Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Gadzooks! You wake up tomorrow with amnesia!

Someone significant (spouse, child, significant other, neighbor, etc.) in your life informs you that you teach math. You get dropped off at your school (place of work) and are led to your classroom. Your principal can't find a substitute and your colleagues run to the photocopier to make you some busy-work handouts. You can't remember any mathematics and your students are 10 minutes away from entering your room, oblivious to all of this.

You look down and see this on your desk.

What do you do?


  1. Give the students a piece of paper on their way in the door. Then for 10 minutes, have them write about some to the things that they have learned this year in _____class. Then, in groups, have them share their thoughts.

    Divide into red ball and white ball groups and then share again. The person who reads first then passes the ball to someone who shares what they have learned.

    I'll be curious to see what other people post, but this was the first thing that came to mind.

  2. Since I don't remember any math, I take the change in the cup and buy a Powerball ticket. I then sit on a busy street corner with the empty cup in front of me to collect tips as I juggle the balls and tell my sad story.

  3. Do the kids remember anything? (scary question, I know)

    I'm thinking dig out the CBR's, connect to graphing calculators and do slope. Pennies can be used to increase the slope (10 pennies, 15 pennies, 20 pennies) the ball's speed can be measured on the graph output on the calculator and then have the students predict based upon the data.

    Alternately, have students guess at the number of pennies which it would take to go around the ball in a circle. Then have the students try and guess how many for the next circle around the first circle and so on....


  4. Differentiate!!! One team tries to determine how long it would take to build a penny pyramid. Another team tries bouncing the balls to see which color would bounce or white.
    Next, take solo cup to nearest keg, pass out and hope your memory comes back.

  5. Empty the cup and have the students determine how many pennies it would take in the cup to equal the weight of the ball(s).

  6. @Jim: Your survey idea will most likely be honest.
    @David: HILARIOUS! This was by far, my favorite solution!
    @Scott: This was kind of my thinking too. How often do our students walk in with a case of Amnesia? How do we treat them. Do we provide students with enough time, tools, or opportunities to build their solutions from scratch?
    @Nathan: Another fine suggestion. Right up there with David's.
    @Dan: Fun approach!

    Here's what we actually did with these supplies: