Monday, March 24, 2014

To err is human...

If we cannot avoid the avoidable errors, what kind of errors can we avoid?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ask a student for help

We are now well into the second semester in most of our schools. Fairly soon final exams will be looming, along with Regents exams (at least in New York) and assorted other Common Core assessments as well.

It is my hope that over the next few months the arguing over Common Core, etc., can stop, and the energy be directed at getting the students to succeed.

Be it English, Math, Social Studies, Spanish, whatever they are studying, support them at it.

If you are one of those math-phobics who tells everyone that you are and never were any good at math, don't pass that along to the kids. Instead of telling them you cannot help them, ask them to help you. Have them explain what they are doing and what they are working on.  Many times just trying to explain something clarifies it for the explainer.

Just as an example, if the graphic here brings back memories of painful high school classes, then go out and find a high school student and have them explain what they can to you about it.

Remember, by asking a student to help you, you are helping them.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How can we recognize quality in baseball batters?

In the chart ...(see below)... are the 24 possible situations which a batter may confront when he takes the plate, numbered 1 to 24. In addition are the 24 situations possible after the plate appearance is done (numbered 2 to 25).
Judgment of the quality of hitters must begin with assigning values to the "steps" possible in a specific plate appearance. For example, "1,1" denotes a no-out home run, "8,1", "16,9", and "24,17" all denote grand slams. The sequence 1,9,17,25 would be the "three up, three down" pitchers strive for. The sequence "8,25" would be a triple play.
Mathematically speaking, most plate appearances can be described as a single ordered pair of digits, the first digit for the situation when the batter first comes to the plate, and the second for the result after that batter's plate appearance. There are 576 such pairs. These must be assigned relative values. Until that is done, comparisons of hitters will remain a quagmire of subjective opinions.
Note: After these relative values are complete, one can then address strings such as 2,9,10, in which a runner is thrown out before a batter completes his plate appearance. No sense adding these in too early.