It's time for finals which means 2011-12 is a wrap. It was a stellar year and after several thousand hours in the classroom, I've hit the groove where I'm not worrying about the material or procedures and focusing on making the lessons a higher quality. Summer goals:
- Reorganize Algebra II, upcoming STAAR test has different priorities
- Organize Pre Cal material into topics
- Upload my curriculum to this site
- Brainstorm some iPad in the classroom items that aren't hokey
- Try building an iPad based resource pack
- Identify lessons that were weak
- Learn Mathematica
Overall here's a good thing/bad thing list for the year.
- Groups were great, can I get the Algebra II kids to invest in them more?
- Notebooks were great, need to hold the few kids that don't do them more accountable
- Posters were great, do I keep the same topics or fiddle with it a bit?
- Sidewalk Chalk was brilliant, should I do that more than once?
- Having a web cam for document viewing was novel, can we do more with that?
- Found lots of ways to up the writing components of my test questions/activities
- Asked their opinion on things many times in the first semester, got interesting responses
- Forced myself to take days off during the week
- Lesson planning was 100 times more organized
- LaTeX can be bent to the needs of K-12 education
- My pencil supply vanished second semester, first semester I was far better about enforcing their return
- Still helping some of the strugglers too much, losing track of the strugglers in my large classes
- Pre Cal instructional videos were planned well, but not implemented like I wanted, need a stronger set of guidelines for this project
- Algebra II kids really shouldn't be so dependent on calculators
- Taught a lot of lessons that weren't given greater context, it was math for math's sake
- Some of my tested topics were way too stupid easy
- I can be derailed and will keep it going far longer than I probably should
- Kids never really came to the board, but given all the other interaction I used, is that a bad thing? Don't know.
More will come to me as I give the year time to digest. I didn't work myself to death and I'm slated to teach the same classes next year, so hopefully we're out of the time intense creation phase and into the more interesting iteration phase. In order to earn their exemptions, I made Pre-Cal seniors write essays about their relationship with math, compliment of the year: