I should be packing.. but I am too busy watching last nights Olympics. I just love Olympic swimming. Well, I love watching swimming anytime, but this has been so exciting! My roommate laughs at me because I have to watch the daytime Olympics before the Primetime. (Some sports get "watched" at x60 speed with regular speed at important moments.) I think tha tthe swimmers are just awesome to watch and I just have to add that Nathan Adrian is the hottest swimmer... I can watch him all day long! :) My other new facorite from yesterday is Trampline. Really... They bounce on a trampoline.. It reminds me of Diving, only backwards. It was super bouncy.. and flippy. I loved it! It left me wondering if trampoline gymnasts switch to trampoline because they are ADHD likeme??
I was thinking about commmon core this morning while watching the Olypmics. Did I mention I have ADHD?? Who else would think of things like curriculum which watching the freakin olypics??? Anyway, my thoughts are about the pace of the math curriculum. For the last few years I have been developing the idea that we are not teaching skills in the order that will help the skills to really connect in students minds. Without the connections they will never truly master the skills we need them to in order to be successful. In fourth grade, my grade level and most others that I know of tend to start with Place Value. Here is my problem... We teach Place Value, and in fourth grade that only means one more whole number place, plus 2 decimal places. WHY do they still not know their whole number places??? Clearly there is a disconnect. So whole numbers, decimal numbers, then comparing and ordering, and thenm my grade level has wanted to go to multiplication. We don't come back t fractions until january! We have just lost the opportunity to really cement both fractions and decimals together! So, as we move to common core, I really think that it is important to really look at which skills need to come first as building blocks, and then determine a strong order of skills that takes cnnections between skills into consideration.
Where should we start then? I am thinking that the best place o start is algebra. In teachign rder of operations, they can already perform all of the operations becasue they are single digit operations. Also, if we can teach them about expressions and equations in the context of problem solving then you can work on that ALL year by having them write the expression fr the word problem they are solving for other skills. Then, wen it comes time for state tests, perhaps they will finally have a better and deeper understanding of how to interpret the word problems I hate watching students add or subtract 2 digit numbers in fourth grade on a major assessment! I am at a new schol this year, so perhaps my new grade level will appreciate my thinking. What are your thoughs? I would absolutely ove t hear them!!
The last thing for today is a linky of Kids say the Darndest things. I think that one great moment was last year. I am in between individual reading assessments and one of my girls comes up and has a question. Seemingly out of nowhere she says, "Miss Webb, what is a jock strap? " I looked at her.. and blinked.. and finally came up wtih, "why do you ask?" I had fears of some conversation that should NOT have been happening during thier independent work time. Thankfully, sort of, she replied that it was in her book. Then I was thinking what on earth is this chick reading??! I asked her to show me the context. I was able to breathe a sigh of releif that the character (a boy) had been super embarrassed in class by pulling a jock strap out of his backpack on accident. phew... I was able to tell her he was embarrased because it was like pulling underwear out in front of the whole class!