Super Math Teacher

The thoughts of a middle school math teacher

Another year finished!

This year has finished.  This morning was the awards and graduation ceremony for middle school.  It was great to see the accomplishments of these students.

This class of students is special for me, since  many of them were in my grade 6 class my first year at AIS.  Over the last three years, I have watched these kids grow and mature.  Even though I did not teach all of them for three years, they will always be a special class to me.  Good luck in High School next year!


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Dam Sen Park Field trip

As the year is winding down, we are trying to finish the quarter with our last units.  I finished with quadratic equations, and students are now watching the movie October Sky, which happens to tie in with the physics unit in science as well.

As part of the unit, we had the opportunity to visit Dam Sen Park, which is a small amusement park in Ho Chi Minh City.  The grade 8 students had a day at the park.  THey had to ride on a roller coaster and the bumper cars.  Anything else they chose was up to them.

The roller coaster is small by US standards.  It has a maximum height of about 50 feet, includes one loop and a corkscrew.  THe entire ride takes about 30 seconds.  While I did   not ride the roller coaster, my 17 year old niece Katie, who is visiting for a couple of weeks, did.  Her reaction was mixed; it was too short of a ride, and she said it was very small.  Of course, she is much taller than most Vietnamese, so the cars were not designed for her long legs.  watching students ride, we noticed the supports actually moved back and forth as the roller coaster moved on the tracks.

She also rode the bumper cars with students.  There were only 8 cars allowed on the racing area at a time, and all were occupied by my group of students and my niece.  It was funny to watch the boys ram each other, while Katie drove idly around.  It was scary to see the sparks coming from the bottom of the cars.  Another not so safe ride!

In addition, there was a haunted house (very tame by American standards), a ferris wheel (can it move any slower?), paddle boats (always popular in Vietnam), the swings, a DaVinci cradle, and a flume ride (can we say slow…..).

I rode the flume ride with Katie and a few students.  OK, no safety bar.  A sign that says remove your glasses and hats (this was not on the roller coaster…..). The boat moves very slowly to the uphill climb.  I think it took 4 minutes to reach the top of the hill.  THen it was around the bend and down.  Splash!  Whiplash!  That says it all!

The highlight was the ice palace.  As you enter, you are given the option of wearing a coat.  Katie and I decided not to, but the students did.  It was a pleasant 32 degrees Fahrenheit inside!  That of course feels great when the outside temperature is about 95 degrees with 90% humidity. Inside were ice carvings of famous buildings, a bar (the kids pretended to be DJs), a pirate ship.  It was great just to be inside, however cold it was!

It was a long fun filled day for teh students.

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