. ;-)

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:

Use your graphing calculator (or an online tool; x2 is written as x^2 and do not include the "y=".) to graph these three functions (y is the height and x represents time):

  • The height of an arrow is given by: y = -16x2 + 112x + 0

  • The height of a baseball is given by: y = -16x2 + 64x + 0

  • The height of a football is given by: y = -16x2 + 64x + 75


Blog a brief paragraph identifying ways in which these three functions are similar. Blog a second paragraph outlining the ways in which they are different and what causes these differences.


This sort of compare and contrast exercise can be made easier to do using Venn Diagrams. Draw three large overlapping circles. List the similarities in the appropriate overlapping sections and the differences in the 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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