Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Chubby Little Eyeballs

Whenever I'm trying to get the students to focus on a place on the board or on a worksheet or in the book or whatever (and to see if they're processing what I'm saying), I say, "put your chubby little fingers on ...." or "put your studly little fingers on ... " or for a variation, "put your chubby little eyeballs on ...".

Well. When I bought candy for our trick-or-treaters, I couldn't resist the inch-in-diameter balls of chocolate that were wrapped in foil made to look like eyeballs. Now, we had hardly any trick or treaters, so, I got to take them to school and I handed out "chubby little eyeballs". That was fun.

Also yesterday after school, a student was getting help on some trigonometry, and then we started talking about Pythagorean Triples. I told him of the ones I knew - (3,4,5) (5,12,13) (7,24,25) (8,15,17) and then showed him the trick on how I remember the first 3 ..... in that for those, the last 2 numbers add up to the square of the first number, so you just think of (say) 5, and its square (25) and then basically you halve 25 and get 12 and 13. THEN, he asked, does that work for every odd number (since it worked for 3, 5, and 7). I said that I didn't know but I didn't think so. Then we tried some out, and by golly it works .... now I have a slew of triples on hand: (9, 40,41) (11, 60, 61) (13, 84, 85) ... etc. Who knew?

Math! What's not to love?

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