Monday, October 28, 2013

Math Extension - Ancient Greek Geometry

Here's a fun puzzle I found out about recently. It's called Ancient Greek Geometry. The challenge is to create different shapes (like triangles, and circle patterns) using only a straight-edge and a compass. For example, here's a solution for a hexagon:

Hexagon Created Using a Straightedge and Compass
The program runs right in your browser and is easy to learn. Just point your students to the website ( and they'll figure out the rest.

There's also a number of other neat features from the same people at their website.

Monday, October 21, 2013

f.lux - Use your montor's Color Temperature to help manage Sleep Schedules

We all know the importance of Sleep Schedules and getting enough sleep, especially to students. If not, check out this article discussing recent research on Sleep Deprivation and Academic Performance in Students. (SPOILER: Sleep deprivation inhibits learning).

Modern students face a double-whammy:
1)      We ask a lot from them
2)      They do their work on their computers

Together, these factors often lead our students to face their laptop screens up until they go to bed. According to this article discussing the relationships between screen brightness and sleep schedules, staring at a bright screen at night tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime, preventing your brain from getting properly ready for bed and ruining your sleep schedule.

Enter f.lux, a program which will automatically adjust your screen’s color temperature during the day to mimic a sunset.

I've been using this program at home for years now and I love it. Before, I used to have to stop using my computer an hour before bed or I wouldn't feel tired. Now, I could fall asleep sitting up while reading at my computer. Best part: It’s free, so no harm in trying it. It takes about a day to get used to it and then you’ll wonder how you got by without it.