Have you had a kindness? Pass it on. ~Henry Burton
That Feeling You Get When You Solve a Hard Math Problem
The numbers click in place like a combination lock. You have
cracked the code, you
have mastered the challenge! The problem had
you cornered, but it was decimals that gave you a
way out. A mathematical kindness
was bestowed by the universe: a “Pass
Go Collect $100” card, and it
gives you the joy and energy to carry on.
©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018
A couple of my students had a great day in math this past week. (One was the future astronomer from Day Two's poem.) We were working on irregular volume and they got to the challenge problem -- making an irregular figure with a total target volume of 325 cubic units...with the additional self-imposed challenge of not using a 1 in their answer. So, for example, they didn't allow themselves this solution: 10x(3x10) + 5x(5x1). They were stumped at the end of math class, but later, at the end of the day, they grabbed their papers out of the pile and kept working while we waited for the buses to be called. The student who gave me this quote asked, "Can we use decimals?" I answered, "Why not?!" and he promptly found a solution: 10x(3x10) + .25x(10x10).