Monday, November 27, 2006

9+1, 8+2, 7+3, 6+4, 5+5

Gosh things were quiet in blogland with all you turkey-gobblers off celebrating! Glad things have perked up today, but if you're still in need of some uplifting, how about a little game over at compound word project? Shari has put together round two of this and I'm all excited because I'm one of the photographers this time round - go see if you can guess mine.


Guessing the diptychs reminds me of that awful 80's show, 'Catchphrase' with the incredibly annoying Irish host who kept shouting 'just SAY what you SEE' at hapless contestants. I was such a fan. It's a good thing I wasn't married to Andy way back then. We have always been really competitive with TV quiz shows - keeping a personal tally for University Challenge - looser washes up. He'd be at the sink permanently if we did it with Catchphrase - intelligent he is, lateral thinker he definitely isn't.

I've been thinking a lot these past few days about the ways our minds work. Specifically Mark's. His teacher came to me last Friday concerned that he wasn't grasping 'number bonds' or many mathematical concepts for that matter. She says he isn't listening in class, which I'm sure is true, but I'm not sure it's the root of the problem. He can do Maths with real-world examples and with props to help him, but when faced with just numbers you can see him starting to flap and he gets so flustered he can't figure out what he's meant to be doing. Then he makes a wild guess. Already at 6 he has decided Maths is not for him and I think his teacher's attitude is likely to re-enforce this.

It makes me sad, doubly sad because I was EXACTLY the same as a child. I have always struggled with maths - I can do it, but I am not confident about it and find myself easily flustered. Geometry and statistics are fine - I have something concrete to visualize, but plain numbers are scary. I know some of you who read this do homeschooling - any advice for me? How can I help this poor child before he gets totally turned off.

He needed some cheering up, so I freezer paper stencilled a dinosaur on his vest. Maths I can't do, prehistoric creatures I can.

14 comments:

autum said...

Sorry, no math advice to offer, but the dinosaur is adorable!

kirsty said...

Wow, my first reaction is "six is WAY to little to be tagging him with that"! My absolutely brilliant brother was pretty much uninterested in book-learnin' until he was eight or nine and that is VERY common esp. for boys.(by high school, J was top of the class in everything, at 21 he designed a computer-operated remote shut-down system for oil rigs and now he has his own company selling an internet management product that he invented himself) I think what your little guy needs is a fan club who teach him how smart he is and I suspect he's already got one!

ps forgive the bragging - I love my brother :D

kirsten said...

lemme mull the math problem over - i did well but didn't like math - teaching it to my daughter is different - she really enjoys it.

Kate said...

That is such a shame - Maths can be so much fun in the classroom - I love teaching it to little kids as we are definitely not practical over here - not just numbers - very abstract for small children - it needs to be very 'hands on' and to use props most of the time. Sounds like the teacher is a bit old fashioned.

jen said...

Sorry to hear about the math...however, I was the same way only with language. I was never at the right reading level in school. The problem I think is that everyone learns in different ways and normal school teaching does not work for everyone, just for the masses. Anyway, good luck and love the dino!

capello said...

love the dinosaur!

but darwin keeps screaming "circles! circles! circles!" me thinks he's in love with your background.

Dee said...

oooh, I am so bad a math! I know my 6 year old has math problems too, but I'm hoping its just a focusing thing and maybe she will be good at it like her father. Just give it time, sometimes boys need just a little more growing room, I already know my baby boy will.

Soo said...

if he maths isn't his stong point, there will be many other things that he will enjoy and be great at....love the dinosaur!

grumpy said...

What the heck are "number bonds"?
Is this some modern trendy teacher speak just to confuse everyone?

Trouble started when SUMS became MATHS for 6 year olds.

Change teacher not pupil!

velcro said...

What causes him to switch off in maths class? Is there something he doesn't understand and is too shy to ask? MrV was bad at maths at school and was too shy to say anything so by the time anyone noticed it was too late and he was put off maths for life.
Is it worth finding out what he did in class that day and going through it with him in the evening?

julie said...

School seems to put so much pressure on our kids at such an early age - it's all the empasis on results and league tables! At 6 learning should be fun. I don't have any practical advice but Amy finds Cbeebies website and the BBC for schools websites fun to play on and seems to pick up stuff without noticing that she's learning. Try numbertime (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/numbertime) they often have an undercurrent of learning in the games but present it in a fun way - shame teachers can't do the same. Good luck to Mark, wearing that vest should help him feel able to conquer the maths beastie.

Gemma said...

I hated maths all through my school career and I put it down to a mean teacher who just shouted at me when I was younger.

On a happier note, I saw Bond on Saturday. I wasn't convinced either when I heard it was going to be Daniel Craig, I loved and adored Brosnan, however, I think I may possibly be won over. Think I might have to see it again to make sure though! ;)

angela said...

Aw, poor kid. That's rough. He is just still so young. All I can recommend is helping him at home in fun ways- counting/adding with manipulatives and in everyday life and then writing them down as a side note just so he can see the problems applied in real life and also see the way school will present them too. It may start to click with him. You never know though, it may just not be his thing. Schools never seem to really care about that though. I hated teaching this stuff to my students because so many of them struggle with it. Good luck! The dino is adorable.

tiel s-k said...

He'll be fine. So long as you build him with confidence and the attitude to do his best. Maybe you could make him another t-shirt with an image of 1 dino + 3 dinos = 4 dinos.

There must be lots of other outlets to try.

And thanks for getting my hooked on the compound word play site!!!!! I think I know the one your photos is in!