Wednesday, February 27, 2013

VFW At Alex's School - Patriot's Pen 2nd Place Award - State Level



Song:  Titan's Dream

Group:  Two Steps From Hell


The VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) recognized Alex at his school
(which I thought was an especially nice touch by them).


This is the second half of Alex's awards for his Patriot's Pen Essay contest.

He received his 1st place awards for the Local and for the District levels 
last week at a local Elk's Lodge (previous article).  


Today he was awarded his 2nd place finish in the State
 (along with more checks for the 1st place District finish)
 in front of his peers at his school (Coral Academy of Science).

This first picture shows the 1st, 3rd and the 2nd place 
for Local High School winners in black shirts.

Alex is in Middle School so he is in blue
(all four of them were from his school).



Alex was in his Geometry class (he takes it with the High Schoolers)...
so all of his peers were the High School Students at this ceremony.






Alex being given his 2nd place in the State award.


Just look at Alex's subdued smile...
he was one proud 7th grader :)


Alex was especially recognized because for his Local win...
he had taken 1st place over several hundred entrants.

For his District win...
he had taken 1st place out of over 800 entrants.

For his 2nd in the State placement...
I don't know how many entrants there were...
but I do know that he won out over all of them...
except for one  :)


The staff at his school was especially proud of all of the placers.
It says a lot about Alex's school.

They took photos for the year book.




Alex's 2nd in the State medal and certificate...
and more checks.

My wife totaled up these checks...
along with his checks from last week...
they totaled  $725.00.

As I had said before...
Essay writing, in particular, was giving Alex problems just 1 year ago.

I taught him how to outline his Essays and Reports...
and this, along with all of the practice he has had
with the many essays that are assigned at his school...
he just blossomed.

Once he gained the concept...
he applied his knowledge...
and he got great results.

Although it is Alex's effort and attitude which deserves the majority of the credit...
it is also parental involvement which put him on the correct path.

Conceptual Guidance...
it makes a difference.


A couple of weeks ago...
Alex competed in AMC 10
(Advanced math for gifted math students up to the 10th grade).

We should be getting his results sometime next month.

Alex will also be competing at the State finals
for MATHCOUNTS in a little over a week.

We expect him to do well there in, both...
the individual, and the team competitions.


There simply is no better Positive Reinforcement for a child than...
Positive Results.

A template of success in one area...
carries over to all other areas.

The child's diligence in his DAILY training or studies...
is the key to his success.

When he realizes this...
he will become unstoppable in his drive to always better himself.

He will forever steadily march toward excellence...
not just for the external rewards...
but for the far greater...
internal rewards.











Monday, February 25, 2013

Alex's Short Project On A U.S. President



Song:  Above All

Artist:  Helen Jane Long


Alex was assigned this short project last week in Social Studies.

It was just supposed to be a two page short report on a personal favorite President.  

The instructor had given the class over a week to complete it.  
Alex completed it the same day that it was assigned and handed it in the next day.

His teacher was surprised at, both, the quickness of his assignment completion... 
and at the quality of his report.

All the teacher had requested was for the students to choose a President...
to describe him, and to support why he is one of the student's favorite Presidents...
and to include some famous quotes and what the student thought about them.

Although I don't write an article on each of Alex's assignments...
there is a particular point I wanted to make on this one.

Again, this was just supposed to be a quick, brief, and easy report...
no citations necessary.

Ah...
and so... my point.

We are not teaching Alex to just do the minimum requirements...in anything.

The overriding goal in all endeavors...
is to excel...
to constantly expand and improve oneself...
to show initiative and leadership.

Alex's teacher was so impressed by Alex's initiative to go beyond the 
expectations in his assignment... that today...when Alex got his assignment back...
his teacher had told him that he had shown his paper around to others in the school
(I am assuming to other teachers as an example of his initiative).

By the student going above and beyond normal expectations...
it not only shows initiative...
it not only shows respect for the teacher and his chosen career...
it shows self respect.

To give one's all...
to be true to correct morals and values...
 regardless of other's expectations or knowledge...
is Integrity.









Alex had completed his project in a couple of hours.
He had fully cited his work, although it wasn't required
(Alex understands that citations should always be used regardless)...
and instead of just turning in a two page stapled report...
Alex had put his five page report in a folder for proper presentation to his teacher.

This report was all Alex's except for a few lines I had him edit out...
as they were unnecessary.

One of Alex's traits...
 that he routinely demonstrates...
is to finish his assignments straight away...
with no hesitation...no procrastination.

It is the natural course of someone who
truly understands the nature of Deferred Gratification.

Deferred Gratification (and the resulting self discipline)...
is a one-two combination for happiness in life.

In one fell swoop...
by prioritizing task completion before enjoyment...

the potential negative ramifications of waiting and rushing 
to compete tasks or responsibilities are negated...
and the ability to enjoy one's time off is magnified...
as there are no dark clouds of anguish hovering over one's head...
as all worry is gone... allowing one to fully, and truly, enjoy his free time.

It is to understand that with Deferred Gratification...
with each completed task...
there is nothing but deep satisfaction and pride to flavor his complete freedom...
and he even looks forward to the next task...
as this will lead to more satisfaction, pride, and freedom to fully enjoy.

 With this knowledge practiced and truly understood...
all of life then becomes sweet.


To have lived life with no self discipline...
is to never have truly lived, and loved...
 life.




Alex's First American Regions Math League (ARML) Practice



Song:  Knights March

Composer:  Hans Zimmer




Alex at his first practice session for the Northern Nevada
American Regions Math League (ARML) Team.

The lady in the background is the leader and organizer of the team for Northern Nevada.

She has weekly 2 hour classes on Sunday.
They work on advanced math problems for the competition.



As this math competition is geared for advanced High School Math...
most of the competitors are mathematically gifted High School Students.

Alex, I believe, was the youngest one there
(although there were two others in Middle School there...
some of the High Schoolers were missing...
the Flu is still hitting this area hard).

She has a unique strategy.

She has been going to the math competitions and recruiting talented youths.

She wants to have a long range plan for her team.

As it is a 15 person competition team...
her strategy is to have the team divvy up the problems by difficulty...
with the middle schoolers taking the least difficult (relatively speaking)
problems which would then free up the High Schoolers to tackle the
more difficult math problems.

In doing so...
she hopes to bring up the strength of the middle schoolers for the long term.

She hopes to groom the middle schoolers into extremely strong
future High School competitors while still having them help out the team
in their timed performance.

More than half of the competitors are Davidson Academy students...
that says a lot.

Also, Alex recognized one of his team members there.
He is one of the top High School mathematicians in the State.
He is also from the Davidson Academy.

Alex is in very good company here.

The parents sit in a lounge just outside the classroom.
Although most of the parents just dropped them off for the session...
there were two other parents there.

I had found the parents to be very interesting.
We had talked of many subjects ranging from interesting local areas...
 to the nature of the human condition.

I had a good time there
(although I had taken an iPad just in case :)

The other father there had said something interesting.
He said that for many years he had been so busy in his work...
that he hadn't really spent so much time with his children.

He said that recently he was recruited to coach his son's soccer team...
and when he had seen how his son was performing and having fun...
he felt a deep sense of pride and he knew he had been missing out.

He had said how fortunate he was to be a father...
that he never really understood what deep happiness was...
until he became a father...
and especially when he became more involved in his son's activities.

I fully agree.

In Fatherhood...
I had found the greatest love of my life...
my son...
Alex.





Saturday, February 23, 2013

Alex's Extra Credit Handbook: MATHCOUNTS TIPS II



Song:  Snowflakes

Composer:  Florian Bur


This is the second half of Alex's MATHCOUNTS Handbook.

Sorry - part of the previous perimeter / circumference formulas are on this page.





















And there you have it...
Alex's MATHCOUNTS essentials.

These essentials apply to many math competitions...
as well as learning the essentials in many areas of math.

Alex always gets excited at the prospect of being able to teach others.

He loves writing instructional essays.

He foregoes other types of fun in favor of getting the chance to 
write instructional essays for extra credit at school.

After he had completed this handbook...
we went out for a late dinner...
and being this is the starting of the weekend...
he got to stay up a little later.

He spent some time on his iPad before bed...
and he is looking forward to presenting his booklet to his teacher in the morning.

This Sunday...
Alex is going to another math competition practice session.

This is for a completely different math competition for mostly High Schoolers.

At Alex's last MATHCOUNTS competition...
there was a lady who is running the 
Northern Nevada American Regions Math League (ARML) Team.

She was recruiting for a 15 member team.

She accepted Alex...
and he starts his first practice session this Sunday.

They are aiming to do well in a competition in Las Vegas this summer.
It is a coordinated math competition which takes place at the same time
in 4 different locations around the United States.

It offers cash and awards to the top competition performers.

The following was on her recruitment flyer.

It is some selected statements as to the importance of learning math.


Sounds good to me  :)






Alex's Extra Credit Handbook: MATHCOUNTS TIPS I



Song:  White Angel

Composer:  Florian Bur


Yesterday, Alex's Algebra and MATHCOUNTS Teacher
had asked Alex if he would like to earn extra credit by 
putting together an instructional booklet on tips for 
MATHCOUNTS.


When Alex got home...
after his regular studies...
he wrote out his instuctional booklet:

MATHCOUNTS:  TIPS AND TRICKS



Alex put it together and typed it out in 3-4 hours.
He will be presenting it to his teacher this morning.

Alex was excited for this opportunity to put together 
an instructional booklet...he loves being able to teach...
and to write on his favorite subject - Math.

His Math Club will be meeting early in the morning 
for some taping of a video explaining a mathematical concept
for submission to a national video math contest.

Although his teacher won't be surprised at the content of his booklet...
she will, no doubt, be surprised that he had put it together in one night.

I will be separating this into two articles as I wanted to include his booklet 
in its entirety as it may be useful for many Home Schoolers...
 as well as for new participants in math competitions.

Alex considers these tips as some of the essentials to know 
and memorize (as much as possible) so quick calculations
may be made in competitions.

As Alex is only in the 7th grade...
some of these tips are very basic...
while others are...
well, lets just say that I had to ask Alex
for some explanations on them  :)





































This shall be it for this article.

The second half of Alex's MATHCOUNTS Handbook is on the next article.




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...