Today was my morning to volunteer at Kaiser with the first graders. The work stations were math, the vowel i, creative writing.
The worksheet for vowel i had a list of words to sort into long and short sounds. Some of the words: rid ride fine fin shine shin. They had to read the words to an adult, sort them by long or short sound , and write 4 sentences using 4 words. Harder then it sounds if you are 6 years old.
Now to the math. One group was working with clocks. They had to draw the long hand to show half past, look at a clock and tell half past what.
Then the other math sheet, addition. They were given a group of numbers such as 0 1 2 4 6 8. Then they had boxes to make a problem. I can’t draw a box so I will just use an underline. ____+ ____= ____ or ____ + _____ = ____ ____
The problem was they would write 2 + 1 = 3 That is a correct math fact, but there is no 3 to use. With the double box they didn’t get that the answer had to be a double digit number. Or if they did, they would reverse the number 6 + 8 = 4 1
The hardest helping I did today . . . money. We have play money that looks just like coins. I worked with two little boys on pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. They could not remember the names of the coins or their worth. I would ask for a dime, no idea. I would have them name each coin and then its worth. The next problem, no idea. One boy began to get it. The other boy, nothing was going in. Over and over he called a penny a quarter , a dime a nickel, or sometimes he couldn’t come up with any name.
Interestingly he could make the correct money amounts if I helped with the worth of the coin. I asked for 11 cents using two types of coins. He used a dime and 1 penny and then used 6 pennies and 1 nickel. He could make 37 cents with no problem IF I told him what the coins were. I don’t know who was more frustrated, him or me.
One relaxing thing I did was read a story to the children, And Tango makes Three. One little boy asked me how to tell boy penguins from girl penguins. I was thankful that I don’t know that answer. No way do I want to explain that to first graders. The beauty of telling a child I don’t know, is they accept that. Never try to bluff a child. They will pin you to the wall.
Our ducklings were not at school today. Over the weekend, they had to go home with someone in order to be fed. They were with the man who had brought the fertile eggs. He will bring them back soon.