Some Honor

It is common to find that certain enormous high schools have been subdivided into several smaller ones, all housed within the same building. At one such site in the Bronx, I saw these Track and Field awards for a competition that had been held at the University of Pennsylvania. If you zoom in, you can see that these relay runners are completely nekkid, and they seem to be coming up to say hello to Ben Franklin. I know that during the ancient Greek Olympics the athletes were naked, but during the American Revolution too?

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STEM at Stuy

I just got back from a 3-day STEM institute at the new Stuyvesant high school (yes, I know it has been in Battery Park City for 20 years already). It ran from August 8-10. Hundreds of others attended, there were dozens of workshop offerings, and even the chancellor herself was there. The keynote speaker was none other than Neil deGrasse Tyson of Hayden Planetarium fame. Clearly a lot of time and hard work went into pulling it off. In fact, my workshop, “We Are having Molecules for Dinner” was superb (more on that later).

My point is, there were so many coordinators and administrators putting together this event, so why did no one catch this mistake on the agenda?

Bathrooms for Special Ed

In 2016, at 176X at Truman high school, I saw these bathroom signs: “Boys Bathroom Special Ed” and “Girls Bathroom Special Ed.” Hmm, segregation much? I alerted a staff member who alerted the custodian.

The signs have since been removed. The real questions is, how come no one else who saw these signs –including the students using the bathrooms — thought it was wrong (and possibly illegal)? How could these signs be up for so long and no one said a thing?

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3D Printed Cards for DD

We visited a shop that made concept and object indicators out of cardboard (plus whatever the actual object was). These clever cards can be used as prompts, as labels for storage bins, for the visually impaired, for the developmentally disabled, etc.

It would be cool to 3D print them, although they would have to be hand-painted afterwards.

Useful Information, Chart 5

Product: Tops Marble Composition Book, 7.5 X 9.75 Inches, College Rule, 100 Sheets, White (63796)

Sold by: Tops Products

Cost: out of stock everywhere

I saw this composition book for sale for $8.00. Crazy right? Except this chart really does happen to have Useful Information. It has fractions (and decimals and percents). And temperature conversion. And is written in clear English. For example, under Metric Unit Conversion, the column reads “When You Know: ________ Multiply By: ________ To Find: ________”.

What I do not see are roods (square measure), scruples (Apothecaries’ weight), reams (paper measure), grains (troy weight), or knots (miscellaneous measures). It is also the only chart to include “mass.”

Hidden Highlights

  • 1 hectare = 2.471 acres
  • To write a decimal for a percent, move the decimal point two places to the left. Omit the percent sign;
  • To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit: mutiply by 9, divide by 5 and then add 32.

Categories

Metric Unit Conversions (Length and Distance; Surface or Area; Volume and Capacity [Liquid]; Weight and Mass; Termperature)

Fractions

Decimals and Percents

Multiplication Chart

Useful Information, Chart 4

Product: Staples Graph Composition Book, 9.75 X 7.5 Graph Paper Notebook, Black (not marbled – ed)

Sold by: Staples

cost: $2.00

This Useful Information chart is on the inside back cover of a graph paper composition notebook. The cover is not the typical marble design. Right away I see some cool icons and graphics…the other Useful Information charts 1-3 have only text. Also, this one has a 3-inch ruler! The content is much the same as chart 2.

Hidden Highlights

  • an acre measures ~209 feet on each side
  • A perch of stone is 16 1/2 feet long, by 1 1/2 feet wide, by 1 foot high. (I would call this a low wall, but what do I know?)

Categories

Conversion Tables (length, capacity, weight; metric to American standard)

Multiplication Table

Table of Time Measure

Table of Dry Measure

Table of Liquid Measure

Table of Paper Measure

Table of Linear Measure

Miscellaneous Measures

Table of Cubic Measure

Table of Avoirdupois Weight (pounds and ounces: what we use in America)

Table of Troy Weight (for gold, silver, precious metals)

Table of Circular Measure

Table of Apothecaries’ Weight (for medicines)

Table of Surface Measure (as opposed to Square measure)

Useful Information, Chart 3

Product: School Smart Flexible Cover Skip-A-Line Marble Patten Composition Book, Grade 3, 9-3/4 x 7-1/2 in, 100 Pages, Red

Sold by: Classroom Direct

Cost: $1.87

This product is made for 3rd graders (for some reason), so presumably the Useful Information will be especially useful for 8-year-olds. I am hoping that it will list the number of marbles that can fit into a pocket (29); the average weight of a frog (depends: if it is the pee pee kind, then really light weight); or number of pices of gum that can be jammed into a mouth (no upper limit).

Hidden Highlights:

  • 1 cubic foot of water weighs approximately 62.5 pounds;
  • The ton and hundredweight …are… in common use in the United States.

 

Categories

Liquid Measure

Cubic Measure

Avoirdupois Weight

Miscellaneous

Square Measure (as opposed to Surface Measure)

Linear Measure

Circular Measure

Apothecaries’ Fluid Measure

Multiplication Table

 

Useful Information, Chart 2

Product: School Smart Hard Cover Marbleback Composition Book

Sold by: Walmart

Cost: $1.87

This is the inside back cover of the composition book. There is another Useful Information chart on the outside cover of this notebook, with different information. It appears as if it was written by a different author.

Inside Cover

Hidden Highlights:

  • Table of Paper Measure (24 sheets = 1 quire);
  • Miles in a Township (36 square);
  • Miscellaneous Measures (a bushel of potatoes = 60 lbs)

 

Categories

Conversion Tables (length, capacity, weight; metric to American standard)

Multiplication Table

Table of Time Measure

Table of Dry Measure

Table of Liquid Measure

Table of Paper Measure

Table of Linear Measure

Miscellaneous Measures

Table of Cubic Measure

Table of Avoirdupois Weight (pounds and ounces: what we use in America)

Table of Troy Weight (for gold, silver, precious metals)

Table of Circular Measure

Table of Apothecaries’ Weight (for medicines)

Table of Surface Measure (as opposed to Square Measure)

Useful Information, Chart 1

Product: School Smart Hard Cover Marbleback Composition Book

Sold by Walmart for $1.87

This chart is on the outside back cover. What is interesting is that the book has another Useful Information chart on the inside back cover, just in case one wasn’t enough. I would guess that about 90% of the information is the same in both charts, though there are differences. You may notice that there are no metric-to-metric or metric-to-U.S. standard conversion tables.

Back coverHidden Highlights:

  • A cord of wood is equivelent to a pile 8 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 4 feet high;
  • 6 feet = 1 fathom;
  • 1 acre = 160 square rods;
  • 40 square rods (i.e., 1/4 acre) = 1 rood; therefore
  • 1 acre = 4 roods

Categories

Liquid Measure

Cubic Measure

Avoirdupois Weight

Miscellaneous

Square Measure (as opposed to Surface Measure)

Linear Measure

Circular Measure

Apothecaries’ Fluid Measure

Multiplication Table

Useful Information

compoFrom their youngest days, students will be exposed to a plethora of information, some good, some bad, some pointless.

And then there is information that is so important, so useful, that children are exposed to it all day, every day. Yet they never really notice.  I am refering to the Useful Information charts that appear on the backs or insides of composition notebooks.

Although most of the tables and charts show  math-related data —  Multiplication Tables, Metric Conversion Tables, etc., — there are some differences between charts and occasionally some truly obscure gold.

In this six-part series, I will compare different Useful Information charts and try to find unique features and otherwise uncommon nuggets of info.

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