Calculus has a two-hour class on Wednesdays. This worked out really well, because we introduced Riemann sums today. We’d done left and right endpoints last time, so now we set up all the sum and took the limit and worked everything out. My kids struggle with this every year, but they really seemed to get it! And when I gave them what I thought would be a hard problem (here’s the Riemann sum, write down the definite integral it represents), they all got it! It was really satisfying.

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Precal started the Law of Sines today. I haven’t proved much this year, which is kind of bothering me, so I decided I’d go ahead and show them the proof. But before I could, they hit upon the key idea themselves and worked the example problem! All I had to do was generalize it by replacing the numbers in our example with variables, and tidy a few things up. I was very impressed.

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I realized last week that my brain is bored. So I started listening to the lectures from an astronomy class at Yale. (MIT and Yale and probably some other schools make a number of their classes “open,” so you can listen to the lectures and do the problem sets at your own pace and without enrolling.) I just listen to the lectures while I’m making dinner or folding laundry – it’s not like it’s a huge time commitment, and it’s really fun. I mentioned this in a few classes today, and one class was very surprised and impressed. I heard at least one girl murmur, “Wow. Goals.”

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