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Showing posts from June, 2012

Integrated Learning – an Education Elixir?

A few days ago I was talking to a friend about issues that he felt needed to be addressed in order to “fix education”, as he put it.  His background is in electronics and he knows little about the daily activities of most teachers so his perspective on teaching is somewhat limited. But even so, he did raise an interesting point when he mentioned that “teachers should spend less time compartmentalizing everything and more time tying the disciplines together, making them more real for students.”  My friend was talking about providing an integrated learning approach to education.  As he said this I began to think about my own teaching and the number of examples I provided my students to show relatedness between the content areas, which admittedly could have been higher.
Most elementary teachers have ample opportunities to show an integrated view of learning to their students.  This becomes more difficult at the highly-compartmentalized secondary education level. Not only is this because o…

Using Math to Boost Your Wow Factor for the London Olympics

Since I’m an enthusiastic swimmer, and since the summer London Olympic Games are rapidly approaching, I got to wondering which woman holds the fastest Olympic record in the 100 meter freestyle stroke.

I discovered the current Olympic record in the women's 100 meter freestyle swimming event is held by Britta Steffen of Germany with a time of 53.12 seconds. The record was set at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

But really, how fast is that? To help me figure this out, all it took was knowing some simple mathematics!! It helps to keep in mind the following:
• 1 meter = .001 kilometer = 0.000621 miles = 0 miles and 1.09 yards
• 1 hour = 3600 seconds

Now we’re all set to go:
• The swimming pool is 50m long, 25m wide and 3m deep.
• It takes 1 complete lap to swim 100 meters.
• 100 meters = 0.10 kilometers = 0.062 miles.
• Speed = distance divided by time in hours; so time in hours = 53.12 seconds ÷ 3600 seconds = 0.014755 hours.

So, Steffen’s speed = 0.062 miles ÷ 0.014755 hours…