Archive for September, 2009

My Mathography

Posted in 1 on September 24, 2009 by coltswet

I remember when I was in elementary school that math was my favorite subject.  I really enjoyed it because I was impatient and math was able to be done quickly.  I was a very competitive boy and we used to play a game called “Around the World”. I was the kid to beat and often circled around the class for the entire game.  The kids called my the “math wiz”.  It really motivated me to do well.   Once I entered into sixth grade, I was put into a group called the “math league”. Here we began to work on challenging math problems that involved words.  At this point I began to no longer enjoy math as much.

The first thing I learned in math was how to add and subtract.  I remember learning to identify patterns as well.  The way I learned how to do these things was by mostly coloring and drawing.

My favorite teacher of all time was Mrs. Kraybill.  She was my favorite because she was the one who taught me how to play “Around the World”.  I also enjoyed being in her class because she used a lot of competitive things to motivate me as a student.  She also taught in a way that we were able to do group work, which at that time I thought was so we could talk, but now as a teacher I realize it was to share our thoughts and ideas with each other.


Math Stories from this past week and forward

Posted in Math Stories on September 23, 2009 by coltswet

Recently, my wife and I have been building a sunroom addition on the back of our house. This past weekend I was finishing up the siding and because of the angle of my roof I had to cut the end of the siding on an angle.  I knew the length of what I needed of the siding, however,  it had to be cut just right because the last foot or so needed to be angled due to the slope of the roof.  I didn’t have the proper skills of a construction guy, so I thought about how I could determine the proper slope “cut” so that the siding would fit behind the j-channel.  As a math teacher, I told my wife we could use the Pythagorean Theory to help determine the length of the cut from the top of the siding to the end. So I figured it out as this.  My piece of siding was 12 feet long and the piece of siding would fit perfectly up until 8 feet 8 inches. At this point the slope came into play for the remaining 14 inches. So I used the Pythagorean theory and set my problem up as such:

12″ squared + 14″ squared = the length of my slope squared.

144 + 196= slope squared

340= slope squared

Slope had to be 18 1/3 ” long.
I am so proud to say that the first thing I tell my friends when they come over to see the final project is that I successfully completed the siding myself, without the help of my neighbor who owns his own remodeling company!!!


Posted in Glossary on September 23, 2009 by coltswet

Numerical Expression-involves numbers and operations

Variable Expression- involves numbers, letters, and operations

Variable- a letter used to represent an unknown number

Evaluate- to solve an expression

Order of Operations-the process of solving a math problem that involves more than one operation.

Integer-any whole number, does not include fractions.

Reciprocal-to take a fraction and “flip it” upside down. Ex) 5/1 the reciprocal is 1/5.

Opposite- a number that is the exact distance from zero on the other side of a number line. Ex) 5 the opposite is -5

A little about myself….

Posted in Uncategorized on September 17, 2009 by coltswet

I am a middle school math teacher in the Lebanon City School District. Currently, I teach three sections of Pre-Algebra and one section of Algebra 1.  This is my seventh year of teaching. I spent four years teaching in Maryland and the last three years teaching in Pennsylvania.  I graduated from Hempfield High School in Lancaster County, PA. I then went on to graduate from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.

I am an avid sports fan, who enjoys spending time with my family, which includes my wife and two children, five year old Gabriella and two year old Lexi.

Two goals that I wish to accomplish throughout this course would be to learn how to use different manipulatives in Algebra and to be exposed to different styles of teaching Algebra.