Thursday, October 20, 2011

They're actually getting it!

You know how it is - you stand up there and teach all day, and sometimes the faces staring back at you are just blank.  Like you haven't been teaching addition for the last, oh I don't know...4 weeks, and this is something they have never heard of ("A plus sign???  What is that?").  But every now and then, there will be those days when, in their own little way, you realize...they get it!  Today was (thankfully) one of those days.

We've been learning about owls this week (much better than spiders which we studied last week), and I asked the kids to make an owl today.  Now, being the last day for us this week (we have a planning day tomorrow), and due to the fact that I am really tired, I gave them a simple owl shaped body and wings to cut out.  I showed them the body and wings and asked them what was missing.  Someone said "eyes", someone else said, "beak", and a few kids yelled out "the facial disc"!  What?!  Huh?!  Never expected that one in a million years.  To which I replied with a smile, "Yep, you're right!  What kind of facial disc can you put on your owl?"  No blank stares here, they very quickly replied, "a heart shaped or a round one".  YES!!! YOU GOT IT!

I would be wonderfully happy with this, but this was not the end of the blessings today.  We are working on addition in math (as we will be most of the year), and since this chapter that we are on is a particularly hard one, I decided to take a little mid-mid chapter assessment before the actual mid-chapter assessment.  There was one question that asked them to write an explanation.  The problem read, "Terry added 7+3 and got 11.  Explain why this answer is incorrect."  Now, I would be happy if they just wrote 7+3 is 10.  Okay, then I know you understand. Truthfully, I was a little worried, because we haven't really done a lot of writing to explain our math thinking this year.  We talk about it all the time, but just haven't gotten around to writing it down.  Anyway, here are some of the answers I got (spelling has been copied exactly as the child wrote it):
        "sevin plus three eackwls 10"
       "8+3 is 11.  His dus not mayk sins. It is wolg (wrong)"
       "You did it rog (wrong).  Beekuz 7+3 is not 11 it is 10"
       "Becuse he coutid one more on acsudent"
       "Becuz it ekqlz 10"
And my favorite: "Bekus akchly (actually) seven + three = 10"

They're actually getting it!!!

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