Today is Pi Day. I usually do nothing for it.
But then, as I was approaching school to meet a student at 7:30 this morning, I realized I had a few minutes to spare. So I went and bought some chocolate to give my classes. You see, I was giving a test in three of my four classes. I also bought six little plush chickens which, when wound up, jump around. And I put post it notes on each of them saying “HAPPY PI DAY” and put them on all my math teacher colleagues’s desks. Later in the day I printed this out and put it on their desks.
What I told my kids who I was subjecting to a test? “Pi day is an auspicious day for math teachers, and it’s a tenet, heck almost a commandment, that we give assessments on Pi day in celebration of math.” I then gave them chocolates because that was a lie.
In my multivariable calculus class (no test today), two students said they were going to be bringing in food to celebrate pi day. And they did. One made a delicious yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I know, you’re thinking, “where’s the pi(e)?” But he put a pi symbol on top with chocolate sprinkles. Another made an apple pie. And they brought vanilla ice cream to accompany. So instead of class (we’re in a science room), we went to a beautiful part of the building and ate and chatted. I was planning on us going back to the classroom and doing some problems, but it was so pleasant to just chat and hang out with these kids… So we spent the entire class eating junk food and talking about nerdy things.
Another good thing? I stayed late after school (it’s almost 9pm and I’m here) to grade. And I finished grading both my calculus and precalculus assessments. BOTH DID REALLY WELL! I would say that the calculus assessments were one of the best I’ve seen this year. And most importantly for my self confidence, the precalculus assessments were great. My last two weren’t so hot and I’ve been frustrated. But this current batch had a B+ average. Which is kind of incredible. Some of the stuff we’ve covered has been pretty conceptually challenging (polar coordinates / polar equations / graphing on the polar plane / complex numbers represented in polar form), so I was really pleased. I’ve been feeling a bit like a rotten teacher, so this has helped me feel better.
Another good thing? A student that has been struggling in one of my courses did amazingly on today’s assessment, and I got to send a really excited email home to this student’s mother.
Another good thing? The graph I submitted to DailyDesmos has been published! And Dan Meyer is thinking about a worksheet I created. (When he thinks about me at all, I swoon.)