Never mind that the school year ended almost two months ago. Never mind that the summer program I worked for ended yesterday (edit: a week ago. Sigh.).

Here are the last few photos of the 2012-2013 school year. Most have little to do with math and more with closing down the year.

(edit the second: I am unable to make the images align nicely with the text. Apologies for the formatting but I am 1 parts frustrated and 3 parts trying to make my flight, so this will have to do for now!)

Day 172: Using diamonds and rectangles to review factoring polynomials. My supervisor and I sometimes talk about how effective this is. It is (like many things) not how I learned to factor (which I used to do mostly by trial and error) but I do think it helps students look at the procedure a little more systematically. I don’t know how clearly that came across in my explanation. Unfortunately, I erased the work before taking a photo.

Day 173: Using generic rectangles to factor polynomials. This time, I left the work in.

Day 174: Different teachers at our school use different programs to create exams (and graphics for said exams). As a result, I had to redraw a trapezoid for the final. I can’t tell whether this is an example of me trying to be precise or me being OCD. A friend has suggested that I use Geogebra. I think I really just want a free copy of Geometer’s Sketchpad.

Day 175: Final days, yo. This is a written reminder, both for the students and for myself, that this really is their last chance to turn in all the things. Surprisingly, some of them do not turn in everything. I’m still trying to figure out if this is forgetfulness or something else.

Day 176: During quizzes and exams, we’ll generally leave some of the important formulas on the board. At first, I was a bit puzzled by this – we didn’t do this when I was growing up (and yes, 18-year old me can’t believe I just said that). But it’s helped me think about what things are important for students to memorize (not everything) and to see that, even with the formula, that doesn’t mean that students will remember concepts or know how to apply them.

Day 177: Last real day with students. My primary class took its final today. We still do some things with objectives and expectations, but hopefully they’re ready to go at this point. In retrospect, students seemed to do better on their unit quizzes. I wonder if that’s a sign of forgetting (which is interesting, since we gave them several days to prepare/study specific things for the final).

Day 178: Students do say the funniest things. We have them do a quick evaluation of the course at the end of the year. I’m posting a few of them (technically without permission and focusing on the funny rather than the mathematical). Overall, students felt supported, though I need to work on discipline and classroom management (especially with a few tough cookies). I was pleasantly surprised by what they said they learned from this class.

Day 179: Grades due today. Students generally don’t attend class. A few showed up to grab work and clean out their binders. We recycled the rest of the work.

Day 180: Clean slate. At this point, I’m so use to coming in, writing objectives and expectations and then figuring out how to communicate math (whether it be by speaking or on the board). It’s weird to see the board empty.

can you be my teacher? you’re the best, nick chan.

Yeah Nick, that it pretty bad ass. I used to do well in math in high school, but now you say a word like polynomials and I have no idea what you’re talking about. Good luck on the upcoming school year!