A busy, awesome week...
Today was great! 6th grade students are working on keeping score with their random coin flip, 7th grade students are cleaning up their coin flip games, and 8th grader are 3 days into a self-choice project. I had a lot of time to answer individual questions and help debug programs today. I overheard some great quotes...
"This is a long thinking process."
"That was the most funnest class I've ever had, besides Pong."
"Mr. Hartman, I don't think Scratch inputs are still case sensitive." I did not realize this, what great awareness by a student to point it out.
"Mine [coin flip game] works perfectly, every time. I'm so proud of myself."
Last night I built some example projects for students to reference - linear projectile motion, vertical jumping, platformer jumping, and a high score table. Next is getting a ball to move in a parabolic arc like you'd see in volleyball. One student volunteered to figure this out for me. I can't wait!
Example projects and student projects will be posted here.
Some thoughts before I lose them.
1) Friday was a mess. Don't ever have 120 students turn in projects on the same day.
2) Some of the SCRATCH pong projects were incredible. I handed out a rubric that clearly stated, "What 3 things have you added to your project which were not covered in class?" Many students read that, did nothing about it, then admitted to adding nothing. I'll never understanding not following a rubric.
3) Today, my 6th and 7th grade classes started a coin flip project. Step 1 - alternating sides. Step 2 - using "random" numbers to generate fair and unfair outcomes. Step 3 - tricking the viewer into seeing the flip of the coin. Students are beginning to ask, "How do I get it to stop on one of the flat sides." This is exactly what we cover tomorrow. I love when students know where we're going.
4) 8th grade is looking into CodeHS.com as a possible research to bridge SCRATCH and actual JAVA programming. Those daggum ( ) and ;'s
Today was the first of what I call a "Friday Forum." I told students they can ask me any tech related question and I'd do my best to answer. Questions like "When was the first ... " I just had them go to Wikipedia for the answer (shhh, don't tell the Social Studies teachers).
I loved the questions about how Youtubers make money. A few students asked about how much math is required to be a programmer. The most popular question of the day was, "What is bitcoin?" I did my best to answer. I explained how all currencies are agreed upon values and mediums of exchange, then went on to explain if you have $10,000 in cash and it burns partially up you can send to to Fed for a replacement or if it's stolen, your bank account is FDIC insured. If your bitcoin hard drive is corrupted, you are simply out the money. I talked a little about how even powerful home computers barely cross the break even point in mining vs. electricity costs.
To end the day I opened an old computer, explained what the important parts were, and had the students practice installing RAM. Most had never seen the inside of any computer.
Today Chipper Jones, Trevor Hoffman, Jim Thome, and Vladimir Guerrero were elected to the baseball Hall of Fame. Congrats to them.
My Twitter feed is full of arguments for Omar Vizquel and Edgar Martinez. Being from southern Indiana, one guy even vouched for Scott Rolen. I was out to prove that Scott Rolen was just average - I was wrong.
For hitters I measured the amount of WAR (Wins Above Replacement) generated per 162 games (full season). For pitchers I measured the amount of WAR generated per 200 IP (full season).
The results are below. I had no idea Larry Walker was that good. I thought Sosa would be higher as well. You could make an argument for or against any of these players, but the prevailing stat the BBWAA seems to use is how long was your career. Scott Rolen generated more WAR than Jim Thome in 505 fewer innings. Nothing against Thome, but maybe they should both be in and Thome shouldn't get a leg up for playing an extra 505 innings.