Monday 14 October 2013

Involve me and I'll understand

I enjoyed this weekend so much.  It was calm.  It was relaxing.  Nothing to plan.  

I needed a break after last weekend.  I love organising the science group but it does get busy the weekend before!

Talking of science I couldn't resist a special offer in Sainsbury's on Saturday...

I hate the idea of microwaves and haven't had one for about a decade give or take a year but there were so many science experiments I wanted to try that, for the last few months, I've been looking out for a new as-cheap-as-I-could-find one.  Now I have!
This morning we were up for a bit of work at the table.  We all have a cold at the moment so, to be honest so didn't feel like doing anything more than just sitting: workbooks were the perfect solution.

Things didn't start all rosy and bright eyed for everyone though: when I told Chiara that we were going back to equations for maths she slouched (in a teenage kind of a way) and crinkled up her face and slanted her eyes -strange seeing as only a few weeks back she was telling me equations was the best bit about her maths workbook. 

I think, sometimes, when you hit something new it can feel like a mountain, or perhaps  when learning can feel a little repetitive it can become tedious.  It's then you have to find a different way.
I know maths is about repetition when learning - similarly to when you learn a new language - but repeating what you are learning doesn't mean that you have to do it the exact same way over and over again.  There are other ways:

  • Computers
  • A different workbook coming in from a different angle
  • Something more tactile, a board game for instance
    AKA: Teaching someone else
When these bumps in education happen I spend my evening, while doing one of my fitness regimes usually, trying to think of other ways of learning.  After all, some things in life can't be avoided; I know that the girls are going to need to learn certain stuff whether they want to or not to get what they want from life, to fulfil their individual needs.  So last night, while I was pondering equations, I thought along the lines of when we teach we learn so much more than when we do repetitive practise of the same kind, so this morning I asked her to make me four equations similar to the ones we done on Friday. 

Why?  So she could test me but also to see if she could build an equation. 

By building the equation she then really understood why it worked the way it did and by checking them out on her calculator knew whether she got it right or not. m Independent learning is so important I think.
SHE LOVED IT!  The fact that she was challenging my brain and the fact that she was learning it again but in reverse!  She got it too and smiles and laughter came with it.  I made her four in return and guess what?  Yep, she did it without any help required at all.

This posted reminded me of the old Chinese proverb:

“Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.”

Oh, and we did do our first science experiment with our new microwave...  That will be in my next post though!

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