Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Attitude differences...

One day, I told my husband that the 6yo was given an Open-Book Spelling Test. She had the teacher's guide with all the words before her. She got most of the spelling words WRONG, LOL. His response was something like this -

We're talking about Z. She'll finish anything, but doesn't care if it's right. Whereas A. wants all the answers to be perfect but doesn't care to finish.

And that is sooo true!! I really think Attitude has a lot to do with Learning Styles. In fact, I think it may have more of an impact - at least for my kids, it does. It really affects how I need to teach them.

The 8yo's math was a good example. She already knows how to subtract with simple renaming (regrouping, borrowing, whatever). But now she is learning what to do when you try to rename from the tens, but the tens group is too small (a number like 706 on top, and 459 on the bottom). She has to rename twice in the tens group (it becomes a 10, and then it becomes a 9). As soon as she saw this on her page, it was instant terror, instant "I can't do this", instant "I can't learn this!" I knew she could do it: she learns math concepts very quickly, and she is really good with place value. She is slow to calculate, but she is quick with concepts. But she refused to even listen to an explanation. Well...it took a lot of pep-talking, and a few breaks (we took a snack break and a walk to the mailbox break). We used blocks, we worked step-by-step. As suspected, she did pick it up instantly, as soon as I could get her to stop fussing and pay attention. She still doesn't think she understands it, but every step was done correctly, every answer right. We ended up splitting the lesson in half and will do the other half today.

During the initial freak-out yesterday, the 6yo grabs her sister's math work and says "can I do it instead?" LOL. I'm sure if I'd agreed, she wouldv'e had every problem answered, but with a hodge-podge of different numbers thrown together for looks. And I'm sure she would've been quite proud of herself for doing 3rd gr math, even if the answers were wrong;)

1 comment:

Lisa said...

That is an interesting distinction between attitude and learning styles!