# sacha chua living an awesome life

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## Study group update: negative numbers, exponents, and awesomeness

W- started the kids on a review of positive and negative numbers. They got the hang of those quickly, so they worked on fractions, exponents, scientific notation, and engineering notation. They multiplied numbers with exponents, divided numbers with exponents, dealt with negative exponents, figured out the two answers to x2 = 1… Whee!

J- really wanted to review the Greek alphabet. We introduced it so that they can easily work with θ, α, β, and other characters when they encounter the letters in science and math. J- picked them up really quickly thanks to the flashcards we made. She used the same techniques to teach the other kids more of the letters, repeatedly cycling over small sets of letters, sharing original mnemonics (λ reminds her of “Mary had a little lambda” and a hill).

Watching the kids teach themselves Greek letters – and have fun doing so! – I wondered what on earth we were doing correctly, and if we could help other people do it too. Maybe it’s really just providing a space where the kids can get together and learn, and some guidance and exercises to help them grow.

J- says she learns more – and enjoys learning more – in our study groups than she does in school, because the study group is more fun, more focused, and easier to understand. It’s a happy middle between the intense focus and isolation of a one-on-one tutoring session, and the anonymity of a large class. I’m glad we’re doing it, and I’m amazed at how the kids are doing.

And they begged for more brainteasers! So now I get to dust off my collection of logic puzzles and go through them. Turnabout’s fair play, though, so they have free license to stump me with whatever they can throw at me. =)

2011-04-15 Fri 18:43

Short URL: sach.ac/p/22201

## On This Day...

• 2013: Towards wonderful new normals — I’ll be doing consulting for around two days a week for the rest of the year. Before I started this [...]
• 2012: Sketches: People-watching at High Park — I’m teaching myself how to draw by cheating. For example, while waiting for friends to come join me in seeing [...]
• 2010: Tea — One of my indulgences is hosting tea parties. I love bringing friends together for conversation. There’s something about an [...]
• 2009: Sketches: Do these look like cats to you? =) — This was also fun to make. =)
• 2007: How to use Emacs to keep track of your bibliography and notes: anatomy of an Emacs hack — Keep your records in BibTeX, which is a text-based tool for keeping track of bibliographies. BibTeX really shines when you use [...]
• 2007: Oooh! The banig is so pretty! — My mom sent me a woven mat. It’s so pretty! I’ve set it up by the side of my room. If [...]
• 2007: Book recommendation: The Ten-Minute Trainer — Bowman. 2005. The Ten-Minute Trainer. Pfeiffer. Training shouldn’t be hour-long lectures that bore people who are more used to television’s ten-minute chunks [...]
• 2007: Book recommendation: Light Their Fire — Drake, Gulman and Roberts. 2005. Light Their Fire. Dearborn: Chicago, IL. Light Their Fire shows the importance of internal marketing as a [...]
• 2006: How to wear a malong — Someone came upon my webpages while looking for ways to wear a malong, one of the traditional Filipino costumes. It’s really [...]
• 2006: Rails pub night — I had tons of fun at the Toronto Rails pub night. Met some really cool people. =) Pictures to follow. Finally [...]
• 2006: Dips — The dips Bill brought deserve their own entry. He brought taramosalata, a Greek dip of… umm… carp egg caviar. =) [...]
• 2006: Backlog: I’m feeling potlucky! — Sunday was a very culinary day. ;) After doing my chores and my laundry, I decided that a potluck lunch was [...]
• 2004: Publishing absolute URLs in RSS feeds — - ../../notebook/emacs/emacs-wiki-config.el - ../../notebook/emacs/planner-config.el (defvar sacha/emacs-wiki-use-absolute-url-flag nil "Non-nil means publish absolute URLs.") (defadvice planner-rss-add-note (around sacha/absolute-urls activate) "Publish absolute URLs." [...]
• 2004: William Yu’s draft presentation on FOSS in the curriculum — http://cng.ateneo.net/cng/wyu/works/drafts/sfd2004-foss-in-cscurricula-html/ E-Mail from William Yu
• 2004: Gnus frontend for Dashboard — Hans de Graaff wrote Lisp code to make Gnus send clue packets to Dashboard. Fascinating… I should try that for planner [...]
• 2004: Alternating rows — li:nth-child(5n+3) {font-weight: bold}
• 2004: Socializing — Kathy picked me up from YMCA and said she was doing me a favor by taking me out. I didn’t have [...]
• 2004: Aikido — I’m beginning to enjoy aikido. The moves are just so… graceful. They remind me of ballroom dancing, strangely. I think I’m [...]