It is the last day of November. My self-imposed deadline for typesetting Nix the Tricks. And I've done it!
In the beginning, there was a calculus teacher complaining about students' lack of a good definition for slope. Then there was a conversation among my department members on tricks we hate seeing kids show up to our classes with. I expanded the conversation to members of my online math community. We brainstormed and debated what constituted a trick and which were the worst offenders. I organized. More people joined in on the conversation and shared better methods to emphasize understanding over memorization. I organized some more. Contributions started to slow down. The end result was 17 pages. I had grand dreams of a beautifully formatted resource that we could share with teachers everywhere. A few people shared my dream. We discussed formatting and organization and themes. Then the end of the school year craze happened, and suddenly it was August! School started, life got busy, and then I started hearing about NaNoWriMo. I decided that in November I would typeset the whole thing. If someone could write 50,000 words in a month, I could code something that was already mostly written. It was difficult, I had never paid attention to all the types of pages in a book, but the internet was there for me, and today, the last day of the month, I can say:
Hey, I just wrote it,
And this is crazy,
But here's the download,
So read it, maybe!
Check out the website: NixTheTricks.com
And now that I've gotten that song stuck in your head, listen to Tweet Me Maybe from TMC12 while you browse.
Thank you so much to everyone that helped, not just this month, but since the beginning of this project. I am so thankful for this community and all that we offer to each other.
I do ask one more thing of you. As anyone who has coded anything knows, you eventually go cross-eyed and as many times as you re-read something, you are bound to miss an error that is glaring to anyone with fresh eyes. I've been typesetting the document and editing the website all weekend. I tried to check the links, to look for typos and to test several devices. I got an error on my phone once, but I can't replicate it to know how to fix it. So, if you see any issues at all, no matter how small they seem, please let me know. Leave a comment here, send a note via twitter or use the submission form.
Enjoy, share widely and know that I'm rooting for all the teachers who explain and all the students who still ask why.
[Edited 12/3/2013 to add background for newcomers to the blog, like those who are here via the Math Forum Newsletter. Welcome!]