Math = Love: A Perfect Square Birthday

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Perfect Square Birthday

Hi guys!  So, I realize my blog has been a lot quieter this school year than in the past.  There are several reasons for that.  Teaching.  Grad School.  Life.  If you're really nosy, there's a clue hidden somewhere in this blog post. ;)

The big news for the week is that I celebrated my 25th birthday yesterday in grand style.  Yes, I'm super happy about having my age be a perfect square.  It's going to be quite some time before this happens again!  It's the math teacher in me that's super excited.  Sorry, I just can't help it.  :)  Last year was my first year to actually teach on my birthday, and I blogged about it.  So, I decided I simply had to continue the tradition this year.

I may also have been building up the fact that this is my golden birthday year since the first day of school.  We've only been counting down for my birthday since August... (And, if you're like I was a year ago, you might not know what a golden birthday is.  It's when your age and the day of the month you were born on match.)    

If you've read last year's birthday post, two of my students baked me a cake and gave me a birthday girl ribbon.  This year, they topped that.  First, they gave me a birthday girl sash.  And, yes, I wore this around ALL DAY long.  I did get some funny looks from other teachers in the hall...  I think they were just jealous of my stylish sash. ;)

This sash was accompanied by what may be the best, most math-y birthday cake.  Ever.  

Okay.  I have a feeling that I'm going to have to explain this cake for it to make any sense at all.  One of the big things I teach my Algebra 2 students to do is to simplify radical expressions.  In building up to this, I re-teach my students to find the prime factorization of numbers.  Factor trees are a bit too messy and disorganized for me.  I feel like it's easy for students to miss some of the factors when they right their answers from the tree.  So, I prefer to teach my students the "Birthday Cake Method of Prime Factorization".  

The number you are trying to fine the prime factorization of goes on the bottom layer of your cake.  On the outside of the bottom layer, write a prime number that divides into the bottom layer.  Perform the division and write the quotient as the next layer.  Continue writing prime numbers that divide into each layer on the outside until a 1 appears on top of the cake.  We call this the "birthday candle."  And, I make a HUGE deal of drawing a flame on my one every single time.  

Last year, I actually had my Algebra 2 students find the prime factorization of my age.  But, let's be honest, 24 has a much more exciting prime factorization than 25.  

So, my students took this birthday cake method and made me a literal birthday cake out of it.  How cool and creative is that?!?  

My boyfriend surprised me with this gorgeous vase of colorful roses.  So sweet and thoughtful.  The flowers were admired all day long by me and everybody that saw them.  As I write this blog post, they're sitting on my coffee table.  And, I find myself legitimately distracted from time to time by their beauty.  

And, this was just the start of celebrating.  Let's just say that I consumed waaaaaaayyyy too much sugar yesterday.

There were birthday brownies to be had.

And, chocolate birthday pie.  

I can't forget the birthday cookies either.  They came with a pretty sweet mathematical card, too.  

I think we should totally start using infinity symbols instead of dashes when we write.  Anybody else in?  

There was a birthday cupcake.  

A birthday mug.  

Google even got in the birthday spirit and showed me a special birthday search screen.  At first, I thought it was a coincidence.  But, hovering over the image made it say "Happy Birthday Sarah."  

Kinda creepy.  Kinda cool.  Google knows a lot about its users, I guess.  I shouldn't be surprised when it uses some of that information.  

Then, there were the birthday messages on the dry erase board.  

These two are supposed to be me.  My main takeaway?  I have an awesome sense of fashion.  

One class changed their twitter status to wish me a happy birthday.  

This next birthday message was slightly more interesting.  

Can you read what it says under the smudge?  "I don't think you're preggy btw."  How nice.  I appreciate that.  Of course, this is from the same student who interrupted class last week to ask, "Can I ask you a personal question?  I don't want you to get mad at me when I ask.  I don't want you to think that I'm saying you look fat."  If my students are anything, they are definitely honest.  They say whatever comes into their minds.  (And, for the record, I am not pregnant.)    

Don't I just make teaching teenagers seem like the best job in the world?!?  

Here are a couple of birthday cards that made me smile.    

Of course, I guessed "Happy Birthday."  I had a feeling it was too easy of a puzzle.  

I was wrong.  And, I ended up hanging the poor stick guy.  

No words.  No words.  

 Math made an appearance in this card which made me super happy.

P.S. Don't forget the pi.  How cute is that?!?

 And, I feel like I've only just started to mention all the awesome things that people did to make my 25th birthday my best birthday yet.  Phone calls.  Text messages.  Facebook messages.  Tweets.  E-mails.  Birthday cards.  Hearing a student yell "Happy Birthday" across the parking lot before I can even take a few steps from my car.

 God has blessed me so much.  So so so much.


  1. Thanks for posting! I've been checking out your blog almost everyday for the past couple weeks, and I've been disappointed that there hasn't been anything new... today i wasn't disappointed; I was pleasantly surprised! :)

  2. Hmmm... I just tried to comment with my google account and it didn't work. Anyway, the Hangman card had me laughing so hard my husband wanted to know what was so funny. Happy Birthday! ~Lisa

  3. I'm pretty sure you just called me nosy AND old. What the heck... JK! Glad you had a fab b-day! Love the cake, the flowers, and everything else. You sure are well loved! I'm going to be waiting for you know what!
    from your co-perfect square aged friend casey

  4. I found the clue! :) Looks like a great birthday - what a fantastic cake!

  5. I have been loving your blog for a few years but I JUST saw this post! I wanted to let you know that my 30th birthday was 4/4/16, and as a math teacher, that made me really excited! If it were my 25th birthday that would have made it even better!!

    1. Us math teachers just have a thing for math-y dates!