Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy Endings (Mostly)

Last day of school. The end is always bittersweet. I hate good-byes and generally dislike the ending of things, but I am looking forward to time at home with my 2-year-old and resting up for a fresh start next year. I have a list of things to do over the summer, both work and fun. I love how this year is ending. Mostly.

This activity went better than I hoped:  Try to write an equivalent for the numbers 1-100 using four 4's and any mathematical procedure. Autograph your solution. It was nice to see students work on this when they were otherwise ready to be done with thinking. I really loved seeing factorials and other creative solutions as they showed up.

I always get especially attached to my seniors in physics and calculus. A group of students in my physics class did a skit as part of their senior class variety show. There was Humpty Dumpty falling off of a wall, and calculations for force and final velocity. Oh, and a senior boy dressed as me, singing to the class and offering to have everyone over for meatloaf. I am not sure that the crowd understood our inside jokes, but it warmed my heart. Here they are, don't they look like a fun group?

There was a class t-shirt. "Life doesn't come with an answer book". I love to say that. It used to be true, before Google. Now I have to insert the word "always".

My algebra students worked pretty diligently on their final projects. Speaking of final projects, today I am more in love with blogging than ever. I posted about this project just a few days ago, and received some wonderful comments. Thanks to others being kind enough to read and thoughtful enough to comment, I now know how to make the project better for next time. Thank you, blogosphere! I hope that I can return the favor.

And, one not-so-happy ending . . . One of my favorite colleagues has officially announced that she is leaving. I will move to her room next year, trading my cinderblock walls for a lovely corner window. The view is street side parking and a railroad track, but I am looking forward to seeing sunshine and the first snowflakes falling next winter . . .

. . . Still, I would be much happier if she was staying! We have been through a lot together these last seven years:  Tornado recovery, a trailer classroom, celebrity sightings, and learning (the hard way) that the top shelf in the closet won’t hold a full set of textbooks. Together we conquered our state's math assessment. We shared the victory of watching our most struggling students succeed. Working with her made me a better teacher. I am going to miss you, friend in the middle. We all will.


  1. I like your blog, because I secretly love math. And I want to try the four 4s thing...I'll let you know how it goes.

  2. "I am more in love with blogging than ever." That's GREAT for us fans of your blog! The four 4's are fun. I don't know if Math Forum still has it up, but they had a site where you can upload your solution(s) and "sign your name."

    Happy summer, Amy!