# Day 163: Online Collaboration

Isn’t the Internet amazing?!  How did we ever live without it?  Between email, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media connections, it feels like we have an electronic faculty room at our fingertips where we can get and give ideas, inspiration while collaborating with people you actually haven’t met face-to-face.

One satisfying electronic collaboration experience that happened just this week was when some teachers emailed me about doing the Hot Air Balloon Project (more info about this in the next couple of days) that I presented in October to our Regional Math Conference.  I can’t wait to hear how the experience goes for these other teachers.  Here are some snippets of converations:

Thank you so much for sharing all of this balloon project material.  I have one more question… The tissue paper I have is 20”x20”.  If the kids make gores that are 60 to 80” in length and end up with a smaller balloon, do you know if it will have trouble flying?  Have you had kids make balloons that don’t have enough volume so they don’t fly?

Thanks,

Hi…………..,

I have always had them be around 3 feet tall as per advice from the original author of this project….the balloons need enough hot air to lift the weight of the tissue and if they get too much smaller than 3 feet, they don’t have enough lift (good ol’ physics at work!).  My students have always had to glue together 2-3 sheets of tissue to make the panels long enough to fit the gore pattern, thus the gluing tutorial. I would suggest making the balloons near 3 feet tall.  On the other end, if they get much taller than 3.5 feet, the weight of the tissue paper becomes an issue again, so the precision of measurements as well as the scaling of the pattern are crucial…good real-life lesson as well.

Best of luck

That is so helpful!  These are the kind of things that you hate to learn at the end of the project when no one’s balloons are flying.  I’ll let you know how it works.  This is such a fun way to end the year, thank you for presenting this last fall.

Thanks,

And then…

I saw your presentation at the NWMC and was interested in doing the hot air balloon project you presented. I know you had a packet and I think a video that showed the balloons being launched.  Could you please direct me or perhaps email me the packet and the link to the video?

Thanks

I am also trying to occasionally comment on other peoples’ blogs.  Reading and commenting was a suggestion put out there by the MTBoS (Math Twitter Blogosphere) and so I’m trying it out!  I haven’t yet put my name in as an “official blogger” #chicken  #wobblyknees.  I’m still getting comfortable with my “public” writing.: am I really worthy and do I really have anything worth saying that others would find worth reading?  Maybe I’ll take the plunge soon.  It might actually increase my comments and hits.  Am I ready for that?!

As we draw close to the end of the year (not really, but I’m dreamin’ sunny days and cool breezes!), I find I have to adjust almost daily what the timeline will be.  I want my students NOT to feel the stress and strain on the time we have left before the end of the year.  We have so many 30 minute periods and assemblies and….