Day 106 (of 184) To teach or not to teach (clocks & money)
Big question asked by my oldest daughter when we snuck out for an early morning breakfast treat before she went off to a math competition: how does (your) school teach money when there aren’t pennies anymore?
She went on to say how she loves rounding and it’s easy for her. Of course she’s 14 (almost) and rounding should be a task she can accomplish with little challenge. But her question echoed a discussion at the staff lunch table earlier this week since the ‘new draft curriculum’ https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca is ‘bringing money back to the classroom’ instead of identifying it as a ‘resource that may be used’. Which is great….except…..well, so much of our financial transactions are now ‘cashless’… is bringing back a model of an antiquated ‘penny’ going to help make money-discussions relevant and meaningful?
Which brings up two debates/discussions I recall staring a decade ago: the first involved my crushing cursive script. I had a few parents not happy with my ‘de-emphasis’ of formal writing. My challenge to them was to keep track of every sample of cursive script they saw over the next week….. needless to say, one of my points was made.
The second involved clocks – specifically analog vs digital. I like analog clocks, but I am aware of how tricky they are to first acquire the understanding/translation of. Heck, I remember at times ‘scrambling (cheating)’ looking for a digital clock (for a long while having one on my wrist) to confirm what I thought the correct time was – fortunately thanks to the patience of my mom & dad, I have spent more years using my analog watch than my digitals. But the question continued: more important to know what the time IS, or to use multiple platforms to acquire the needed information?
I do enjoy these conversations because they do redirect us to some key questions: what are we teaching, and why are we teaching it. And this leads us to my favourite focusing word: intention. What is the intention of a lesson/class/teacher each day; each activity. How+What+Why – always in my mind when I think about my own intention for my learning community each day. But pennies……..hmmmm