And I Thought I Was Bad at Math

Woo Hoo!!! School is back in session and it’s confession time!

At the beginning of a new school year, it’s always hard to judge how long activities are going to take and sometimes I’m left with that odd time at the end of the period where there’s not enough time to  start something new, and too much time to just sit and stare at each other. Today we had a few minutes at the end of the class so I grabbed the cup of popsicle sticks and gave it a good shake.

Me: “We have a few minutes left, and one thing you should know about me, is that I never let a moment of class time go to waste.” (Also, you should know that I’m a big fat liar.) “We have just enough time for a pop quiz!”

Students: (All stare at me with expressions that indicate several of them are probably peeing their pants that very moment. After all, how can you be quizzed when you haven’t actually learned anything yet?)

Me: “And the subject of our quiz will be ‘Random Facts About Miss Lewis’.  I will ask you a question about myself, and if I draw your popsicle stick, you must answer. If you get the answer wrong, you fail and we are all going to “boo” you until you cry.” (Okay- at this point I realize that they probably don’t know me that well and might actually cry so I quickly follow-up with…) “I’m just kidding. I’m not a bully. We are going to play a guessing game. I’ll ask you a question about me and you can volunteer to guess the answer.”

Students: (Smiles all around. They are on board with this game.)

Me: “We’ll start with an easy  question. I’m pretty sure I told you this yesterday, so we’ll see if anyone remembers.  How many years have I taught at Hoyt?”

Several hands shoot up, I call on a student, and she correctly responds with “This is your twelfth year at Hoyt.”

Me: “Very good. Let’s stick with number questions. How tall is Miss Lewis?”

This student answers very creatively. When I call on him, he gets out of his desk, walks across the room to compare our heights, and correctly guesses 5’2.

Me: “Alright, now we’re going to get tricky. You’re going to have to think about this question and possibly do some math. How old is Miss Lewis? (Several hands shoot up.) “Only, instead of telling me how old you think I am, I want you to tell me what year I was born.” (And hands go back down.) “Think about how old you think I am, subtract that number from this year, and let’s see what you come up with.”

A hand shoots up a little too quickly.

Student 1: “1812.”

Me: “What? 1812? Good Lord. Let’s narrow it down to the correct century.”

Students: (Blank stares all around.)

Me: “Let’s start with 19. I was born during the 1900’s”

Student 2: “1920.”

Me: “1920? What? Let’s see if we can get closer to the correct decade.”

Student 3: “1967. No, 1977.”

Me: “Winner, winner, chicken dinner! That’s correct. I was born in 1977.  1812?  Really guys? If I had been born in 1812, how old would I be now?”

Student 4: “Oh. If you were born in 1812 you’d be super old. You’d be like 125 years old.”


6 responses to “And I Thought I Was Bad at Math

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