Since this is going to be a blog about practice, I might end up posting some or all of my lesson plans online. Here’s a working draft of my first day smartboard presentation for my calculus class. I am pretty satisfied with it, so far, but there are things that could (and might) be improved.
First, many of the slides — especially those dealing with assessment — are text heavy. I hate text heavy slides. On the other hand, the thing that kept ringing in my ear when I was about to press the delete key was “be clear.” Students are desperate for clear and well-defined expectations. (At least I was.) How can you expect a student to know how to act, know what to do, unless you spell it out?
Second, the slides aren’t visual enough. Which comes right out of point one.
Third, I tried a number of background colors, and this one worked best. But the red text and royal blue text are arresting, and hence distracting. But I played around with other standard colors, and couldn’t get things better. If I have time, maybe I’ll finesse things until they look less jarring and more appealing.
Fourth, I haven’t written a conclusion yet.
Fifth, and most important, I don’t see a direct connection between my syllabus and this presentation. I don’t want to be reading the syllabus, but the “we are on a harrowing mathematical adventure together” aspect of the syllabus is totally absent in the presentation. Even the feeling of us embarking on an intellectual mystery cruise or taking a journey or anything. I will definitely change that this weekend.