Friday, 27 July 2012

Proud Like Only a Teacher-Mother Could Be!

I do have to share this little moment that I experienced today that made me tingle with excitement and also get a little teary... in a good way...

My husband has been busy the last few months, downloading apps for my daughter on the ipad. Some of the educational ones are somewhat a waste of time interesting to say the least, others are wonderful.

One new app is supposed to teach little ones to add. It launches straight into addition sums, like 4+3= . Although my daughter has been doing some 'school work' at home with me this year, in preperation for her start to school next year, I try where possible to make all the activities 'hands on' and that help her to build her understanding of a concept before she attempts abstract ideas like 'sums' in school next year.

Anyhow.... my dear hubby attempted to 'teach' addition when she found this new app. Of course, I sat smugly in the corner, preparing to witness a train wreck. He lasted a few minutes, told her how to count using her fingers on from the first number. So if it was 3 + 2, she should say 3 and then count 2 more numbers. Luckily she grasps things quite quickly and I was surprised that she did OK with the first few.

My daughter was left alone for a while with the app. I was busy on the computer, my head down working, but I kept and ear out to hear how she was going as she progressed through the sums.

To my amazement I heard her developing a strategy to work out sums that required more fingers than she had on her hands! Totally spontaneous and completely her own attempts to figure out an answer. The question was 9+6. I heard her say "one ten... two eleven.... three twelve.... four thirteen....five fourteen......six fifteen". I was blown away by her creativity and very very proud. I just had to share this with some teacher friends that would understand my excitement.

We have some standard testing here in my state for working out a child's level in maths and we always try to get the children to reveal the 'strategies' they use to work out answers. It is difficult, as most of them have no idea how to explain how they are thinking. I love it when they say 'I just thinked it' in response to my question 'how did you get that answer'.

I am sure if I asked my daughter she would not know how to explain this strategy that she used to solve the sum and perhaps not be able to do it again. I am so glad I was in the room to catch this little revelation into the inner workings of her mind.


Jennifer K. said...

Wow that is a great! I love it when they catch onto a concept and develop their own strategies! She is going to be a smarty! How old are kids when they start school in Australia? Here in Oklahoma they have to be 4 by September 1st to start pre-k and then 5 by September 1st to start Kindergarten.

Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

Melanie - From the Pond said...

Thanks Jennifer, I think so too! Here in NSW, our kids need to be at least 5 by July 31st - the beginning of our school year is late January. However it is more normal to start your child in school the year they turn 6 - we really only have one or two kids per class that start when they turn 4. My daughter is a March birthday, so I could have sent her this year when she was still 4, but also had the choice to start her next year when she is 5, about to turn six.
I really wish our government would change the rules to make all children start the year they turn 6. As it currently stands, we have children in a class that can be up to 18months in age difference... quite tricky to plan for and such varied maturity levels. Often the clever little 4 years olds still need a year at home or preschool. We are also, as teachers, being discouraged from giving parents advice as to whether a child is ready for school or not - crazy!

amy said...

Oh my heck! That is wonderful! I'm glad you were there to witness that moment. You're right, she'd probably not be able to explain it, but no matter, SHE is a SMART COOKIE!!!!
Where Seconds Count

Miss Pasqua said...

That's great! I love to know how students think and develop different strategies on learning...