For my final first day of school activity, I asked students to write a 140 character tweet telling me what math means to them using the hashtag, #MathIs. You can access the student handout at Sarah’s blog.
The responses were both heartwarming and heartbreaking…
Honors Algebra 1:
• #MathIs my school time passion. I love math #addicted #nervous #freshmen #inspiring #astudent
• #MathIs an essential skill for life and is associated with all parts of life
• I love math so much, but only when the teacher makes it easy to understand, and makes it interesting #iluvmath
• #MathIs for your life and your mind
• #MathIs important. I will probably use it a lot later in my life. I think math is full of patterns and surprises.
• #MathIs numbers, shapes, and solving equations.
• I enjoy math and I think it is hard but fun.
• Math has always been my favorite subject. Lately I’m starting to have more trouble.
• #MathIs my favorite subject. I am ready for this school year and I am going to try my best.
• #MathIs #Hard #Numbers #needaB
• In my opinion, math means the world. Every little thing can be replaced for a very interesting problem and one amazing solution.
• Very important and a good skill to have because it’s in your everyday life #mathislife
• #MathIs an important tool in this world. Even though it’s confusing, it can be fun too (sometimes)
• #MathIs a way that the world communicates with others
• #MathIs not my best subject
• #MathIs the most rule based subject
• #MathIs a door to the world, with math you can travel to the whole world
• #MathIs a skill that is necessary to achieve to become successful
• #MathIs what makes life work. Without math we wouldn’t have most things in life
• #MathIs fun because when you do good you feel good
College Prep Algebra 2:
• #MathIs very hard and I hate it
• #MathIs the best thing in the world
• #MathIs hard for me. I struggle in math and it is not my best subject
• #MathIs necessary
• #MathIs kinda hard
• #MathIs very difficult
• #MathIs pretty simple
• #MathIs a subject that can be hard complicated at times #stillfun
I did not include every single student’s response since many said pretty much the exact thing. And you’ll notice how many fewer responses there are from my CP Algebra 2 class, and how short the tweets are. It’s comprised of juniors and seniors, and I can’t help but wonder what happened in the past few years to make them have such a negative attitude toward math. It makes me so sad. I know I have my work cut out for me with these classes and I hope I’m ready for the challenge.
Reading the 9th grade responses inspires me to bring my best every day. They are so positive. And show so much love for this subject. They shared such great insight into knowing that math is everywhere. I hadn’t really decided on a goal for this year, but now I know that my goal is to do everything possible to make sure this passion still exists in June.