Wednesday, March 2, 2011

From Can't to Can

Some of my most rewarding experiences this year have taken place after school, while volunteering with the middle school homework group. This week was no exception. I enjoyed teaching K-4 music, although I sing off-key. Then I headed next door to see who needed help. I found a 5th grade girl struggling with a math test review. She was really down; the can'ts in her head were shutting down all possibility of real thinking. I smiled, encouraged, explained, asked questions, and listened. She was working with fractions, so I gave her one of my dry erase cards I made to help her rename and/or reduce fractions. (See Equivalent Fractions) I watched her eyes slowly light up, and we had a great hour of math. She left saying, "I can!" We met again the next day and she dug in to finish the review with a positive attitude. She will take the test today, and my fingers are crossed that she will stay calm and think things through.

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