Sunday, September 20, 2015

Life Update...

(Wedding Day, New Jersey, 11/4/94)

Periodically, I realize that I haven't been blogging much. I am participating in the #teach180 tags on twitter, and that seems to be as much as I can handle for the moment.

The school year started out semi-great on August 24th. Sure I had 6 preps, but I had an awesome teacher friend that was teaching 2 of the preps with me (precalculus and Intro. to Engineering Design) and keeping me on track with planning and resources. Life was good. Then came Friday, 8/28/15. I was getting ready for my last class of the day and just starting them up, when our security officer came to my room to mention that I was needed in the office. Life has not been the same since. 

I was informed that my husband had died in a plane crash when he was practicing for the New York Air Show. He loved flying. He was great at flying. He was an awesome person. His plane broke while he was doing aerobatics. That weekend is still surreal. People came over off and on. A dear friend from DC came down to stay with me in TX for 9 days. His brother and family came from Canada as did my dad from California. I continued working that next week, so that I would have a break from the overwhelming nature of everything. Also, as teachers know, it is more work to be absent and make sub plans and copies and such than just to go in and dive in. Plus, did I mention the distractions and wonderful people I get to hang out with?

The time since then has been a blur and a balance of processing the horror and sadness and mixed emotions of how nice and compassionate and giving and loving everyone has been to me. And in addition, balancing school and doing right by my students. I'm so thankful I love my job and have people looking out for me and students being extra gentle and loving. I'm also thankful for friends that check in and let me ramble about the latest detail that I have to take care of to transfer things out of his name to my name.

I imagine it will be a long journey of getting used to this new reality. Maybe you never get used to it, you just live it. Andrew, I miss you.

Our trip to San Malo last spring break.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Trig Match Up Activity

My awesome coworker and I made up a trig matching activity. I know it's not a novel idea, but here is another resource for precalculus teachers to solidify angles in standard position. You can find the file HERE

 Via our internet math community, I learned that it's easier to leave one of the pages uncut (the pink sheet here), and then the students can place the matching cut up green and gold cards on the page. Before, I used to cut up all three, and then that took up too much space on the student tables. Thank you virtual PD friends for the great tip.

My buddy and I also decided to break up the teaching into 2 class periods with degrees one day and the dreaded radians along with their devilish friends, FRACTIONS (duhn DUHN duhhhhhhn) for the next day. Hopefully, this will allow the fraction/radian goodness to seep into their resisting minds more readily.

I didn't share the word document because it seems to mess up when you download it via (or maybe I'm wrong). If you want the word document to play around with, send e-mail. 

Another thing I like about this is that we didn't use all special angles. We also didn't indicate which was up or down on the pink sheet, so that stumped some kids and they had to think and justify the direction. Yay math.