springbreak

Spring Break – A Time to Revitalize

Written by Dana Mallett, CATL Office Program Assistant

By March most, if not all, of us are very ready for a break.  The gap between winter break and spring break can feel like an eternity and being in a cold climate often makes the days leading up to summer feel even longer.  Whether you are planning a trip somewhere far away and warm, to curl up on your couch watching Netflix, or just enjoy a quieter work week on campus – here are a few ways to utilize this week off to prepare for the final months of the semester.

Don’t overschedule yourself

Using this break to catch up on all the things that have been put to the side as you are putting out the daily fires of the semester can seem like a great idea. But try to do it in moderation…as much as a week can allow.  If you stuff all the things that need to be done in this week there will be no time to stop and enjoy the quieter, more relaxed atmosphere on campus.

Try to sleep a little more

That might be easier said than done, but maybe one day this week sleep in a little later. If you are lucky enough to be at home this week, sneak in a 20-minute (or 2-hour – no judgment) nap. Our students have it right – naps are golden and can work miracles to reenergize you. Don’t have a lot of time to catch a nap? That’s ok, according to the Journal of Sleep Research, a 10-minute nap “improved subjective and objective alertness, decreased fatigue, increased vigor, and improved performance.”1

Step away from the screen

Most of us spend a good amount of time in front of our computer/laptop/iPad in order to perform our work duties.  Stepping away from the computer screens may seem counter-intuitive in our effort to have a productive work week, but maybe a break from your screen is exactly what you need to get some work done. Stepping away might allow for the time to really think deeply about your goals for the remainder of the semester.  Maybe there are some research articles or book that you have been setting aside since the beginning of the semester. Or maybe you just really want to catch up on the latest magazine of choice.  Whatever it is – take a day and step away from the screen. You might be surprised at how much time it frees up.

Connect with family or friends

At some point in adult life, getting away and spending time with a friend or loved one can seem like a task that needs to be carefully planned out as to not neglect one of the many responsibilities you may have on your plate. While the students are off campus there might be a little more time to take the lunch hour to connect with a colleague, or to stay out a little later enjoying dinner with your family, knowing you don’t have to be 100% on point in front of a class at 8:00 a.m. the next day.  The relaxed atmosphere of the campus during this week can allow a little more flexibility in how you spend time outside of the work hours.  We all aren’t able to head to Puerto Vallarta this week, but maybe head over to El Sarape and catch dinner and a margarita with a friend.

Prepare

Reflect on the semester so far and where you want the next couple of months to go. What have you addressed to date? What still needs to be covered? What are the overall learning objectives of your courses and do you feel that the students are going to meet those by May? The second half of the semester can go by pretty fast and keeping everyone focused can feel like herding cats at times – but May will be here before we know it!

Hopefully you have had a chance to take some time for yourself and enjoy the spirit of Spring Break.  Do you have any tried and true ways to make sure you return to school after break feeling refreshed and ready to face the end of the school year?

Sources:
1. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2869.2008.00718.x/full

Dana MallettDana Mallett
Program Assistant
CATL Office

mentor

Peer Mentoring as a High Impact Experience

Written by Olyvia Kuchta, UWGB Student

As a Peer Mentor for the Gateway to Phirstyear Success (GPS) Program I was involved in many activities to help first year students develop skills to make a successful transition to college. Specifically, as a Peer Mentor it was my duty to help first year students develop skills in order to be successful throughout their college experience by modeling these behaviors and sharing my own experiences as a student. Continue reading

outside the box

Taking Student Research to the Next Level

Wriiten by Aaron Weinschenk, Assistant Professor

One of the things that I enjoy most about my job is the chance to work with students who are engaged, exited, and eager to learn. It probably does not come as a surprise that I especially enjoy working with students on independent study research projects. As you might guess, students who want to do an independent research project are usually pretty engaged, exited, and eager to learn more. I think that such experiences are impactful for students (an independent study that I did as an undergraduate student propelled me to graduate school!) but they are also impactful for me because I usually learn a lot along the way as students explore their research question (bonus!).

Continue reading

together

Collaboration

Written by Vanya Koepke, Student

In the fall of 2014 a group of nine students and four professors came together to put together a capstone for the Political Science major. Often, opportunities like that do not materialize. Students might be intimidated by working with their professors. Faculty, on the other hand, might be tempted to work by themselves, a much quicker way to come up with a syllabus. In hindsight, the benefits of such collaboration were so profound that they could convince others to try it. For the students involved in the process it was a unique opportunity to be mentored by Dr. Weinscheink, Dr. Staudinger, Dr. Helpap, and Dr. Levintova. Overall, this blog will focus on the importance of faculty and student collaboration, while identifying the challenges and benefits of the process. Continue reading

FrenchMacaroon

The engaging spirit of ISSOTL

Written by Alison Staudinger, Assistant Professor

The jetway was strewn with canes and walkers, my first indication that I would be one of the few on the flight to Quebec City without an AARP membership. I wondered if, perhaps, the meeting of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) catered to an octogenarian crowd. But these passengers were tan and toting beach wear, not pedagogy journals, and when my seat mate asked me what cruise I would be embarking upon, I got it. Continue reading

flipped

Flipping Physics

Written by Heidi Fencl, Associate Professor

As I  write this, I’m about half way through lesson planning to flip my introductory physics sequence.  These musings are on the process of flipping a course, rather than on effectiveness or student response.  I am excitedly, and perhaps naively, anticipating both when I teach the flipped sequence next fall. Continue reading

CulpitBeach

The Phoenix in South Aphrica

Written by Illene Cupit, Professor

Me:  “So why do you want to take this trip to South Africa?”

Student:  “Well…Ever since I was little I wanted to see the country and I just love elephants and giraffes!”

Me: “Do you know anything about the history of South Africa, like…apartheid?

The student (quizzically): “Um, I think so…maybe.”

Thus began my journey with 11 UW-Green Bay students to the city of Port Elizabeth, which is on the Eastern Cape of South Africa.  And in the three weeks we were there I saw the transformation of our students who were willing to extend themselves beyond the elephants and giraffes. Continue reading

EMC2

Setting a Good Example: Physics Problem Solving

Written by Heidi Fencl

I’m sure I’m not alone in teaching a field that is more about “how” than it is about “what.”  And so I think a lot about teaching by example.  There is a great deal of research in physics education about setting a good example in class as we teach physics process, but of course most physics learning happens outside the classroom when students work on their homework assignments.  And that is where I worry about practices that set a bad example. Continue reading

diversity-education-book-tree

Diverse Groups

Written by Adolfo Garcia

As a member of Chancellor Miller’s Enrollment Working Group it has been enlightening to learn about the challenges that area high school students face in enrolling at UW-Green Bay.  It is especially challenging for students that are from traditionally underrepresented groups like Hispanics, African Americans, Native American, and Hmong students.  Green Bay is facing a major population revision, and it is time that UW-Green Bay faces up to challenges that will change the way we enroll and retain our diverse local population. Continue reading

math

Opportunities to Learn – Joint Mathematics Meetings

Written by Megan Olson Hunt

For my fall 2014 Teaching Enhancement Grant, I attended the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Antonio, Texas over four days in January (most of which weren’t much warmer than the weather in Green Bay, but I did see a touch of sun, thankfully!). In that time, I managed what now seems like a bit of a feat, going to 45 presentations, each of which lasted anywhere from 15 minutes to four hours. Continue reading