Another day goes by…

… & I haven’t used algebra… or long division… or trigonometry…

My elder child’s grade (4) put on a math fair today which parents were invited to. Now, along with failing English on my first attempt, I also sucked at math. Somehow I eventually managed to scrape through these torturous subjects, or may be someone just took pity on me I don’t know, but I eventually passed both. So as you can imagine I’m just raving about the idea of having 44 9/10 year olds proving they are smarter than me. I decided to go to the 9.30am slot, which already screams disaster because I don’t do sums in the afternoon never mind at that time of the morning. Of course I go to my son’s table first…

He & his partner (a boy he doesn’t really get on with but his teacher had made of point of mixing friends up) had taken the theme (Wizards/witches/magic etc.) & devised questions to with counting wands. Each par of students had to make a poster advertising their mathematical question. My son’s poster was quite good, but difficult for failing eyes to read. They had also broken the questions into grades so that every student from kindergarten to grade 12 could take part. I attempted the grade 4/5 level…

After trying to work out the answer on a piece of scrap paper more than once I submitted it – wrong!! How humiliating, what does this say of me as a parent? At least it was my own child. As I moved around to the various stations I found my brain warmed up a bit & I actually managed to complete some ‘hard’ sums. Some of the students had done really well, producing a well thought through & clever way to work something out, where as others clearly had an idea fixed in there head & ran with it to then produce something that didn’t quite work. I think my favourite was a problem that a bunch of witches had when the bridge over a lake sank. They only had one broom between them that could only hold 100kg. There were 4 witches & 20kgs of potions to transport, & the broom could not fly on it’s own. This particular pair were kids I knew well. They had a pond (laminated blue paper), a broomstick (a pencil with paper strands taped to the end), a tiny bag of potions, & each witch with their weights on individual bits of paper. I was stood with another mum so we did it together which was fun pretending to fly the broom back & forth. It turned out we were the first to solve it – a bunch of grade 12’s before us had tried several times & got it wrong every time – YAY! We were magical mathematical geniuses. I moved on & I don’t think I solved anything else. In fact, I missed out a few stations because honestly it wasn’t worth the shame!


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