Monday, June 27, 2011

What We Like: Khan Academy

This week, Susan Wise Bauer wrote a post about Khan Academy on her blog. I'm not sure if I arrived earlier than she to this party, but since I respect "SWB" and her recommendations and opinions on matters of academics, I was glad to see that she had positive things to say about it.

I know that for a while now, I have been reaping benefits from Salmon Khan's simple, concise, and solid math instruction. I decided to brush up on my rusty math skills in order to confidently teach my kids as they advance. In the process, I decided that he does a better job than I of explaining concepts--easily enough that a nine-year-old boy can understand, and so I set Matty to the task of working through the arithmetic portion of the knowledge map to review what he's covered. Now as things get more difficult, I can look to Mr. Khan to help me explain to him what I may not be able to express as well.

The best part about it--it's FREE. You log yourself on, watch the videos, do the practice problems, earn proficiency badges, and then move on. It's a mastery-based approached, but it encourages systematic review by letting you see where you haven't worked in a while. Sure enough, today I checked into my "knowledge map" and decided to do some review practice on some geometry concepts. Sure enough, I had forgotten something and needed to review a lesson before moving on. The repair was quick and painless, and I can now do a few review problems and be on my way to something new that I haven't covered yet (at least not in the past 20 years!)

As a mom trying to teach her kids math despite being an English teacher, this is more help than I could have imagined!

Here is a little info on Khan Academy, spoken by the founder himself.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Serenity

Good Morning, Mr. Troll!

This morning I awoke to an insulting comment left by a troll on my blog.

I have to laugh, because of course trolls leave no indication of who they are or how they can be traced. They just come, poop in your yard, then leave. It's so effective. (rolling my eyes) I wonder what motivates people to be childish and nasty...really I do.

While 99.8% of my readers and followers leave lovely comments, I will now be moderating all posts to prevent ugliness like this from popping up. I'm sorry to those of you who behave with decorum. Please do not let this stop you from posting! I will get them up as quickly as possible.

So, to whomever you are, I am so sorry that you have that much poison stored up inside of yourself that you felt the need to spill some of it onto my teeny-tiny, barely-read, unimportant blog. I hope you find life and hope and forgiveness somewhere in this world. You have my sympathy...