Geometry

Making the Grade

Straight A’s  for everything in our July book basket – 

A+:  A History of Pictures” – by David Hockney and Martin Gayford.  It is really called “A History of Pictures for Children” and we are perplexed:  this stunner of a book is for EVERYBODY.  It is thought-filled and thought-provoking, tempting us to take a fresh look at cave paintings, Egyptian wall paintings, mirrors, shadows, Disney cartoons, pencil marks, brush strokes, perspective, collage, and the influences of photography, movies, and computers. The 4 page timeline of inventions that pertain to drawing and painting is worth the cost of the book alone.  This book is in line for a re-read.

A+: One Real American, The Life of Ely S. Parker” – by Joseph Bruchac.  A superb book about the Seneca sachem (chief) and Civil War general.  Easy to read, filled with information that was new to us (go ahead, ask us about the Iroquois League, ask us about Red Jacket, ask us about Ely S. Parker), extremely well edited and documented, and a timeline is included at the back of the book.  My son and I are impressed by both Ely S. Parker and author Joseph Bruchac.

A+:  “What Linnaeus Saw” by Karen Magnuson Beil.  In my last post, “Our Hour”, I mentioned that we had read about artist/nature observer Maria Merian, who was cited so very many times by Carl Linnaeus.  So, we HAD to read about Carl Linnaeus (1707 -1778), whose quest was to systemize, classify, and name every animal, plant, and mineral.   The book is a weency bit repetitive, but the author is forgiven – Linnaeus’s path to the goal was neither short nor direct.

A+: Three Keys” – My son got a feel for the term “refugee” in “Home of the Brave” by Katherine Applegate (the finest book we read in 2020).  He is now beginning to understand the plight of the immigrant via Kelly Yang’s book “Three Keys”.  This is about friendship, open mindedness, hard work, and having the confidence to speak out for what is right.  We really liked the prequel, “Front Desk” and we will definitely be reading “Room to Dream” when it comes out in September.  Kelly Yang:  A+!

Other study topics from the July book basket

  • The Everglades   “Everglades National Park” by Grace Hansen.  This book is written for the younger reader, but it does come across with the basic facts and the photos (including a nice photo of President Harry Truman dedicating the park) are large and representative. 
  • Geometry   “Everything You Need to Ace GEOMETRY in One Big Fat Notebook” by Workman Publishing.  Oooooh, I do not like this book because any venture into math that doesn’t involve a story problem leaves me dizzy.  BUT, my son really likes it.  DARN.  So we sally forth learning about congruency, chords, transversals, etc.  With each page, I feel like my head is diving deeper into a swirling fog, so I just read the words aloud and marvel that my son is entranced.  I give myself a C-.  
  • Geography – “Bird’s Eye View – The Natural World” by John Farndon/Paul Boston.  Very pretty book, soothing illustrations, AND we both learned a new word!  We LOVE being smacked in the face with a new word!  We have never come across the word MEANDER used as a noun.  A meander is a bend in a river or a road.  It takes so little to make us gleeful.

The Local Diner plans for August (story problem) –  The diner is installing a pop-up snow-cone hut on the diner’s back deck for the month of August.  It will be manned by a high school summer-time employee, who will work 5 hours a day for $12 an hour.  There will be 3 flavors of snow cones:  cherry, mint, and watermelon, and a commercial snow cone machine has been purchased for $250.  The diner is making the syrups and providing the ice.  So the questions are:

  1. How much will the diner pay a week for a high school snow cone artisan?  
  2. If the diner sells a snow cone for $2.00, how many will have to be sold to recoup the money spent of the snow cone machine?
  3. Will the diner spend more on the snow cone machine or employing the high school worker (for the month of August)? (answers at bottom of post)

Classical music:  A+ Musicians  

It was VIRTUOSO NIGHT last night.  My son made the selections (the writing chaos on the side of the page is my son indicating “Yes” or “No” for each of my suggestions) –

On the flute:  James Galway – We both love James Galway and we both love Tambourin, a short, happy piece for flute composed by Francois-Joseph Gossec in 1794, for his opera, “Le Triomphe de la Republique”.  For some reason, midway through the video there is a blank screen for about 40 seconds, but NO WORRIES, the spritely music continues – 

On the violin:  Itzhak Perlman   We have compared Itzhak Perlman’s performance to other violin virtuosos and no one touches the finesse he puts into this performance of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, the finale (composed in 1844).  BTW, my son and I refer to this as the Cat and Mouse movement – 

On the piano:  Simone Dinnerstein   We consider ourselves members of the Simone Dinnerstein fan club.  Her discs are part of our music line-up as we drive to In-N-Out Burger twice a week. We LOVE her way with a Bach invention – 

Welcome to the best part of my day!
– Jane BH
(story problem answers:  1)  $420,  2)  125 snow cones,  3)  the diner will spend more for the high school worker)

Le Menu du Jour

~Oh, what a tantalizing offering~

Appetizers –
May we suggest – une petite matching quiz to review things we’ve been learning about lately?

Followed by – a bit of drawing with pastels, focusing on TEXTURE

matching-quiz

Zen perhaps – a game of hangman:  last night’s word was “vowel” – my son has just learned the difference between vowels and consonants (my bad for not explaining this YEARS ago).  Now that he recognizes the prevalence of vowels in all words, the time spent playing our hangman games has significantly decreased.

For le final appetizer delicacy – a story problem from Le Fictitious Local Diner:
The diner’s back room is being decorated with crepe paper streamers for a homecoming banquet, and it is going to involve THE PYTHAGOREAN THEOREM! (FYI, my son understands square roots, but to cut WAY down on time, we used the iPad for this calculation).

green-crepe-paper-left-sideblue-crepe-paper-roll

The room measures 15 by 20 feet and the party planners want to criss cross royal blue and bright green (school colors) crepe paper streamers from the ceiling corners.  Streamers are to be taped and artistically twisted together from one corner of the room, diagonally, to the other side of the room.  OMGOSH, right before their eyes, a HYPOTENUSE!
1) how far is it from one corner to another (diagonally across the room)?

2) how many feet of streamer are needed to stretch from one corner diagonally across the room to the other corner, if 1.5 times the hypotenuse are needed to achieve an esthetically pleasing twist?

3) if both colors will be used from corners to corners, making sort of an “X” in the middle of the room, how many feet will be needed of each color? (answers at bottom of post)

astro-cat-1

Le Main Course –
A favorite book author team, Dr. Dominic Walliman and Ben Newman, who put together “Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space”, have a new A+++ book out (YAY!):  “Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure” – another case of we-cannot-wait-to-open-it-every-night.  So far, we have learned about gravity (we threw a whole bunch of things up in the air and watched the inevitable happen), the scientific method (brother Jim is a molecular biologist, so we are taking a personal interest in the scientific method), the periodic table (organizational perfection), protons and electrons (the speed of those elections mesmerizes us).  We are spellbound by Professor Astor Cat’s topics – well chosen, well explained; and graphics – SPLENDID.  This book should be on everyone’s Christmas list.

For side dishes – our current fiction novel: “Gabby Duran and Troll Patrol”. YES.  And a reading from our current Tom Gates book (“Tom Gates Extra Special Treats – not”). YES.

To cleanse zee palate – a poem:  tonight’s selection, “Keep a Goin’” by Frank L. Stanton, a journalist for the Atlanta Constitution newspaper and Poet Laureate of Georgia, appointed in 1925.  This poem has been stuck in my head for decades (when my sister was in the 4th grade, she chose to memorize this poem, and in the process, said it aloud so many times that everyone in the family to this day can recite it).  Thank heavens it is fun, uplifting, grateful.  Good for everybody.

And finally, le dessert tray – three elegant morsels from Frederic Chopin:

strawberries

“Grande Valse Brilliante”, a waltz composed by Chopin in 1834 and used in the ballet “Les Sylphides”, which premiered in 1909.  Everybody who has taken ballet lessons has tour jete’d across the dance studio (hypotenuse style!) to this absolutely charming waltz:

“Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor”, AKA “The Funeral March” to ALL kids (“pray for the dead and the dead will pray for you”), was composed in 1839.  A perfectly creepy recording from 1910:

“The Minute Waltz”, more properly known as Chopin’s “Waltz in D-flat major”, composed in 1847.  A bit of false advertising, as this piece actually lasts just over 2 minutes:

Bon appetit!
Welcome to the best part of my day!
Jane Heiserman
(Story problem answers:  25 feet,  37.5 feet,  75 feet)