Thursday, 20 February 2014
You ever teach that kid, the one who has read ahead in his big sister’s calculus book, who’s forever watching Discovery channel on modern physics, who’s always asking for more detail than anyone else in class wants? Yeah, him. He’s a student in the classroom next door to mine. Yesterday, he swung by my room because his teacher had gone home for the day.
The kid disagreed with his teacher but didn’t understand my colleague’s reasoning.
At this point, I think I’ve made some headway with the kid. He gets it physically, nothing can travel a finite distance in 0 time. But he’s still stuck on that function on his graph being f(x) = 1/x. So I bust my math teacher moves on him:
I’m convinced that math and physics teachers should talk more than they currently do. The only way I could think to explain this kid’s conceptual mistake (the asymptote is at y=0) was through both physical means (nothing can travel somewhere in 0 time) and correct his mistake was through mathematical means with a function transformation.
Oh, and yes, I really did write out that conversation after he left the room. It was too rewarding for me to forget.