A reflection for A Slice of Life Story Challenge: Day 3.
There are a lot of talk about numeracy in the classroom for the past few years now. Do we get away from the worksheets? Do we get away from asking our students to memorize the multiplication facts? How effective is the Mad Minute practice?
I am a product of these old school of learning and mastering math. Probably, most of us are. If I think about it now, there’s not much access to technology during those times. Maybe, that’s why. Most lessons depended on textbooks and workbooks. Not even worksheets.
Slowly, I am veering towards that direction of number talk, asking students the proper questions that would lead to deeper thinking and understanding, providing more real life word problems in order for them to make connections, focusing on the process rather than getting the correct answer. Instead of giving the students worksheets that would give the same answers to all 20+ of them, games are doing the trick to master the basics.
Not knowing that they are trying to master some facts, they are into it. As I see it happening more, what really is clicking to me beyond numbers during these types of activities is human interaction. This is like hitting two birds with one stone.
With technology within their reach, they can do things without face-to-face interaction with their peers but with these exercises, one requirement is to be there physically. Through board games, dice, playing cards, dominoes, to name a few, they are also learning how to play fair, accept defeat but value the fun, cooperate, be honest and inclusive, and resolve problems on their own. They are learning how to interact with humans who have emotions that can get hurt, who know how to appreciate and who are capable to care for each other.
All the academics that we are trying to teach, at the end of them all, we would like these young citizens to grow as responsible and caring people of our society. That they do not just sympathize but empathize.
Any new skill that requires the mind can be learned at any point in time. What the heart requires should start while its young.