Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Green Blog With an Edu-Infomercial

Thanks to our admissions director at school (who found this li'l gem at a workshop she attended), I'm now a big fan of the Khan Academy. What's that, you ponder? I'll let Bill Gates & Sal Khan tell you themselves here in the video below (or go to to catch it yourself...which, after watching this video, odds are you're going to want to go there anyway, for more than just this video!)

Why am I such a big fan? Other than the sure ingenious of the Khan Academy videos, here's the real reason: I taught mixed numbers & improper fractions this week.

Typically, here's what happens: I visually try to show the definition, time and time again, about what something like 1 3/4 means. You know the picture, something like this:

What I invariable get is kids telling me that the improper fraction is 7/8, seeing 8 fractional parts, rather than something between 1 and 2 whole pizzas. They don't realize they're counting by 1/4.

Well, a 6 minute lesson by Sal Khan, along with my own supplementary commentary coalesces the lesson in a way that I've never been able to achieve by myself. Could it be that I've finally mastered the fine art (and articulation) of mixed numbers? Possibly. Could it be that my population this year is just simply brilliant? Perhaps. But more likely it's the Khan Academy's down to earth way of sharing details, and perhaps even a little tag team action.

So the Educational Infomercial du jour--go check out Watch his TED Talk video so you can relate to Sal Khan almost as if he were your down-to-Earth math tutor, that'll remind you a little bit of Raymond from "Everybody Loves Raymond." Then tackle math (easy, hard, and in between) like you've never done so before with their videos and exercises. When you're done with that, there's always physics, calculus, statistics, venture capitalism, and mucho mucho more!

Great brain candy for the classroom and your inner mathematician!!!

Photos from and

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