Dear Teaching My Baby to Read followers,
I’ve waited years to write this post. Today, Publishers Marketplace announced my two book deal with Georgia McBride at Month9Books. BLANK SLATE will release in 2016 and is about an 18 year-old girl whose lack of a virtual footprint makes her so valuable that she is auctioned off to the highest bidder. The sequel will come out in 2017.
Here’s the link to my brand new author page at Month9Books: http://month9booksblog.com/authors/jennifer-bardsley/, my new Facebook page: The YA Gal, and my new homepage: http://jenniferbardsley.net.
I’ve got so many people to thank that my acknowledgement page will be a mile long. But none of this would be possible without the incredible dedication of my literary agent, Liza Fleissig, of the Liza Royce Agency.
I’ve wanted to be an author since I was 11 years old.
On this blog I’ve talked about the importance of empowering our kids to become resilient. This is a lesson I hope to teach my own children by example. Three blogs, five manuscripts, 100+ “I Brake for Moms” columns in The Everett Daily Herald; I’ve put in 10,000 hours of writing and my family knows what this dream has cost.
But it’s worth it.
In 2016 there will be an author box in our family library with my name on it.
I hope when 2016 comes, you’re still with me. I hope you love my book and write glowing reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I hope you tweet about it to all your friends!
In the meantime, my mission for Teaching My Baby to Read remains unchanged. My dream is to spark a national conversation about how massive parental involvement is the key to high quality education. Resiliency will make it happen.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your readership.
Here’s an especially tricky problem from 5th grade geometry. Everyone knows that the area of a triangle is 1/2 (b * h). But with this particular triangle, what qualifies as “the height” is difficult to see. At least it was for me the first time I looked at it.
I don’t know–maybe you’ll look at this problem and say “Duh, Jenny.” But for me, the scalene triangle was strange looking.
When I first looked at this I saw that it would be easy to solve with the Pythagorean Theorem. But Houghton Mifflin Math Expressions hadn’t covered that yet. So there was another even easier way to solve this problem that wasn’t jumping out to my me or my son.
Can you figure out what it is?
Figuring out the perimeter of the red triangle is easy. That’s 17 + 9 + 10 = 36 cm. But what about the area?
First, I’ll show the way that ends up being the most complicated: using the Pythagorean Theorem.
This is a perfect example of how being algorithm dependent can screw up your number sense. I was so sure the Pythagorean Theorem was the way to go, I initially missed seeing the easier solution.
Now after all of that, let’s look at the original problem and try a third method to solve this problem, using the formula 1/2 (b*h). This is arguably the easiest method.
1/2 (9 * 8) = 36 sq cm.
Okay, so why didn’t I use the formula to begin with? When my son first looked at this, why didn’t I say “Dude, plug in the formula 1/2 (b * h),”?
Because that’s not what good math teachers do. Math is more than memorizing and applying formulas. Math is about experimenting, visualizing, internalizing and sometimes struggling until you reach a higher level of understanding.
This is an example of a problem that is simple yet confusing. Those are the best types! I’ve gone through college level calculus and I still looked at the picture and couldn’t viscerally understand why 8 cm was the height of the triangle. Neither could anyone in my family. (My husband, btw, is a lot smarter in math than me!)
So we played with this problem. We turned it inside out. Now, it makes sense. Along the way, we got to do a lot of cool math.