Friday’s post was the first on here in quite some time, and I’d like to offer a brief explanation. Essentially, I’ve felt forced to take some time away from my online adventures by a combination of poor health, a change of house, and a busy time at school.
The health issue was a flurry of migraines like I’ve never experienced that started in September. After a couple of weeks of trying to struggle through, I ended up on an allergy prescription that successfully knocked the migraines down, but caused me to spend most of my waking hours wishing I was sleeping. I’m off the medicine now that allergy season is winding down, and I feel better than I have in nearly two months.
I’ve also taken on a bathroom remodeling project here at home through the time I felt so awful. I would have loved to postpone that, but with another baby on the way, I felt like it was something I just had to try to bulldoze through. Moving is always such a time suck. Even though I enjoy working on houses, I hope not to make another move again for a while.
School has been very interesting this year. I’m leading the effort to incorporate the use of the TI-Nspire geometry software into all of our geometry classes this year. Our efforts are modest, usually one activity a week that highlights and theorem or concept that’s hard for students to visualize without dynamic geometry software. The results have been more than modest, however. I don’t have hard data to back it up, but I think all my colleagues would agree the kids are grasping the concepts covered on the Nspire with much more confidence than in past year. The equidistance theorem, in particular, is one I normally have to draw pictures for the kids over and over and over–not so this year.
We are also making an effort to add AP Statistics to our sequence of courses this year. As we are making big moves to come into compliance with Common Core, we found that the old classes we had available at the “standard” level contained a lot of redundant material to our new CC Algebra II. The most logical thing to do seemed to be the replacement of those old classes with AP Statistics, something that would be attractive to many of our college bound students. This is a big step since our school has been very slow to adopt AP classes. If approved, it’ll be the second AP class for our math department (after AP Calculus AB). Unfortunately, those will still be the only two AP classes offered at our school.
I’ve also been asked to co-chair the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM) Annual Conference in 2013. I’m honored to have the opportunity. The conference is being held in Peoria, just about 5 minutes across the Illinois River from where I live. If anyone reading this is a teacher or college student in Illinois and wants to volunteer at the conference next fall, please get in touch. My biggest responsibility is coordinating volunteers.
Going forward, I hope to be posting here on a more regular basis. I also want to resume the work on eBooks and DVD’s, which takes up a fair amount of time, but I would like to post around once a week. If Texas Instruments continues to make graphing calculator news, there should definitely be material for a while.