In my Adv. Precalculus classes, I use an “anchor problem” of winning the lottery to talk about geometric series. The setup has students getting $50,000 at the end of each year, for 20 years. As we explore the problem, we talk about what happens if you leave the money under the mattress, what happens if you put it in a high yield savings account, and what happens if you put it in the stock market.
However, we have to see if anyone in the class actually wins a million dollars! So I create scratch off tickets for each kid, and they all scratch them off at the same time, and we see who the winner is. It sounds more exciting as I type it than it was in class. Instead of a million dollars, I gave the winner in each class 4 kitkats, a large math-y sticker I designed and got printed, and an exclusive math button I designed and got printed years ago.
One of my favorite things from today is that in one class, a student who won the million dollars immediately took the button and put it on. I told that student how happy that made me!
A second thing that was good today was that another teacher wanted to meet with me for some basic advice on a project they were doing, and then after that short meeting, we got to have lunch together for like 20 minutes. It was one of my best teacher friends and I hadn’t chatted with them forever, and so it was so nice to reconnect. In that meeting, I was saying something good about a student to my friend, and then like 20 minutes later I saw that student in the hallway and said “were your ears ringing because I was singing your praises?” and then they smiled greatly and fistbumped me and I don’t think I’ve fistbumped with a student this whole year and so that was fun.
My last good thing is that we had our final meeting for the Flatland book club. One person couldn’t make it, but someone who couldn’t make the first meeting was able to come to this meeting! We discussed the second part of the novella, and it seemed like everyone enjoyed that part of the book. I started thinking much deeper about some of the religious language in the book than I had done previously. We took a group picture, and we might even get together again to watch the movie!
I’m slowly going crazy with all the work on my plate, and I’m still being crazy productive to deal with it, but I’m also being positive about feeling I can get it done and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.