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Haikus at Hills West

Haiku Hills West
Image courtesy of Wordle.net

Derivatives by Lois Kim
The derivative
Is the slope of the tangent
Of any function

They’re short and to the point, but what they lack in length they make up for in thought and creativity. Haiku’s have been a part of world culture for centuries and aim to teach us lessons with only 17 syllables. For Honors Pre Calc students at Hills West, a project has been assigned to them that required them to use the art of haiku poetry to summarize what they learned in the course. The twist on this project was that this was actually a competition among the students in the class.

“The competition was to see who could make the best haiku based on any Pre Calc topic covered this year,” explained junior Jason Zelamsky,“The project was to get into small groups and write 5 haikus as a 10 point quiz grade. Each group chose their best haiku to make a poster out of and submit for competition. The poster counted as two bonus points.”

“The goal of the assignment was for students to review what they’ve learned in Pre Calc in a fun, new way. I don’t think that any of the students really thought they’d ever apply what they’ve learned in Pre Calc to poetry, but this allowed them to organize their Pre Calc knowledge in a different and creative way,” commented Hills West math teacher Mr. Donnelly.

This is the first year an assignment like this has been assigned to the students. “Mrs. Monez and I collaborate to develop and enhance the Pre Calc H curriculum here at High School West. We constantly bounce ideas off of each other. This is an idea that we came up with together,” added Mr. Donnelly.

When asked about how he personally felt about the project, Zelamsky commented, “It was pretty fun, since usually math just involves taking notes. Combining creativity and math was a nice change of pace, and the bonus points were appreciated as well.” “There were a lot of good haikus that had the potential to win and with the help of my team I am really happy we created one of the poems that won,” added junior Lea Silverman.

This haiku project has gone to show that even complex math can still be learned in unique and creative ways, and the creativity behind the students at West doesn’t just end with the drama and art departments. The students of this school truly never cease to surprise.

The rest of the Pre-Calc Honors Haiku 2013 Winners’ poems are included below.

Limits and Conitinuity by Zach Jayson, Jordan Camina, Shannon Drury
Our world without math
Like dividing by zero
Exist? It cannot!

Derivative Applications by Isabella Dana, Ashley Croker-Benn, Lea Silverman
Terrace points are cool
Derivatives are zero
And they look squiggly

Polynomial Functions by Kimberly Chan, Pooja Pandya
Odd degrees go up and down
Evens smile or frown

Derivatives by Elliot Vogel, Max Park, Rohan Savarogoankar
What’s the quotient rule?
High d low from low d high
All over low squared

Rectilinear and Projectile Motion by Jason Zelamsky, Arthur Sarkisyan, Katy Teets
You must find the rate of change
Of velocity

Sequences, Series, & Induction by Carly Belloff, Mallory Burstein, Courtney Grimaldi
Harmonic Series
Is a type of p series
When p equals one