November 2013 archive

things to be grateful for

By Kristina

Inspired by Nicole Is Better:

1. Something your body can do
Sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking that I need to lose 20 pounds to be a “real” bride at my upcoming wedding…like that’s par for the course these days. I look back over the past five years (and yes, 20 pounds), and I wouldn’t trade back the 20 pounds to have the same teaching/life situation that I had back then. Today I’m grateful that my body can run up and down stairs, carry in 48 sternos + 11 chafing trays + 6 two-liter bottles of sodas + 75 steam pans + napkins + tablecloths + disinfecting wipes, and be TP-ed (twice today) during potluck games by my students. I’m grateful that though I’m a slower runner than I was five years ago, that my body can still run with the newbie runners who come out for Running Club. Happiness and feeling a lot more settled in life will shine through way more on my wedding day than some emaciated stick arms.

What about you? What’s something your body can do that you’re grateful for?

2. The people who help you without even knowing it
I’m grateful to the students who remind me to be patient and to see the good in the world rather than just going immediately to complaining. I’m going to make sure they know it.

What about you? Who kept your spirit, creativity, and business fuel tanks filled up this year? Have you thanked them?

3. Something that has changed in the past year
Nicole is right. Change is scary, but that’s when we’re able to grow. Over the past year, I’ve grown a lot as a team leader and IB Coordinator. I used to regret my decision to accept those positions and yearn for just teaching math. Facing the fact that conflict makes me uncomfortable and trying to deal with it has made me grow and feel more confident about being a leader.

What about you? What’s something that changed for you this year that you’re feeling grateful about?

4. A [crappy] experience that taught you something about yourself
When my fellow debate coach and awesome mentor both had more grad school conflicts with practices and tournaments this year, the situation initially really sucked. I didn’t realize how much I relied on them and how badly I react to unexpected setback. The experience taught me a lot about asking for help, restructuring, and learning to adjust when my plans don’t go as I intended. It also taught me that I was so overbooked and overscheduled that I’m not functioning as well as I could…and that it was okay to step down as a debate coach after this year.

What about you? What [crappy] experience from 2013 are you grateful for, since it taught you something about yourself?

5. Something you have enough of
Because I’m getting married next year, I’m working on my finances more to prepare for joint accounts, retirement planning, buying a house, and starting a family. My financial planner commented that I’d done well to save a bunch of what I’d made in my old consulting job, and then commented that I’d probably be making a lot more now if I’d stayed in the private sector. Sure, extra money would be really nice…but only to some extent. Boston Public Schools pays decently and I don’t have to work a second job. I’m comfortable and have enough.

And what about you? What’s something you have enough of that you can feel grateful for?

info for my #edcamplesley math technology session

By Kristina

I was not expecting to lead a session at this morning’s EdCamp at Lesley University, but am very glad that I did! EdCamp is an “unconference,” so it’s a lot more fluid and flexible than a typical conference, and sessions come out of a group brainstorm of topics that people are interested in or want to lead. When someone asked “are there any math teachers who can lead a session on teaching math with technology, I thought it would be fun to lead (especially since I just finished grading my “plan your dream vacation” project for financial math). I focused on three things–animation, travel project, and catapults–because my main goal with technology in math is to get students to express their ideas and demonstrate topic mastery with open-ended projects.

Stop Motion Animation via iCreate to Educate
Project Handout
Project Rubric
Example Videos

Around the World in 21 Days
Project Handout
Example 1
Example 2
– extension: interdisciplinary with foreign language
– extension: look at different scenarios of budget payoff, credit cards

Candy Catapults
Project Handout

These are from me and the other presenters.

Angry Birds in GeoGebra – have used this in class before–kinda fun way to apply quadratic equations.
Radix Endeavor – Massive Multiplayer Online Game for biology and math. I worked with a team of math and science teachers to provide a teacher perspective on the content and implementation.
GeoGebra (free)
Sketchpad ($)
– Earth
– Sketchup
Phet – Simulations –
Math Bloggers: #MTBoS Math Twitter Blogosphere (where I get a lot of ideas and feedback)