Hawthorne Elementary School, REACH Math Class of Ms Tarrantino
Elmhurst, Illinois

4th Grade Math Teacher teacher Ms. Sorrentino says:

Once upon a time, Mrs. Sorrentino, rockin' REACH teacher at Hawthorne Elementary School in Elmhurst, IL, locked her 4th graders in a tiled room with some paper and markers and shouted, "Create art! ART, I tell you!"

Busily, the kids pondered what this meant until one student with an A in their name (or was it Joey?) shouted, "Look at the ceiling and floor tiles! They have no gaps or overlaps! They are regular and semi-regular tessellations, just like we discovered in our textbook and on I see bunnies, fish, and toasters in those tiles! I see ART!"

Click on any Polaroid™ to see a large version of it, with a description that's almost, sometimes, true.

Art is, of course, the class pet, who had been missing since the "Elmer's Glue" incident last month. He is a little thin and dehydrated, but apparently has lost his fear of heights. We all thank goodness that Art has a forgiving nature. We hope some of his fur might even grow back, once the spray paint comes off.

Mrs. Sorrentino would like to thank Emma, Alex, Aiden, Aidan, and Clarissa for offering to let Art wear their mittens until his fur grows back. However, Art probably doesn't need to wear all ten mittens at the same time, since his feet can't reach the ground when he wears more than three layers of mitten.

The kids "drew" upon their study of geometry and angle measurement (Pun alert!) and busily channeled M.C. Escher as they created tessellation after tessellation, a.k.a. Math Art.

Vice Principal Hokkensnippersnoo would like to thank Nathan, Joey, Mary, and Arianna for their spontaneous creativity, and for volunteering to be stapled to the ceiling at this point, but remind the kids that simply being stapled to the ceiling and shouting "I'm a tile! I'm a tile!!" doesn't make you one, even if you DO tessellate. Vice Principal Hokkensnippersnoo would also like to thank Arianna's parents for bringing a ladder and not calling the cops this time.

The REACH 4th grade math students handily drew, colored, slid, sometimes on paper, transformed, sometimes mathematically, and then presented their magnificent tessellations to Mrs. Sorrentino who was moved to tears at the beauty and creativity of math, MATH, I tell you!! MUUUUhahahahahaaa!

The school lawyer, Mr. Kippenottersteef, would like to emphasize that Mrs. Sorrentino's tears at this point had nothing to do with finally prying Arianna off the ceiling, where she had been stapled. We didn't get her down until much later. Mr. Kippenottersteef would also like to thank the law of gravity, the trapeze team from a passing circus, and Missus Trogladaitnoopfiffinfoofer (the school welder/nurse) for their help in retrieving Arianna from her perch amongst the ceiling tiles. Our lawyer also would like to remind Missus Trogladaitnoopfiffinpoofer that she has signed a secrecy agreement, that our insurance covers welding accidents, and that neither Missus Trogladaitnoopfiffinpoofer nor Arianna were using those toes anyway. So there.

Do toes grow back?

By the way, Mrs. Sorrentino claims that REACH isn't an acronym as its capital letters imply. It is simply a loud message: "REACH and stretch your brain until it hurts." You know... capital letters, like gym teachers use: "GIMME A HUNDRED PUSH UPS! ~~NOW!!!". Sometimes, mothers talk like that too: "WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU 'GLUED YOUR NEW MITTENS TO THE CLASS PET'?!? AND HOW IS THAT AN ART PROJECT?!?") These students, Mrs. Sorrentino says, study a garageful of advanced concepts and always (?) rrrrrRRRREEEEEACH to do their best. That's Mrs. Sorrentino's story, anyway, and she's sticking to it. True or not, it's a great excuse for why her students' brains hurt daily.


  • you'd like to show your or your students' tessellations on, or
  • if you know how to make toes grow back,

please contact's webmaster.

If, on the other hand, you'd like to see MORE of Ms. Sorrentino's class, click here for Class of 2013.

elmers glue bottle monty python funny feet orange mitten
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