Sunday, November 17, 2013

Statistically speaking...

Ever teach a class blind?

That is how I feel I am teaching AP Stats this year.  It is a new prep for me, as well as a new class at our school.  I am the only one teaching it at my school.  There are only 10 students in the class.  I love it and I hate it.  I feel like I am just keeping up with the material.  This is not unexpected.  I knew going into this, it would be difficult.  I just never imagined the material would make any sense until I had to teach the Stats Unit for Algebra 1.
I am truly in awe of how the mathematics connect.  There are lessons I teach that teach me something more about the beauty behind the math.  I count on it every year.  It's a perk of teaching.  Well, last week it hit me while driving home.  Algebra to AP Stats.  Who knew?  I look forward to seeing what else I can connect this year.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Why do I blog? Why haven't I for almost a year?

Okay.  I have been motivated as previously posted to start blogging again.  Here is an excerpt from Kate Nowak's blog that has been rolling around in my brain since she posted it.  Damn you, Kate.  Well, okay, it should be more like "THANK YOU, KATE"!

From Kate's blog:
Ahem. If you would, comment on this post and share with me some things:
1. What hooked you on reading the blogs? Was it a particular post or person? Was it an initiative by the nice MTBoS folks? A colleague in your building got you into it? Desperation?
2. What keeps you coming back? What's the biggest thing you get out of reading and/or commenting?
3. If you write, why do you write? What's the biggest thing you get out of it?
4. If you chose to enter a room where I was going to talk about blogging for an hour (or however long you could stand it), what would you hope to be hearing from me? MTBoS cheerleading and/or tourism? How-to's? Stories?

1.  I started reading other people's blogs about math two summers ago right before they had their Twitter Math Camp.  I was jealous I couldn't go.  They seemed like so much fun and full of great ideas.  It really started with getting a twitter account and following Dan Meyer.  I saw who followed him and followed his followers.  That's where and when it all started.  Then, I was inspired to start a blog.  I had no intention of anyone reading it.  I still don't.  It is really for my own thoughts.  I hope to encourage myself with my successes and revamp my teaching through my failures.  Then there was the initiative to post on my blog once a week.  I made some good connections with others.

2.  Humor keeps me coming back.  Frankness of others keeps me coming back.  Success of others ideas and just reading what others are doing (because I am nosy like that) keep my eyes glued to the email box for when new posts are available to read.  I don't usually comment because usually has said it much better than I could and posted the comment 30 seconds before I could.  I know it's not a race to comment.  My 4 favorite bloggers in no particular order:  Kate Nowak, Dan Meyer, Matt Vaudrey, and Sarah Hagan.  By the way... Sarah Hagan rocks it!!!  She's a brand new freakin' teacher and has it going ON!!!  I would like to hire her for my school.  I would like to hire all the above people to teach at my school.  It would be my teaching fantasy line up!!!

3.  The biggest thing I get from blogging is relief.  I can empty my thoughts onto paper, well okay screen, and not have to have swirling around in my mind any longer.  The biggest reason I haven't continued blogging is time.  I am so freakin' busy.  That is not a valid excuse anymore.

4.  I would go into a room just to hear Kate read from the phone book.  I am not a stalker, I swear.  I might have a little math crush going on with her though.  Mostly because she reminds me of a dear teacher friend of mine who was so influential to me and my teaching.  I aspire to be a teacher like her.  I would love to sit down and have a cup of coffee or tea or a beer with her.  I have lots to still learn and lots I can still learn from her and her blog.

I have lots more to do tonight.  I at least have this done.  My evaluation by my new principal is tomorrow.  I am sure I will have some reflections to share.

Almost a year

I would like to blame my lack of blogging on lots of things.  But, the blame is all on me.  I need to carve out the time.  And being inspired by Kate Nowak about just needing to get back to blogging.  I have been on the perimeter of the MboS looking in and wondering what it would be like to jump in feet first... Much like a little kid being prodded by their parents to jump into the pool.  Here I am again, testing the temperature with my toe.

Three, two, one...

And it's time to load up my children into the car, get them to school, and then get myself to school.  And alas, the firewall at school does not allow me to write there.  I shall continue this tonight.  I need to answer some questions that Kate posted on her website almost a week ago... but they keep spiraling in my mind.  And this is my first clue I need to start writing and get them out.