Math = Love: A Mathematical Promposal (And a Special Request)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Mathematical Promposal (And a Special Request)

I've never really understood the big idea behind promposals.  Part of that probably has to do with the fact that I never went to prom in high school.  But, I recently got the chance to be a part of one, and it was so sweet!

This week, the topic of prom came up in my trigonometry class.  One of my students was absent due to a dentist appointment.  In her absence, the class did a bit of matchmaking and planned an elaborate promposal.  

We were set to begin double angle identities the next day, so I made one of those puzzle worksheets that spells out a secret message.  The class brainstormed to decide what the joke and secret message should be.  I created the problems and made the worksheet. 

The next day, the students walked into class grinning from ear to ear because they knew what was going to happen.  I was surprised by how well they were able to keep the secret!  

The intended recipient was having a bit of a tough time with a few of the problems, so her classmates jumped in to help.  They were sure to keep their answers covered so they didn't give away the answer at the bottom of the page!  

With three minutes left of class, the intended recipient finished.  Her first response after reading the punchline was "What?"  "What?"  "What is this?"  

Soon, the rest of the class was pressing her for an answer.  Would she go to prom with Sam?  He was in the class, too.  I'm  not sure if I made that clear earlier!

When she said yes, the entire classroom broke out into applause.

Most of this bunch of kids were part of my very first 8th grade Algebra class.  They've put up with me since I was a first-year teacher who had no idea what she was doing.  And, that class will always hold a special place in my heart.  This just adds to the special memories.

This mathematical promposal totally brightened my day, and it definitely brightened the day of the recipient.  I want to ask you now to do something else to brighten that specific student's day.  She is currently in the running to win a scholarship based on this essay that she has written.  I think if you read her essay you will see just how special and deserving she is.  Please give her a vote.  I know it will help to brighten her day even further!

Also, if you want to modify the joke and punchline to something else, I've uploaded the worksheet here.  Or, maybe you have someone named Sam in your class who wants to invite someone to prom in a math-y way.  Then, you're already set!


  1. Any idea if we can vote every day? Or is it a one shot deal?

  2. Wow! I read the essay and gave it my vote. You should have warned me it was a tear jerker! What an amazing young lady!

  3. Voted! What a lovely, honest piece of work. Looking forward to using the file to give my year 8s a giggle with my message 😆

  4. She wrote an amazing essay! Wow! Thanks for letting us be a part of voting. She sounds like a special young lady. It also sounds like you have a great group of kids. Thanks, Sarah!

    1. Thanks so much for voting. I agree that her essay was amazing!

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