Saftey in Numbers

While I generally enjoy math team practice, I cherish math meet nights. When else can I spend six hours with some of the brightest and most interesting kids in the school?

Getting to the meets is always amusing. As I’m driving the school bus, I hear snippets of conversations: occasionally profound, more frequently bizarre. Random math facts are often shouted out the window to pedestrians – drive-by mathing.

The staggered competition times allow for a bit of down time in our team room, so some students bring laptops. What is a laptop without wi-fi though? A wireless router is tucked into a backpack, just in case.

My favorite is the time after competition and before the awards ceremony. All of us in one room and a plethora of activities. I was just watching for a minute and wanted to document what I was seeing. I started to write a tweet and was told by a student that I’d never get it all in 140 characters. As usual he was correct. So here is what I saw:

Tic-tac-toe with a twist. In each of the nine cells in the grid is another tic-tac-toe board. Thus to claim an “X” or an “O”, you must first win the game in that cell. This is my fourth year and they still aren’t tired of this game.

A student writing a blog post.

Another student setting up a proxy so I could read my RSS feed.

A discussion of u-substitution in integration.

Pictures being taken (they document everything, but I must say, we have some amazing slide-shows at the end of the year.)

Sample spaces being written – even though the competition was over, they still wanted to know how to do the problems they missed.

Sharing of an AP Psych project – an xkcd inspired comic-book.

Tonight on the way home, there was the math-team sing-along to “Bohemian Rhapsody“. It doesn’t get much better than that. Well, had we answered more problems correctly…

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1 Response to Saftey in Numbers

  1. Dan Greene says:

    Hmm… you are speaking of a world that is totally foreign to me. I’m ecstatic when my students understand why you don’t just “add across”. I get that you’re talking about the top kids, but this is definitely an experience I don’t get at my school. Sounds fun – it’s always inspiring to be around kids who really want to learn.

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