For our number talk today I gave my 8th graders the question from Day 37 of Math Arguments 180, involving 0.9999… being equal to 1. It was great. They had a great argument back and forth and when I told them it was equal to 1 some were up in arms. They refused to accept it (even after I proved it to them) and wanted to find a mathematician and tell him that he was wrong. Some of them got really worked up about it. It was awesome!
We started our Barbie proportions/scale project today. I bought all of the Barbies from a local thrift store and most of them didn’t have any clothes. So, you can imagine the reaction from the middle school boys in my classes. It was pretty entertaining. All of the students were also engaged in the task and working hard. They’re excited to see how it turns out!
Tonight was one of my favorite nights of the entire school year. For our last basketball practice of the season, I set up a surprise scrimmage between them and some of their teachers and administrators. I invited all of their parents and they all kept the secret so well. When I started blasting music and the teachers ran into the gym, the look on the girls’ faces were priceless. We ended up tying and afterwards gave out our team awards. It was such a great way to end the season.
Today was a really good day. One of my students from last year came up to me before school today and thanked me for teaching him so well in 7th grade last year and getting him so prepared for algebra this year. Great way to start the day. Then a few of my current and former students came in and ate lunch in my room, which ended up being incredibly entertaining. I was literally cracking up the entire time. Like I said, it was a really good day.
Today in one of my 8th grade classes one of my students, you know, one of those darlings that drives you absolutely CRAZY at times, had a great day. He was engaged, participating, and asked a fantastic question that led to a great discussion. It was AWESOME! I love days like this!
We’re starting to talk about the idea of scale in my 7th grade classes and like yesterday’s classes, today’s classes were asked to make “accurate” diagrams of our classroom. When we were evaluating their accuracy, I noticed a stick figure on this one. When I looked a little closer I found that it was me, lying on the floor in front of the white board, taking a nap. If only that could be a reality!
We’re starting our geometry unit with the 7th graders with scale. I never mentioned the word “scale” today, but instead gave students a very open ended task: draw an accurate diagram of the classroom. One of my classes spent some time at their desks, looking around and noting things to include in their diagrams. But in another class, every group immediately jumped up, grabbed yard sticks, and started measuring the walls, doors, everything. It was great to see that with no prompting they’re already starting to move toward the idea of scaling down the measurements of the room!
During my morning yard duty one of my 8th grade students told me that she tried to bake me a coffee cake last night for Valentine’s day. When I asked where it was, she said, “My mom took away my baking license.” Curious, I asked why that happened. She laughed and said she almost set the microwave on fire (apparently she tried to warm up a drink in a metal cup, resulting in plenty of sparks and smoke). I asked how long it was revoked for and she said 2 months! The fact that she was going to bake me something combined with the story provided a great start to my day!
We played our 7th game of our basketball season this after noon. We didn’t win but the girls had a great time and played the best game of the season so far. This is such an awesome group to coach, because they just love playing the game. All of the teams we play against are full of girls for which basketball is life and play all year. My girls have worked so hard this year and get better every time we get on the court. I told them yesterday that we need to play our last few games with reckless abandon because we have nothing to lose and that’s what they did today. They went out, had a blast, and showed great improvement. That’s what it’s all about!