WCYDWT Live: Dirt

I found our last live session fun and extremely profitable. I’m grateful to everyone who participated live in the DimDim room and later in the comments.

I’d like to pull in twenty more volunteers to play around with a math problem tomorrow afternoon and test out some of my recent modifications to the instructional design. If you can commit 45 minutes, please drop a comment in the box using an email address where I can reach you tomorrow. We pulled a lot of people off the waiting list last time, so consider adding a comment even if twenty people have already signed up.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school teacher, former graduate student, and current head of teaching at Desmos. More here.


  1. Aaron

    August 20, 2010 - 11:43 am

    I’ll bite… aaronswoboda(at)gmail.com

  2. Mr K

    August 20, 2010 - 11:43 am

    I’m up for it!

  3. Jennifer Foster

    August 20, 2010 - 11:45 am

    I am interested in playing around with a math problem tomorrow. I am currently getting ready to teach senior math and reading your website and seeing you put great ideas into action is reassuring.

  4. David L

    August 20, 2010 - 11:47 am

    I want to try again – last time I botched the time and missed it.

  5. Mr. H

    August 20, 2010 - 12:31 pm

    Count me in.

  6. Sarah

    August 20, 2010 - 12:40 pm

    I’d like to participate – sarahives@gmail.com
    What time tomorrow? I assume this will be on PST?

  7. Sarah

    August 20, 2010 - 12:40 pm

    oops – it pays to read the graphic! :) 3pm PST, got it!

  8. Alon

    August 20, 2010 - 12:43 pm

    Happy to try – but have some constraints throughout the day… do you know what time PST this will take place?

    alon.amit@gmail.com, in any case.


  9. Tom

    August 20, 2010 - 12:45 pm

    Happy to join!

  10. Ashli

    August 20, 2010 - 12:48 pm

    Sounds like a good time. I’m there.

  11. Steve G.

    August 20, 2010 - 1:04 pm

    I’d love to join in this time. I’m very new to the site, and I’m finding all of this very thought-provoking and inspiring.

  12. Claire Thompson

    August 20, 2010 - 1:07 pm

    Would love to participate!

  13. Mark Betnel

    August 20, 2010 - 1:40 pm

    I’d like to participate too

  14. Surani Joshua

    August 20, 2010 - 1:51 pm

    I’d love to participate!

    ~ Surani

  15. Uli

    August 20, 2010 - 2:15 pm

    Hi Dan,
    Count me in!

  16. Michelle

    August 20, 2010 - 2:21 pm

    I’ll help, if you want. What time is it for EST?

  17. Alex

    August 20, 2010 - 2:26 pm

    Sounds fun.

  18. Stacy

    August 20, 2010 - 2:27 pm

    I’m in. stacy(dot)sidle(at)gmail(dot)com

  19. Justin Lanier

    August 20, 2010 - 2:30 pm


  20. Dan

    August 20, 2010 - 2:32 pm

    count me in!

  21. Mimi

    August 20, 2010 - 2:46 pm

    That would be totally awesome. Count me in if you get extra space.

  22. Kate Nowak

    August 20, 2010 - 3:00 pm

    ooh. me. me.

  23. Tricia Lazzaro

    August 20, 2010 - 3:56 pm

    Please expand your group to 30 so more can benefit from your awesome model.

  24. Shannon

    August 20, 2010 - 4:25 pm

    oh heck! count me in!

  25. Jen

    August 20, 2010 - 5:06 pm

    sounds like fun :)

  26. Jami Packer

    August 20, 2010 - 5:11 pm

    Wait list me. :D

  27. Frank

    August 20, 2010 - 6:12 pm

    I’m down. :o0

  28. Peter

    August 20, 2010 - 6:27 pm


    If there is an extra spot, count me in.



  29. Tansel Pope

    August 20, 2010 - 7:19 pm

    If there is an extra spot, I’m game

  30. Amanda

    August 20, 2010 - 9:53 pm

    Why must people get married when I could be discussing math curriculum?
    Looking forward to reading the results thereafter :)

  31. Michaela

    August 21, 2010 - 5:11 am

    Yeah I’ll be working but maybe the next one:) Looking forward to reading about it after.

  32. Erick

    August 21, 2010 - 6:02 am

    Is there a spot open?

  33. Maria

    August 21, 2010 - 6:17 am

    I would love to take part. tx!


  34. Monica

    August 21, 2010 - 6:17 am

    I’m in.

  35. Scott

    August 21, 2010 - 10:05 am

    If there is room count me in.

  36. Mark Betnel

    August 21, 2010 - 10:46 am

    Something came up, and I won’t be able to do it today (comment 16 above) — looks like there will be plenty of people to take the spot. :)

  37. David L

    August 21, 2010 - 11:12 am


    Has there been a DimDim invite sent to those participating? It’s 3:11 on the east coast and I’m thinking that I missed my shot.

  38. Dan Meyer

    August 21, 2010 - 12:34 pm

    This thing’s running at 3:00 PM on the Pacific which means 6:00 PM Eastern.

    If anybody knows how I can possibly make the time zone thing any clearer, I’m all ears.

  39. Claire Thompson

    August 21, 2010 - 1:10 pm

    Here’s a link to the world clock. Find a city that is in your time zone and the time next to it should be the equivalent of 3pm Pacific.

  40. Steve G.

    August 21, 2010 - 1:11 pm

    You know, Dan, I got a little confused about the time as well, because it says 3:00 Pacific STANDARD Time on your graphic, but most of us Pacific folks (if not everyone?) are on Pacific DAYLIGHT Time right now. So, I made sure to be home before 2:00, just in case, then realized I was converting backwards, so that 3:00 PST would actually be at 4:00 PDT. So I figured I’ll keep an eye on my email shortly before 3:00, and if that doesn’t work, slightly before 4:00. It sounds, from your 12:34 post (my favorite time of the day, 1-2-3-4), like it’s going to be at 3:00 pm “regular” time (i.e. PDT).

    As for increasing clarity next time, perhaps do what TV show ads often do: just list Pacific and Eastern times and let the Central and Mountain folks work inward from those “boundary” times. If you wrote “3 pm Pacific/6 pm Eastern”, I imagine that would remove most (if not all) of the confusion.

  41. Steve G.

    August 21, 2010 - 1:15 pm

    And as a possibly-interesting side note, it appears that the time stamps on comments here are given in PST, so my “1:11 pm” comment was actually written at 2:11 pm on all the clocks in my house (here in Oregon, on PDT).

  42. Mr. K

    August 21, 2010 - 1:19 pm

    > just list Pacific and Eastern times

    Or use Zulu time. It’s a lot less Ethnocentric that way.

  43. David L

    August 21, 2010 - 1:29 pm

    So I feel the need to explain, I didn’t misunderstand the time – 3pm PST is 6pm here. Got it. Had it. All over it.

    I thought that I missed the DimDim invite and I wanted to ask early, hence the reference to 3:11pm EST.

    Sorry for the confusion…though I am wondering What Can I Do With This confusion about timezones.

  44. Mike

    August 21, 2010 - 1:52 pm

    Count me in if it’s not too late!

  45. Steve G.

    August 21, 2010 - 3:24 pm

    Trying to find another way to check the soil density, I found (on the internet of course) a range of 1-2 grams per cubic cm for desert soil, and also tried (at my son’s suggestion) lunar soil, which gave me a range of 1.58-1.74 g/cm3. I arbitrarily chose 1.6 g/cm3, which I converted to 99.9 lb/ft3. Not that far from the number we used (120 lb/ft3). Rounding to 100, I still get a yearly total of 173.25 tons of dirt. Astounding!

    So, if X-Ray dug about 1000 pounds *less* of dirt each day, how much dirt are these boys digging, anyway? The 5-foot shovelers dig almost 10,000 pounds, I calculate. 3% less shovel digs approximately 10% less dirt.

    Other extensions:

    How much shorter would a shovel have to be for a boy to dig half as much as the others?

    What size of a shovel would a (very, very small) person use to dig a hole with only 100 pounds of dirt? [Like a textbook comparison of cube-to-cylinder volumes.]

    Thanks again for the meeting, Dan!

  46. Karen

    August 21, 2010 - 4:21 pm

    Email if you end up going waaaaay deep.

  47. Kevin

    March 16, 2011 - 10:58 am

    This sort of thing makes me so upset. Thanks for exposing it.