Generating Memes Like A Boss

I’m all proud of myself for generating memes…they’re not THE most original but I am especially proud of the Arnold one

(except when you have two right triangles but then we’re gonna call it Hypotenuse-Leg so we’re still not ever gonna use SSA and definitely not ASS!)

I realize the Dos Equis guy may not technically be appropriate for use with high schoolers, but I just love memes with this guy…


And the “success kid” is another personal favorite of mine


I did these using and I did it in about 5 minutes because my 3 year old was begging for the iPad. As you might be able to tell, I’m currently teaching my geometry kids some basics about proving two triangles congruent. We’re not doing actual proofs yet (hey, it’s only the 6th day of school) but I’m getting them slowly used to the idea. We had some great debates in class today about Side-Side-Angle. I love teasing the 9th graders when they innocently suggest that Angle-Side-Side might be a congruent triangle postulate. WHAT??? You want me to write ASS on the board???

I was just inspired for one more:


Do you have any good math teacher memes to share? Or ideas for using memes to add some humor to your classroom?


YouTube for Cool Math Teachers

Let’s face it, everyone loves a good YouTube video.  And students automatically view you as a tiny bit cooler just for showing them a video on YouTube.  I feel like I’ve just begun exploring YouTube for use in the classroom (I know I’m really late getting on this bandwagon…but for a while it was a real pain in the ass just to access YouTube at our school even on a teacher account)

I always show this really lame video that demonstrates volume of a prism vs. volume of a pyramid.  It compares a prism and a pyramid with the same base area and height and uses water to show you can fill the pyramid three times and pour it into the prism.  (Sorry to the creator for calling it lame)  I must admit, I’ve used it a lot, so half of the views are probably mine.  Plus, I haven’t made my own video that’s any better so I can’t complain.  But I challenged my students to make a better video one year, and they came up with some pretty hilarious stuff but it didn’t quite get the point across as effectively (or quickly) as the simple lame video.  My only real complaint is – why did they have to use yellow water??  It always evokes a huge & distracting “ewwwwww” from the class before the demonstation even gets going.

So far, my favorite videos to show to students (especially geometry kids) are Vi Hart’s videos and I love her series “Doodling in Math Class” about spirals & the golden ratio and more.  There is a series of three that are each about 6 minutes long.  I showed them last year to my Honors Geometry classes whenever I had 6 minutes to spare.  After all three, I was satisfied knowing that their curiosity had been piqued and that they had started to see some natural connections between math and science.  Of course, the “honors” kids were interested….but I decided that I shouldn’t deprive my non-honors geometry students.  Surprisingly, they were just as interested, if not more.  We were doing a unit on constructions with a compass and a ruler when I showed the non-honors group.  One girl came up to my desk a week or so later to show me a drawing – it was a pretty awesome flower that she had created with a compass and she was inspired by the Vi Hart videos.  And this is a girl who had told me she hated math.  I was thrilled at just the possibility that she had seen a connection between something she loved (art) and MATH!

I’m pretty much a fan of all of Vi Hart’s videos.  Here’s a link to her YouTube channel although I don’t know what kind of new stuff we’ll be seeing there now that she’s employed at Khan Academy.  From what I’ve seen of her page on the Khan Academy website, it looks like the same videos that are on her YouTube channel.

What are your favorite YouTube videos to show in math class??

Why Do We Have To Learn This?

No one is sitting in 9th grade English class asking their teacher, “why do we have to learn how to read and write?” (or maybe someone is…I actually wouldn’t be that surprised) But anyway math teachers have to field this question on almost a daily basis. And nothing gets questioned more than the dreaded Geometry Proof. why do we have to learn proofs? Waaaaaahhhhhh
I’m thinking I don’t really want to be teaching proofs any more than you want to be learning them. But what comes out of my mouth is usually something along these lines:

{1} the idea of learning and using a whole new system of rules can be applied to any number of situations
{2} completing something like a mathematical proof shows that you can pay attention to detail and proceed in a logical step by step manner which is totally necessary in the fields of computer programming, engineering, architecture
{3} proofs are included in the set of learning standards in this course as set forth by NYS & there’s gonna be a proof on the regents exam so write your congressman if you’d like to complain about it

{others???} I know there are many more good answers to this question and this question’s evil twin, “when are we ever going to use this?”

Hello Blogosphere!

I feel like shouting from the digital rooftops, “I’M STARTING A BLOG!”  Okay, I know that’s nerdy, but hey…I’m a math teacher, I think I’m allowed (required?) to be a little nerdy!

I’m going to apologize in advance for overusing exclamation marks! I just get a little excited sometimes

Tomorrow is our pseudo first day of school (we only have freshmen) it’s like their Freshmen orientation.  Actually, it’s called Link Crew and one of our administrators just asked me the other day if I was willing to join the “Link Crew” and go get training on how to be a “Link Leader.”  Training is in Virginia Beach…so I’m in.

I’m going to keep this first post short.  I can’t yet explain what this blog is going to be about besides probably a little bit of math teaching, a little bit of being a mother of a toddler, possibly some stuff about cooking & gardening, being an IronGirl and loving to read, eat, and watch netflix.  Possibly also some topics involving the consumption of alcohol.  Drunk blogging?

Who knows?

Happy Labor Day!!!!!!!! (I felt I had actually under-used the exclamation points in this post)

p.s. I forgot environmental activism…my only previous blogging experience can be found at

I did this in July 2010 when my dad’s black maple tree was about to get hacked down by the village he lives in because of a street repaving project.  So this was Tree vs. Politicians and Tree won.  (WOOT!) Also, my “blog” got published in a highly regarded newspaper…maybe you’ve heard of it? it’s called the “Eagle Observer”  you know the one…serving Camillus, Jordan, Elbridge, and Marcellus, NY.  So I’ve pretty much set myself up for failure with this math teacher blog since it will have to be published in print immediately to live up to my prior experience.