Archive for July, 2014

Drafting a Notebook (part 1)

So I bought a little composition notebook for $0.50 at Staples.

I have only a pen and a black ink printer at my disposal until my supplies come in…but, here’s what I’ve got so far:

Intro Table of Contents




(Underneath the flaps in the first section…totally wrote the variable expression under the numerical expression flap, but that’s why this is a draft, right?)


(the flaps on this page are cool because they open TWICE!)






And the PEMDAS foldable

(Very much inspired by the one at Math equals Love)


Suddenly I feel saddened that this is all I have when we’re so close to school, but then I remember that the real versions will have colored paper, markers and highlighters.

My draft is pretty boring, but functional.  I also wanted to see how I would do on paper usage.  So far, not bad.  In practice, I know that some of these activities will take up more than a single page, but since this is just a draft, I’m trying to organize everything as efficiently as I can.

So far, these foldables are very specific to my book, so I won’t be sharing.  If you’d like to make your own, this tutorial from A Turn to Learn is AWESOME!

Another thing I like about this format, is that I really get to think about what happens to the notebook over days spent on the same section.  In a class like Intro to Algebra, where we sometimes spend 3 or 4 days on a topic, it’s important to make sure that each day is meaningful.

Five more sections in Chapter One…here I go!

Halfway there?

So today marks the halfway point of my summer semester in Grad School.  I’m thinking maybe 10 credits was a little much, and that maybe, just maybe math teachers will lapse into group insanity when confined to a classroom for roughly 9 hours a day, 4 days a week.

I should have known better, but I’ve always been ambitious.  My husband accuses me of complaining about not having free time, even though I immediately find more things to fill any free time that I DO have.  So here I am, trying to draft my thesis proposal.  Yes, they told me to wait until my second year.  No, I did not listen.

I’m not quite sure if my topic is going to stick, so I will wait until then to reveal my research topic here.  However, I did learn that this research isn’t quite as bad as I thought.  I looked over examples that had thirty to fifty articles in their literature review, while academic search engines yielded seven or eight valid articles, max.  I panicked!  How was I going to find that many articles?

Without knowing what to do, fearing a dry thesis, (but with a draft deadline approaching) I started to write.  And I realized that many of my articles had citations of their own…research that I could also find and use!  To a seasoned researcher (or English teacher) this might seem like common sense, but in my sleep-deprived grad-school state I felt as though I’d discovered something grand!  Strangely enough, academic search engines are very good when you know which authors or titles you seek.  Go figure!

Dorm life is a unique experience for me.  I lived off-campus in an apartment during my undergraduate degree, so I’ve never had to share so much time with classmates.  Luckily my suite-mate and I get along well, and are in most of the same classes.  I do know some of my classmates, because I’m not the only teacher from my school in this program, so that’s nice.

As I get closer to the new school year, being away from home has gotten harder.  For example, this week I’ve learned that I get to teach a class that I’ve always wanted to teach!  This particular class looks to be a little more cross-curricular than my usual fare, so it will be quite different.  This class also requires changes to my classroom layout, because it has different space requirements than my previous algebra classes.  I can’t wait to get home and tear through the textbook and start planning!

Life is busy, but life is good.