Math = Love: Five Things Friday: Volume 13

Friday, March 9, 2018

Five Things Friday: Volume 13

We've made it to Friday once more. And, what a crazy week it has been! On top of my regular schedule of Cookie Club on Monday evening and teaching a class at church on Wednesday nights with my husband, I had things such as a talent show, a student walk-out, Math Teachers' Circle, a day-long observation by a teacher from another district, and a meeting about the possibility of going on strike in a few weeks. Let's just say that I'm glad that we only have one more week of school before Spring Break is here!

As usual for a Friday, I'm posting five small things I've been up to which aren't exactly worthy of an individual blog post. I find this is a nice way to capture the smaller things that go on as a teacher.

1. Chemistry participated in a "Naming Compounds Manhunt" activity this week. I'm usually pretty good about keeping my Algebra kids up and moving around the room away from their seats, but doing this activity made me realize I have not done a good job of this with my chemistry class this year. As a teacher, there is always room for improvement!

30 compounds were hidden around the room. Students had to locate them and provide either the name of the compound (if the formula had been given) or the formula of the compounds (if the name had been given).

2. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there is a possibility that Oklahoma teachers will go on strike April 2nd. Let's just say that Oklahoma teachers are tired of being ranked 50th when it comes to teacher pay. We're tired of the state legislature cutting education funding year after year. We're tired of constantly feeling disrespected and taken advantage of. We're tired of being told that we knew what we were getting ourselves into when we decided to become Oklahoma teachers. 

My district's school board has voted that our entire district will shut down so that teachers can (and must) strike if the education union's demands are not met by April 1st which is the deadline for the Oklahoma legislature to pass a budget. It's a crazy time to be a teacher. I'm hoping that our legislature steps up so that a strike is not necessary. The place I want to be more than anywhere else is in my classroom teaching my kids. 

3. On a lighter and happier note, we did some crafting this week in chemistry. We built covalent compound models out of pipe cleaners and pony beads. These will soon be gracing one of the bulletin boards in my classroom! 

4. On Wednesday night, our lesson at church with our fourth grade class was about being prepared for when Christ returns. While thinking about what game we could play as an illustration of being prepared, Shaun thought about the game of Nim. Having played the game before (I learned the game from my 6th grade math teacher), we were much more prepared than our students who had never heard of the game before. They had lots of fun competing against each other. Then, I challenged students to play me. They were shocked that I was able to beat them EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Of course, I had to confess and tell them that I had "prepared" before class so that I could beat them. Can you tell that my husband and I enjoy fitting math-y activities into bible lessons?    

5. Last night at the Tulsa Math Teachers' Circle, we got to explore the world of perfect card shuffling. This was a fun and rather shocking activity. Our job was to answer the question of how many perfect shuffles are required to return a deck of cards to its original ordering. Let's just say I did not expect the answer we found! 

Another fun thing that happened at Math Teachers' Circle was getting to see the giant pentominoes! A local boy scout made a set of giant plastic pentominoes for the math department at TU for a service project to earn his Eagle Scout ranking. They are ginormous, and I'm already scheming a way to create something similar for my own classroom! 


  1. I forgot all about the game of Nim! It has been years since I have played. I had to go back and teach myself how to win :)

  2. Would you be willing to share how you had them built the covalent bonds?