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Archive for January, 2010

As we all know there have been a lot of changes especially in the past few years. When we compare what we remember from childhood to the way things are now, in some ways I am very happy about these changes.

Except through history books and ramblings by us older folks, my daughters will not see things I had to grow up with.

I remember:

· being the only girl at the Library’s D&D tournament when I was 14.

· being the only person in the class who knew how to use the two computers in the school.

· being the token girl on the math team and in the computer club, but contributing more than some of the guys.

· classmates not expected to ‘get math’ because they were girls, for some reason I was not grouped with them.

· going to comic or SF cons and there being very few females, and they could easily be categorized: not attractive, for show only, and if the third group actually made it attractive but too shy or uncomfortable in the crowd. Not that I went to many of them being in the third group.

· Math only being a very dry subject whose ‘teachers’ where not creative in any field

· “Those who can do, those who can’t teach” which boiled down to “those who can’t teach, do go into teaching”

I am so glad that I now see, at least though connections online:

· excellent math educators who are undoing the damages of the previous generations, both with the children of today but also those who ‘were damaged’

· whole sites dedicated to women in …

· excellent women game developers, not just ‘designers’

· and of course, those women who manage to combine these three

· very creative ways of teaching all the wonderful and fun topics in Mathematics

· “Those who can teach, DO”

I may still be in the ‘too shy for my own good’ group, but I am working on it. OF course, with a very full plate it goes very slowly. My wonderful daughters take a lot of time since they are not in all day school, and the farm that is its own pleasure distracts me from technology or at least gives me a break.

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I know many people are asking for donations at this time, and I didn’t really want to do this, but…

Due to bad politics at the church my daughter’s preschool was located, the teachers had to move, and many of us parents decided that the teachers made the class not the building. Another local church kindly took us in, but many items of course did not move and need to be replaced.

We have donated many things, but there are still things the preschool needs. To help with that one of the moms who is a Just Jewelry consultant is hosting a fundraiser for them. Specifically they are looking to purchase enough sturdy children’s chairs since the church did not have as many as needed for all the students.

The school will get 40% of the purchase price from the sales.

If you would like to make a purchase for the fundraiser, check out the website, jmiller

If you would like to place an order please email me, and we can discuss how to get me the money & your order to you.

The school can also use books and crafts appropriate for the 3 – 4 year old students. If you would like to help in any way, please contact me and I can get you the teacher’s contact information.

Please pass this information to other people you think may be interested, the jewelry is $10 – $20 and is nice.

Oh, I should mention the deadline is January 29th! So please contact me ASAP so I can get everything together to get turned in.

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I finally got most of my materials posted on my website for my presentation in 1.5 weeks.

http://www.ramshillfarm.com/Math/GamesHigherEd/Games.html

I hope I will have the time & the energy in that time to do more work on my prime sieve and another game or at least a start of one.

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First, I am a stay-at-home mom of a 2.5 yr old girl & a 4.5 yr old girl. The older one is in a preschool, the building just moved due to bad politics at the previous place. The younger one is still working on potty training. So we have fun filled days, with afternoons of hopefully good naptimes.

I am also a farm-wife, we have produce & herbs in season, and sheep & goats year round.

I do lots of crafts with the girls plus ones for me. I like to sew, knit, & crochet. I am working on learning how to clean & spin the fiber we get from our animals.

Oh, wait, yes, I teach math. Currently I am only teaching online, but I think I do better there than in the face-to-face class. Not only do I not have stage fright, I also have the time to have fun with coming up with creative ways to get the math across to my students. I no longer have the 45min commute each way.

When I have time, I am figuring out how to make learning activities for my students. Right now, they are quizzes, with a little more added in. I have some ideas floating around for things that are closer to learning games, but time is a little limited at this time, but the girls will be in all day kindergarten soon enough. Right now, I am just muddling along in piecemeal.

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One of the biggest problems with working at home in isolation from the rest of your field is that by the time the isolation ends you realize you are way behind on the ‘new stuff’.

I finally joined Facebook last year, which has really helped me not feel so isolated here in farm country with just my family for daily conversation. Recently, I joined Twitter, and found out that topics that I thought should be considered with teaching has actually been well researched.

Oh, well, so I am not on the forefront of what I want to do, make good math learning games for Higher Education. At least I am learning what not to do from many of the people who have put stuff out. Most of what I have completed to this point I would not consider a game, but they are not just the same old boring quiz.

I have lots of ideas for actual learning games for math, now it is a matter of time to get it all coded.

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