Posted by: Magistra | April 2, 2008

Playing Catch

Today we started *Darth Vader theme music* quadratics in Algebra. Naturally, we played catch. I was a little too unstructured in my directions, but walking around, most students could answer my questions without prompting.

  • How can you change the curve? “Throw it higher.” “Throw it harder/longer.”
  • How can you change the starting value? “Throw it overhand [instead of underhand].” “Stand on the stairs.”
  • Can we change the end value? “Don’t catch it.”

The original plan was to do this behind the cafeteria, there being no students in the cafeteria to distract. Only the maintenance guy was out, blowing the cut grass somewhere. Frankly, I think quadratics take precedence over yard waste, but what really got me was that he didn’t talk to me. He told my students to tell me we had to go somewhere else. But that’s not a fight I’m going to pick with 32 9th graders holding projectile objects. So we moved to the fire lane behind our row of portables. I only caught two girls trying to talk through the window to a friend, and every teacher says it wasn’t a problem when I went by later to apologize (frankly, I think this says more about my colleagues than our conduct).

My freshman father (who, unfortunately, has bigger things to deal with than “just” being a father) said today wasn’t boring and maybe even a little fun. I doubt he’s going to pull out credit from this semester (although his attendance is up, so we’ve got a fighting chance), but I’m glad he had fun. I don’t think there’s a lot of time in his life spent on innocent fun like playing catch.


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