The Evil Math Book, a story

A few weeks ago a darling 6th grader handed me an envelope. Inside I found the following story. It touched my heart. You know when you’re having one of those days (or weeks… or months….) and then someone does something to turn it around? Ya. Anyway, I asked if I could share because I thought it was so cute, and also because…. narcissism …

I wish you all a classroom and world full of Kathleens….

The Evil Math Book

by: Kathleen

Once upon a 2015-2016 school year there was a wonderful teacher named Ms. McCormick. She was so kind, inspiring, and clever. When her first fifth grade class at {school name} came she said, “Oh no. This is not working.” The class had been brainwashed by the evil math book. They were very smart, but didn’t know how they were doing problems. Ms. McCormick put on her thinking cap, long skirts, and awesome cardigan – the super hero outfit – and went to work. With all her talent and twitter friends, there was no challenge too small.

By using very fun activities like group work (which got really noisy sometimes), and math posters where you separate tons of cards into problems or in categories like true or false, equal, larger, or less. One of the class’s favorites were number talks. What are number talks, you might ask. Well, they are amazing memories and giving the class different ways to solve one problem. You can also decide what methods are right and the ones you like best.

But the most important way she un-brainwashed the class of 2019 was her amazing explanations. She always explained problems like nobody’s business, which left no fifth grade brain confused. She also encouraged everybody else to explain how they did their work. She would never let anyone do a “trick” before they understood what they were doing.

Once the summer came Ms. McCormick put away her powers for good. Until the sixth grade, but that’s another story to be told.

Then she wrote,

Dear Ms. McCormick, I wrote this for you because you are the best math teacher ever. I thought somebody had to tell your legacy. So I decided to be the one.