Friday, April 26, 2013

Chapter 3: C and C Squared: Integers

Chapter 3: C and C Squared: Integers

As my brother and I trudged down the hallway we had nothing to do.  The only reason why we were still in this school is the counselor said we need to make friends.  How boring, people don’t need friends.
In fact when I was 9 wandered away from fathers office at the University and ended up wandering in to a genetics class.  They were talking about cloning.

The professor said, “An identical twin is a clone; so too, are bacteria living in the same colony.  The term ‘clone’ has also been adopted by computer technology to describe a device that mimics an actual one to enable certain software programs to run correctly.”

As the professor ended this sentence, I stood in shock as my father took me away back home.

As I got home, I began working in my room with tubes and vials, by the nights end I had cloned my first colony of bacteria.  By 8 AM the next morning I had cloned myself by using my DNA.

Cloning is frowned upon, in fact one of my favorite physicists Glenn Seaborg said, “People must understand that science is inherently neither a potential for good nor evil.  It is a potential to be harnessed by man to do his bidding.”

What horse-radish I had determined.  My teacher made fun of me in front of class, because I didn't know my multiplication facts, now I cloned myself so I never had to multiply anything ever again.  MUAH-HA-HA-HA.  That is my evil scientist laugh, it still needs work.

Cloning myself was elementary, it was the same as adding and subtracting integers.  When you add and subtract integers on a number line you use the number line to move a particular number of spaces either to the left or right. 

When you move to the right, you are adding a positive integer.

When you move to the left, you add a negative number.

Of course the number line is a metaphor for DNA, and the integers are the particular space on your DNA sequence.  When you add or subtract you must change your DNA sequence.

My parents finally found out the next day when they woke up.  He became my identical twin and it seems that sometimes we can read each other’s mind.  I decided to name him C Squared after myself and he has come in good use, but now we argue furiously and get in to fights often.  It seems I might have to make another clone.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chapter 2: Jamie: Comparing

Chapter 2: Jamie: Comparing

I had a hard time taking in all this information.  Could he really wipe my memory of today?  I doubted it, but the look in his eye looked as if he did it all the time.  Jake had murmured yes under his breath before he took off and quickly exited and had taken off down the hall.  I was going to exit before taking off before these two weird little boys would say anything else.

As I got up one of them said, “We aren't that weird and our group could use a girl.”  He went on to say, “Jake is in and we know you like him.”

How could he know that?  I didn't say anything.  Knowing that I was here because the 7th grade teacher Mrs. Gauge had recommended it since I was failing her class and since I was new, it would be a good way to meet other students.

Before the door closed behind me I said, “I’ll do it.”

In class the next day I couldn't concentrate on what Mrs. Gauge was saying and even the teacher knew I wasn't paying attention as she called on me.

“Jamie,” she said “What do positive and negative integers make up?”

Integers of course, our old school went over this 2 years ago.  This class had bored me so much all I could do to waste my time effectively would be to write Jake’s name all over my math textbook.  I finally said over an embarrassing 2 minutes, “Uh, I don’t know.”

“Did you take notes yesterday Jamie?”


“Well where are they.”

A different student whispered loud enough for everyone to hear, “Maybe she burned them in a sayonce?” 

“That’s enough.” Mrs. Gauge said before moving on to start notes.

Mrs. Gauge had began talking about absolute value and opposites.  My mind was starting to wander, when my chair gave me a little shock.  I jumped enough to catch the attention of those around me, I settled back down.  As I gazed up I could see C and C Squared in the air duct.

Mrs. Gauge caught me off guard, “Jamie, what is the definition of absolute value what do they have to do with opposites-“

Before she stopped I rambled off, “The absolute value of a number is the distance from the number to zero on a number line.  The opposite of a number is when two different numbers have the same absolute value.  For example, -10 and 10 are opposites since the distance is the same.”

The class sat in silence for what seemed like minutes, as did Mrs. Gauge.

“Or something like that.” I finally said.

“Well,” Mrs. Gauge finally said “this is your homework Page 67, 1-80 all of them.”

As the bell rang, I saw C and C Squared taking off down the hall and chased them down.

“What did you do to my chair?”

“We had to give you a shock, you were starting to day-dream.”

“How did you know where my seat was?

“We hacked the school’s server and found where you were sitting in each class, by the way if you need a math tutor Jake can help you when we have our meetings.”

“What? No! I don’t need anyone’s help.”

“Okay. Okay.  By the way our next meeting is tonight.  See you 6th period.”

“Tonight, but tonight is Wednesday.”

“We have to start tonight.”

As the bell rang for the beginning of 4th period, I had English class and I was already late.  Just as I turned to go to class Jake bumped my shoulder.

“Hey!” he said.

“I’m late.” I said and took off down the hall.

Chapter 1: Jake: Expressions

Chapter 1: Jake: Expressions

As the clock reached 3:15, the bell rang after school and I quickly jumped out of the class and to my locker.  As I spun the lock around then back around, I asked my best-friend whose name also happens to be Jake, but spelled Jacob, “What are you going to do when you get home?” That was a stupid question, since basketball was a week away and his dad was the coach of the team.  Jacob said, “I’m going to go home and Dad and I are going to play some basketball.”  I wanted to join so badly, anything to avoid going home.  It was a 2 mile walk home and knew if he waited till his mother got off work at 6:00 he would get a ride home.  “Sounds good,” I said “have fun.”  And he bolted toward the front doors.

As the clock in the hallway reached 5 minutes till 3:30 he knew that it was going to be a long wait till my mother came. I saw a poster hanging on the wall that looked tattered and been hanging there for months.  It said, COME TO MATH CLUB, ROOM 802 TUESDAY 3:30 PM, BRING YOUR FRIENDS!!! 

I didn't need to practice, since I practiced every day this summer, when I wasn't playing football or baseball.  I had always been decent at math and as a 8th grader is in the advanced algebra group.  He decided to walk in to Mr. Kool’s math classroom (Pronounced “cool”) was not what his name was.  Mr. Kool looked 45 even though he was just out of college, his belly hung over his belt and most of his pants.  His large glasses always misplaced, hung over his face that scared most students in his classes.

I still had a few minutes until the club started and there were only 3 other people, waiting for more people to show up, took out his worksheet over variables. This was review from last year and he could clearly remember how to evaluate variable expressions, by substituting numbers in for variables.  I quickly finished the worksheet since I only had a few answers left.

As the clock ticked further down with only a few seconds left until 3:30 I quickly glanced over my things and quickly packed them in to my backpack.  I thought I would get out of here and take my walk home over spending my time with 2 what looked like 8 year-olds and a shy girl in the corner.  As the teacher was sleeping with a newspaper on his fat belly the bell rang again to signal 3:30 as my hand hit the door knob to exit.

The two young boys were arguing and now starting to fight while the desks slid and screeched along the floor.  One boy shot out of his desk and ran to the chalk board murmuring to himself.  “No, just because your called squared doesn't mean you are more powerful than me.  I am the base, therefore you are just the exponent.  You are nothing more than a small little number above me.”  This strange statement started trouble with what looked like the same boy.

Most students remembered the order of operations by using the acronym Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.  But, I had Aunt Sally feared her so I never used it.  Order of Operations is a set of rules in mathematics that all mathematicians must abide by.  P stands for parenthesis, which means evaluate what is inside them.  E stands for exponents, then multiplication/division, lastly addition and subtraction.  The last rule is you must evaluate from left to right, no matter what.

Variables are letters used to represent letters in mathematics.  Why are there letters?  Letters are used to represent things.  Like in Jake’s worksheet, if Bob bought 2 apples at 1 dollar per apple, what is the expression?  Well the expression can be written as 2 x a (where a represents apples) You can evaluate the price of the purchase by substituting in the price for the variable.  The next step looks like 2 x (1), which equals 2$ which you would pay two dollars for two apples.

As I walked up to pull the two boys apart, I watched the teacher closely as the teacher sat there still sleeping away in the most noisy classroom he has ever been in.  I picked one up off the other and said, “Knock it off.”  One boy shot up and said sorry as soon as he saw how much larger I was than he.  One boy quickly announced, “My name is Calvin and this is my brother Christian, but friends call me ‘C’ and since we look exactly the same, call him “C squared.”  

Which made sense since they looked exactly the same, not the way twins look the same, but eerily similar so similar in fact they look like clones of the same person. I guess that is why they call the one squared since a power is the result of a repeated multiplication of the same factor.  

C went on to say, “Since you two have never been here before, we are the Order of the Operations, like Knights of the Round table   We work to make sure the school functions as we see fit.”  

“What do you mean?” the shy girl quickly hissed from under her bangs. 

C Squared who was now sitting in his desk said, “We run the school and make sure things work out according to our calculations.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well that is why we are called the Order of the Operations.” C said.  He went on to state, “ We have rules you must abide by to be a part of the Order.”  He pulled down what looked like was going to be the overhead, but instead was the rules of the Order.

1. P: Pay attention at all times.
2. E: Be Exact: Miscalculations can kill.
3. M: Make sure you are never seen.
4. D: Do as you are directed by others.
5. A: Ask no questions.
6. S: Say nothing to others.
7. Lastly, down below always follow orders as they are given.

This was a lot to take in as the clock shot past 5:30 and knew his mother would be coming soon and never wanted to keep her waiting. .  There were so many questions he wanted to ask and time was running out as he picked up his back pack and was starting to leave.

“Are you in?” C said, “If not we can wipe your memory of today.”


The Denominators
Order of the Operations
By: Trever Reeh


You might have looked at the title before opening this book, well of course you did.  But, now you are reading and you are wondering what this book is going to be about.  Well I will tell you what this book is not about:

  • Math
  • Romance
  • School
  • Adventures
  • Anything fun
  • Or the Order of the Operations

Actually this book has everything to do with those things, but most of all this book is about 4 very different individuals getting back at bullies, evil teachers, saving the world, and even becoming friends with the most unlikely of people.

If you have ever been in middle school, going to be in middle school, or are in middle school right now you might be able to relate to the individuals of this incredible story.

(P.S. There is a test at the end of the book.)

(P.P.S. It is not difficult.)

(P.P.P.S. Math is everywhere, just look around.)


So far I am only currently writing this small series.  Hopefully there will be more, but in the future there will be tabs that correlate lessons, projects, and activities to go along with the book.  This is set up so you would read a chapter a day to your students or your students can read on their own, do the activity.

Students will get a larger sense of a connection with the book.