Pages

Amazon Homepage

Friday, January 27, 2012

Show Me The Proce$$

Despite the fact that I didn't go to college, I've given my boys no say in the matter - they are going to college. Should they challenge me when the time comes, their alternative will be to enlist with the Israeli Defense Force. I think the boys will make the right decision given that choice, don't you?

But the way schools are re-focusing their agenda, I'm hoping they'll be enthusiastic about pursuing higher education anyway. In my day, the cookie-cutter standards were based on memorization. It's why I loathed Social Studies - who cares about the Gold Rush or the bubonic plague? How come they never mentioned the Flintstones or Little House On The Prairie?

Algebra, on the other hand, piqued my interest to no end. The mysterious X factor. Trying to figure it out was all consuming. When I learned later on that algebra isn't so much math, as it is a creative problem solving process, it explained why I'm always getting ripped off at the cash register.

But that's where the school's are headed now. Critical thinking - show me the process. It's called the "Common Core," and if your kid is anywhere between Pre-K through sixth grade, you've been hearing about it. Unless you're in Alaska or Texas where I assume survival is critical thinking in itself.

According to a parent workshop I attended, by 2014 all state testing, in forty-some-odd states, will incorporate the new format.

In a nutshell, it's read, process and react.

This sounds easy, but believe me, I've worked with a few twenty-year old kids who had trouble multi-tasking.

Go tell the boss his client's here and bring back the stack of mail.

"Whaaaat? How'm I gonna do ALL that?!"

Critical thinking. We're starting to teach this in America now? My generation is so screwed when it's time to retire.

In the meantime, here's what I've learned that can be done to prepare your kids. Read. A lot. Interact and ask questions, kind of like Dora, only you don't have to blink as much - or stand deathly still until they answer. Help them articulate and formulate their answers because by the time they're in third grade, they're going to need to write a best selling essay.

I asked the literacy coach how much handwriting and spelling counted - she said, "Not as much as sentence structure."

Phew.

"But they have to clearly articulate their thoughts."

Oh. So, when Zuki writes stuff like, "I throwed him the the scinse," or "Can you buyed me u wach," we need to work on that.

15 comments:

  1. hahahaha! Nami, i just love you! I would like my two girls to be articulate too. Read. Process. React. Check! :) Spelling is not so much of a liability but please spell check his resume when the time comes, friend!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sure thing! And I'll remind him not to pick his nose, too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My husband is up in arms about spellcheck because the kids 'don't need to learn to spell!!!' And there's grammar check too. Then along comes Facebook and texting and kids are shortening everything. Oy. Our kids are doomed.

    And for the record, I LOVE algebra. There is a start, a middle and a very definite end. How pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd be lost without spell check or grammar - seriously, since I started writing, my spelling got worse. As for kids...I blame phonics. English is a bitch!

      Delete
  4. No. Kids need to learn how to spell and write a sentence. They just also need to learn critical thinking. They're capable of doing both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ya really think boys are capable of doing both? Cuz all the men I ever received a love letter from contained something about hot dogs.

      Delete
  5. I’ll never be a mathematician. Horrible doesn’t even begin to describe how much I completely suck, when it comes to numbers. Jesus, how I managed to survive the few math classes during my college years is an absolute miracle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When we moved on to geometry, I thought I'd love it more than algebra, but I HATED it. Anything that requires special paper is a rip off to me - so, in that sense, I hear ya!

      Delete
  6. There are several kids at the school where I work that can solve equations quicker than I can but can't count change .....odd...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That explains why the cashiers at Foodtown are always giving me the wrong change! Well, that and the fact that they'd rather talk to each other while working.

      Delete
  7. Those sentences rock. And, I think that it's pretty cool that he can do that. "Buyed" shows he understands past tense. The English language is so complex and we mess with the kids' heads. :) I like the idea of learning "process" thinking. Nami, I'm afraid you and I with our Asian backgrounds, are pre-disposed to rote memorization. haha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And our grandchildren will just have the academic memory surgically inserted by the Russians. Ha, ha!

      Delete
  8. Fellow algebra enthusiast/social studies hater here. I sucked at every other math (trig was the devil), but there was something about those little x's and y's that just clicked with me. And social studies just felt like date memorization to me, and there was war after war, and I'm a lover, not a fighter. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear that - although, I am a sucker for a man in a uniform. I swear it's The #1 reason I had Zuki join the Cub Scouts (my fingers are forming the L sign on my forehead).

      Delete

Share it