## Sunday, October 6, 2013

### A Mathematical Birthday

I still get excited about my birthday. I do a lot of reflection on the year that was and a lot of wishful thinking about the year that is to come. As a teacher, I'm always so fortunate that when the students find out it's my special day, they want to celebrate with me.

When I walked in to school on Friday I was greeted by this:

My best friend surprised me with a very appropriate bouquet of Snicker bars and a balloon :) The cat was out of the bag - no hiding it was my birthday!

Now, onto the BIG question: HOW OLD IS MS. KRESS??????   Instead of just telling my fifth graders my age, I decided to have a little fun. I wrote the following problem on the board.

Their jaws dropped at the mere length of the problem and they were shocked when I told them they had to solve it mentally. But, I told them that the answer was very special to me today and they quickly got to work!  Their eyes lit up as they got the secret message that the answer would be my age :) In math we're solving equations using parentheses, brackets and braces.....So, I challenged them to figure it out :)

After several minutes of quiet time and then some time for collaboration, students were ready to reveal their answers. If the students didn't use the order of operations properly then they came up with crazy ages like 6, 52, 100, 30, 35, 70, 28, -70?????? We had a good laugh at some of the answers as they obviously weren't correct. However, we had a great discussion and proved how each of the absurd answers was in fact incorrect.

The students were able to finally agree on 30 and I revealed they were correct :) I then challenged the students to figure out what year I was born in (again mentally) and that led to a long discussion about the 80's :) It was a fun yet educational way to celebrate with the students.

Throughout the day, students delivered cards to me and I was promised gifts on Monday. I told the students that the best gift of all was to have them in my class, but that I would never turn down chocolate :)

Hey, I may plan to change a few habits in my 30's, but indulging with chocolate is not one of them :)

#### 1 comment:

1. Happy Birthday, Arin!
The best is yet to come!