A Calc 2 Teachalong

My wife is a professional knitter. She designs patterns, teaches classes and techniques, works at major events like Rhinebeck (think “yarn conferences”) and manages the social media for a yarn company and a yarn shop. Yarn folks often engage in a “knitalong” where a group of knitters gather regularly — sometimes in person, sometimes by Zoom — to work through a pattern together, occasionally led by the pattern designer themselves. This gave me the idea for a “teachalong”.

This fall, one of my classes at GVSU is Math 202, Calculus 2. I haven’t taught this class in 10 years, and already in planning my syllabus and the first week of classes, I have relied on shared materials and advice from several GVSU colleagues.

For anyone who wants to join me, I’m offering a teachalong. First I’ll give a quick overview of the course, and then I’ll sketch out what I think the teachalong will look like (with the disclaimer that I’ve never done this before :-)).

A few things about Math 202 and my section of it:

  • MTH 202 is a 14-week, 4-credit course. My section meets MW 4-5:50 Eastern from Monday 8/29 through Wednesday 12/7 with the final exam on 12/14. We have the usual holidays: Labor Day, Fall Break, Thanksgiving.
  • My class will use Chapters 5-8 of Active Calculus, but Chapter 8 will be the new alternate version I recently drafted. There will be considerable edits to that chapter before November 1, based on feedback I’ve already received.
  • Class meetings are structured to be active. The majority of class time is devoted to students working in small groups on activities in the text.
  • I use an alternate grading system that is designed to promote growth, persistence, and success. There are no midterm exams, but instead weekly Checkpoints (like quizzes) that are based on 15 Learning Targets, along with a consistent workload involving daily prep assignments, WeBWorK sets, written homework, and lab activities. Almost everything is marked on binary scale (“Y” or “NY” – “yes” or “not yet”) with opportunities for revision/re-attempt. Full details in the syllabus.

If you want to join me for the teachalong, here’s what I’m thinking:

  • I will expect no additional work or commitment from you; you can observe, engage, correspond as much or as little as you want. You don’t have to teach the course in any way similar to me. And if it turns out that what we’re doing isn’t of interest to you or you don’t have time for it, you can drop out with no questions asked and no hard feelings from me.
  • With everyone who signs up, I’ll share a large portion of my teaching materials/files: semester schedule, daily “script” (my notes to myself), daily prep assignments for students, WeBWorK sets, Homework exercises (that I’m basically writing from scratch as we go), Labs, and Checkpoints. These will be in a shared drive that folks who sign up can access as the files in it grow and change.
  • I will host a standing 30-minute Zoom drop-in at least every-other-week. This is subject to scheduling constraints, but based on my own calendar, I expect such meetings will be late on Thursday afternoons or sometime on Fridays between 12 and 2:30. There is no agenda for these meetings other than to discuss how our classes are going and any questions you’d like to ask of me. This is also an opportunity for me to learn from you how you use Active Calculus and ways I can be of additional support.

If you are interested in participating, email me at boelkinm at gvsu dot edu by 4 pm on Sunday, August 28, and put the word “teachalong” in the subject line. By early next week I will correspond with the people who have expressed interest, invite them to the shared drive where I post my materials, and send out a poll to find a possible meeting time.

As always, if you have questions about particular resources for any of the Active Calculus courses, I welcome hearing from you.

This entry was posted in Resources, Teaching and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.