Friday, April 8, 2011

Getting it

Sometimes I volunteer for the school - not often enough, but I do it. Today I was there during math. The teacher gave me a group and I tried to help them "get" a concept. They're learning subtraction in 2 digits - not the easy kind anymore. They from new school math to the old way and new school math here seems like it was pointless.

This class of kids loves to talk. This grade is known for it - they were this way in kindergarten and first grade - so much energy they cannot keep still and they must talk. Most kids are like this but I'm told for some reason, this class of kids that includes my daughter is the chattiest many have seen. They're now in second grade.

We used the whiteboard - a group of 7, late in the day, doing math, on a Friday. But I tried anyway to teach them this concept in a different way, seeming to stop every 5 seconds with the happy chatter.

In the end, some understood and some didn't - nothing had changed, except for one girl. She was up at the whiteboard with me and we were going through it - cross this number first, subtract 1, bring 10 to the other side. Don't worry about using your fingers to subtract right now. And she kept going. I think it finally clicked for her and she was excited. She got it.

That was a totally great moment - to see just one child understand something that seemed so alien to them. And they weren't expected to understand it.

So now I "get it" - why people must go into teaching.

It can be one kid at a time.

And it seems so rewarding.

Now if we could only get more money... another topic...


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