Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It is Time



Chip is starting a Time/Measurement unit in Math. I remembered during second grade that he had been a little frustrated with telling time on a traditional clock. It is not his fault. As a family unit, we pretty much stink at all things math related. Not sure how telling time is in the math unit, but just the fact that it falls into that category means there might be trouble!

Not sure what gene we are missing, but it is fairly obvious that something in our DNA is skewed. Now Hubby can figure things out - not with traditional formulas and equations, but if you want to know when the train leaving Pittsburgh at 70 mph will pass the train leaving San Fran at 50 mph, he can get you there. I can't.

Now, Harry is trying to follow the way of his father and is doing much better at Geometry this year than he did at Algebra last year. I am thankful to my core for that.

In an effort to be proactive and help Chip conquer time and measurement I found a cute free little app for the iPad that lets you practice time on a clock. It shows the time and you spin the wheel to the correct time and hit "Check". It turns green if you get it right and red if you get it wrong. Educational fun and games - he won't even know he is learning!

Chip was so excited to try it. On the Easy setting he zipped right through. Those hands were positioned on the hour, half hour and maybe quarter hour. Too easy, let's change the setting to medium which was time at five minute increments (1:50, 2:10, 4:35, etc.)

DISASTER!!!

Chip got so frustrated when it kept turning red and telling him he was wrong. He was turning red. There were tears. I thought at one point the hand held electronic device was going to get thrown against a wall. I gently removed it from his hands and in what I thought was my best teacher voice I said "Honey, don't get frustrated. You aren't supposed to know these, you are learning. Let Mommy show you." I went through what I thought was a terrific explanation of how the big hand is always moving around to get the little hand to the next big number. It has to go all the way around before the four o'clock turns to a five o'clock.

Based on his reaction to my lesson I think what he heard was "You must be an idiot kid. Why can't you see how simple this is. Even if it looks like it is on the four - it is not. Just because it is close it doesn't mean it is there, you Moron."

Mind you, that is not at all what I said, but based on his reaction I wish I would have had a tape to go back and listen to the whole conversation.

We took a time out from the game, from each other, and from learning anything about stupid time.

After a few minutes Chip comes to find me and tells me he wants to try it again. I tell him I am happy to let him try again. As he starts going through the game I slowly begin to realize he did hear me and he did understand what I was saying. He got 8 out of 10 correct the first round.

Next, I sweeten the pot by offering a financial reward. I know that screams "bad parent" but I don't care. If you can get 10 out 10 right all by yourself I will give you a dollar. After that, every 10 out 10 you get right will earn you a quarter.

That kid worked on that time game for well over an hour. He got through five rounds perfectly earning himself $2.00!

I was thrilled and so proud that we got through that lesson without any further meltdowns. Not sure if I am even going to approach the measurement business. Might just leave that to good ol' Mr. Bradley. I don't have a clue what teachers get paid, but it is not enough.

Have a terrific day!

1 comment:

  1. I totally have that gene too. Even to this day if someone asks me what time it is I usually blurt out some totally retarded answer. I seriously need to consider only wearing digital watches.

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