First Day of Class

The first day of class is coming up tomorrow. I have high hopes and many fears about this upcoming semester. Spring 2012 was an awesome semester. Fall 2012 was a long slog.

Somethings I want to do:

  1. Every day, I want to tell my students I am glad to see them. If I am having a bad day, I want to fake it ’til I make it, because I don’t want my students joining me in a bad day.
  2. I want students to work together. Taking advantage of my resources, especially my resources in terms of the people I know, has always been a great strength of mine. And the times when I’ve fallen on my face, I haven’t been doing this.
  3. I want us all to enjoy the class. When I am enjoying it, I work harder. This is probably also true of my students.
  4. I want to set a standard of professionalism for our assignments, especially the writing assignments. Last semester the sloppiness really got me down.

To start out, I want to have students pair up with someone they don’t know and who is not in the same major as they are.

  1. Get to know each other; introductions.
    • Learn your partner’s name so you won’t forget it!
    • Find something you have in common outside of school.
    • Find out something interesting about your partner that will help you (and the rest of us) remember your partner.
    • You will introduce your partner to the class.
  2. Discuss a (math) class you really didn’t like much. What made it that way? Remember who you were in that class; how did the class affect your behavior?
  3. Discuss a (math) class you really liked. What made it that way? Remember who you were in that class; how did the class affect your behavior?

With this, I want us to start to get to know each other and how we want to behave in this class.

I want my students to

  • Show up on time for class.
  • Bring a smile or a kind word for someone in our class every single day.
  • Stay in the classroom for the entire class period.
  • Participate.
  • Use class time productively for class work.

Of course, this list applies to me too!

I want to introduce and promote the writing center.

Syllabus: no exams! Yay! But must start work early. The last minute is not your friend in this class.

I have to give an outline for the essay on what is mathematical modeling. I was just thinking — maybe I should turn this assignment into a two-person dialog rather than a normal, boring essay? I still have time to do that. Interesting thought.