Nice Text

Randomly at 7:23am, I get a text from a colleague/friend who wrote: “I just wanted to tell you that I so appreciate using your materials from Geo A and Precalc because you make so many things like a game that kids actually WANT to play, which is so awesome.” What a way to start the day!

In other news, I had my first “hell day” where I teach all of my classes (we have a rotating schedule, so that doesn’t happen a lot). But even though I felt pretty busy, I didn’t freak out or anything (which can happen when I get totally overwhelmed). I definitely have to count that as a win!

Before school started, I hung up these posters in the hallway outside of the math office.

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[you can order them from here — free shipping!] My hope was that a couple kids might stop by and puzzle over them randomly. Which has happened a few times before. But OMG today was crazy. During lunch/community time, three different gaggles of students were in the hallway having heated conversations about them. Some didn’t quite recognize the conceit and others were like “BUT THEY ALL DON’T BELONG.” Others struggled to find things about each one that didn’t belong. Others just joined the crowd and started looking. I swear each of these different times (with different sets of students), there were like 15 kids all looking/talking/debating. In fact, the reason I knew this was happening was because they were all talking about it so loudly, that I could hear it inside the office (granted, the door was open, but still…)

I’ve been in debate about whether to create a “math play table” in the hallway. Now I’m of the mind that I have to do this! You know what they say… If you build it, they will come!

In Calculus, during our long block, I had kids do a group building activity that I got from Jessica Breur a few years ago. (You can see my notes from a session I went to led by her here. But she sent me this particular activity later so it isn’t in the notes.) I don’t remember what she called it, but I called it “Squares to Rectangles.” And after kids finished it, a bunch of kids said how much they loved doing the challenge. One of the talking stems they were allowed to use was “You cannot put those tiles here” and one kid, during our debrief, said that they were going to just start using that as their catchphrase all the time. (Since they pretty much said that over and over during the activity.) And my heart melted.

In the middle of the day, kids were told who their “college essay mentors” were. And pretty immediately after, two of the kids that I was assigned came bounding up to me suuuper excited about it!

Wow, it’s super awesome to write down all the great things that happened today. I remember doing this regularly (daily!) for a whole year and it was so wonderful. I came home feeling super drained/exhausted, but now I feel energized.

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