# ZeroSum Ruler (home)

## Blogging on math education and other related things

### “Gotta Be You” Official Music Video (by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo)May 27, 2012

Here’s a break from Math.  Ever feel like you’re just not good enough?  You’re appreciated somewhere.  Here’s a music video from Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, a musician from Asheville, NC whose friend Adam Strange is a super painter and whose art is hanging in my apartment.  Ok, enough of the run-on sentences… Chin up and Enjoy!

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Gotta Be You

### Adding and Subtracting Fractions… the crisscross method!June 6, 2011

Afterwards, you will invariably need to reduce your fraction.  To do this quickly, and without thinking, bust out your TI-83 graphing calculator and press:

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MATH > 1:Frac > ENTER > ENTER

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Not knowing how to add and subtraction fractions with just a pencil and piece of paper is not good, but if you’re in a pinch and have a history term paper due, go for it.  The above TI-83 button commands also work to convert rational decimals back into their fractions.

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Disclaimer: In no way will this method help do anything except get through your current homework assignment on adding and subtracting fractions.  I know you don’t believe me because my 12-year old self wouldn’t believe me, but solving fraction problems without a calculator is an important piece of higher math.

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### YouTube… BLOCKED. Learning Today… BLOCKED!June 6, 2010

Sure, there are a lot of videos on YouTube that we don’t want kids watching at school.  But there are a countless videos on the site that can teach in 3 minutes what it would take a teacher a week to teach.  Our kids are visual learners, learning through video is most effective.

For teachers like me who use their LCD projectors extensively to reach our visual learners, having access to YouTube in school would be extremely helpful.  This year, I could have shown videos on solving systems of equations, finding the equations of circles, solving triangles with the trigonometric ratios, and this says nothing of how much I used YouTube myself to get through my graduate Java and Calculus classes!

But because someone made the executive decision that all of YouTube should be banned from everyone within the walls of BPS, I have to hope that TeacherTube- the ungroomed toenail of YouTube- has a video on the topic I am looking for, and moreover, has their search feature organized in way that a search for “algebra” doesn’t bring up “Mrs. Valentine’s Kindergarten field trip to the Museum of Science”.  TeacherTube is not YouTube, it never will be, and it’s a real shame that teachers in BPS cannot log into YouTube to access its wide range of useful educational videos.

In any case, I have posted videos on TeacherTube at the ridiculously long address: http://www.teachertube.com/members/viewProfile.php?user=Shanadonohue

They can be watched in school, even if they take 5 minutes to load.  There’s also one other option that[sometimes] allows you to convert YouTube videos to video files to save onto your computer and then show in class.  I stress, though, that it SOMETIMES works:  http://www.forinside.com/  In fact, it’s not even working now.  Blah!  Maybe this one works: http://www.zamzar.com/url/