Bragging About My Students

Holiday break began yesterday and I find myself with time to breathe and (hopefully) get some real writing done. Before thinking about work for January, I want to take some time to pause and reflect on some of the great stuff my kids were doing before the break.

I found this problem on twitter and shared it with colleagues and classes last week:

My memory is that this image was accompanied by a simple ‘What do you notice?’

It took me a minute or two to notice what was happening. I showed it to a colleague who started chuckling instantly. He has a faster mind than mine!

So I showed it to my classes, they all eventually noticed that the digits 1 through 9 were all used in this equation. My challenge to them was to write an equation using the digits 0 through 9, once each, that was also true. I urged them to not simply add a zero to one side of that equation above.

The kids dove into this challenge and came up with some great solutions. I have a photo I took on my iPad with some of their solutions superimposed on the image of the original problem.

The top right equation is missing the 9 on the right side of the equal sign

Fun, right? Even better is the fact that some kids were still working a couple of hours later coming up with ever creative solutions. My favorites were both cooked up by a student who had a sub in his Health class (me!) and he was tinkering with this problem at that time.

This one won my heart, I must admit.

I hope to do some more writing in the next two weeks. Some will be public, some will be piles of problem sets for my kiddos.

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