Thursday, July 05, 2012

Summer Update

Sometimes, you just need a break. And a break, is what I am taking right now. I can't say I am taking a TOTAL break from math/education/school, but for the most part, that is what I have been doing since school finished about a month ago. The last two summers, I have been thinking and reading math and math ed most of the summer. I can't say that I really felt like I had an honest break from school. Although I cannot say whether or not it was conscious or not, I have not been reading, thinking, and absorbing math and math ed for the last few weeks. To be honest, I only feel a teeny-weeny bit guilty. I do have things I need to work through and learn about this summer before heading back. However, my #summerlist this year is MUCH shorter.

The break I am taking is much needed. By a week or two after Christmas Vacation (which was a full 2 weeks plus the weekends before and after), I was feeling mentally fed up with school. Even though I kept plugging along, trying new things, I felt like I was on the proverbial hamster wheel.

from: Clips Ahoy

So, what have I been doing? June has been busy - running the kids places, visiting my parents, cleaning while the kids were at church camp for a couple of days, capped with a trip to the Monte Carlo Nationals in Johnson City, TN (with an excursion to Bristol Motor Speedway - more on that in another blog post). Oh, and planning Twitter Math Camp, which is coming up from July 19-22 in St. Louis.

That's not to say I haven't been doing anything with respect to school. We are doing curriculum mapping and I have three to get done before school starts back up in August. I did get the Calculus one done and I have left the two classes that I will be teaching next fall - Algebra 2 and Math 2 (think Geometry without proofs). I haven't decided which one I will work on next, but I have a mental goal of starting it next week. Possibly Math 2 next since I don't have learning targets for it yet.

I have one book I would like to read on Formative Assessment which I hope to start soon. The other thing I am working on is organizing the starred blog posts in my GReader in Diigo. I am tagging the posts so that when I am looking for something come fall, I can find it much easier. I had a flurry in June while I was at my parents, but I got sidetracked and need to get back on track. I also would like to go back through some of my favorite blogs and find the older things I may have missed that will be helpful for me. I have already done this with Infinite Sums and I know I want to do Square Root of Negative One Teach Math next. I'm hoping to get back on track shortly so that I can get re-motivated to do this.

While those are some of the things on my #summerlist, I still have a few other things to tackle. SBG is something I am really pondering this summer before I put it together for 2012-2013. Thanks to everyone for some great comments on my post on SBG and Grades. While I haven't responded to all of them, I am certainly thinking it through. I am glad to see that not everyone does SBG on equal percentage intervals. I think I am starting to lean towards that, although I haven't totally figured it out. I still have a lot to ponder there.

I do have to say that I feel more mentally refreshed at the moment than I have in a while. Taking a break from school is necessary. Sam Shah blogged about it at the beginning of last school year. Go ahead, click on the link and read it. It's well worth it. I'll wait. I am rediscovering that if I don't take care of me - and that means mentally as well as physically - that I am not the best me I can be. If I'm not the best me I can be, the people who depend on me - my children, my husband, my students - are being cheated. So, I am taking a break and recharging (which was on my #summerlist). I highly recommend that you do the same. Find the other things you like to do and talk about (other than math and school) and do them. It's worth it.

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