About Me

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MN, United States
Tutor, Business Owner, Technology innovator

Thursday, August 3, 2017


Oh my... I have operated under the radar for the last year. There are so many things that have happened. For one, my post from winter quarter disappeared. Can't remember everything, so here goes... The picture you see is of my daughter being ready for summer camp before I left her for the week.

 I realize that I will yet again be teaching college now algebra (this was ladt fall). . Based on my last experience I was not excited to do what I had done the previous year. However when the school year started, I then realized how sweet a schedule I actually had.  Actually this year's college now class was very concerned about their learning. There were a few, of course, that tried to command my attention, and I reminded them of course, this was a college-level class which required college level expectations.

There was also a question whether or not I would return the following year and if so what capacity would I be teaching. It made me look for other possibilities well still studying methods and tips that I have learned with my colleagues through #MCTMduluth.  But then I found out that not only will I be returning but I will be teaching a new class which was to be college now trigonometry.

Amazing, I also got to take a grad level class I actually liked: proportional thinking for conceptual understanding.  I like this place a lot because it helped reinforce skills that I taught myself when I did not understand my teachers when I was in school. I admit when I went to this year's College Now workshop I felt I have actually been doing right by my students, listening to other teachers' stories.

 Long story short I have yet to get ready for my daughter's wedding, do paperwork and administrative tasks as the local unions president, and to study some curriculum ideas before the school year actually rolls out. One of my resources just provided me some homework to do. It's at MCTM's Mathbits. Sara Van Der Werf challenges the math teachers to check the sites listed to brainstorm as we prepare for our year.

Oh, and I get to take another grad class, Probability and Stats for teachers (yes!)

Til I chalk again,

Mr. Shel

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Making the website you teach your students to make

I'm all about showing students how to do things.  Lately I realized that students want to know if I made it (searching for relevancy). When pressed I usually show them this one.
It's of my first resource websites I built in grad school. See, I'm old enough to pay homage to the old school blackboard, but yet try to keep resources people can use.  I started the makings of a intermediate algebra curriculum, but that has gone on hold for now.

What I really need to do is reclaim my old website look and feel from when I did tutoirng online.  Before I lost my domain to Melbourne IT (I was not going to pay their $500+ maintenance fees), I had the darn site backed up with all of its pages, with one problem.
I no longer had a hosting module or website editor that I could redo these pages to post them back on a server and rekindle the website. I lost some of the embedded pictures, but it looks something like this:

It may have become inactive, but I think I may use a free domain site to rebuild it.

One tech tool I recently discovered on Windows 10 is the Windows Step recorder.  It makes showing steps on the screen easy!  That way when I do finish the website, I can use recorder to snap every step of the page and the direction its going (navigation).

That's all I have for now, as I am in Homecoming week and must get other things done.

Til I chalk again,

Mr. Shel

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Clearing cobwebs

  Let's face it. It's summer. No one wants to think about a class of 15-35 students who may or may not be excited about your class.

So what's your passion? Is it cleaning the cobs? But that's exactly what you do when something in your house hasn't been used in ages. What's the point?
I recently did a clean house project where I recycled the wood from my basement storage and turned it into shelving throughout the house. Why did I do it? I'd like to have an extra study away from the crowd. What you see is a reconstruction of that shelf at half the width and 2/3 the length.  On Facebook I called it my lean manufacturing skills put to use. I like to build! I like to repurpose!  

A contractor said it right when he told me it's more work to DIY as opposed to geting new. I'm not an Earth Day conservationist. But it taught me I can do it in small pieces. It gives me something to talk about when I bring up measurement, planning, and error.

Can you imagine that this was just storage? I might pop the wall (off left) out and make this room bigger. Why? To improve my house AND to create a chance to talk about math with my kids (not just measurement, but critical thinking). They even gave their own design ideas!

What are you doing to make you and yours pause and think of the possibilities you come across? After all, that's Global citizenship 101, and that's why I teach.

Til I chalk again, 
Mr. Shel