Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Feb 02 2010

Sweet Success

I woke up to an amazing email this morning. Admission with possibility of fellowships at UC Berkeley to study math and math education.
Scary Amazing. Do they really think I can hang with Berkeley math PhD students?

Free school. What could be better? And the chance to learn the things I need to know to keep changing math education.

Then I arrived to school and found at that one of my awesome students was admitted to RISD(a super selective design school in Providence.) We threw balloons around the classroom and watched movies about three dimensional fractals to celebrate.(Google mandlebub and you will not be disappointed.) Of course the kids had no idea I had been accepted this morning as well because I don’t want them to know I’m leaving just yet but I pretended that I was bouncing around the room excited over Magdalene. The goal of the balloons is to answer questions about math while keeping the balloon up in the air as a class.

Next was project day in Calculus which is so much fun I wonder how I can make project day a part of every day. The students create real world related rates problems and try to solve them. One group wants to use chemistry formulas to relate temperature and pressure. Another wants to use radial motion to relate how changing the radii of car wheels affects forward motion. Another group is baking cookies to relate the rate of the change in height of a cookie to the change in the radius. Another is measuring the rate of change of the school lunch line. I love the interesting, relevant and vivid conversations that come up about the applications of math to the real world when we talk about projects. Google queing theory I tell one group, find out how they do use Calculus in Chemistry because I would like to know I tell another. Another group wants to relate the speed of a space shuttle to its orbit height. I told them “I’m not sure I know how to solve that problem off the top of my head but go ahead and try.”
Kids are happy. I am happy. Hearing about their college admissions is so much sweeter because I get to go back too!

To top this off it is sunny(Seattle, winter, rare), and before I even found out about admission I already agreed to a dinner date with a cute boy tonight.

Oh dear. I might explode. Hopefully not on my date’s shirt.
Now I see what happens when you work hard for years :)

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    Learning more about life than math…

    Las Vegas Valley
    High School

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