To celebrate the completion of a full year writing for this blog, I thought it might be worth revisiting the ten most popular blog posts as measured by the number of visitors.
10) October 1 Day 207: We Gather Together. I had just started experimenting with the gather.town platform and held my first wildly successful drop-in hour for students there. Novelty helped. I’ve used it quite a bit since, including a virtual Julia Robinson Math Festival, regular lunch time socials with my mathematics colleagues, class sessions dedicated to group work, an MAA social hour, and to attend an MAA Section conference.
9) June 10 Day 94: Finals. Part I. The first day of interviews for my first oral final assessment ever. Experiences here would transform my ideas about assessment—during the pandemic and beyond.
8) April 24 Day 47 Part 2. Zooming for Community One of the rare days when I posted twice in a single day. The second post (hence Part 2), was about an MAA social hour using Zoom. It was a supportive community sharing lessons learned during the stressful transition to remote teaching. I had several co-hosts and we used breakout rooms to make the conversations more intimate. It’s hard to remember that for some participants, it was the first time they experienced breakout rooms in Zoom ever.
7) April 25 Day 48: What Have I Done? I questioned the sanity of implementing standards based grading for the first time during a pandemic.
6) January 26 Day 324: Women’s Health, Amirite? Thoughts on why we don’t openly talk about women’s health issues. Definitely an unusual post for me. It was very personal and also true.
5) June 6 Day 90: We Are Math Club Graph theory questions arising from the Zoom game posed in item 8) recreated in a Math Club gathering. Always be asking questions. Math questions that is…
4) May 11 Day 64: Scientific Method Zoom had not yet been updated with the feature that allows you to order participants by dragging their windows to the preferred place. I was trying to figure out the picture placement algorithm by making conjectures, testing, and revising during a faculty meeting. It was all very scientific.
3) May 2 Day 55: Start Small The Zoom placement puzzle that started my obsession. Looking at the placements from each participants perspective was how I got started.
2) January 9 Day 307: My New Hero Dr. Chelsea Walton I fan-girled at JMM and I think I am not alone based on the number of views of this post.
1) June 11 Day 95: Finals. Part II. After completing my first administration of an oral final exam, I posted my experience in all its gory details—from the inspiration to the rubric, from the questions to the lessons learned. It has been viewed more than twice as many times as the previous post 2) and three times as many as the post before that 3). So it must have resonated with readers. The experience has profoundly impacted my own teaching and it seems to have inspired others to think differently as well. The process has been revised and refined since. (There are plenty of other oral assessment posts within the blog). This one just managed to capture your attention early on and be returned to multiple times.
In 365 days, I wrote 270 posts (not counting today’s.) Earlier posts have more views possibly because they have been around longer. Possibly because people needed more support in the early days. We have a pretty good idea of how to teach remotely now. It doesn’t mean we can’t keep improving but with vaccinations on the rise, I hope we will be seeing the last of remote teaching this Spring.
What I list above are not necessarily my favorite posts, they are yours as determined by which ones you clicked through to read on WordPress. If I start feeling more nostalgic, I might review my posts from the beginning to pick my favorites. But come to think of it, that might be better left until we have closed the chapter on the coronavirus.