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Monday, May 16, 2022
Slice of Life: Adding skills to a foundation of Swiss cheese
My youngest daughter Cecily is home, having completed her freshmen year of college, and she is on the teacher prep highway. Until her camp counselor work begins, she is working as a sub in the schools, and she made me chuckle today when I came home.
"I had to support kids in math today," she said when I walked in.
My silence kept her going. The truth was I is I'm fascinated to watch Cecily become a math teacher, assuming that she heads toward elementary education. Math has always challenged her, and she's had a lot of experience with tutoring, alternative strategies, and filling in the Swiss cheese-like gaps of her math understandings.
"The kids were all working on adding fractions with unlike denominators," she continued.
I'm not sure when Cecily mastered fraction addition that involves renaming them, but I'm sure it was not in elementary school.
I winced, and I stayed silent, knowing that she had more to say.
"I don't understand how they can teach these kids how to add fractions with unlike denominators when they don't understand how to convert them from mixed numbers to improper fractions," she said.
I nodded. I'm pretty sure that my older daughter who works for a dermatologist would have told me to unwrinkle my forehead or I'd need more Botox.
"They're teaching kids skills they aren't ready for. That's what happened to me, and it took forever to understand it because I kept trying to learn new things when I didn't have the things I needed to learn them figured out..." Cecily was on a roll.
Amazing what my daughter who is just shy of 20 understands about learning and foundational skills... Who knows if she will stay the course for teaching, but I think she'd be a really good one.