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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Um, that wasn't the question...

There's a local radio station here in Dallas called The Ticket that had a really funny interaction a few years ago, and they still play the clip every once in a while. One of the radio guys was interviewing the chief of police, and he asked him, "So do you like your gig?"

The police chief replied, "Yes, I love my job!"

The radio guy immediately cut him off from replying further, saying, "That wasn't the question. Do you like your JOB?"

I had an interaction in class today that made me wonder if I wasn't aware myself of the questions I was asking.

Pretty sure I was asking the right questions, but the kids weren't answering the questions I was asking. Like grand master chess wizards, they were already thinking 5 moves ahead, and answering 5 questions down the road.

I'm giving them LOTS of credit here...

We have a routine called Daily Depositor. We have a running total of the days of school so far. So on day 1, the total was 1. On day 2, the total was 2+1, or 3. On day 3, the total was 3+3, or 6. And so on. Each day, we add the current school day to the existing total to get a new total. While doing this, we've been using the words Sum and Total.

Today, our existing total was 300, and it was the 25th day of school. I made the comment that whenever I saw the number 25, it made me think of something else, something that I carry around in my pocket, see almost every day, and sometimes use in the store. I asked, "Does this number make YOU think of anything like that?"

I called on the first kid with hand raised. "Sum?" she ventured.

"Um, is a SUM a thing you carry in your pocket? What does this specific number, 25, make you think of?" I asked.

I called on another kid. "Total?"

"No." Pretty much my response.

I don't want to leave anybody in suspense, so I'll reveal right now what answer I was actually looking for:

The password is... QUARTER.

Some kids FINALLY narrowed it down to money that I was looking for. But the scope remained wide.

"Twenty-five monies?"

"Twenty-five dollars?"

And then the one that I almost cracked up on... I called on one kid, who stood up and formally responded, "Twenty-five dollars, put on a credit card."

Somebody FINALLY guessed quarter, after what seemed like an eternity. Then we were able to check the addition problem and move on to the question that had been prematurely answered twice -- "And what do we have now that we have added?"



Semky said...

I like the term "monies". I plan to use it the next time I ask for the price of something. "How many monies is that?" I'll be wearing my "Learn Me Good" baseball cap at the time.

Mister Teacher said...

Please report back what happens! :)