5/14/13

Last Week of School

Wow, it's hard to believe that this is the last week of school before finals next week. This second semester has flown by. This will be a mildly crazy week followed by a totally whack-a-doodle week next week.

In other words, my schedule of normalcy is gone with the wind.

I have to admit that I feel sorry for the poor kidlet. She has two quizzes and one test today. She was having a such difficult time figuring out an equation in pre-algebra that she even asked me for help. Actually, I had been very good student in math, but it has been many, many years since I've used it.

The kidlet asked for my help, so I was going to do the best I could to help her. Her frustration level was extremely high by this point, tears were in her eyes as she tossed her paper with a bunch of scribbles at me. "Here."

Okay . . .  I start reading.

"It's not that side I'm having problems with. I don't know what 'C' means."

Right . . . "I need a point of reference, where's your book?"

"The book won't help you."

Like having some half-written equation would??  "I need to skim over the chapter you're reading to be able to help you figure out what the teacher is asking."

The book is tossed in my lap. I start skimming. This chapter is about calculating the surface area of prisms, cylinders, cubes, etc. Okay. Their are also two examples on the page. Once for the prism, which had Ph . . . which translated to Prism height. Simple deduction led me to believe Ch in her equation meant Cylinder height.

Got it. Now to explain to the kidlet who is frustrated beyond measure and has mentally shut down for the night.

After trying a few different methods of explaining and five minutes later. I had a happy kid who understood the concept. She just needed to have the equation explained in a different manner.

This example just underlines the concept that not everyone learns the same way. Sometimes teachers--and parents--need to change the language so that the student understands the concept.

It's still the same concept.

It's still the same answer.

But sometimes we need to attempt it from a different direction than the norm.

I didn't learn this particular lesson until my twenties when I started learning how to ride. My instructor kept telling me to "Put my heels down". For over two years, I tried forcing my heels down. And then I was at a riding clinic, the clinic instructor used the words, "Put your weight in your heels."

The light bulb went off. This concept made perfect sense to me. And I knew exactly what my instructor had been asking all those years--she just never used the correct words that triggered the light bulb in my mind.

Many teachers teach one way, but the really good teachers will find a way to teach the student who has to look at things a little differently.

 Food for thought. Later, Peeps!

2 comments:

Meg said...

Yep! Good for you for keep trying and getting through. Good luck, kidlet!!

Margaret Golla said...

She's skipping swim tonight to study, since she'll be at the meet all weekend. I think she probably knows more about the subjects than she realizes!