Saturday, May 19, 2012

Quarter IV, Week 5: ScreenCasts, SmartNotes and Code, oh my!

This week was AP Week #2! Calc is watching the "Back to the Future" Trilogy, CompSci is having video game tournaments (tremulous, bzflag, starcraft, quake) and Calculus Research Lab is watching "Stand and Deliver!" This is a great movie about a Calculus class failing the AP. We get to laugh at them after our AP! It's very cathartic. The only class doing any meaningful work is preCalculus!  

preCalculus for Seniors  
preCalculus finished Unit 3: Differentiating Rules (Product Rule, Quotient Rule, Trig Rules, Chain Rule).  I've been motivating new topics each day with a related Calculus Song from YouTube. There's a lot of great songs on YouTube. Goto YouTube and search for "Calculus Song" or "Calculus Parody" or "Calculus Cover" or "Calculus Carol" or even "Calculus Filk!" Calculus BCAP Week traditionally means a movie marathon. Here's what we're doing this year:pre AP Weeks 1&2: AP Calculus BC finished a unit on Vector vs. Polar notation. We stressed the similarity of Polar and Parametric modes. So, once we figured out how to calculate slopes and arc lengths parametrically, we tried to do the same with polar graphs. We also talked about polar area! Next week is AP Review already! We had MCQ IX and CML 4 too.

AP Computer Science  
This week we are running a video game arcade. BZFlag and Tremulous were easily installed earlier in the year using the Ubuntu Software Center. Now, the school has every student PC, even my Linux boxes, going through some crazy firewall, so we installed Quake using and we are running an old version of StarCraft via WINE! Quake was a bit of a pain to set up. Here's what we did (some boxes also needed libmad0 and libdynamite0 first):
(1) From download and install the following in this order:
(1A) quakespasm
(1B) quake
(1C) dynamite
(1D) game-data-packager
(2) goto /usr/share/games/game-data-packager and install quake-shareware_all_29.deb
(3) download pak0.pak and pak1.pak from
(4) sudo cp *.pak /usr/share/games/quake/id1

pre AP Weeks 1&2: AP Computer Science tied up some loose ends with CH11 "Interfaces and Polymorphism" aka the "implements" key word in java. We also did CH18 "Recursion." We did CH13 "Inheritance" aka the key word "extends" via GridWorld. I assigned CH19 "Searching and Sorting" as a reading assignment for homework before the AP. I did the same with GridWorld Part IV about the Critter class as we had to start AP Review!
Calculus Research LabGotta have a movie marathon here too:pre AP Weeks 1&2: CRL was back in business as our internet connectivity issues  were finally addressed! So, we finally finished 1.3 Reimann Sums from the Calc2 text implementing Simpson's Rule as a python function. We finished the Derivatives text (calc-1) last semester and started the AntiDerivatives text (calc-2) last quarter. We will also use the Differential Equations text (calc-3) in our final project! These texts are all free for the download as PDFs from
CRL 1.3 Reimann Sums Intro

HTH and I hope you enjoyed this week's notes!

Learning with Technology, 

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