Thursday, October 22, 2009
Moonshine had a turn with the math gnomes recently, and she adores them.
While I was preparing to introduce the four processes, I went back to the same sources I used to prepare Sunburst's lesson so many years ago. But this time I was really appalled by what I read. In each one Plus is fat because he's greedy and Minus is kind of a numbskull. Somehow the force of this never bothered me before, but now, I'm presenting math to a melancholic/phlegmatic child who is neither greedy nor an idiot. And I certainly didn't want her to see those qualities in herself.
So this year I decided to do things differently. I decided to over-emphasize the POSITIVE traits of each temperament, er gnome. I wanted to let Moonshine know that although they each have different ways of working and being, they each have a heart of gold. --And she LOVES them! She immediately related to them and saw qualities of them inside herself.
Inspired by my friend Andrea's poems over at Littlest Birds, I also took Dorothy Harrer's poems and morphed them into my own, positive descriptions:
They hang on the wall near our workspace, and Moonshine loves to read them aloud. She also wrote two lines from each poem into her math book.
Gnome-li? The neighbor tells us that "Gnomli" is Swiss German for gnome. Kind of cute, huh? Don't forget to pronounce the G.