Carol's Blog, 2007 archive

Thursday, December 13, 2007
I've just uploaded another MULTI-SECTION QUIZ FORM.
This completes the Algebra I curriculum.

Thursday, November 29, 2007
With Linda Coll's help (THANKS!!!!) I've FINALLY been successful in getting the "flip" in tatting.
I haven't worked this hard at such a tiny, focused thing since my days as a graduate student in mathematics!

Sunday, November 25, 2007
I've just uploaded another MULTI-SECTION QUIZ FORM.
Only one more, to finish with the Algebra I curriculum!

Thursday, November 22, 2007
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
My site is back to #1 when you google "math cat fisher"—they've finally re-spidered the web, I guess.
It took a LOT longer than I had expected.

I've added other photo options to my homepage–just click on the image,
and it will cycle through alternate photos. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I'm trying (yet again) to learn server-side PERL programming, and am making some progress. I've actually run a "Hello World!" PERL program from my web site, successfully. I've downloaded a PERL IDE (Perl Express) which is helpful for practicing PERL stuff, but I don't have an easy way to practice with the HTML/PERL interfacing... I write an HTML program using FirstPage, write the PERL in PerlExpress, upload both to my server, and then test it out... which is time-consuming, tedious, and inefficient.

Then, to add to my frustrations, I've spent MANY HOURS trying to learn tatting... want to make ornaments for Christmas gifts. I'm getting GORGEOUS knots, but they're building on the ring thread, not the shuttle thread. I CAN'T GET THEM TO FLIP!! I've watched countless videos and read many different sets of instructions. AAARRRGGGHHH. This is REALLY frustrating. Consequently, I can't close my rings. I clearly need a HUMAN BEING who knows what they're doing to help.

Plus, I've been sick since last Wednesday night. Sore throat, cough, congestion. So, this has also slowed my progress. Ah well!

Sunday, November 11, 2007
Whoa!!! OH NO!! I googled "math cat fisher" this morning, and I was NOWHERE in sight!
I figured out what happened... I completely re-designed my web page recently, and took out LOTS of the words.
Google must have recently done a new "sweep" of pages on the web, and... without all the words... I lost my ranking.
This is NOT GOOD, since I tell everybody to just google "math cat fisher" to get to me.
Oh no! So, I'm going to have to adjust the home page a bit.

Saturday, November 10, 2007
I've just uploaded another MULTI-SECTION QUIZ FORM.
While doing this, I changed web exercise and worksheet variables to italics on several exercises.

Saturday, November 3, 2007
I've just uploaded another MULTI-SECTION QUIZ FORM.
While doing this, I changed web exercise and worksheet variables to italics on several exercises.

Monday, October 29, 2007
I LOVE long weekends! I get so much done!
I've just uploaded my seventh MULTI-SECTION QUIZ FORM.
While doing this, I changed worksheet variables to italics on several exercises.

Sunday, October 28, 2007
I revised the worksheet on Identifying Variable Parts and Coefficients of Terms to display the variables in italics.
This took a modest amount of work!

Saturday, October 27, 2007
I've finished the map of SAT content to my site.
A few concepts are missing, which I'll gradually get filled in.
And, I've been wanting to re-design my homepage for ages, to make it much less cluttered.
I finally did it!

Sunday, October 21, 2007
On my "mixed graphical transformations" Algebra II exercise, closing parentheses on things like   y = f(x   and   y = ln(   refused to print. WEIRD!
My coding is fine! By taking out the bold, many were fixed.
But, to fix the natural log problem, I had to insert a ThinSpace after the closing parenthesis in my code.
This truly has me befuddled. It looks fine on the screen, but the characters just don't print. If anyone has any insights into this printing problem, please contact me!

Monday, October 15, 2007
I've just uploaded my sixth MULTI-SECTION QUIZ FORM!
While doing this, I changed worksheet variables to italics on several exercises.

Thursday, October 11, 2007
Thanks to Design Science Customer Support, I think I finally have an answer to the "missing symbols" problem for some people, on some of my web pages.

Sunday, October 7, 2007
I've just uploaded my fifth MULTI-SECTION QUIZ FORM!

Saturday, October 6, 2007
I expanded the discussion on the Greatest Common Factor web exercise, and put in some helpful graphics.

Friday, October 5, 2007
I'm finished fixing the code on all my timed web exercises, to make it impossible to "cheat" at Algebra Pinball.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007
I'm just about done fixing the code on my timed web exercises, to make it impossible to "cheat" at Algebra Pinball.
I had weekend duty; the NEASC team was here Sunday through today; we've been busy with self-report cards for advisees; and college recommendation letters are now in full swing. Needless to say, I'm not getting as much done on my site as I'd like!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I've just uploaded my fourth MULTI-SECTION QUIZ FORM!
I'm also working on mapping the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) objectives to my web site.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I've just uploaded my third MULTI-SECTION QUIZ FORM!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Well, school has begun!
I've spent about ten hours coding a "Name Game" to help us all learn student names.
And, of course, I've been really busy with start-up stuff.
Hopefully, I can get back to making progress on web exercises soon!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007
I've just uploaded my second MULTI-SECTION QUIZ FORM!

Sunday, September 2, 2007
I've revised my slide show to replace the SVG material with GeoGebra,
to more accurately reflect the direction I'm now heading with dynamic graphing capabilities.
I've also put links to my homepage on each of the slide show pages.
AND, I've just uploaded my first MULTI-SECTION QUIZ FORM!

Saturday, September 1, 2007
I've updated all the online course materials for this year: syllabi for PreCalculus and Calculus; algebra/geometry review schedule (which will work a bit differently this year); first month of the daily schedules; my yearly comprehensive calendar; advisee meeting schedule for the year; new Algebra Pinball column for my classes.
The most EXCITING thing, though, is that I'm working on a form to create multi-section quizzes, so I can easily generate the review quizzes over multiple sections, without having to do massive amounts of printing and cutting and pasting. It's going well... the first one should be posted soon!

Sunday, August 26, 2007
I've finished Introduction to Exponential Functions.
Now, I've got to stop working on web exercises for a while, and get everything ready for another year at Miss Hall's School!

Friday, August 24, 2007
I've finished Introduction to Logarithmic Functions.
This one took me a long time, but I'm pleased with the final result.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I changed the variables to an italic font on a couple of the Algebra I web exercises,
Solving Simple Linear Equations with Integer Coefficients and Solving More Complicated Linear Equations with Integer Coefficients .
This required changing to a floating frame (since italic isn't supported in a basic form text field).

Monday, August 20, 2007
The Change of Base Formula for Logarithms web exercise is finished.
Check out the GeoGebra dynamic worksheet in this one!
Next, I'm working on Introduction to Logarithmic Functions.

Sunday, August 19, 2007
Composition of Functions is finished!
Also, I've started the Change of Base Formula for Logarithms web exercise.

Saturday, August 18, 2007
I've finished the exposition for Composition of Functions—all that remains is to write the exercises.
This one has two COOL GeoGebra worksheets, playing with function boxes.
I'm getter better and better with GeoGebra!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I've finished Graphical Interpretation of Sentences Like  f(x) = g(x)  and  f(x) > g(x—check it out!
This one has a COOL GeoGebra worksheet, where you can move a point along the x-axis and see if an inequality is true or false!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I "attended" an online class about Mathematica Demonstrations. Really, really cool stuff!
You have to download a free Mathematica Player to run the demonstrations,
but many of these are FANTASTIC for illustrating things on a computer during class. DEFINITELY check them out!
Also, Adobe Acrobat Connect (web conferencing software) was used to run the class.
This was my first introduction to this kind of "virtual classroom" and I'm really impressed!

Monday, August 13, 2007
I've finished Graphical Interpretation of Sentences Like  f(x) = 0  and  f(x) > 0 —check it out!

Saturday, August 11, 2007
I've learned how to embed a GeoGebra worksheet directly in a web page (no button or link required).
However, it seems to take a long time to load the page; users may get impatient and leave.
Therefore, I think it's better to use a link to the GeoGebra worksheets.
However, you can look at the source code to my newest exercise,
Graphical Interpretation of Sentences Like  f(x) = 0  and  f(x) > 0 , to see how it works.
(It's all commented out in the source code, since I chose not to do it this way.)

Friday, August 10, 2007
YEH!!! I've just learned how to guarantee that there will be a PAGE BREAK in my worksheets before the solutions are given:
<p style="page-break-before: always">
does the job! I'll incorporate this user-friendly feature in all my future web exercises.

Thursday, August 9, 2007
Yeh! The web exercise Basic Models You Must Know is finally finished!
The worksheet is a bit different than usual: it includes 27 problems—one of each different "type" (with considerable variation within each type).
The format is also quite different, made necessary since there is so much variability in the vertical height of the different questions.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007
I'm finally back at work on web stuff!
At long last, I've made progress on the Basic Models You Must Know web exercise—check it out!

Sunday, July 29, 2007
July has been an incredibly busy month.
The move from New York to Monterey for my husbandnot's friend took over a week, working on both ends.
I was in Texas from July 19th to the 26th, helping my daughter get settled into her new home in the Rio Grande Valley.
She'll be teaching high school math for two years in the Teach for America program.
Now, she's back visiting in Massachusetts for about 10 days, and I need to finish her quilt while she's here so she can take it back to Texas with her.
Not a good month for web work, but an incredible month for other "life stuff"!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Progress slowed... sorry! This is the week of my niece sleepovers (and I'm not really a lot of fun if I'm sitting at the computer writing web exercises).
Also, I'm helping my partner with a move, which will take a few days.
And, I'm finally at the QUILTING stage on my daughter's quilt; using the "even-feed" attachment really helps with the machine quilting.

My phone static problem ("snow" or "white noise") is solved!!
Verizon sent out four people: first an analog person; then a cable person; then a DSL person; and finally a higher-level DSL person.
The problem was with some equipment down near the lake. YEH VERIZON!!!!
All the people who came out were wonderful and professional—thanks, everybody!

I changed my instructions on "Getting Your Own Algebra Pinball" to use WordPad, not NotePad, to edit.
If the file is opened in Notepad, all my beautiful (helpful) formatting is gone, and it looks like one big mess. WAAAYYYY too scary for people.
WordPad seems to preserve the formatting.
(It's interesting... once the file is opened and saved in WordPad, THEN it can be opened and will look good in NotePad. Weird.)

Sunday, July 8, 2007
Okay... the thing about having GeoGebra is that my average time to write a web exercise has practically doubled,
because NOW I want to incorporate cool GeoGebra dynamic worksheets in every section.
This is very time-consuming, particularly since I'm in the learning stage for this new tool.
I really AM working on Basic Models You Must Know—it's just taking a long time!
(Also, I'm trying to finish my daughter's quilt—her college graduation gift—so I can bring it when I visit her in Texas in a couple weeks.)

Friday, July 6, 2007
Well, I got ambitious again, and spent almost the entire day trying to get a web exercise to work in Mozilla Firefox.
I was able to create a " .xml " document that displayed the MathML correctly in both Internet Explorer and Mozilla,
but I wasn't able to get the stylesheet information to work in Mozilla,
and I wasn't able to get anything to write into my floating frames (<iframe>) in Mozilla.
Sigh. Periodically (every year or so) I just have to go through this process again.
I guess I'm "doomed" to restrict my audience to Internet Explorer + MathPlayer.

On a brighter note—AP Calculus AB scores are in, and my girls did a particularly FANTASTIC job this year! Woo hoo!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007
I went to visit my friend Joy in southern Connecticut for a couple days, so I didn't get any web work done.
But, this morning I've finished the Graphs of Functions web exercise in the Algebra II curriculum.
I like my "reading information from a graph" problems!
I'll start work today on the "Basic Models You Must Know" web exercise.

Saturday, June 30, 2007
(Maybe not quite as major as the day I displayed my first horizontal fraction online using MathML, but close!)
I just figured out how to imbed dynamic, interactive, GeoGebra graphs into my web exercises!
Check out my first experiments, in my new Graphs of Functions web exercise in the Algebra II curriculum.
(The exercises aren't written yet, but I should have them done in another day.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I've finished the Compound Interest Formula web exercise. Check it out!
And, I JUST GOT DSL at home! No more dial-up for me! Woo hoo!
And, I just got my car back (someone backed into me... sigh... but it looks beautiful again).
And, I bought GORGEOUS backing material for the quilt I'm making for my daughter, for her graduation gift.
Okay... enough of this other life stuff... back to writing web exercises!

Sunday, June 24, 2007
I got two new "snapshots" up today—one about Algebra Pinball, and one about "NO ADVERTISING" (and my donation button)!
Also, I've started the next Algebra II web exercise—the Compound Interest Formula.

Saturday, June 23, 2007
I've just about completed another Algebra II web exercise, Introduction to Polynomials.
This one took me a long time to write, but I'm really pleased with it.
To finish the Algebra II curriculum this summer, I'm going to have to write a web exercise about every 2.5 days.
I'm not sure if I can do it—but I'll give it a shot!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Paul VS (colleague at Miss Hall's School) and I met for about 3 hours to discuss the Algebra II curriculum;
based on this work, I revised the Algebra I and Algebra II objectives slightly on our Math Department pages (pdf files).

Monday, June 18, 2007
I've been working for days on a word problem exercise;
my daughter Julia is teaching this for her first few days of summer school in Houston, Texas.
Julia wrote all the different types of problems; I just added randomness to them.
This exercise could go in a high-level Algebra I class, and/or when studying systems of equations in the Algebra II curriculum.

Thursday, June 14, 2007
Algebra Pinball for other schools is up-and-running! Check it out!
I've also revised my own Algebra Pinball so that all web exercises open in a new window.
I've also revised ALL my Table of Content pages, so that all web exercises open in a new window.

Thursday, June 14, 2007
Well, the crazy end-of-year is over: finals, grading, comments, packing up, MHS commencement.
I had a "fender-bender" added to the mix, just for a little more excitement (a truck backed up into me at a traffic light).

My own daughter, Julia, graduated from Carleton; we were in Northfield, Minnesota for the commencement.
(Okay, I'll brag: summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with distinction in Mathematics!)
She's now in Houston, preparing for a 2-year Teach for America program in the Rio Grande Valley, where she'll be teaching high school math.

So, now I finally get to start my summer work schedule! Woo hoo! (I LOVE SUMMERS!!)
I'll be finishing up the Algebra II curriculum, and a bunch of other projects.
First of all, I'm creating a page so that schools can run their own Algebra Pinball. It will be up soon!

By the way, my server has been up-and-down for weeks, with issues surrounding installation of a new server.
Sorry about any down-time you may have experienced.
With a bit of luck, things will settle soon and be better than ever.

Monday, May 21, 2007
Page views are up since changing the format of my homepage, so I think the "snapshots" are being successful in keeping people looking around a bit longer!
Also, I won the first-ever "Pietas Award" at Miss Hall's School—this is an extension of their long-time "Civitas Award" for students. Masha Jones read her nomination at Morning Meeting. What an honor... it was very exciting!

Friday, May 18, 2007
I'm changing my homepage. I'm putting "snapshots" of various parts of my site in the left-hand column, with a button so that users can cycle through the snapshots. Many people never get to see what the site can do for them—they have to get to a Table of Contents, pick a section, pick an exercise, go down to the bottom of the page to find the actual exercise, install MathPlayer—too many layers! I've decided to have all the "snapshot" links open in a new window.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I've uploaded a new Algebra II web exercise, Properties of Logarithms.
Again, I'm pleased with the variety of problems on this exercise. Check it out!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007
I've uploaded a new Algebra II web exercise, Introduction to Logarithms.
No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to get more than one web exercise written in a week (when school is in session). Check it out!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007
I've uploaded a new Algebra II web exercise, Multiplying Matrices.
This was a hard one for me, both in deciding how I wanted to motivate and present matrix multiplication,
and also the coding for the multiplication of matrices.
The Javascript modulo (remainder) operator once again came to the rescue! Check it out!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007
I've uploaded a new Algebra II web exercise, Basic Arithmetic with Matrices.
It covers adding and subtracting matrices, and multiplying a matrix by a constant. Check it out!

Sunday, April 22, 2007
I've uploaded a new Algebra II web exercise, Introduction to Matrices.
I'm really pleased with the variety of questions. Check it out!

Sunday, April 15, 2007
I've uploaded a new Algebra II web exercise, Equations of Circles.
This one took me a LONG time to write, but I'm really pleased with the generality of some of the questions.
Check it out!

Sunday, March 18, 2007
I've uploaded a new Algebra II web exercise, Arithmetic with Complex Numbers.
Check it out!

Monday, March 5, 2007
I've uploaded a new Algebra I web exercise, Simplifying  (a + b)2  and  (a - b)2 .
Check it out! I've added it to Algebra Pinball, too!

Sunday, March 4, 2007
I've uploaded a new Algebra II web exercise, Complex Numbers. Check it out!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007
I've uploaded a new web page, Search Engine Results for this web site.
Check it out!

Friday, February 2, 2007
I've uploaded a new Algebra II web exercise, Combinations and Permutations.
Check it out!

Sunday, January 14, 2007
I've uploaded a new Algebra II web exercise, Factorial Notation.
Also, I took my PHP comment form off the web—web robots discovered it long ago, and I'm presented with junk form submissions in my mailbox every day. So, I'm just going to have people email their comments to me, using their preferred email tool.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
I've uploaded a new Algebra II web exercise, Choosing Things: Does Order Matter?
This one took me a long time to write. Thanks to all the Miss Hall's people who helped me to come up with examples of situations where order matters, and where it doesn't!

Monday, January 8, 2007
I've now got my Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry courses posted at .
I also updated my "slide show" on MathML, and posted it at curriki, too.
I'm making good progress on my Algebra II combinations versus permutations exercises, so these should be posted soon.

Thursday, January 4, 2007
Happy New Year, everyone! I've deleted the blog created with Google "Blogger."
Even with my greatly-increased hits after my posting on , this blog still didn't seem to encourage user comments.
I've updated all the Algebra Review exercises through the end of December. I'm now almost done with the Algebra I course updates, so I should be able to get going on new Algebra II web exercises.

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