Good Things Thursday II: A five year old is smarter than me!

Cuatro.4: Yesterday morning I had a meeting so I wasn’t able to go to my class as usual, which is not the Good Thing. It did mean, however, that the first time I went to my class was yesterday afternoon, not long after the kids woke up from their nap. If you’ve ever known any four to five year olds, then you also know that after an unexpectedly long absence, they are ecstatic to see you.

The result? I was nearly trampled over by children whose heads barely reach my waist.

“Teacher Donna! Teacher Donna!” I felt like Caesar.

“Teacher, I’m sad!” <cute little cry face> This has become their favorite joke with me since I taught them simple feeling words. They say they’re sad, mime tears… and grin the whole time.

“Teacher, X is sad!” And then they like to get me to comfort anyone who actually is sad. (In case you didn’t notice, names have been changed to protect the wee little innocent ones.)

“Teacher, high five!” “Teacher, high ten!” “Teacher, high one!” I’ve already discussed how awesome high fives are, but after awhile they become slightly less entertaining, for both me and the kids. So of course I upgraded them to high tens, and then at some point I needed to be quiet and thus introduced high one. But read on to Dos to discover how one of my students used high fingers to prove she’s smarter than I am.

Cinco.5: Over the course of the school year, I’ve taught my students more about numbers than hand slaps. The hand slaps are possibly the most useful because they’re fun, but my students can also count 0-30 in English, and recognize and write 1-10. But we haven’t really gotten into any mad number skills beyond that–we’re just starting to introduce basic addition.

(Keep in mind that my students started primarily at age 4, not at 5 like in the US, and they have at least two years in kindergarten. I’m not sure, but I think we’re actually pretty close to where you’d find a corresponding pre-K class in the US.)

I kept them counting and kept them switching around between high fives, tens, and ones. So when one of my five year old students (one of my spongier students; she soaks up all knowledge) came up to me and held up two fingers, one on each hand, I was puzzled to say the least.

“High two,” she prompted me.

“High two,” I agreed, acting for all the world like I knew what was going on.

She added a finger to each hand and did a quick count. “High four,” she announced. I nodded.

“High fi–” Hmm. We both looked and counted together: “One, two, three, four, five–high six!”

We grinned and counted again. “One-two-three-four-five-six-seven–high eight; high ten!”

My five year old student taught herself to count by twos using the High Five Method. I could go into a long thing about the importance of play or how self-directed learning rocks… But instead, I’m just going to say that she also taught this to the rest of the class, so yesterday when my students were so glad I’d returned from My Harrowing Absence of One Morning, I was also greeted with, “High two! High four! High six! High eight! High ten!”

Seis.6: Now, I love it when my students prove that some of my educational philosophies are right on track, but… C’mon, I got pwned by five year old. It had never even occurred to me to start counting by twos in the high five game. So when Lifehacker turned me on to Lumosity, it couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m totally addicted to the brain-training games (plus I’ve discovered that I can actually feel my brain during these exercises–they do, in fact, feel like exercise!), and I can rest assured that the next time a five year old shows me what’s what, I will at least be able to catch on more quickly.

Siete.7: I made a second Good Things post on time and everything! You may also have noticed that while I’m changing the language that I’m counting in, I’m adding all my Good Things cumulatively. This means that by the end of 2011, I’ll have a count of hopefully at least a few hundred Good Things that happened this year. I’d keep talking about it, but that’s so uplifty I just vomited a little in my mouth. Time to rinse out that saccharine sweet taste with a good wholesome shot of whiskey. Hasta!

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Filed under Education, It's My Party, Not So Serious, Thailand

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