I Made an Error

Today I made my eighth error.

One of my honors Algebra 2 classes now watches me like a hawk. It’s game on when class starts. I made a bet with them.

If you can get past my Wiggle-looking shirt, this video explains it all.

For what it’s worth, the bet was made after one of my very perspicacious students had already tallied six errors and logged them in a notebook.  I showboated into the seventh error just to drum up excitement. Probably not smart. As of today, I have roughly five months to go and three mulligans. Gulp.

I told them to keep this a secret from the other periods. So far so good. If I lose the bet, out to the track we go.  Many of my students already volunteered to run the mile with me.

Processional effect: This bet is providing a conversation piece in continuing our year long quest towards realizing that “Failure Leads to Success.” How I operate and how many risks I am willing to take in front of the class changes when I know I might be penalized.

The student who had the wherewithal to film this bet and whose hand you see in the video signs his papers “Future M.D.” after his name. Apropos. He also is keeping a magical notebook of all the analogies I’ve employed this year. I cannot wait to see this in June.

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One thought on “I Made an Error

  1. For some reason, I couldn’t get the audio on the video you posted, but I love the idea of your bet. Our school has “arigatou” cards that we can hand out when a student does something positive and I always gives students one if they catch me in a mistake. It makes them watch my work like hawks, helps them catch their own mistakes, and I hope helps them feel more comfortable with their mistakes. I try to solve the problems I present as examples from scratch on the board (I purposefully don’t work them out before hand because I know I know how to do it) but this allows for more organic questioning between me and the students because I can have them check my math, or feed me the next number I need, or prevent me from rocketing off in a wrong direction. If I can’t be comfortable making mistakes in front of students, why should they feel comfortable making mistakes in front of me.

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