We’ve been out since the 17th of December, having left Literal Equations in a hasty pile by the door, somewhat obscured by a blur of ugly Christmas sweaters, Mid-Quarter Comments, administering the baseline evaluation for the Eighth Graders, Khan-in-the-Octagon, and my own Final Exam in Reva Kasman’s wonderful MSM717 “History of Mathematics”. MSM701, “Patterns, Relations and Algebra” starts January 19th, with Dr. Kasman!

So now it’s the Saturday before we return. I have done nothing to plan for my classes on Monday. No lessons, no quizzes, no activities, only feeding my own curiosity about the connection between Perfect Numbers and Mersenne Primes, starting to work through Euler’s “Elements of Algebra”, and binge-watching “The Walking Dead” on AMC. Plus Christmas, New Year’s, and a few tutoring sessions. I’m supposed to relax on break, no matter how hard it is.

I have started as I always start, with a calendar. (My calendar of choice is the Moleskine Weekly Notebook, 5.5X8.5). We have 13 days until the Second Quarter ends on January 22nd; then we have 13 days until February Break. 26 days. We are going to finish Chapter 2 and have a 2-day Chapter Test. So I think that we’re going to skip rate and unit conversions in favor of Proportions, Similar Figures, Percents and Percent Change. This is essentially two units exploring theory and practice.

I’m going to spend a few hours this afternoon with Grant Wiggins’ and Jay McTighe’s “*The Understanding by Design Guide to Advanced Concepts in Creating and Reviewing Units*“, Module O. Keeping in mind that I have to give two tests between now and the end of the quarter, and each will absorb one full class period. I want to use Khan Academy; I may even give an overnight assignment in Khan. I also want to use Formative, maybe as a prep period prior to the test. Most importantly, I need to define proficiency in each of these.

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