Monday, March 12, 2007

It's SO easy it's a piece of...

...brownies! Yes, that's what my third graders decided today. When I have to teach a really hard concept to them I try to convince them (Nate says I'm brainwashing, but whatever works!) any way I can that it's really not so bad. Today's lesson: teaching multi-digit multiplication. Whether or not third graders should actually be learning that is a subject for an entirely different entry. So as I was reviewing the steps for the gazillionth time I said, "See, it's a piece of cake." But, one of my brightest darlings piped up from the back of the room and said, "Mrs. Boyce, it's NOT a piece of cake, it's a piece of brownie. Brownies are WAY easier to make than cake and this is cinchy." (On a side note, I've taken to using the word 'cinchy' on occasion with my kids. Guess where I got that one accountant husband.) Anyway, before long our discussion turned from multiplying numbers to rating what we're learning on a dessert scale. Given my sweet-tooth tendencies and love for baking, we just kept talking.
Cookies were brought into the discussion, and although easy to eat, we came to the conclusion that they take the longest to make with the whole in the oven, out of the oven, new tray back in the oven routine. We kept it to three items, because throwing cupcakes and pies into the mix just made it too complicated. In the end, our math lesson ran way too long, but we covered what we needed to and had a pretty good time. Who doesn't love to talk about baking?
So, if you're ever trying to figure how just how difficult of a situation you're in, use the rating scale from room 9. From easiest to hardest: piece of brownie, cake and, the most difficult of all, cookies. Little do they know they're in for a monster of a cookie lesson in math on Thursday. Maybe I'll tell them it's a piece of cake instead.

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