Simon loves functions. He hasn’t ever studid them in Algebra, but comes across functions regularly in programming. This is what he came up with Wednesday:
I showed Simon that there is a functions course on Khan Academy:
And he watched some videos and completed some tasks:
Math on Friday:
From today’s math lesson. Simon has started polynomials and insisted upon expressing them as a graph:
Simon has nearly completed the basic equations and inequalities course on Khan Academy.
Every time his math teacher comes they solve a couple of inequalities from the course and what happens next is that Simon goes over to his desktop to check his answers in the “Inequalities machine” he programmed! He often has to change the program to fit a new inequality format, so it takes some time. Luckily the math teacher understands how awesome this is. I also think it’s the first time Simon has really programmed something for practical use!
This is how Simon solves the inequalities, by typing them:
Testing the answer in the “Inequalities Machine”:
The original “Inequalities Machine” Simon programmed back in February:
Solving inequalities with Khan Academy:
Simon has been trying different courses in JacaScript on Khan Academy, making some fun animations as part of tasks:
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:
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.