Sunday, February 20, 2011

Inside Four Walls: Some fun with Honors

Every year around this time my Geometry students take a test to see if they can get into Algebra 2 Honors. The ones that are looking to get into Math Analysis Honors and Calculus AP know they need to get into the class so they can continue on that "honors" track.

So this past Tuesday they took the test. I told them that I would let them know their results as soon as the department had them graded. Of course, that doesn't stop them from asking on a daily basis when they will find out. Because of this, sometimes I like to have a little fun with them.

For example, this past Friday, after being asked everyday since Wednesday if the results were in, I decided to have some fun. After the lesson, I went to my computer and pretended to get an email with their scores. I read off some fake percentages, mostly 50% or less. It was funny when I read out one student's score I said 45%, then the next student was 42%. The first student excitedly said "I did better than you." I thought to myself "really? you want to brag about a 45%?" Of course after about 10 minutes of them sitting there thinking they weren't getting into Honors, I told them I was joking and that not to ask again and I would tell them when the scores came in.

My favorite prank was last year. There was a lot of uncertainty because of the budget and all of that mess. So after a couple weeks of them asking, I finally said that the reason that the scores hadn't been released was because there might not be an Algebra 2 Honors the next year. I told them that we might just have regular Algebra 2 only because of the budget we would have to cut sections of classes. The best reaction came from a student that said "Wait? So my transcripts are going to say I just took REGULAR Algebra 2? Not Honors?" I said yes, but to look on the bright side that they would probably all get A's because they were going to be in a regular Algebra 2 class. I told them this on a block day and let it sit with them for about 30-40 minutes before I told them I was joking.

I know some might think it is mean that I do this, but the students all laugh from relief and they know not to ask about the results and I will tell them when they are in.

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