Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Smart Kids - A Little Pinch (of learning) Will Do

We all know when a recipe calls for a "pinch" that, despite it being a small thing, it has a lot of import and impact. I was helping out in my son's classroom last week and his teacher pulled a real number. She made pancakes for breakfast with the kids. She put the pancake box directions on the overhead. And talked through the directions and then the helping parents cooked and served the pancakes.

The kids went nuts. I never knew kids could eat that many pancakes. I never knew I could eat that many pancakes. Well, guess what. Teacher and I are chatting and she tells me. "I am introducing paragraph structure this month. You know, beginning, middle and end. I'll link this back when we talk about it later." She smiled her mischievous little smile and said, "They are learning and they don't even know it." All I have to say to that is, BRILLIANT!

You know, it was more brilliance and forethought on her part than effort. It made me think about all the opportunities we have to teach our kids. "Open the door about half-way."(fractions) "Can you write the list for me?"(handwriting, spelling) "How much do you think this weighs?"(estimating, rounding) A pinch, a small change, a mindset of opening our kids up is all it takes.

For many years, it was the parent's job to educate their children. In recent years, schools have taken on more and more responsibility. But we parents can be incredible partners in our children's learning and development, just by knowing what a bit of forethought and effort can offer our children and make teachers jobs easier.

Take a look this week for all the little "pinches" of learning you can offer your child. Small changes in how we rely information to our kids can give them incredible tools and growth.

Have a great week and remember the power of your every contribution!


Oh, and Mrs. Robbins, thanks for all the amazing work you do with our children. I love that you still have that twinkle in your eye and believe in the power of teaching!

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