Monday, January 19, 2015

Coming back to the blog after a hiatus with some new projects.

My last post was in mid-November and I'm now getting back to the blog in mid-January. Not the longest time between blog posts, but definitely quite a while. For the Winter 2015 term I am teaching as an adjunct at my home institution and working on a few projects. I'll list the classes below, but the hardest thing is the schedule, three of them are back-to-back (-to-back) between 10 am and 4 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, the fourth at 6 pm. This means I only teach two days a week, but they're pretty rough days. Not being on campus the rest of the week has also given me a disconnected feeling that I can't shake. I may come in on my non-teaching days, but the cost of driving to the campus, as well as the opportunity cost are limiting.

The courses I am teaching this term:

  • Algebra I - This below 100-level math course is the second of four such courses offered. There are quite a few resources available (PowerPoint notes, online math homework, etc.) so my prep time is fairly limited. However my time responding to emails and messages is quite a bit more than other classes. These students usually have quite a bit of anxiety, are new to the college experience, and need a bit more guidance than other students. I am happy to help these students, but it does change the focus of my energies.
  • Algebra II - The next math course in the series is one I have not taught. There seems to be less support for this course so I am having to prepare quite a bit more. I am focusing on lectures paired with activities, and using the same online math homework as the previous course. Granted not the most innovative structure, but for teaching the course for the first time I'm feeling fairly confident about that choice. 
  • College Algebra - Two sections of the first 100-level mat course which uses a flipped-classroom model. I have taught this course before so I don't envision many issues.
There isn't much I want to add to these courses, but I do want students more engaged with the discussion forums in our LMS. If you have any thoughts on how to do this, feel free to share.

The rest of the week I will be focusing on the following projects:
  • Video series on a specific math application. 
  • K-12 Teacher lesson prep materials.
  • Developing this blog.
  • Freelance projects for test develop, content development, and editing/writing for textbooks.
If you have any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to share below. Thanks for reading!