TalkTools

Anna Sings A Math Song

Happy New Year to all!

We had a wonderful break. However, with Omicron variant spreading, the school was unfortunately, shut down after the break and we have yet to return. The kids have been doing online school again. Right before break, the teacher had us work with our child on learning some addition math facts. I tried using the flash cards that they gave us, to no avail. She was not learning it. So, then, I tried another method. I used Numicons to help her understand the concepts so she can try to visualize it, but it still wasn’t really working in terms of her knowing the answer. I tried to use the method I used for teaching reading to see if that would help; also, did not work. I was finding myself frustrated. Then, I remembered that I went to a talk regarding full inclusion for children with disabilities. In it, there was something that really struck me. They went into a school and did an interesting study. They developed a scenario in which they were anticipating a child who was blind and deaf that was going to be coming into their classroom. Then, they told the teachers about a project that the students would need to complete and asked the teachers to brainstorm to come up with ways to fully include this child in the project so he/she could participate in a meaningful way. They then went to the elementary students and asked them to come up with ways. The amazing thing was that the teachers came up with about 20 ways- some of which wouldn’t work, impractical, while the students came up with 70 different ways to include their peer, upwards of 60 ways was actually helpful and practical. Tells you the amazing broad thinking and creativity children possess. Remembering this, and desperate, I went to my 9 year old daughter and told her my dilemma. To which she replied simply, “Mama, turn it into a song, that’s what I do when I teach her.” I asked her help in creating the song. I sang those songs to Anna a few times a day for a few days and she amazingly learned it like a charm. I was wondering how that would translate to an actual math worksheet- would she start singing the tune in class? I gave her a worksheet and to my surprise, she worked on it quietly and had all the answers down! For the new year, I was encouraged to know that Anna can learn so much as long as the information is presented in a way that her brain can receive it and also, repeated many times. In other words, persistence, patience, hard-work and I feel that Anna will eventually learn it! Slow steady steps to build that learning life-long! I am so encouraged and pray that this story will encourage you, too!

Raquel

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