Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What I'm Working On This Summer

Yeah yeah manhattanhenge happens twice a year
Summer has arrived for me! Here's what I think I'll be thinking about over the next few months:

Complex Numbers - I've written a bunch about complex numbers over the past year or two, but I'd like to turn those ideas into something usable for other teachers. At TMC14 this summer I'll be running a session I'm calling "New Ideas For Teaching Complex Numbers," and I'll be working hard to have something that participants can take with them. Will this project take me into the Desmos API? I hope so. I also have Needham's "Visual Complex Analysis" on the shelf and I'd love to spend some time just reading and solving problems this summer.

Proof in Geometry - I'm slated to lead the morning sessions on geometry at TMC14, though there are parts of that plan that are still up in the air. Teaching geometry this past year for the third time, I became really interested in thinking about the role of proof in my classes. Proof is going to be the focus of our morning sessions in Jenks, and I'm looking forward to preparing for it. I'm going to be focusing on proof mistakes for a while, and I'm excited to dive into some research relating to proof in geometry. I'd love to take a closer look at how some of my favorite textbooks handle reasoning and proof, and I've been meaning to read Fostering Geometric Thinking much closer than I have yet.

"This Is Not A Test" - Through the Global Math Department, we've organized a book club for reading Jose Vilson's new book. There will be blogging being done by myself and others in the club as we read, and if you have the book you should dive in to our conversations.

On the backburner are a few other themes that I probably won't have time to attack with any sort of focus:

Exponents - I really do find exponents fascinating. You might hear a bit more from me on this if I find time to read about the history of exponent notation. Maybe I'll can pick this up in August after TMC?

Feedback - I think I've hit the edge of my knowledge on feedback, grading and assessment. I'm likely to pick this up again when school comes back around, since it's such a pressing teaching concern of mine.

History of Education - Over the past year I went on a bit of a history bender. I certainly feel like I have a better grasp on the world of education than I did a year ago, but it would probably do me well to sit on this all for a little bit. Summer's the time to dive back into some fiction.

The temptation for me is to just sprawl and sprawl and sprawl in my work, but I always end up happier when I pare down the list of projects to about three. Honestly I'm a bit nervous because there's at least one non-teaching thing I'm going to be also working on this summer and four seems like one too many. Shrug, we'll see how this goes.

You'll be able to find me in Uptown, NYC most of this summer, hopefully staying cool. If I'm not here, I'm likely in Portsmouth, NH or Jenks, OK or Philadelphia, PA.


  1. So I'm a broken record on this one but if you're thinking about proof in geometry and thinking about history of education then you will really enjoy spending an hour reading Fawcett.

  2. Ooh, it's free! Excellent, and thank you for the recommendation.