So, this is my annual post where I organize my thoughts on what I need to get done before the end of this summer. If I recall, last summer my plans fell into 5 categories. I will try to sort my thoughts for this summer in a similar manner.
1. Conferences: This summer the conferences I am attending fall into multiple categories: the ones that I was supposed to present at, the ones that I am presenting at, and the ones that I am not presenting at.
- eCOTS (Electronic Conference on Teaching Statistics) – I was supposed to record a presentation for this on-line conference, but the conference organizers did not return my e-mails reminding them that they had not yet set-up a time to record. Oh well. Here you can a version of what I was going to record.
- MIJEC (Michigan Joint Education Conference), June 18, Ypsilanti, MI. The title of my presentation is “Using Games and Activities to Engage and Connect Mathematics across the Curriculum.”
- MICTM (Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics), August 1-2, Traverse City, MI. The title of my presentation is “Teaching Important Concepts through the Use of Games in the Classroom.”
- Screencast Camp, August 3-5, Okemos, MI. Yes, technically this is an ‘unconference,’ but I learned enough at Screencast Camp last year that I think it qualifies as a conference. And here is my video overview of what I learned at last year’s camp.
- MCC Math & Tech Workshop, August 6-10, Muskegon, MI. Yes, technically this is a ‘workshop,’ and I am not even really attending it. I just have plans to hang out with the people for the week and volunteer if I am needed.
If you did not notice, the last three bullet points put me on the road from August 1 through August 10. This means that you should not try to contact me during that time as I will probably be unavailable. But then again, that is not true at all since more than likely I will be more attached to my computer during that week or so than any other time during the summer.
2. Teaching: I am teaching a meager 3 courses as well some math workshops for my college’s Achieving the Dream Initiative this summer. They are Mathematics for Education I, Intermediate Algebra, and Mathematics for Education II.
- Mathematics for Education I – I just finished teaching this class in the Winter Semester that just ended. I will be making three minor changes to this class: I will not be using MyMathLab in the summer since I was unable to have the book request in on-time, I will give my class a course pack at the onset of the semester to limit the number of handouts I pass out throughout the semester, and I will be using Canvas as the LMS instead of using ANGEL.
- Intermediate Algebra – I have not taught this class since last Fall Semester. The only changes I plan to make are to give my class a course pack and to use Canvas as the LMS instead of using ANGEL.
- Mathematics for Education II – I have not taught this class using this book yet (and the sad part is that it is the only time that I will be teaching this class using this book since we are changing the book). I have a massive amount of prep to do for this class still and that will take up a good portion of my summer.
- Achieving the Dream Workshops – This semester I signed up for a supplemental assignment at my college to develop a 2-day Math Workshop on Factoring Trinomials as part of my college’s Achieving the Dream Initiative. The hardest part – developing the coursepack for the workshop – is already done. The workshops will occur sometime in the middle of June.
3. Events: Over my first year as a full-time math instructor, I have finally picked up a hobby – watching Detroit Tigers baseball! Having a hobby is something that I never had time for as a part-time instructor. I would teach 7 days a week (on-line teaching never stops), and in my spare time I would grade papers or start getting ready for the next class. Here is a short list of some of the things I plan to do this summer:
- See Detroit Tigers games
- See opera at the Detroit Opera House
- Attend a Mosaic Youth Theatre musical
- Attend a play at Meadowbrook Theatre
- Volunteer at Rochester Heritage Days
- Attend a play by Stagecrafters in Royal Oak
- Go on walking tours with Preservation Detroit
- Attend a concert somewhere in West Michigan
- Attend the Michigan Green Living Festival
And this is all of the stuff that I am planning to do before my extended trip to Traverse City, Lansing, and Muskegon, from August 1 – 10. Most of the events are in Detroit. Maybe that is a hint to me that I should move closer to Detroit?
4. Big Projects: Everyone always has some “big projects” that they want to get done during the summer. These are the ones that top my list, at least the ones that I can actually tell you about.
- Finalize the results on the supplemental instruction program that I piloted with the statistics classes at my college this semester. Preliminarily, it appears that there was a significant increase in the final exam scores over the previous semester; however, there was not a significant change in the final grade in the class.
- Work on creating some new math games for the presentations I am giving later this summer and for a presentation I am developing with a colleague at my collage who works in the ESL department. Yes, I know, it is about time that I add some new games to my website, http://bit.ly/algebragames.
- Work on adding some material to the Intermediate Algebra website that I am creating for my second-year probationary project at my college. My first year ended this last week, so I have until around the beginning of next May to have this website fully functional and completed.
- Work on creating additional screencasts to add to the ones that I have already created to help students review for the departmental final exams at my college.
- Work on a course pack for the calculus class that I am teaching in the fall. I really want to create this particular course using bottom-up design, something I have always wanted to do, but have never really had the time to focus on. Since I am starting now, I hope that I will be able to have everything the way I want it by the time the Fall Semester rolls around.
- The textbooks are changing for my Math for Education and Everyday Math classes in the fall, and I will need to give myself appropriate time to read through those books as well. Specifically, the Everyday Math class is using two paperback, novel-type books. I have not taught from books like this since I taught Middle School English classes.
Yes, these are the major projects I have on my plate. So, I guess it will be a pretty busy summer for me, whether I want it to be a busy summer or not.