Let the madness begin.

I am looking over my classes for this coming year.  I have a load. I am hoping I have not bit off more than I can chew.  Due to the IT work my max load is usually 3 or 4 classes. Six is going to be interesting.  Six is a full load at my school. Hopefully there are no regular IT issues.

  1. Senior Stats.  I have taught it for years so I have the material and plan down pat.  No, wait. This year I am taking the one course I can do from the textbook and in my sleep and changing it.  Bummer. Most stats courses do a chapter on the mean, then another on standard deviation and so on, pulling up a data set to use to practice with.  I am going to try to go backwards. Here is a data set. Lots of numbers. What would be nice to know about these numbers to make all these numbers understandable?  No book, no concrete lesson sequence, just students coming up with ideas (hopefully). From there we start developing the statistics. I have never done this so it will be on the fly.  I will see what happens. Of course if it dies I have the original course to go back to. How boring.
  2. Intro to Game Programming.  Basically a Unity course with lots of odds and ends; Blender, GameMaker, animation, and whatever tickles our fancy.  I have done it before so no big deal. It is not really a game making course, it is more of a game software course.
  3. Computer Programming with Python.  Been there, done that. Just have fun with Python.  I use “How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python 3” by Wentworth, et. al.  I do teach more than syntax. The kids have to install and troubleshoot the install for both Python and an editor.  Not always a big deal but usually at least one student has something funky happen. Especially since the class is BYOD.  I stress time away from the computer to plan and scheme on how to build the program. The kids hate it until they start at the computer.  Then they go “Ah ha!” Planning actually helps. Amazing.
  4. Intro to Computer Science 100.  A survey course of several languages.  A dual-credit course. I have to do this one independent study since the student that wants to do the course only has time while I am teaching the Stats course.  I did this independent study last year. Did not work well. I was not select enough with the students I allowed to take the course. Five students took it last year.  I gave four “Cs” and a “B”. They were not willing to work on their own and blew most the course off then tried to catch up the last week. Nope. I was not going to do this independent study again but the counselor  convinced be the one student is self motivated. We shall see.
  5. Computer Programming 1.  I usually do not teach this as we have a Programming 1 teacher with the time to do the course.  I am the IT guy and too many courses leads to IT issues I do not have time to fix. But this is a special case.  This freshman is an uber-geek. The regular Programming 1 course would bore him stiff and the Programming 1 teacher does not have the background or time to challenge him.  So we are just going to wander where he wants to go. No real plan, just tinker. Fun.
  6. Math 2.  An Algebra and Geometry course.  Been there, done that. Mostly we just play with math.  Ninety percent of these students hate math and therefore suck at it.  My objective is not only to teach math, but to change their attitude towards mathematics.  If I can influence the attitude the math will come by itself.

The year will be real busy and I am looking forward to it.

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2 Responses to “Let the madness begin.”

  1. Briana Morrison Says:

    Love that you are moving the stats class to inquiry based – *should* provide more motivation for the students. Just make sure to cover all the basic topics. I am really bad at managing independent studies, but I will pass along advice that’s been given to me: make sure you have frequent meetings and deadlines. Good luck for a productive (but unexciting in the IT sense) year!

  2. dupriestmath Says:

    You have such a full plate! It sounds like some of your classes will be small, which helps with planning, I think – you can be a lot more flexible and responsive when you have a small group of kids. Best of luck to you and I REALLY hope there are no major IT issues. You play in a lot of different sandboxes and I sort of prefer that to teaching the same thing every day all day. Enjoy!

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