This year, I was so excited. I have a prep period, I stopped requiring (and grading and commenting on) homework assignments, and suddenly had so much free time and no excuse to not write. Except that sometimes, life happens. This wasn’t a case of anything catastrophic, or even bad. In fact, a lot of it was good. I started attending math teacher circles each month. I spend more time with my wife and daughters at night and on weekends. I am getting more sleep (except when our three year old decides to crawl into our bed at 3AM, kick me, and take my covers). After Carl Oliver’s great blog post, and follow up presentation at Twitter Math Camp to #PushSend, I really wanted to write more regularly, whenever thoughts came into my head. And yet here it is, just before Thanksgiving, and I haven’t written anything since the beginning of the school year.
It’s not like there haven’t been a whole lot of things on my mind. Maybe having a list of things that I wanted to write about will help me make it happen. So here it is…the list of phantom blog posts:
- Thoughts on my math students who have received cultural messages that they are not cut out to do math, whether due to disability, due to ethnicity, due to race, due to gender, due to speed, due to athleticism, or other factors that I may not be aware of, and what I can be doing better.
- Thinking about a quadratic equation as both a product of lines and as a sum of a quadratic, linear, and constant term, and how to think more geometrically about algebra.
- Development of formal debate in my math classes, including the technology that we use to make debates accessible to all.
- That non-binary student who is often mis-gendered, and my uncertainty about whether I have taken the right approach each time.
- Reasons that I teach proof at the beginning of Geometry (which isn’t a novel sequencing, but one that I’ve thought a lot about).
- Experiences with not requiring homework in most cases, including in-class homework reflections, increases in how much homework is done (admittedly through self-reporting from students), and decreases in stress and workload for students and for me.
- Year 2 of my implementation of standards based grading (in a school that uses a traditional grading system on report cards), and what I learned from my first year.
- The amazing things my math club does every week, largely with ideas mined from #MTBoS (Twitter Math Educator Community).
- Working through my implementation of a CPM Algebra 1 curriculum, which I largely like but find it difficult to deviate from.
- The good, the bad, and the ugly of the Barbie Bungee project.
- The number of very capable Pre-Calculus students who decide not to take on the challenge of doing the class at an honors level, and how I can make it more enticing, and not just seem like more work.
- The awesomeness of our faculty band.
- Experiencing Imposter Syndrome in year 17 of teaching.
- Playing with math games in my core (SET, Wits and Wagers, and Prime Climb are favorites so far).
On a good note, I have continued to be relatively active on Twitter, and should (hopefully) be well prepared for my talk in (eek!) 10 days at Asilomar!