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Tuesday, March 23, 2010


After our unexpected trip to see the moose, we came back to an abridged math class. Since we only had about 20 minutes left, we did a group exercise on place value. K-2 got a group of cards with number ranging from ones to thousands, while 3-4 got a group from thousands to hundred thousands, and 5-7 got anything from thousands to billions. They were instructed to put them in order from least to greatest. I tried to make it a little challenging with numbers looking very similar or being just one off from each other. To have all 13 students from 6 year olds to 12 year olds working simultaneously on a project is a particular joy of the one room schoolhouse. The hum of the kids talking to each other, and the 'arguments' that ensue whilst working is fun to observe. I've often wondered why we're grouped by age from the time we're very young. Is that truly preparing us for the 'real world' out there? It seems so narrow, and arbitrary an arrangement. And one that would create hindrances later in life to have a variety of friendships, or more openness to encounters. To watch us walking back from gym, I remarked the other day to a parent how wonderful it is to see that they group themselves differently every single time. Sure, kids have their certain friends, but I'm just as likely to see one of the seventh grade boys talking animatedly with the kindergarten girl as I am the fourth graders all walking together. I do think it's much easier as a teacher to only teach one grade/level, but I get a real sense of community in our little school, and in the long run, I think they benefit greatly by working and playing with everyone instead of just kids that happened to be born the same time as themselves.

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