Last week at school we worked on telling time. I wrote about the two hardest concepts for first graders: time and money.
Today one group had money worksheets. This is so hard for children today. When I grew up I could walk down to the store, get a Brown Cow (Eskimo Pie in some parts of the land), give them a nickle, and walk home. I was doing that as young as 4 or 5. I also was given money to go buy bread or something else needed. I had an allowance for doing chores. I would take my money, walk to the Dime Store, and buy a comic book. I handled money regularly at a young age. Children today don't. They know about credit cards. They rarely hand money to a clerk and pay for something. They can't walk to the store at 4 or 5 years old. There are no sidewalks, there are perverts lurking, CPS would arrest their parents.
Money is hard for little ones to learn with no hands on experience. A nickle is big, it must be worth more that a dime. Pennies are bigger than a dime and a fancier color, therefore pennies have to be worth more than a dime. And that is how my morning went. They were working with real money. We counted the money, they filled in graphs, they added up the amounts, and they wrote sentences about the graphs. Some of the group understood the concept, some had to have a lot of hand holding.
We also had a standardized test on math skills today. This is when Ms. H and I walk miles. During the test you walk and look at every child, over and over, and over. Are they looking at their neighbor's booklet, are they on the right page, on the right problem? Are they bubbling in or circling. Oh crap, they are circling. The answers won't count. Go back and have them bubble in. When you finish the test, the kids are shot for the rest of the morning. Ms. H did a couple of movement songs with them.
Then I read them a story, Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr, Seuss. When you click on the link, on the left by the cover of the book is another link to the inside of the book. There are only a few pages but you get the feel of the book. This book won awards in 1950. And it is still holding children spellbound today. You can't beat the classics.