I love it when students figure stuff out.

I love it even more when:

A. Students figure out things that, as a teacher, I didn’t notice myself.

B. Students who are labeled as “not good at figuring stuff out” figure stuff out.

Here’s what we did today in Algebra 2:

This is a SMILE resource from the National STEM Centre. The problem I thought I would encounter is the word “etc.” Kids don’t do well with “etc.” Etcetera is vague, non-committal, and easily dismissed. To a student, etcetera usually means “I’ll ignore this and see if no one notices.”

It is helpful for me to be more specific with my expectations of students, especially when their mathematical well being is at stake. But today, I was feeling a little vague and non-committal myself, so I handed out the sheet, explained what was going on and let them go…etc.

There are no words I **love** to hear more in my classroom than “Mrs. Schmidt, look what I figured out.” And today was chock FULL of those statements. Here are a few:

- The triangles are always as wide as they are tall.
- The sum of the base of triangles 3-wide is 3/4 of the top number.
- As the triangles get larger, the percentage of the peak number gets smaller.
- The percentage decrease is related to the size of the triangle
- If the triangle has an odd numbered base, then the center number in the base is always related to the peak number.

There were lots more. I was very proud of this class’s resolve in addressing the Etcetera.