Some weeks are more mathtastic than other weeks. Just like some days in class are more teacheriffic than other days.
This week week happened to be a mathtastic one. :)
1) PME-NA reviews are in ...
This coming fall in Chicago (so close to home), I will be presenting a poster about unconventional contexts that eighth grade students used when they made up stories about negative integers. I will also be presenting a brief research report on three years worth of teacher reflection data that informed the Reflecting about Questioning Continuum.
This past fall was my first time attending PME-NA. And, now I get to present! After attending MMC dinners/conferences, ICTM conferences, NCTM conferences (regional & national), and an AMTE conference, my review is in and PME-NA is my favorite conference. Is it November yet?? :)
2) Professional Project is complete!
At ISU, a PhD student must complete a professional project before he/she can take the comprehensive exams. The professional project is a small research project that a PhD student works on in collaboration with a faculty member. I worked with Dr. Edward Mooney on a project about negative integers. The capstone of the professional project is an 8-page research paper and presentation. (Good news: I have an 8-page PME paper for 2014). This past Thursday, my mom and dad, my husband, two of my friends (who are teachers), several PhD students, a couple secondary education majors, and professors, came to my professional project presentation. I think that the presentation went well and I got a lot of great feedback to help me as I proceed in future research or future presentations on this project. I think a great aspect of the professional project was how it got me thinking about my research agenda. After this project, more questions emerged for me. From these questions, I have started working on my dissertation proposal. The best experience for me has been learning how to ask new questions and how to follow up on my work. The last FABULOUS part about the professional project has been the "completion." I have accomplished something and finished. Finishing something always feels wonderful.
3) End of semester
The end of the semester is always a glorious and liberating feeling. This is perhaps one of my favorite parts of academia. This does not mean I do not work over the summer. Nor does this mean that I am only a teacher/scholar because of summers. It's just a perk I love. I just love summer. I love the sun. I love the flexibility of summer. And, I love watching students graduate. This year is particularly sentimental for me.
As a high school teacher, I met many students. And, honestly, all them (I mean it)... ALL OF THEM... are very special to me. In fact, if any of you are reading this, it is highly likely that I even remember WHERE YOU SAT in my classroom. I don't know why I remember what you liked to doodle on your notebook or other random facts. But, all of my students have touched my heart. With that said, several of my students have remained in touch and I enjoy every email or Facebook message. And, a few students even visit me on a weekly basis in the summer. This is where I am turning sentimental. And now, this weekend, two of these students are graduating college. I just feel ... bittersweet. I am SO PROUD, but I will miss them too as they move on. Especially, because I am used to them coming to my house all the time. :)
When I was her math teacher...
Jordan was a statistics super star with excellent handwriting. In fact, she may love Sharpie pens more than me! She was a state-placing gymnastics star, winterball queen, and state mathlete.
As her friend now...
Jor and I have shared a lot of common interests during her college years, from running/biking to mission trips to Honduras. We can be found running long distances together. This summer you will most likely find us roadbiking together. We plan on riding 50 miles several times a week in May. Jordan is actually riding her bike from New York City to LA to raise money for cancer research. After riding her bike across the ENTIRE United States, Jordan will start med school!!! Jor I can't wait until I can call your Dr. Jor. :) I AM SO PROUD.
When I was her math teacher...
Kimberly Anne became Kimmy Cakes. I was Kimmy Cake's math teacher from her sophomore year to senior year. She took TWO math classes her senior year, statistics and calculus. Kimmy was a mathlethe and soccer super star. In fact, she ended up playing varsity soccer in college for four years too. Kimmy's nickname in her family is Little Nicole and it fits her well because of her equivalent love and dedication to mathematics, which she had even as a high schooler. I will always remember the brownies you made me with the integral sign of sprinkles. :)
As her friend now ...
We can be found doing just about anything. We spent a lot of this past year doing math and planning lesson together; however, this summer you are most likely to find us near water swimming or eating Milk Duds late at night and painting our nails.
I can honestly say it is a super special experience, even a MATHASTIC one, to watch one of your students graduate high school, become a mathematics major, work hard at student teaching, win the mathematics department award at the university, graduate with honors, and obtain a position as a high school mathematics teacher. I AM SO PROUD.