Teaching is hard sometimes. I love the challenge most of the time, but sometimes when I am confronting that challenge, I feel like I am trying to climb a waterfall.
Yesterday we were working in math on multistep word problems in addition and subtraction.
The directions read something like this; In problems 7 - 10 you will use information from the Gopher Stadium that has a capacity of 47,866 people.
In my world, I know to frontload the vocabulary such as "information" and definitely "capacity" and maybe even "problems." But then I will set the students free to attack the word problems using their strategies, checking in periodically for support and guidance...
15 minutes later I make it to one of my students' desk. He is diligently working but clearly confused. "What's up?" Said I.
"I can't figure this problem out!" Said he.
"Ok, what's holding you up?" Said I.
"Well, I can't figure out how to do 7 minus 10." He said with frustration. "I can't figure out where to regroup from!"
It came from the part that said, 'in problems 7 - 10...' I know it sounds like a script straight from a cheesy teacher joke book, but it wasn't. It's straight from my attempt to teach these kids how to do math and to love math.
Poor kid had done a lot of scratch work, too.