Tuesday, October 23, 2012

That's Not Two-Thirds! or Why a Classroom Teacher Is a Nice Buffer

Fran can be Mr. Literal sometimes. Perhaps that's why he loves-loves-loves math. Yesterday, I was asking him about his progress with his book in Reading Workshop. I do a bit of "reminding" for him to finish books, stay on task, apply himself, etc. Mr. RWH just stays out of this.

Here's what went down (including stage directions):

M: Hey, Fran. How's it going with Zoobreak?

F: Good. Now instead of rescuing one monkey, they are going to rescue other animals, too.

M: Hmmm.... So what do you think of the book so far?

F: I really like it. I want to go hear Gordon Korman at the library. (Looks at M.) I don't think it matters that I'm reading them out of order.

M: (Aside to the audience, stage whisper.)  Well, I hope it doesn't matter. I've only read the 1st one...Do you need to know that his friend has narcolepsy, like they tell you at the end of Book One? Why wouldn't you take my suggestion? I always read the first book in a series first. Why would you NOT do that?  Aaaaagh!

M: Sometimes it can help to read the first book in a series before you read the others- to introduce you to the characters. I'm glad that it doesn't seem to be causing you a problem to read them out of order. So are you almost finished?  How much more is there to go?

F: (Holds up a pinch of fingers.) About this much.

M: So you're almost done.

F: Well, there are 33 chapters and I am on chapter 20.

M: Ok- so you're two-thirds of the way through.

F: (Rolls eyes.) I said 33 chapters. Thirty-three. It's not two-thirds. Twenty-two is two-thirds.

M: Yeah. You're close to two-thirds.

F: Two-thirds of 33 is 22.

M: I realize that.  Hey- let me know what you think about the book when you're finished.

F: OK...Hey, I'm going to go play hockey in the basement.* (Exits, stage left. Footsteps on stairs, hockey puck noises commence.)

I still can't believe he's reading them out of order.

*Many of our conversations end this way.

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