Math class. Order of Operations. I explain PEMDAS, we work several problems together on the white board as a class. I give the students an assignment to work on in small groups. Almost immediately I go to group 3 to help somebody with a problem.
From across the room, Rico leaps from his seat and yells, “Yo, Amsden!”
My head snaps up and I look at him. The whole room is silent. I tilt my head and raise my eyebrows. Rico slowly slips back into his seat. I stare. His smile wobbles. “Miss Amsden?” He queries.
“Yes, Rico?” I ask.
He says timidly, “Uhm, what do we do if the problem doesn’t have a parenthesis?”
I answer, “You raise your hand and I’ll get to your group when I’m finished here.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he says. Then adds, pointing toward the door, “Uhm, while I’m waiting, can I got to the restroom?”
Usually I call students on the appropriate use of the words can and may. In this case I believe the can may be imminent. I nod my head, he bolts from the room, and everybody cracks up laughing.