Accountability 2010

Mathematics Department: Accountability Report 2010
Name: A. Jorge García                                                                       Date: 4/30/2010

1) What courses did you teach during this school year?
    Math 5HBC          – AP Calculus BC
    APCS                     – AP Computer Science
    CM                         – Computer Math
    ACM                      – Advanced Computer Math
    CIS                          – Computing Independent Study
    (CRL                       – Calculus Research Lab: developed course for next year)

2) Did you participate in peer coaching or classroom observations?
    I was observed.
Peer Coaching – Please complete details:
a)    Who was your peer coach?                                                                         NA
b)    Explain your focus below.                                                                              NA
c)     Write what your experience has been.  Give specific examples.     NA
d)    What evidence do you have that teaching has improved and learning has increased? Be specific.  (i.e. anecdotal, exemplary student work, qualitative data) NA

3) What was your curriculum project? (Describe in detail)
    3A) The performance of our AP Calculus BC students on the Multiple Choice Question or MCQ sections of the AP Exam has not improved for several years.  In order to combat this negative trend, I instituted a new activity for my students in 5HBC: “Multiple Choice Mondays!”  I review AB material for the first 2-3 months of the course.  At this point, the students should be able to tackle AB specific MCQs.  So, starting the Monday after Halloween, I gave a non-calculator active AB MCQ sample exam, and reviewed it the following Monday.  Then the third Monday I gave a calculator active AB MCQ sample exam and reviewed it the following Monday.  I continued this four week cycle two more times for a total of 6 AB MCQ sample exams and then 2 more times using BC MCQs for an additional 4 BC MCQ sample exams.  MCQ Mondays have gone a long way to complementing the student’s experience with “Free Response Fridays” which I have done for several years now.  FRQ Fridays are unit tests based on AP Free Response Questions.  I think that the students’ performance will significantly improve this year as a result of all this practice throughout the year!

    3B)  I have also been preparing to use SAGE next year in our new Calculus Research Lab (CRL) course and our updated Computer Math course.  Both these courses will use the python programming language and computer algebra systems to solve math problems on a PC (also known as Pythonic Math and Scientific Computing).  The Calculus Research Lab will do so by extending and deepening the student’s experience from Calculus AB and BC class.  Computer Math will do so by introducing topics from Discrete Mathematics.

4) Identify specific lessons that you felt met with the most success.
    4A) Group Test: Students learn a topic best when they have to explain it to a peer.  My students in 5HBC do this with a preTest the day before every FRQ Friday. 
    4B) Re-Testing: In order to encourage students that need extra help to actually attend extra help, I allow students to retake an exam if their grade is less than 70% and they go over the first test with me in extra help.
    4C) Teaching with Technology: Using a SmartBoard or Smart AirLiner Slate and Wireless Mic allows me to record the lesson for students to review again and again.
    4D) Learning with Technology: Students will benefit from learning how to do math with software such as SAGE, Octave and R in addition to the traditional Graphing Calculator environments.
    4E) Video Wednesday: Every other Wednesday I show a 5-10 minute educational video from a DVD or Youtube.

5) Personal Goal: 
    5A) Youtube Recording Studio in Windows and Linux:  I investigated the use of SmartBoard products in the delivery of my Calculus lessons.  I typically use a Smart AirLiner Slate and Wireless Mic (hardware) to record everything I write as a pdf.  Also, I record each lesson live as a video in mp4 format for ftp and youtube uploads.  I use Smart Notebook, Smart Recorder, VTI and Mathematica Player (software) to accomplish all the above.  Please see my youtube page
    5B) Linux Clusters: Also, I have been researching Linux Cluster Programming for several years now.  I have done so with an eye toward incorporating several cluster programming related activities in my computer science classes.  We have touched on this topic in class in the past.  I incorporate this topic in my Computing Independent Study class for students who have taken AP Computer Science as Juniors.

6) Staff Development: Conference, courses attended etc:
    6A) I took an online refresher course in Algebra I for 3 graduate credits.  I plan on taking Algebra II in like fashion.
    6B) Baldwin Staff Development Day and LIMACON: I spoke at SDD and LIMACON about using SAGE in class and setting up a Youtube Recording Studio!  LIMACON stands for “Long Island Math Conference” and is sponsored by Nassau County Association of Math Supervisors.  The use of technology to enhance mathematics instruction is the focus of this conference.  The title of my talk was “Look Ma, No Calculator” since I use VTI on my desktop or SAGE online instead of a physical Graphing Calculator.  I will give a similar workshop for T3 at Molloy College this November.

7) Describe your role in Department activities and initiatives
            I help teachers and students with problems relating to Graphing Calculators and Personal Computers.
            I develop and promote the computer curricula.
            I am continually researching new curricula and teaching methods for teaching computer programming.
            I maintain a Linux ssh server and a Linux ftp server for the computer programming students to use on campus and at home.
            I make sure that the LAN in room 429 is up and running every day for the APCS classes and the Computer Math/Advanced Computer Math classes.
            I maintain a Linux Cluster, Shadowfax, in Room 429 for the Computing Independent Study CIS(theta) class.  Please see my blog and my media page

8) Describe your role in school co-curricular or extra curricular activities.
    8A) co-curricular
    I am the advisor for the Continental Mathematics League (CML) in Calculus.  We have 4 meets in class each year.  We are currently 1st in New York State after 3 meets!
    My Computing Independent Study CIS(theta) students are working to make the new dual-core 64-bit cluster operational using a gigabit switched Ethernet network.  We won 1st and 3rd place in the CGI High School category at the PI Day Art Show at SCCC Grant Campus this year!
    8B) extra-curricular
    I advise the Baldwin High Chess Club.  I am a rated member of the US Chess Federation (USCF).  I am a USCF Certified Scholastic Chess Coach and a Permanently Certified Local Tournament Director (LTD).  We hold USCF rated tournaments every other Tuesday after school (3PM – 4PM).

9) Field Trips:
    The Friday after Midterm Week, I visited all the Math 2H classes to recruit students for CM and ACM.  I also visited all the Math 4H classes to recruit for APCS and CRL.  I encouraged all the Math 4H students to take Math 5HBC.  I actually took these classes on a “field trip” to Room 429 and had them use to demo what they would be doing in CM/ACM or CRL next year.

10) Professional Organizations:                American Mathematical Society               Mathematics Association of America             National Council of Teachers of Mathematics               Association for Computing Machinery                        American Museum of Natural History
                                                            MP4 Recorder Beta Tester                    
Pen App Beta Tester    SAGE Beta Tester
Rocks Clusters Beta Tester       Fedora Linux Beta Tester                    CentOS Linux Beta Tester        KNOPPIX Linux Beta Tester          yaBASIC for Linux Beta Tester    REALBasic for Linux Beta Tester                   g++ for Linux Beta Tester            Bootable Cluster CD Beta Tester          
parallelJava Beta Tester     QUANTIAN Cluster Beta Tester         US Chess Federation
                                                            Nationally Rated Member/Player
                                                            Certified Scholastic Chess Coach
                                                            Certified Local Tournament Director

11) Contests/Competitions/Grants: (free PC Projector from Bill & Melinda Gates) (Rated Tournaments every other Tuesday) (Calculus Competition) (PI Day at Suffolk County CC Art Show) (I-CON at SUNY Stony Brook Art Show)
12) Additional:
    I have been involved, for several years now, as a Beta Tester for the KNOPPIX Linux live CD/DVD in the Computer Science Classroom.  I install and maintain the latest updates of the Linux Kernel in Lab 429 and on the Linux Servers.  I am also a Beta Tester for SAGE, Fedora, CentOS, REALBasic, yaBASIC, g++ and parallelJava which I use in CM, ACM, APCS, CIS and CRL. 
    I have developed the curricula for both CM and ACM and taught both courses for many years.  I help the CM and ACM teachers as needed.  I developed a new course, CRL, which starts next year!