Funny math quotes from students

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Students occasionally say some pretty funny things in math class. I’ve heard a couple this year that bear repeating.

One was from a middle-school student who usually came late to the first class of the day. She usually blamed her sister for not being ready to go when she was, and that might even have been true. One day she arrived shortly after the class began and was very excited. “This is the earliest I’ve ever been late!” I had to agree.

Earlier this week, a student who rarely volunteers anything wanted to solve a problem. It soon became obvious to both the class and me that he was simply filibustering….why, we didn’t know. He was throwing all the math terms he could remember into a single sentence and, apparently, praying that some of it would sound like he knew what he was talking about.

Finally he mentioned the numerator.  As soon as he said it, one of his friends sat bolt upright and asked “Numerator? What numerator? There’s no numerator in that problem!” “Oh,” replied our filibustering student, “I don’t really know. It just sounded like a good word to use.”

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