By Debora Weeks. 4th Grade Math. Published at Thursday, November 12th, 2020 - 12:16:10 PM.
The day proceeded normally. It was a rainy day, with an indoor recess, and an educational assistant came to my room to monitor the class while I took my 15-minute break. When I came back at the end of my break, the educational assistant was nowhere to be seen. The boys were all clustered near my desk, sitting on the floor, actively engaged with something. I quickly realized they had torn open the bag from the toy store, opened each of the puzzles, and had the pieces scattered all over the floor. I was upset... at the assistant who was supposed to be monitoring my class, and at the students, for getting into my personal items and opening puzzles intended for my as-yet-unborn child. I sternly demanded that the boys put the puzzles back together! And then I watched in utter amazement, as I realized that not one of these 4th grade boys was able to put the pieces of a simple inset puzzle back in place!
4th Grade Science Fair Projects Science fair projects need to be tickle the imagination of the student. The project can be relatively simple but the concept needs to challenge the intellect. If parents are doing a search on the web, they need to know that they will probably end up completely annoyed. Many sites will give part of an experiment and make you pay for the rest. Or, some sites will make you subscribe, paid of course, to the site to see the selection of experiments. Many of the sites will simply direct you to unrelated websites. For these reasons, we really encourage both students and parents to invest in a couple of excellent books on science fair projects. These projects can be used not just this year, but for all future schooling years. This will stop the hurried search at the last minute for science projects on the web. We will say it again - Dont keep searching for science projects on the internet. Buy some good books or e books on the subject so you have the necessary ideas and materials ahead of time.
Students may have ideas about their future vocation. They may want to be an astronaut or super-star in sports. As they become a bit more realistic, the choices they have will depend heavily on their education. In considering future employment, its common to overlook the importance of math competency. Almost every good job requires adequate math skills. Some demand advanced math competence. These include any branch of medicine, most managerial positions, engineers, lab technicians, pilots, construction workers, graphic designers, surveyors, accountants, bookkeepers, teachers, many retail jobs, most government jobs, and the list goes on and on. Parents and young students may not realize the importance of early mastery of math fundamentals. Mathematics is a subject that builds on prior knowledge. Once you fall behind, math becomes drudgery and requires more time to complete homework assignments. It is wrong to assume that since electronic calculators can do math computations quickly, memorization of basic facts doesnt really matter anymore. Without basic fact fluency, frustration levels will only increase.
A few minutes later I sent her an email and apologized. She responded to my email a few days later with a simple Apology Accepted, an emoji thumbs up, and a wish for a blessed and happy Thanksgiving. Just like that I had apologized, and she accepted. It was over. Something I have worried about on and off for almost 40 years was over. Im not sure what I was afraid of or what I expected to feel, its not like she would have actually called me, its not like Id bump into at the grocery store, we lived almost 1,000 miles from each other, but I was still afraid. I guess I expected to make my amends and feel great, like a huge load was lifted off my shoulders, but I didnt. I expected to see unicorns outside my window sliding down a rainbow giving me a high five, but I didnt see that either. I just thought to myself, OK check that off the list.
Whatever the case may be, Im sad in a way that Ive checked that one off my list. Not because I didnt want to fix things with Elizabeth, but because I feel slightly older and like Im at the end of a magnificent book with only a few chapters left. I know that is not really true and that fifty is the new thirty, whatever that means. But maybe what it means is its time to make a new list, a more fun list. Maybe there are two life lists. The first part of your life and the first list you are cleaning up old issues and the second part of your life and second list are meant to have unencumbered fun. That thought makes me smile.
Heres what I observe. They effortlessly pass the "leadership" opportunities to each other and build on each others ideas in ways that we seem to forget as we grow up and become leaders or members of teams. They actually listen as they add new thoughts. Do they occasionally go off topic and on to personal tangents? Of course. But they get back on track and give helpful ideas to each other. Theres innocence, curiosity, simplicity, honesty and a pure desire to help each other. It is a powerful reminder of how complicated we tend to make things as we grow up, both in our personal lives and as leaders. Does everything really need to be as hard and complex as we make it?
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