Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Commoner Encounters Academic Language from an 8 Year Old


 Given the current state of education in our country we are forced to teach young kids a lot of stuff they really don't need to know.   Like how to eliminate questions in a multiple choice test-you know because they're taking the SATs in third grade.  Compare and Contrast, myths, all kinds of junk.  So you have to make it fun somehow all we're all going to lose it.

Today was Valentines Day.  I received 30 pounds of candy from my wonderful class who know I eat chocolate when I'm stressed.  (spare me your speech about using food for comfort as I maintain my sanity through all this).  I was determined that we would take a day off from pounding information and techniques into their head and have some fun.

Ironically my class hasn't been this calm in weeks, in spite of my using candy of some sort in most of my lessons.  We graphed candy hearts-that was math.  Then I sat up centers in my class where they did all of the crafts I normally would have spent the whole month on.  The educational twist here? They had to read the directions  for all the crafts themselves.  This did two things-they had to read and understand what they had to do-and I didn't have to painfully teach them the crafts-I really am not good at crafts.

Highlight of the day?  When one student said to a table of boys struggling to figure out how to weave paper hearts-haven't you ever heard of infer?  You have to infer what they mean-they aren't going to tell you everything.

While the teacher in me smiled that they had learned this ridiculous word-I couldn't help but think that at third grade I'm pretty sure I was doing connect the dot pictures in math.

Oy vey-