Thursday, January 17, 2013

Blog Assignment #1

About Me:

I am a 22 year old female that is enveloped in the world of mathematics. It has become my home in many ways, but it wasn't always like this. In fact, when I was born to my parents (Edmund and Rebecca) I started my journey in Omaha, Nebraska. Because my family was a military family, I moved two more times: once to Honolulu, HA and then to Ocean Springs, MS. My father retired and I finished my high school (and some college) career while living with my parents. I fell in love while going to a community college with a boyfriend who I'm happily with currently!

Over the years, I've cultivated my interests to tennis, ultimate Frisbee, and cooking. I knitted scarves when my hands need something to do, but because my knitting didn't produce anything except for scarves; that interest was short lived. I also practiced martial arts religiously, but once I transferred to Mobile, AL to finish my schooling, I found few places to keep this up.

In the end, my passions have boiled to graduating college with a degree in mathematics and a degree in education. It wasn't my first choice, admittedly, but it was the right choice in the end. Mathematics poetically transcends time and language and is ever expanding, like science. The part that I love best about math: anyone can do it. Some people beg to argue with that statement, but a professor of mine put it best when he said, "I've never met someone who was unintelligent [referring to him teaching math students]."

My Future Classroom:

I want students to walk in wanting to learn about math. Alone, my passion for it doesn't stand a chance against the multitude of attitudes that would rather be at a mall, outside playing sports, or at home just "hanging out", but my passion plus the right setting, enthusiastic outlook of their futures, and my willingness to go above and beyond for the common student will hopefully catapult my vision for my future classroom.

When the first day arrives, I'd want to soak them to a habit of preparing their minds with a bell ringer. For the most part, the bell ringer (an activity for the student to do when they come into a classroom) would consist of some homework problems from the day or two before, but occasionally, I would print out articles for them to read and write about. Math journals would be boring, but career options and interesting research (where math majors venture into) would get them acquainted with the idea of their potential. In addition, the quicker they turned their brains from "socialization and/or sleepy time" to "getting ready to take notes time", the better the teaching experience becomes.

Though I will be a high school math teacher, I recognize the "ants in the pants" syndrome most students have, therefore half-way through the material would have everyone stand up to stretch for a minute before plunging back into the material. I remember having that opportunity in a specific class and thinking how revitalizing thirty seconds to a minute and a half of stretching worked in helping me to focus. I wouldn't repeat this process every day, but mostly days in which we were going through especially dry material.

Another implementation I would have in my classrooms would be to maximize their five learning senses. It's apparent that everyone doesn't learn the same way, so why should I teach to all of them using two senses when only a handful are grasping the material? Something another professor of mine told me was, from kindergarten to high school, kids are the same: they will work for a piece of candy. I would set time before class ends (maybe ten to fifteen minutes) for them to work problems from past homework and study guides. The ones whose names are pulled from a Popsicle jar would be called to the front; any that made the effort to finish the problem correctly would be rewarded with a candy of their choosing. This would once again reinforce the material given and hopefully stick with them better.

There are numerous ways I'd want to re-invent the classroom, but when all else fails, the basics will never let me down.

Dr. Randy Pausch:

I did not learn that much in this video lecture. I'm an excellent planner; my feathers do not ruffle if plans are switch, dropped, or added to my to-do list; and I am aware that if I don't do the most time sensitive and/or toughest portion of the to-do list first, my lists never seem to get shorter. If I had seen this video a few years ago, I might have had more interest in it, however my bills, schooling, two to three jobs, and homemaking duties do not allow me to veer too far off my predetermined path filled with daily lists. In fact, the keyboard I'm typing on is on top of my desk-top sized planner. Hint: it's not empty. End: Blog Assignment #1


  1. "The part that I love best about math: anyone can do it." I wish that were true but it seems not to be for about 1/3 of students in EDM310. I think I'll resurrect my math quiz and see what it is like this semester. Maybe they think they can't do math but can. Maybe their teachers couldn't do math. Maybe....

    We need math teachers! Thanks for being one. Welcome to EDM310

  2. Someone asked me yesterday, "How can you possibly want to be a math teacher and take joy in it??" and I told her, "If you are playing baseball, is it fun when you know the rules?" "Yep!" "Is it fun when you know none of the rules?" "No..." It's the same idea with math. I know for a fact that people can't enjoy math or "do it" because they don't know the rules to the game.

  3. Hi Alice!
    I enjoyed reading your blog. I think it is awesome that you want to teach high school math because we honestly need people who are eager and enthusiastic about it to teach it. I for one was never good at math. I struggled with math all throughout school and I had a math tutor all throughout my high school years. I could never make higher than a "C". I tried really, really hard and studied a lot but I could never understand it enough to make a higher grade. I'm 31 years old and I still struggle with it today. As a matter of fact I am terrified to take Math 112 here because it is so hard for me, but I have to take it for a degree in elementary education. So I agree with you that everyone can do math, it's just that some of us are not good at it. Good luck with your dual degrees, I know how much work it takes. I'm working on my third one now. I look forward to reading your future posts.
    Thanks, Jamie

    1. Hey Jamie,
      Thanks for your positive input! Even though your battles with math have not left you unscathed, fear not! I am a MA 112 Supplemental Instructor, so whenever you're ready to take it, I'm ready to help you! The important thing I stress is that you don't give up. That is the number one thing that defeats most math students. Good luck in your future endeavors!