My biggest push for the upcoming year is to improve the skills that my students they were told they could forget about after they passed their 8th grade state test. Anyone who winds up in higher level math knows that you have enough trouble understanding the new concepts without an inability to add fractions and factor holding you back. Now, another big push is to incorporate a What Can You Do With This? attitude in my classroom. But, eventually, your students do have to do math problems.
So today I tackled a few of my proposed topics and found help in an unlikely place. So traditional math education had the philosophy "drill baby, drill." Digging around, in my parents possession was an Algebra I textbook, my Algebra I textbook no less. I took Algebra I in 1995 or so, and this book is copyright 1986, and it shows. None of the contrived "real world uses" and a real lack of pseudoteaching. It's refreshing, with bonus "Computer Activities" that teach you how to make BASIC programs that calculate things. Anyway:
Are you kidding me? And this book is full of pages like this. Just loads and loads of practice without all the flashy nonsense. Saves me the trouble of generating problems myself.
So based on the mining I was able to do today, coming very soon I'll post my first Boot Camp worksheets covering multiplication tables, fractions, decimals, and calculator syntax.