Saturday, February 28, 2015

Perimeter, Fractions, and Variables. How Do They Mix?

In my 7th grade math class, my classmates and I started a project. Based on our recent test scores, we each received a problem that was a bit higher than our level. In this blogpost I'm going to show you what my problem was, and show you how I solved it. 

My problem:

A triangle has a perimeter of 25 ½ meters. The shortest side is ⅔ the length of the middle side, and the longest side is 7/6 of the length of the middle side.

I had to solve the problem. The first thing I did, was draw a scaled diagram and I wrote and equation. Then I started to solve the problem. Down below you will see my process. Also, here is my final project. I made an explain-everything video.

Equation: (7/6 x X) + (⅔ x X) + X = 25 ½

= (7/6 x X) + (4/6 x X) + X = 25 ½
combining like terms:
7/6 + 4/6 + 6/6 (which we infer is X) = 17/6
= 17/6 = 25 ½ / 1
= 17/6 = 51/2
cross multiply
= 17X x 2 = 51 x 6
= 34X =306
= X = 306/34
x = 9

Small side = ⅔ of 9 = 6
Longer side = 7/6 of 9 = 7x9 = 63/6 = 10.5

Here is my explanation:
While I was trying to solve my problem, I realized that I should find a common denominator and transform X into a fraction. Since the common denominator is 6, and X is the ‘whole’ number, X in a fraction would 6/6. So 7/6 + 4/6 (⅔) + 6/6 = 17/6. This fraction has to equal to 25 ½. 25 ½ would be 51/2 in fraction. The next thing to do is to cross multiply. 17 x 2 = 34x and 6 x 51= 306. Lastly, to find x, you need to divide 306 by 34x, which is 9. X = 9.
Of course, now you need to find the unknown lengths. Simple. Tje shortest side is ⅔ of 9, which is 6, and then 7/6 of 9, for which you multiply 9 by 7, which is 63, and then divide that by 6, which is 10.5.
This simple procedure can be used for multiple questions. Though throughout my explanation I used my problem as an example.

Part of my problem was to come up with my own, similar to this one. Here is my problem. I used the same structure, proving my method works.
A triangle has a perimeter of 15 cm. The shortest side is 8/10 the length of the middle side, and the longest side is 6/5 the length of the middle side. What are the different lengths?

Equation: (6/5 • x) + (8/10 • x) + x = 15 cm

= (12/10 • x) + (8/10 • x) + 6/6 (x) = 25 ½
combining like terms:
12/10 + 8/10 + 10/10 = 30/10
= 30/10 = 15/1
cross multiply
= 30 x 1 = 10 x 15
= 30x = 150
= x = 150/30
x = 5

Small side = ⅘ of 5 = 4
Longer side = 6/5 of 5 = 6

As you can see, the method clearly worked. Additionally, with these smaller numbers you can see more easier what I did.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Quizzing Myself on Water

I recently did a test for science all about water. Now, Mr. Pro told us to write a short blogpost answering three questions.

     a) Describe at least one way to improve on test preparation.
For the next test, I'm going to start preparing a week before, instead of 3 days before. This will help me remember it longer and I won't have to spend a lot of time studying the last few days. For example, if I do 30 minutes of studying a night then I have time for other subjects as well.   

     b) Describe at least one way to improve while writing the test.
I can't really think of something I could improve for next time as I did pretty well. I think just being more confident while doing the test I guess. 

     c) Complete the following happiness statement.
I am very pleased with my results because I tried my best, and it paid of a lot.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

O Que Aconteceu?

Nas primeiras semanas de janeiro e fevereiro, nós estudamos lendas/histórias. Para começar essa tema, nós lemos três lendas [dos] online feitos pelos alunos dos anos passados. Depois nós escrevemos em um documento se a história é uma explicação ou um ensinamento. Na aula seguinte, nós fomos na biblioteca da educação infantil e lemos três lendas, e fazer o documento de novo. Quando nós soubemos sobre o que a história era, nós dissemos o porquê. Nós fizemos isso mais vezes. Adicionalmente, na aula, Dona Lau leu lendas pra nós. Meus colegas e eu pudemos descobrir o conflito em uma história e o pretérito perfeito e imperfeito, porque nós estudamos isso também.
Aqui eu tenho dois exemplos: um ensinamento e uma explicação.
Ensinamento: João e Maria. Duas crianças se perderam na floresta e foram comer doces de uma casa de uma estranha, e eles ficaram  preso, mas as crianças tiveram uma ideia que era fuggir quando a mulher não visse.
Guarana Fruta
Explicação: A Lenda do Guaraná. Um casal recebeu uma criança. Essa criança era cheia de bondade, e o deus da escuridão não gostou dela. Ele matou a criança. A mãe chorava muito, e falou pra as moços da tribo que deveria plantar os olhos da criança e que deles uma nova planta cresceria dando saborosos frutos. Neste lugar cresceu o guaraná, cujas sementes são negras, cada uma com um arilo em seu redor, imitando os olhos humanos.
Agora, nós escolhemos a lenda que nós queremos no livro que minha classe vai fazer. Eu acho que eu quero escrever uma lenda holandesa. Um pouco depois, eu conversei com meus avós. Eles recomendaram duas lendas: Het Vrouwtje van Stavoren [os stavoren femininos] ou Hans Brinker. Agora, eu vou escolher qual eu quero fazer.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

The Giver So Far...

"Twenty," he heard her voice say clearly. "Pierre." She skipped me, Jonas thought, stunned. (...) Jonas bowed his head and searched through his mind. What had he done wrong? (57-58)
The community decides everything. No choices can be made by the citizens. Not one. But what will Jonas learn when he is selected to be the next Receiver? What will the Giver teach him?

        In Humanities, my class has recently started reading the Giver, written By Lois Lowry. Up until now, I have read til chapter 16, though I will be analysing the chapters one through ten. I already knew a lot about the community before reading past chapter ten, as the author has meticulously described the way this dystopian society lives. Throughout the first few chapters, I've learned many things form the way the characters live in that world, and it is incredible.

Opening the book and reading the first chapter showed me that everything in this book is different. Different to our society. Our world. Our way of being. The style of government that the characters of the Giver live in is to me very extreme communism. There is a Committee of Elders who decide upon rules and ways of living in their community. Within that committee there are a variety of jobs such as the Receiver and the Chief Elder. The Chief Elder makes all final decisions and presents those to the community. The Receiver –the job that Jonas receives– is also a very important job as that specific person has knowledge from the past that helps make decisions for the future. The community, as far as I have read, does not get a say in how things happen unless they are on the Committee of Elders. I'm inferring that through generations citizens have come to obey the committee more and more. This made them respectful as well to who they 'follow' but also to their friends, family, or other people in their community. Summing it up, this community follows their leaders, and doesn't disobey whoever is controlling their lifestyle. The heads of the society have a big influence on how the citizens are. 

Reading about this community, my views and opinions have been rocking back and forth. The difference in the way Jonas' society lives compared to ours is huge. After reflecting, I've decided that for the most part I think this is a good community, as there are many positive aspects to their way of living. First of all, everything is the same. People dress the same way, they act and say the same things, they live in the same houses, etc. This makes the community very organized, and also ensures no problems between the way that people are. For example, in their community, everyone wears the standard outfit depending on what group you are in. Nine's have to wear hair ribbons, and elderly people have to wear tunics. Families live in the same 'dwelling', or home, and things such as how their house is furnished is decided by the committee of Elders and is all the same for everyone.(74) On page 22, the speaker that reminds people to follow the rules announces that "Hair ribbons are to be neatly tied at all times." This quote is directed to Lily, Jonas' sister, whom's hair ribbon wasn't tied neatly. Presenting yourself in the standard way is a rule, as they don't want to make anyone feel special or out of place. In our world, this happens very differently. For instance, people might be bullied about the clothing they wear or their hobbies. Also, people decide by themselves how they want to furnish their house. If they want a black bed and a white closet, then they buy it at the store and it's not a problem. Since Jonas, his family, and his community all live in Sameness, this never happens. 
Additionally, the community has many rules to keep citizens in line. If a rule is broken in this society, there are special punishments that follow to make sure that the citizens doesn’t make the same mistake twice. Or, if the deed was to bad, the consequence is to be released. In reality, this is death, but the community doesn't know this. On the first and second page, Jonas says that he is scared when a pilot flies a jet over the community. It is a rule that pilots are not allowed to fly over the community, and as this put many citizens in danger, "the pilot was released."(2) Furthermore, the society also has something known as a discipline wand, which is used on the old and the young. If they make a small mistake such as saying the wrong things, they will be hit with discipline wand to make sure their precision of language is good for next time. Looking at it from the Elder’s perspective, it is quite useful, as they want to maintain an as-much-as-possible perfect society. Punishing citizens for wrong actions or small mistakes will teach them lessons for next time. Ensuring that everyone knows the rules makes life in their community easier and flow better, instead of everyone thinking independently. Finally, in this community, all the citizens are assigned an Assignment, or a job. This makes sure that everybody helps the society in some way. Every December, there are two days of ceremonies where all the groups advance one number. That means that Elevens turn into Twelves, and at that stage, they receive their Assignments. (52) Strangely, students aren't allowed to decide their own life-long tasks. Though this is a good thing, because the Elders painstakingly pick the perfect task for each child, making them happy to be able to fulfil their job. Also, this also ensures that the working centers aren't overly crowded as the Elders try to chose a different job for each student. To add on, there is no currency in their community. Things such as food and water is delivered to their houses and not payed for. Now, when citizens are assigned their Assignment, they don't have to worry if their job is good enough to keep a family alive. This also guarantees no poverty in their community, and keeps the level of equality fairly high.
To conclude, this community is good in the aspects of being the same, having rules that people should obey, and assigning jobs to citizens in the community. Every single citizens knows and follows the community rules. 
Except for the Giver. And the new Receiver.