“I don’t have to know how many inches in a foot.”


Good to know, kid. Thanks.

We used 101qs (thanks, Dan) for our warmups last marking period – students had to come up with a question. One of the pictures was of people tiling the floor with pennies . We noticed that students had no clue about ratios, so my student teacher (bless her) created an activity for the students to do today, to estimate how many pennies it would take to tile our lovely room. We linked it to the tattoo artist who claimed that tiling with pennies was cheaper (real life, you know) and asked the kids to figure out if it was really cheaper.

So ourkids had to figure out what area means. Did we really want them to lay out pennies to make one square foot ( if we had to!) or could they find another way… multiplication? What is a square foot? What is a foot? is it that long stick ( meter stick)?

Then they had to measure the room dimensions.After we explained what dimensions were. Thus we discovered that students did not have to know there are 12 inches in a foot. We were amazed.

Finally, we asked what the value of the floor would be in dollars. And there we found that many students did not know how many cents in a dollar. (Or how to move the decimal point to divide by 100.) Many of our 17 year olds. Oddly, they are not doing well on the state tests. Clearly, the state test makers are unaware of what students do not have to know.

I blame the Romans ( or whoever invented inches).


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