Math Mondays: A Teacher's Summer is not all play time.

For those looking for a little summer pick me's some of my summer plans...

No teacher I know takes summer off. Sure, teachers take a vacation, but so do lawyers and doctors and engineers. Teachers work in the summer, but it's a different kind of work. 

I love summer because it is a time to take a breath , to review, and to look forward. 

  • First, the breath. Aaaahhhh. In the summer, I love a long run at sunrise and then to have a cup of fresh mint (from my garden) tea while I work; maybe even grab a piece of freshly made blueberry tart while I am thinking.  

Not rushing off to class gives me time to dig deeply into the art of teaching and curriculum development which leads to part 2 of summer work:

  • Review. Review is when I think about what worked and what didn't. I start with my student's feedback. Among my end of year activities with my students, I have students become experts for next year's class. This is an invaluable tool for my future class, but it also tells me what stuck with my students over the long haul. What do they remember? What was tough? I also go back over notes in my planner about changes I made on the fly and lessons that simply fell flat. What do I want to keep, change or completely revamp? Which brings me to 

  • Planning. I love summer planning because I simply have more time to really think about activities. Right now, I'm working on some real world math projects. I was playing with some ideas for teaching statistics.  As a researcher, I do statistical analysis as part of my research all the time, and so I'm working on some ideas for real-world statistics for my students.   The slower pace of summer is giving me time to think and rethink how to bring student-centered stats into the class. I was going to start with school stats related to college going, but after a long run yesterday it occurred to me that some of my students will get hooked with sports stats and for others it will be something else, maybe something related to the upcoming elections or the environment. The long days of sumner provide that much needed time for these aha moments. My new statistics unit is now coming together in my head so that all the students learn the math but can work with data of interest to them. It's not there yet, but fortunately I have the summer to think and rethink and get inspired by other great teachers. 
Thinking about next year? Post your planning ideas or products below or grab some new ideas for your math classroom with the links below. And remember to take a's summer.

Math Mondays is a weekly post sharing tips, ideas, resources, and products for teaching math.  If you have questions or think there is something I should share, you can leave me a message on Facebook or at the store in the question and answer section.