Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Small Progress is Still Progress Made

I feel like I'm finally starting to make some progress. (Yay!)  My biggest challenge this past year was planning for my Contemporary Math course.  I was basically told that for the course I get to "teach whatever I want".  While it sounds like a great, wonderful, fun opportunity, it actually turned out to be a difficult process.  My biggest goal for the summer was to create curriculum map for the course.  With some inspiration from an Algebra I scope and sequence from a school I student taught in, I was able to put a whole new scope and sequence together.  I am beyond elated.  Some things I need to add though:  a more accurate number of days per unit, performance tasks and culminating projects (I have a bunch I found on http://www.insidemathematics.org/index.php/mathematical-content-standards, I just have to sift through them and find the ones that are suitable.), and resources (I have so many, but they're up on a website I use for work, and I cannot access it right now.).

I am so pleased with myself right now.  I've begun to tackle a scope and sequence for Geometry (trying a new approach for the third time).  On the one hand I want these things done and out of the way so that I can start planning for the school year.  On the other hand, I have workshop coming up at the end of July to help with the Geometry scope and sequence.  I'm in between on deciding if I should just get started now, and fix it during the workshop, or if I should just wait to avoid the frustration.  Decisions, decisions.

What is Contemporary Math you may ask?
It's a one credit course for students that stop taking Regents math courses after Algebra I.  While I was told to teach anything, I was advised to keep it relevant to real life.  The course's previous teacher advised teach a quarter each of probability, statistics, consumer math, and math with the TI-84 graphing calculator.  I could not bear the thought of teaching an entire semester of probability and statistics.  Timing became relative.  I taught probability, statistics, geometry (measurement based), financial literacy (does anyone call it consumer math anymore?), and special topics in math (including mental math, logic, Sudoku, graph theory, Fibonacci numbers, and Pascal's triangle).  I took out the TI-84 stuff because none of my students own (or will own) a TI-84 in real life.  Next year looks like this:  skill builders (mental math, fractions, integers, ratios, and proportions - oh my!), probability, statistics, geometry, financial literacy, and mathematics enrichment.

Of course any suggestions of math topics you've always wanted to teach, but don't have the time for are always welcome.  :)

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