Friday, January 24, 2014

Rolling Wheel

I am sorry that I have been away. Reasons (not excuses, but I wanted you to know that I didn't mean to just leave a negative-feely post up for a long time and not come back to it):

1. I felt so amazing during December break that I made a new promise to myself to focus on my own wellness this calendar year. I'm exercising a LOT, not to lose weight or anything but just to help me combat physical and emotional stress. I feel great! I am also eating better (at least some salad everyday for lunch, and no seconds in the cafeteria), so generally I feel better than I did in September - December. But, as a result of trying to exercise regularly (I try not to count how many times a week, but it has been more than 3!), I do have less time to do the extra things like blogging...

2. The situation from my last post had a serious update, but it's not really okay for me to write about. It had been very emotional for me, but I'm coming out of the other side now and making peace with what happened, thanks to some amazing people in my (work and personal) life. So, don't worry. I am feeling better and ready to rock the rest of the year.

Anyhow, I looked through my binder recently at work (for current and upcoming lessons that I've polished / made copies of) and noticed that there is almost nothing in there that is recycled from previous years! Surprising, because I have been really consciously trying to work less since the start of January! I am trying a lot of new things, and most of it is working out pretty okay. When I get a chance, I'll sit down and cull through some of the better ideas to share.

I wanted to share quickly my vision of an upcoming project in Precalculus. I want my kids to animate simple things using parametric equations and sine and cosine! Below is an example. It's simple but has some solid math content, I think.  In this animated GIF (exported from GeoGebra) the circle is defined by points A and B (hidden), which are both translating slowly as a function of time, t. Point C is also defined using parametric equations, but in this case it is rotating around a moving center, so the kids would have to figure out how that impacts its parametric equations for X(t) and Y(t). I think it would be a fun and visual application of sine, cosine, and parametric equations!

See GeoGebra file here.

Of course, we'll have to scaffold the kids up to this. Let me try to flesh that out. Stay tuned.