This year, I’m not so sure as I’ll probably just spend a quiet day at home watching football and zombies – Michael Kwan

My friend Michael Kwan celebrated his birthday Sunday. The quote above is from his own Sunday Snippet post on his blog, Beyond the Rhetoric. Reading that quote made me think about the time I have known Michael.

Years ago when I started commenting on BTR, Michael was all Social Media and single. He was very much into all the tech stuff, going on trips for his freelance work and other writing gigs. As the years went by, the travel has slowed down, but not his outgoing social side. Food porn, and what not close to home. I chalk that up to his longtime relationship with his now wife and settling into his “30′s”. He is correct in that he is not middle aged, nor is he a whipped snapper. He’s become comfortable.

Now, he is a father, husband and self employed. That means he gets to see that beautiful little girl as much as possible. I admire his choice today and respect him for how he has grown.

Happy birthday my friend.


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I’ve been watching my 4th grade daughters homework since the school year started with the new Common Core Standards being taught. Camille brought home some math homework the other day that was really basic addition with some other division problems that I will talk about in another post. Since I have a math background and have written on her learning what a rectangle was in Kindergarten I thought that this would be an interesting post. Turning 55 this year it has been interesting to see how she is being taught in the subjects that I love. Here is the problem and solution as it was taught:

9 + 6 = x

9 + (1 + 5) = x

(9 + 1 ) + 5 = x

10 + 5 = 15

While that is correct, to me it is an interesting way to factor to the answer. Now if we replace the non 9 number, which in this case was 6 with y this is how it was done when I was her age. Take 1 off y and add it to the first digit to the left of the 9 and replace the 9 with the new y. I am using 49 instead of 9 to show it with a bigger number below, but with the single digit 9 there is no number in front of it so you assume to add the 1 + 0 where I am using 49 instead of 09.

49 + y = x

49 + 6  = x

6 – 1 = 5

4 + 1 = 5

x = 55

It’s still 3 steps but the answer is the numbers from the two other equations. Lets try it with 3 digits

189 + 8 = x

8 – 1 = 7

8 +1 = 9

x = 197

or when you are in the 3 digits or more in the 90′s, 900′s, etc.

199 + 9 = x

9 – 1  = 8

9 + 1 = 10

Here is the extra step with the carry over 1 in 3 digits or above where you need to take the 1 and add it to the number in front of the second 9.

1 + 1 = 2

x = 208

Carry over is taught in 3rd grade, so students should know how to do that when taught larger numbers. Of course all of this is a matter of opinion, whose teaching and who is the supposed expert at knowing what is the best method. I don’t think there is a best method, but it was curious to me coming from a math background through college Calculus of the changes from when I was younger. The other big difference from when I was younger is that we memorized addition and multiplication tables so we could rattle and answer off without using a piece of paper, whereas I have not seen one flash card or memorization technique from Camille. Not that I’m worried about her because she got a perfect score on in math on the FCAT in 3rd grade last year.

Just some fun math and interesting differences from 1967.


KidsI have 3 children ages 9, 5 and 2. I love my children very much. I drive them around with me all the time. I don’t leave them in the car when I exit the vehicle.

I have an extremely hard time reading about a child that has died in a car. Either left by a parent who forgot their child was in the back seat or one that wanted to go shopping or drinking and thought they could just leave the child behind. I find it hard to read or listen because I love my children so much and can not imagine the fear of that child who cannot take care of themselves and gives their parent unconditional love and trust.

What I don’t understand about a parent is how you can even do that? How can you get out of the car and not know your child is in the back seat? How can you forget? It’s your child, you put them in the car seat and you forgot them by the time you got where you were going? Whatever you are doing or wherever you are going is not as important as your child. Even when my kids are not in the car I always check my back seat when I get out. It’s habit, something I do as a parent for the safety of my children.

If you have children, nothing is more important than their well being. Read that again, nothing is more important than your children. Not your job, not that football game, not mowing the lawn, not that girls night out, not that poker game with the guys.

Wake up parents, take care of your kids!