Monthly Archives: November 2014

Perseverance, Determination, Achievement and Success

Dear Friend in the “Blogosphere”,

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Trust you are doing great. This topic is about achievement,  and an opportunity on pursuing your dream of going to a world-class college with full or partial scholarship within Africa.

First we have the story of Oloruntoba Ogunfolaji who has emerged the best scholar in the 2013 May/June West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
He was honoured by the leadership of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) together with two females, Ifeoluwapo Fasola and Maureen Anyanwu, both of who are natives of Oyo and Imo states in Nigeria, respectively on Thursday in Minna, Niger State, Nigeria.

For posting outstanding results, the trio received the WAEC’s prestigious National Distinction and Merit Awards. They scored A1 in all their subjects.
However, Ogunfolaji is considered the overall best candidate having scored a total grade of 666.6525 in eight subjects, including English Language and Mathematics.

By the feat, the young man becomes the current holder of the esteemed award instituted by the council in 1984 to encourage academic excellence. Read More:

African Leadership University (ALU), Mauritius

Have you ever heard of African Leadership Academy (ALA)? ALA seeks to enable lasting peace and prosperity in Africa by developing and connecting the continent’s future leaders. It is located in Honeydew, Johannesburg, South Africa. Read More:

ALU,  founded by Fred Swaniker, the co-founder of ALA, is an expansion of ALA’s vision, and will now make it possible for thousands more students from Africa to gain access to world-class tertiary education and career placement with the leading organizations in Africa and around the world. It is located in ALU is said to be building Africa’s ‘Ivy League’, and for the inaugural students, they have the privilege of getting FULL SCHOLARSHIP. Are you young? Are you willing to step out of the status quo into something far more transformational? Why not seize this opportunity and apply now! Read More:
Credits: Google

Rubik to the Rescue: The Rubik’s Cube Engages Students in East Harlem

Rubik's cube without stickers

Quote of the Week: Children must be taught HOW TO THINK, not what to think. – Margaret Mead.

Dear “Blogosphere” Friend,

I was planning to post an entirely different article from what you are reading. But as fate would have it, I got this article from our partner in the U.S.A., Holly Riehl as I woke up this morning. While reading, I couldn’t resist that urge to just use this ‘Testimonial’ this week. The urge was so strong that I jumped out of bed, ran to my lappy and started typing.

All credits go to Sabrina Truong who graciously agreed to share this with us here in Nigeria:

I confess. I peeled the stickers off my Rubik’s cube when I was a child. Needless to say, I never successfully matched all six faces of a Rubik’s cube in my life . . . until one memorable day when I attended the Creativity and Education Innovation Fair at the 92Y in New York City.
A sixth-year teacher at an East Harlem high school, I was at the fair because I was urgently seeking inspiration to combat my algebra students’ overwhelming resistance to math. I was intrigued by a colorful booklet at a booth that boldly proclaimed, “You Can Do the Cube.” The presenter somewhat cryptically declared, “The key step is making a white cross.”
Making a white cross sounds profound but really is quite simple. One can solve the Rubik’s Cube by following sets of algorithms, or rules. It took me about two hours as I deciphered the symbols and illustrations in the booklet and painstakingly executed each algorithm. Difficult at first, but I eventually bestowed trust in the algorithms. Finally — sweet, sweet success! Solving the Rubik’s Cube was demystified.

Algorithms Made Fun

Wanting to share that feeling of euphoria, I presented my principal with the idea of using the Rubik’s Cube to create an interdisciplinary curriculum. He encouraged me to introduce the cube in my Algebra class. Accordingly, I applied to to borrow 36 cubes for educational use.
Before introducing the cube, I unobtrusively built anticipation among the students. I first conversed with them about our commonality: unable to independently solve the Rubik’s Cube. Later, I announced that I successfully solved the cube by following proven procedures. Finally, when I indicated that I could borrow cubes for the class, my students clamored to learn.
The opening of the lesson was a customary Do Now, solving problems using the Order of Operations (a.k.a. PEMDAS). I connected the Order of Operations to solving the Rubik’s Cube by explaining that both involve algorithms, which are integral to math, computer science, and other real-world applications.
The students were divided into groups of threes and fours. Each student received full-colored directions. After demonstrating the steps concurrently with my cube and on the SMART Board, I simply facilitated. Engagement was absolute — students taught each other, appreciated that algorithms have real-world applications, and simply had fun learning.
Something more amazing happened thereafter . . .

Let the Games Begin

A trio of cube-riveted students decided to share the Rubik’s Cube with the rest of the school by starting a club and school-wide competition.( Please read more

(Mosaic of Albert Einstein)


To me, this article has demonstrated how teachers can make students think and make them perceive certain things from a completely different perspective. Have you ever introduced your students to a tool or method that blossomed beyond all expectation? Please tell us about it.

I look forward to you sharing your experience with the Rubik’s Cube.



Article: Sabrina Truong (A Writer, Educator & Lawyer)
Photos: Google