Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Way with Words

First major writing assignment of the year: a "problem of the week" about angle relationships and a cheesy real-life context. The "problem" was that there's a billboard being built on the highway next to our school and given a diagram with a bunch of angles in it and limited information, they had to figure out if a certain angle was more or less than 30 degrees in order for the billboard to be "safe." I love writing assignments in math class because they provide a challenge for ALL students. Even those who are used to getting the right answer all easily are still challenged by actually writing about mathematics and giving a logical explanation backed up by mathematical viable reason.

Plus, I love reading the projects because of gems like these:

• “In order to know the answer you will need to be able to find all the angles. Also you will need to know how to find how many degrees are in a triangle. Other than that you should be fine.”
• "What I learned from this POW was how knowing how to find angles might be useful if I ditch my dreams of becoming an artist and become an architect."
• "I think I deserve to get somewhere between a B+-A- because I really busted my butt, staying up late to try and make sure my explanations made sense and more."
• This was one student's entire conclusion (I specified that the conclusion should be about one paragraph): "In conclusion, the answer is yes." Interestingly (or maybe unsurprisingly), he never stated a question anywhere in the project.
• "This problem shows how people actually have to do these things in everyday life. It opens my eyes and I can understand what certain people have to do to build buildings and homes. I appreciate these people a lot more because it is really hard to do and I am lucky to have been able to learn a bit of this."
• "If I were to do this problem again, I don't think I would have done this differently. I went about it logically and swiftly with the help of my mom."

I'm glad I'm not an English teacher.

1 comment:

Linda said...

These are great and one of the reasons why I would enjoy being an English teacher. Creativity runs rampant.