Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lesson Learned!


Today I was in my daughter’s first grade class.  I help out once a week for a few hours usually doing math enrichment.  Today I was tasked with pre-testing for the next Reading Unit.  It sounds more complicated than it really is.  Take a list of forty new words and have each kid read them, kind of like a formulating a baseline for the next three weeks of lessons.

The words ranged from simple sight words like car or school to more phonetically complicated ones like enough and disappear.   Each kid’s eyes lit up when they got one right – a complicated one that they had to sound out.  And that got me thinking, in a jealous sort of way, how lucky they were.  The feeling of learning something new, something as simple as figuring out that the letters f-r-i-e-n-d actually spell out a word is amazing.

I want that feeling back, that awe that comes with learning something completely and simplistically new.

Now don’t get me wrong, I learn something new every day. For example, just this morning I learned that if you put the left over gas from the lawnmower into your car it won’t start.  And this past weekend I learned mustard DOES, in fact, have an expiration date.  But that isn't the kind of learning I am striving for.  I want that doe-eyed, how-cool-am-I-for-knowing-that feeling that those 21 first graders had today!

Perhaps I should invest in a paper dictionary and start reading it like a novel!  So tell me, what the last thing you learned?

9 comments:

  1. I've been learning a lot about scifi stuff lately which led me sign up for some free learning thru Coursera. I'll be taking a class called Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life at the end of the month and another one called Know Thyself in March. I'm psyched!

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    1. Astrobiology? Even the name sounds cool. I am psyched for you!

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  2. My first grader came home and taught me all about Alaska. There is a lot I didn't know about the snow covered state, it's dog sled races, and native peoples. I felt a bit smarter after.

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    1. I love it when my kids get excited about a particular place they are studying. My youngest has a recent fascination with Australia. Not sure why, but I love listening to her try and imitate the accent.

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  3. Kids have so few real-life problems. They're at a time when everything is possible, optimism is king, and the only limits are the limits of their imagination. Let them relish it while it lasts. In only 5-6 years, things will start changing as they learn about disappointment.

    As for what I've learned ... uh ... does learning about medical stuff while watching "House" count?

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    1. Considering all the rare illnesses on that show, yeah I'd say it counts.

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  4. Aww! I bet it is so cute and satisfying to teach new words and such to young children.

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    1. It is probably the highlight of my week. They are so excited and full of creative energy. The littlest things make them smile!

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