Math = Love: Summer List

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Summer List

Now that it's June, I'm realizing that I need to set some goals for what I want to accomplish this summer before it's suddenly August and the back-to-school frenzy begins.

Next week, Shaun and I are keeping busy with math-y things.  We're attending our local math teachers' circle's summer immersion workshop Monday-Wednesday.  I'm excited for a chance to spend a few days talking math and working through challenging problems with other math teachers.  The workshop is at a beautiful retreat, so the scenery will be a treat as well.  Plus, the fact that I get to do things like this with my husband is awesome.

On Friday of this week, we'll be attending the OCTM (Oklahoma Council of Teachers of Mathematics) Summer Conference.  I'm looking forward to attending presentations and picking up creative ideas to implement in my classroom next year.  I'll be sure to blog about any awesomeness I pick up!

Another big plan for this summer is to take a trip.  Following our wedding, Shaun and I spent a few nights in Oklahoma City (about an hour away from Drumright) with plans to take a "summer honeymoon" once school was out.  We've confirmed that we still want to take this trip, but we have no idea where we want to go.  We *think* we want to keep driving to a minimum, but we also like the idea of spending some time at the beach.  Living in Oklahoma means these are quite contrary to one another.  So, if you have any great vacation ideas, leave a comment below!

What else do I want to accomplish?  I think I'll resort to a list now since I titled this post "Summer List" and it's just turning out to be a collection of paragraphs.

* Complete SBG skill lists for each subject I'm teaching next year. [Algebra 1 is done!]

* Write all my quizzes for each subject I'm teaching next year.  I did this for Algebra 1 and (most of) Algebra 2 last summer, and it was a HUGE life saver.  

* Of course, both of these hinge on this: Figure out what subjects I'm teaching next year!

* Put together a custom planner for next year. [Already in the works!]

* Start reading more!  I love reading, but grad school got me out of the habit of reading regularly (unless you count reading educational journal articles about integer operations.)  If you have any great book recommendations, I'll take them, too.  Please. [I'm keeping a pinterest board of my recent reads.]  

* Decorate and organize my new classroom.

* Put together as comprehensive as possible of a list of practice structures for the math classroom.  [Contribute to this project here!]

* Finish changing my name with the handful of places I haven't yet.

* Keep blogging regularly.  This should encourage me to keep thinking about ideas for the upcoming school year.  

* Work on getting into better shape.  I downloaded the Runkeeper app last week.  And, Shaun has agreed to go running with me.  Okay, it's more like 95% walking, 2.5% running, and 2.5% whining that I'm sooooooooooo out of shape.  We went run/walking for the first time on Saturday.  It was tough.  I complained.  A lot.  But, I know it'll get easier the longer I stick with it.  A couple of years ago, I made a list of goals that included running a 5k.  At this point, I just want to feel more fit and be able to run for more than a minute without collapsing.  

* Organize/Declutter my house.  After living by myself for almost four years, the process of combining households after marriage has been interesting.  I want our house to feel more like "our house" than "my house that Shaun's moved into."  I think Shaun might appreciate some more closet space, too.  ;)

* Try out new recipes.  During the school year, I tend to fall back on cooking the same old favorites.  I'm always bookmarking new recipes to try.  I want to actually try them now!  Some recent new recipes I've tried: Quinoa Taco Meat, Moist Chocolate Cake (SOOOO good in two layers with homemade whipped cream between and on top and sprinkled with crushed oreos), and Cheesy Vegetarian Chili Mac.  There's also the fact that Shaun got a bread maker for his birthday, so we're learning how to use that.  So far, he's made a 2 lb loaf of white bread and a 1.5 lb loaf of cinnamon raisin bread.  It's tempting to just eat fresh bread for every meal of the day.  

* Come up with a system for keeping up with housework.  This has NEVER been a strong suit of mine.  I'm a list person, so I think I need to come up with a list that tells me what to do when.  Then, hopefully I'll actually keep up with it.  I think I need a list that tells me what to do every single day, what to do once a week, what to do once a month, etc.

I'm sure there's a zillion things more I want to do this summer.  Okay, I'm positive there is.  I'm the girl that has a six page long to-do list word document on her computer.  But, I doubt you want to hear about my plans to finally getting around to framing my undergraduate diploma and my plans to finally put together wedding photo albums (and an album I bought to commemorate our one-year dating anniversary...)

I'm thinking that I will revisit my progress on these goals at the beginning of July and August to reflect on how I'm doing.

What's on your summer list?


  1. My husband and I got married in December 2011 (both teachers though he teaches history), and we started couch to 5K as soon as school was out in May that school year. We signed up for an early August 5K to have a goal to work toward. Neither of us are stellar runners, but we've been running fairly regularly ever since (give or take if it's during a season that one of us coaches or our daughter plays ball).

    Don't get discouraged. I was the girl who could never run a complete mile in high school without walking. I wasn't fat or anything. I just wasn't athletic. And I'm still not. And a REALLY good 5K for me still takes 37 minutes to finish. When my husband and I train, he's faster than me and goes ahead of me, which is fine, but we start and finish at the same place, so it's still something we do together. :) For me there is satisfaction in the fact that is something I never could have done at one point in my life, and now I can, even if I'm slow. One of my favorite things about running is that it's easy to do where ever we are when we travel. No special equipment required other than a pair of shoes.

    That was a lot of words to say that I pulling for you and your running ventures all the way from Alabama! :)

    1. I love your list! I have two and a half more weeks with my kids, but it's something good to get started.

      Might I suggest looking into freezer crock pot meals as something to fall back upon during the school year? I have fallen in love with them this year. I do a super big shopping trip once a month, once every other month, and then take a day (more like a weekend) to make all of the meals and then freeze them. I just have to pull them out the night before, defrost, and dump in the morning. Even I can manage that in waking up mode. It's great because I don't have to worry about eating healthy as the recipes I've found have been straight forward and yummy, but I usually will have at least one day of left overs (depending on the meal and how hungry my S.O. is) after, so even less planning in the morning.

      Good luck with everything on your list!

    2. Thanks for the support, guys!

  2. If you love the beach but want to keep driving to a minimum, maybe a cruise? It would require driving/flying to a port city, but you don't have to worry about anything once you are aboard! I'd suggest Carnival cruise line for pricing reasons, but friends of mine love Royal Caribbean! Congrats, good luck, and enjoy your summer!

  3. My daughter and her husband just came back from a cruise on Norwegian cruise lines. Loved it so much they put down a deposit for another. They are 29 yrs old btw.
    As for me, I have been switched to another grade (6th to 3rd). I took all the books home in order to update the curriculum mapping program we use. That's done. So glad I did as it revealed holes in state standards I need to fill. Did that. Also, I noticed that science and history have no existing quizzes. I tackled history yesterday and will start on science today. Next week, I am going to see a friend who used to teach 3rd grade and get some tips. Two subjects are getting new materials, so I'll have to start from scratch on those, but that's why I wanted all the other done ahead of it. I am a list person who just loves checking things off!
    Best wishes to you and Shaun.

  4. You are always so helpful to all of us that I wanted to share with you a blog I think will be helpful to you in keeping up with your housework. Please look at
    She has a wonderful system to help us stop living in C.H.A.O.S. (Can't have anyone over sydrome) :) It is like an online life-coach that encourages you to declutter and stay on top of all the household chores, so you don't get behind or overwhelmed. I think you'll like her approach.

    1. This was the first time I had heard of FlyLady, and I'm hooked! I like that I can have emailed to me what I need to be doing. Thanks for sharing, Kathryn!

  5. If beach is what you want, I would look on Airbnb and homeaway websites for deals on houses near/on the beach in places like Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. But as I write this I am in Puerto Rico- which if you can swing the plane ticket is an awesome choice for americans because we don't need a passport to come here! Also I have a skymiles credit card that I use for lots of stuff so that I build up skymiles for the 1 or 2 trips I take every year during my teacher breaks. Usually you get a bunch of bonus miles for signing up for one which might help make the flight affordable.

    Cruises are awesome! You should def look into one!

    1. We didn't end up going to the beach this year. Maybe next!

  6. Drive up to Branson, Mo and get a cabin on Tablerock lake. Not too far...big lake, kind of like a beach. Lots of fun attractions in Branson.

  7. I was going to recommend Flylady - but Kathryn beat me to it. :)
    Trello is also amazing for the list-oriented.

    1. I've ready Flylady's Sink Reflections book. Now I just need to apply it...

  8. I also love to read, but I don't have as much time during the year as I would like. I took your suggestion of reading How to Make Thinking Visible and checked it out of my public library. While I was there, I also took out a book called, How to Build A Better Teacher by Elizabeth Green. I haven't finished it yet, but so far it's absolutely fascinating and seems *very* relevant to math teachers! :) I would highly recommend it!

    1. Thanks for the recommendation! Now, I just need more summer to fit in all the books I want to read! :)