Javascript Homework

Posted on August 31, 2012

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Oy.   I woudln’t want to stop tutoring so I could work on materials because there is *nothing* like having the student’s brain right there figuring things out to remind you what you’re doing and why, but I could use another hour or two in the day…  (the following will be a typical “blogging between students” distracted ramble :))

… this week’s homework assignment is to “find a javascript tutorial and do it and explain its pieces parts.”   I decided to try to make a quiz, and googling “make a quiz with javascript” got me to www.spacefem.com , of all places. I b’lieve it’s an ideal tutorial — I’d also googled “drag and drop” and that gets weird and ugly (//this code is for when explorer won’t work and things like that)… so my plan is to a: apply the drag and drop stuff I already know, and b: figure out how to have the “right” drag and drop add to your score this weekend, and c: figure out the assorted variables and functions that I’d want to happen in a math game to build happy automaticity grounded in conceptual understanding and then d: figure out which language/platform/whatever the technical term is I should use to make that happen so I can learn where to put the funny letters and semicolons.

And I didn’t go on a moonlight ride for ice cream last night because that stuff was more attractive (welp, so was getting into the bed earlier…)

I’ve joined the “twitterblogosphere” which means I’m seeing more mathy blogs, and I really liked this one: http://joeapproachesinfinity.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/the-unfailable-test/ 

It’s got visual examples of that idea of the “Mystery X” – a cup of nails — + 3 — three isolated nails, and asks students to work both ways with it, *and* it’s a “test.”

I realized, helping a student wrestle with a mess of “pieces of Pie” on ALEKS, that his teacher might actually have a chunk of the course that was “hands on” or “project based,” but that it wasn’t doing him *any* good with the “don’t know how to do this? Here! Click to a page from a math book about the procedure!”  approach that ALEKS takes.   Especially by adulthood, students file “real stuff” in a totally separate cognitive cabinet than “math problems to do.”  We have to forge that connection across the hemispheres so they’re doing the symbols *and* thinking about the meaning ( here’s a study that says so: http://www.news-medical.net/news/2004/04/12/425.aspx — what I loathe about it is that it doesn’t entertain the idea that gosh, maybe most of us could *learn* to use both sides of our brain, instead of “dudes — those guys have somethign you don’t.”   We tend to teach math as procedures, get the answer, THANK YOU… or “okay, here’s the concrete version; isn’t that amusing and amazing?”   — but not how they’re connected.  (Making Math Real  http://www.makingmathreal.org/   *really* works at making those connections and a person could learn a lot from the “intro to the overview” videos on youtube — and even more from the actual training… tho’ it’s pricey and in CA …)

… but no, I won’t be getting focused time with javascript for a while — the Center for Academic Success is bursting at the seams this Friday, as we wait for Isaac to bring us desperately needed rain.

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