Worcester’s premier college-preparatory co-ed day school serving students from Central MA and MetroWest, Pre-K–Grade 12
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MS Head's Blog

Mr. O in his 2nd floor office on a dress-down day

In the Middle of It All

Middle School Musings by Trevor O’Driscoll, Bancroft's Head of Middle School

Most weeks, MS Head Trevor O’Driscoll writes a short note to parents and faculty about middle school, education, parenting, and other topics relevant to our community. We share these Middle School Musings here for the benefit and enjoyment of all who are interested. Read recent entries, browse the archives, and delight in Mr. O’Driscoll’s take on our Middle School and the amazing people who inhabit it.

 

 

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The Handshake Problem

This week I present to you a classic math problem, one that many of our eighth graders were recently wrestling with in Mr. Phillips’s class.

There are nine justices on the Supreme Court. How many handshakes occur if each of them shakes hands with every other justice exactly once?

Spoiler alert: don’t read on if you aren’t ready for the answer.

Stumped? Below are correct answers from two different eighth graders, Julia D. and Talya J. Note the ways in which these two solutions exemplify how we encourage our middle schoolers to tap into their personal learning-style strengths and technology resources to employ different methods to reach the same correct answer:

Julia D's answer:

Julia's answer = 36 

Talya J's answer:

 Talya's answer = 36

Posted by Trevor O'Driscoll in Learning Lab Method (LLM) on Friday September, 22 at 09:27AM
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