Monday, June 30, 2014

APSI Day 1

Michael Legacy started the morning today with a stack of goodies.  We were gifted with 2 hard copy textbooks for review and 3 online, Barrons AP Review book and flash cards, another review book that accompanies TPS 5th Ed and the usual APSI coursebook.  A side note - I'm really dissappointed in the cup that TCU gave us this year when compared to last year's cup.  It has been my side-kick this entire school year and I was so looking forward to another.  

I'm excited to have the 5th edition of TPS to review and consult this school year.  There is not an annotated teacher edition of TPS edition 2 that we are using in our classroom and it has been a challenge to pull information from other sources and the golden binder.  I was ready to jump ship from TPS to BVD until I heard Michael discuss it this morning.  He cautioned that the casual language in BVD (precisely what I love about it) gives students permission to be casual with their responses on the AP exam and they lose points for it.  Hmm, food for thought.  I will at least seriously and thoughtfully review the TPS 5th edition.  I know that it is as much as my students can handle in terms of reading level so the Peck Olsen book is out except for a problem resource for me.  

I have to say, I'm feeling a little more confident with the material this year than I did last year.  Michael gives great insight into the problems (since he has written many of them).  Today's take-aways for next school year are:

1)  Give students the flavor for what we are doing early on with a simulation using cards - avoid the statistical language for the exercise and just have them develop a simulation as you guide them.  I'll get the instructions on my flash drive tomorrow and send them to anyone who wants them.  The idea is to take the students through an activity that you can reference later and they will have an immediate connection with because of the memory of it.  

2)  Michael had a great explanation of how to teach r-squared and what it means.  I have it in my own ITN and will try to get it transfered to a word doc with step by step instructions if anyone is interested.  
3)  I spent WAY too much time straightening data and teaching formulas that they calculator does and not enough time interpreting what the numbers mean.  ML spends 1 day on straightening data during inferencing for regressions and doesn't teach the formula for r at all.  Live and learn...

4) is a great website for demonstrations

It is really challenging to synthesize the article that we read for #eduread last week,  "Creating a Differentiated Mathematics Classroom", Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess, and the APSI information.  The hardest thing for me as a math teacher is to figure out the proportions of my lessons that should be designed for each of the four styles:  Mastery, Understanding, Interpersonal, and Self-Expressive to ensure that they can be successful on the AP test.  I do believe that I can create a combination of assessments that are not all AP Test questions but give students the opportunity to demonstrate and understanding of the type of statistical thinking that we are looking for to be successful on the test.  Here's to collaboration, PLNs on Twitter, and lots of creative questions!

Friday, June 27, 2014


I am entering my 8th year as a math teacher at Waxahachie High School in Waxahachie TX.  We are 40 miles south of Dallas on I35E.

I'm a PD junkie and I absolutely LOVE teaching.  I took the #SummerLS to get 3 tech hours out of the way and have fallen hard for the techy world that's out there.  This will be my 3rd year to teach AP Statistics and I am the lone wolf in my district.  I've been to one AP Summer Institute and one 2-day conference and have some limited connections but, let's face it, when you get into your classroom you hardly have time to breath, much less connect with another teacher from another school in another town.  I was skeptical about using Twitter to connect with other teachers because I'm a shy person initially.  I find it difficult to interact with strangers so my M.O. is to sit and listen.  Sometimes that makes me seem stand-off-ish.  On Twitter, I really struggled with sending that initial message to someone that I didn't know.  In fact, when I got the assignment, I picked a colleague of mine here in Hachie!  Todd Nesloney has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and I have made connections with several AP Stats teachers.  I participated in a great discussion on #eduread on this article and am growing professionally again for the first time in several years.  I've been invited to participate in a chat, join a professional network of bloggers, and had several individual conversations that have stimulated my thinking.  I am rethinking what happens in my classroom thanks to Dave Burgess and Teach Like A Pirate and now I'm reflecting on my learning as practice for reflecting on my teaching - inspired by Challenge #4!

Next week I will attend the AP Summer Institute for AP Statistics with Michael Legacy at TCU and I really needed a place to blog my thoughts daily.  Last summer I feel like I missed a ton just because I didn't write more down.  This gives me a place to do that!

Personally I am a wife to an amazing man, Jay, who is working on his MDiv in Messianic Jewish Studies at The Kings University in Grapevine.  I'm a mom to 3 almost grown men - Justin 21, Jordan 19, and Jaxon 16 and Justin is engaged to a wonderful girl, Taylor who is pregnant with twins so it's an exciting time in our family as well.

I'm thankful that God has blessed me with my family and with this opportunity to learn and grow as a teacher.