Thursday, February 2, 2012

What happened today, I do not know

Today was very strange.

Today's lecture was on transforming graphs of functions.  How do we shift functions up or down, how do we reflect them about an axis, how do we make them look fatter or skinnier (yup, those are the precise mathematical terms)?  To be honest, I dread this lecture every semester.  It's a lot of information about  something you can usually just check on a graphing calculator.

But, every semester, I put on a good face.  And every semester, the students seem totally overwhelmed.  I clearly remember one of my top students last semester saying, "Can we just skip this section?  Please?"

I don't know what happened, but today was different.  I had their undivided attention.  They were so captivated by function transformations it was comical.  I wish I could describe to you the hilarity (and joy) of seeing students sit at the edge of their seats, eyes wide with pure interest, as you describe why inserting a negative in front of a function reflects it about the x-axis.  Again, I hardly find this interesting, so I was shocked by their enthusiasm.  I kid you not, I even saw one girl smile as she mentally reflected a graph and saw that it would, indeed, match the graph on the board.

What is going on?

I have students that smile at math?

I didn't know 18-year-olds could do that.

Maybe they're high...?

I'm still not sure what exactly transpired today.  I don't think I really did anything differently.  I think I just have a really good group of students.  Again.  (Which is delightful since Tuesday I thought they were all a bunch of slackers, as I had five out of twelve students show up for my 5th hour class.  Lame.)

We ended the day with a scavenger hunt that I adapted from a high school math teacher's blog that I recently discovered (and that is blowing my mind).  Here's the worksheet I gave in case any of my math teacher friends would like to use/improve it in the future.  Each prize consisted of a clip of a video that I posted a while back.

Sending much love to you all as I continue to contemplate the events of the day...

1 comment:

  1. That is strange...
    Maybe you are just an awesome teacher! :)