Tuesday, January 7, 2014

20 Time Update

           In the end, my 20 Time project did not go as planned. Unfortunately, I was unable to create ten completed videos. In the beginning of this project, I thought that math was my passion. However, my reluctant attitude to work on the project signaled that it was not. I was extremely disappointed when I came to this realization. I knew that in order for this project to be a complete success, I had to want to put the effort into it. 20 Time is not just another class project. It truly is designed to be a project built around what an individual loves. Going into this project, I knew that I did not love math. Although, my goal was to help other people who enjoyed math, but was not the best Fibonacci, because that was something that I have always wanted as a struggling student.
From making the first video, I knew that I did not like teaching others from that kind of format and style. I think that it was a personal preference when I decided to opt for writing the directions on an app called Notability. To me, writing the directions made more sense. With that being said, I decided to abandon Educreations. Another factor that made me switch to Notability was how developed the app was. Notability is very versatile, easy to use, and manipulative. On the other hand, with Educreations the videos were either a hit or miss. There was no way to edit them unless I wanted to start all over. Although, from this project, I learned to explore many different programs and apps that may be useful in the future.
          To my despair, I realized math was not my passion. Although, during this semester I did find out that learning is my passion. I absolutely love absorbing new information, learning ways to problem solve, and having the required knowledge to live life to its fullest potential. I think that my passion for learning is what clouded my judgement in the beginning of the semester. I narrowed my love of education and was not satisfied with the confinement. From 20 Time, I also learned that I love working with a partner. It is not only a motivation, but it also makes the entire project easier. Working with a partner meant that I was not alone whenever I had difficulties and I always had support. Having someone by my side made stressful events, like Pitch Day, much less hectic. I hate that my 20 Time project did not turn out the way I wanted it to, but I am glad that I learned what my true passion is.

Monday, December 9, 2013

20 Time Help

By choosing to research two seemingly different careers, I was able to accumulate a lot of information about possible jobs that require math. I think that the information I gathered could help others who have the same passion because my information shows that math is scattered into all kinds of careers. The careers that involve and integrate math are, undoubtedly, broad. If math is an interest to an individual, he or she does not automatically have to become a math teacher. Although this career is certainly a great option, it is not the only one. The fact that math is incorporated in many different career fields can be very useful for someone who is indecisive about what occupation he or she wants to seek because it is a reassurance that math is skill and a knowledge that a plethora of jobs require.
    Despite the fact that my partner and I have a couple more weeks in attempting to complete this project, I still feel like we are very behind on the work that needs to be complete. One of the biggest issues that we have is finding time to make these videos. Even though making videos may seem simple, it is much harder than what it seems. As my partner and I were trying to complete a video, I have recently discovered that I am terrible at any tangent of recording. Although I knew that I was not comfortable with being recorded, I had no idea that it was going to affect this project as much as it is. In order to prepare for a video, I would have everything set up. This would include, my stylus, a script, and side notes on what to write at certain times. In addition to all of this preparation, I would practice for, what felt like, hours. Then, after all the coaching and training I have devised for myself, I would try to record it. Suddenly, I would freeze up and completely forget what I am saying. My hands would make marks all over the digital whiteboard, I would talk too fast, and skip pages along the way. Needless to say, one of the major goals I need to, personally, accomplish is being more comfortable with recordings. My inability to speak is definitely delaying this project, as it could take up to a week for me to finally produce one decent video. However, no matter what happens, I am still determined to complete ten videos, and notes, by the end of this semester!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Math in the Real World

      To be completely honest, I really was not looking forward to completing the Inquiry Research Paper document. Every time someone asks me what college I want to go to, or what I want to do in life, I want to cringe! I do not like to think about my future because I want to focus on doing the best work I can, on the work that I am given now. However, I know that I have to prepare for my future and I knew I had to complete the document, therefore, I might as well do it now! Similar to many other times throughout this 20 Time project, I surprised myself at how painless it was to do this research. Nothing that I found was too frightening and I was astonished at how many career fields require math! Having great math skills is crucial in almost any career, like engineering, business, and in health. I learned many occupations that I did not even know existed! For example, I learned that an actuary is a career that specializes in customizing insurance and analyzes statistics. I also learned that a lot of employers involved in these careers are government programs. The United States Census Bureau and the United States Geological Survey are both employers for these jobs that require math. 
      Even though this research was not too bad, I did come across some obstacles during my research. Many forums I filled out to find out the demand and salary of a career needed information about the college that I went to, what degree I supposedly had, and what my major was. As I filled these entries, I realized how vast college is and how little I knew about it. In a way, I was glad that I am doing this research now and absorbing the information as I go, instead of cramming it when I am trying to fill out my college application. I still do not like talking about my future, but this experience definitely changed my thoughts In the end, I was able to find a couple of jobs that required math and interested me. Although, I still was not sure if I wanted to pursue these careers, it was enough information for me to complete the document.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Valuable Lesson


 I cannot believe that we are six weeks into our 20 Time Project! Realizing this brings me bittersweet feelings. I am so proud and amazed at the work my partner and I have done so far. Although, at the same time I know that we have a long way to go, in order to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves and the project six weeks ago. One of the most valuable lessons that I learned so far is that not everything is going to be easy. Lately, I have inhabited a horrible procrastination habit and I noticed that I tend to procrastinate when I sense that the work I have to complete is difficult or will take a while to finish. Ironically, 20 Time Projects are both difficult and take a long time to complete! Every week, despite the fact that I am able to work on my passion, I dread the ninety minutes we have in class. Acknowledging the work that I have to get done makes me extremely nervous, stressed, and overwhelmed. Knowing that not everything is going to be easy will definitely help me get through the rest of our project because I know that it is perfectly acceptable to encounter to a roadblock. Instead of getting worried about a problem or the work, I know that how I handle it is way more important than what the outcome of it is. I know that having challenges along the way will benefit me in the end, despite the trouble it might give me at the time. Not only does this lesson apply to our 20 Time Project, but in life, as well.
    Knowing that not everything is not going to be easy will help me in my other classes too. Similar to the students that my partner and I are trying to help, I have classes and work that I do not like to do because it is difficult for me. Since this is a required project, I have to do the work. As a result, I learned that getting started is the hardest part of this project. Undoubtedly, our project is not simple and disciplining myself to get started every week is always hard. As I learned this lesson, I also surprised myself in realizing that once I get started, the work is not that bad. 20 Time has also shown me that it is better to have work that is challenging for me, than to be able to fly through my work. The harsh reality is that everyone is going to face problems in their life. I think that it is better to learn how to deal with conflict now, than later. Throughout these six weeks I have also discovered many aspects of the real world. For example, I learned how to be flexible and how to properly write a thank you letter. Although I am certain that the next couple weeks will not be easy, I am looking forward to see what goals my partner and I will achieve next.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pitch Day

After working hours on our Pitch Day presentation, it was finally time to present! Astonishingly, I was pretty calm. In fact, I was more nervous on the practice day than the actual presentation day. I think that was because we were practicing in front of the entire class and on Pitch Day my partner and I were only presenting to one or two people. Coming into class, I felt very prepared. After some additional gluing and some final touches, I was finally pleased with our presentation. Finishing the presentation was a huge relief and made me less nervous about presentation. To me, it was just one less thing I had to worry about! At first, I thought that presenting would be easy because of how smooth it was on the practice day. Despite my calm nerves, when the first person came up to my partner and I, which also happened to be an administrator, I became very nervous. I was so thankful that I was working with a partner because I knew there was no way I could presented all that information by myself. Whenever I forgot something, I knew I could always rely on my partner to jump in and pick up exactly where I left off. I also loved having someone next to me the entire time because whenever I felt uncomfortable, I would just imagine that I was talking and explaining the project to my partner. In the end, my partner and I successfully presented four times!
         Even though we only presented four times, we received very valuable feedback that will definitely help guide us, as we continue further into our project. Being praised after presenting really made all the effort and work that our partner and I put in to this project worth it. Of course, there were some difficulties and challenges along the way, and being told that our project was worthwhile was a great achievement and reward. In addition, some parents even gave us some advice about our ideas that we would never would have thought about! For example, one parent wanted to know how we would try to get students to watch our math videos. Honestly, my partner and I were caught off guard when we were asked this question. We had always assumed that if students need help, they would seek the necessary assistance. After we finished presenting, we discussed the question and realized that not every student is going to get the help that they need or want. Especially, if they do not like math. We are definitely going to work on this aspect of our project more. Another parent gave us some information about how to get students interested in math. He told us about how an actor, Danica McKeller, got students to become more interested in math by writing four books about being confident and successful in math. Since my partner and I agreed to focus on this part of our project more, we will hopefully be able to check out some of her books. I am very glad that we were able to hear feedback from adults. Without this Pitch Day, we would not have gained the knowledge we needed in order for this project to reach its full potential.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

20 Time Challenges

As mentioned earlier in this blog, I have been trying to contact our school’s math coach, Ms. L. One of the most biggest issues we had was finding a time and place to meet. The school week was filled with pep-rallies and we all had different schedules. Finding a time to meet was becoming harder than I anticipated to be! However, I learned that I am very flexible. Our math coach is always bouncing from schools in the district, so being able to work with her schedule was a very good learning experience for me. Prior to meeting with our math coach, I made a sample video on the app Educreations. As I started to make the video, I thought that I would be done in about ten minutes. However, I became so flustered with the video and it turned out that it took two evenings to record a minute video! Drawing the different lines in Educreations was fairly simple. It was the recording that messed me up. I wrote myself a full script and practiced endlessly! Nonetheless, when it came time to record the actually video I would mess up and jumble my words. The awful part is that on the Educreations app, you can not re-record or delete a recording. Therefore, every single time I messed up, I had to redo all my drawings and equations. It was becoming a hassle, but I became extremely worried about how the other videos are going to turn out. My experience with the first video makes me very hesitate to make any more. By the time I finished a decent video, I was tense and exhausted. Although, I know that making more videos will be inevitable, as that it the center of our project! In the future, I hope that I will be able to work with the mistakes that are audible during the video, instead of starting all over.
This week, my partner and I have been preparing for our Pitch Day Presentation. Now that we are farther into our project, I have learned a lot about myself. Unlike other presentations, I, surprisingly, got a head start on our Pitch Day Presentation. I think that this is mostly because I am working with a partner. Now, whenever a section of our project is due, I can not procrastinate without thinking that my laziness will also take a toll on my partner. Knowing that I might let someone else down has been a great motivation for me to work on our Pitch Day presentation. We have decided to display our information on a tri-fold. Right away, I was faced with issues. When I went to the craft store, they didn’t have any tri-fold boards in the medium size that we needed. Although, this was not that big of an issue and my problem solving strategies told me to go for the board that opens up. When I went home, I started planning everything, but when I started to put it together, it just did not turn out the way I wanted it too. Hopefully, I will be able to fix up the presentation before it is due. In addition to working on the tri-fold, I have also been practicing for our presentation. Normally, I get really nervous with presenting. However, after talking and explaining our project to so many people, I feel that I will be able to naturally speak about it, as opposed to being glued to my always-reliable note cards. Unfortunately, being comfortable about talking about this project does not make presenting any less scary!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Contacting the Authority

Since my partner and I are aiming our project towards helping our school’s community, contacting an authority was quick and simple! It was very easy to locate our authorities because they all had a contact form through the school district. This was very convenient for my partner and I and it made getting the help we need accessible. As I learned from my 21st Century Literature class, emails should be short and to the point. Although I tried to apply this knowledge to my emails, it soon wandered to the back of my mind as I rambled away to my math teacher and coach. In the email, my partner and I introduced ourselves and our 20 Time project. We explained our passion for math and what information we were looking to seek. I was not shocked that our authorities got back to us within a day or so. However, I was astonished by how dedicated my former math teacher was to our project and the plethora of information she was able to congregate! Our school’s math coach was also very helpful and replied back to us right away! Hopefully, my partner and I will be meeting with her this week and I am very thankful for the time she is willing to take out of her schedule to guide us in our project. Fortunately, the feedback we got back from our authorities were all positive!
    Although my partner and I work with technology everyday, we are not the best gurus out there! Since we were contacting our authorities through a contact form, it never showed up in my inbox. Instead it was under the ‘Sent’ tab. Unfortunately, I was not aware of how it was sent. We heard back from our authorities the next day, but I had no clue that they responded that quickly. When I checked my email, I saw that I had no new mail in my inbox and I assumed that they were busy, like every other worker in this school district. After two days, I went hunting in my mail to see if my email was actually sent. During my exploration, I discovered that one of my authorities contacted me twice in the past two days! Immediately, I read over her emails and responded right away. I felt irresponsible and thought that it seemed like a reflection of my dedication to this project. After I contacted my second authority, I made sure to take advantage of the search bar and make sure that my emails went through and that I knew when they responded. I definitely need to be more cautious with my work, especially when other people are involved. I am not only wasting my time, but theirs as well. Now that my partner and I have contacted our authorities, we are planning to meet with one of them sometime this week. Before we rush into things, we are going to make a list of questions to be prepared and to help us utilize our time wisely. I hope that we will be prepared enough to get all the necessary information to start making our videos!