Simon seems to be setting first gentle steps in Calculus, once again thanks to Daniel Shiffman.

In the videos below, Simon talks about minimizing and maximizing functions, the power rule, the chain rule and partial derivatives. Simon’s videos are his resumes of Daniel Shiffman’s Calculus Intelligence and Learning course tutorial 3.5 and a few other related tutorials. “Intelligence and Learning” course is a Spring 2017 course that Daniel Shiffman taught at the ITP, the Interactive Telecommunications Program, a graduate programme at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

On Saturday morning Simon also chose to do Calculus with his math teacher (via Khan Academy), instead of Algebra and polynomial expressions that they were actually doing for the past weeks.

Daniel Shiffman’s videos on Calculus:
Power Rule: https://youtu.be/IKb_3FJtA1U
Partial Derivative: https://youtu.be/-WVBXXV81R4

# Sums of consecutive integers

It’s been great watching Simon turn a word problem into an equation today. He was busy with “Sums of consecutive integers” (Practice finding the nth number in a sequence of consecutive numbers based on the sum) on Khan Academy.

# Equations Continued. A Victory.

Yesterday was a break-through day! Simon finally cracked those equations with variables on both sides, even the ones including parentheses! And this is what helped: just like with programming, he switched to English and tried to imitate the Khan Academy video’s he had watched. He also invented using different colour markers for the variables remaining on the same side of the equations and the variables he had to move to the opposite side. But what really catalysed the learning process was discovering a scratch pad on the Khan Academy interface: Simon, who normally hated writing things down when solving an equation, suddenly got a passion for carefully sketching all the steps, in different colours:

# Screen shots over the past several days

Here are some screen shots of Simon’s coding practice over the past couple of days.

Khan Academy > Computer programming > HTML/JS: Making webpages interactive (he got stuck after completing 26 percent); Khan Academy > Computer programming > Intro to HTML/CSS: Making webpages (70 percent complete):

This is where he got stuck in the HTML/JS course:

And these are a few of his projects on the w3schools.com platform:

# Equations with variables on both sides

Equations with variables on both sides remain a difficult subject to grasp. Well, all right, we only tried it twice so far. On Monday evening I saw Simon sit down to practice these for himself, attempting to solve an equation by drawing scales. Dad spent an hour trying to explain the concept of bringing all the variables to one side and the “numbers” to the other, and how to do that. I think we’re almost there.

# HTML/JS: Making webpages interactive with jQuery (Khan Academy)

Guess what happened when I told Simon that Khan Academy doesn’t only teach math, but also has loads of computer programming tutorials? He was so excited he finished 38 percent of the HTML/JS: Making webpages interactive with jQuery block in one day. Considering he also had to attend a weekly group lesson in Scratch (CodeFever) in a distant suburb this afternoon, it’s quite an achievement.