Sunday, October 4, 2015

New Math

Second grade has brought with it a shocking number of changes. First, my darling daughter decided to cut her hair. The decision has literally been years in the making, Every time she would inch a little closer to chopping her locks, some Disney cartoon would come out with a bunch of characters who had hair that cascaded down their backs and onto the floor. Not only were these images super realistic, they then planted these little tiny seeds of doubt with Morgan about whether she would still be as cute, funny, smart, or engaging with short hair. Despite my reassurances, it took Morgan two years to finally pull the trigger.

The change was immediate. She looks stunning, years older, and now carries herself like a young lady rather than a little girl. Except for when she's tired, or hungry, or if I've told her "no" too many times. Okay, fine. She acts the exact same way now as she did before her hair cut. Whatever. She looks cute.

A new look wasn't the only big change this school year brought. We have now officially entered the world of homework. Granted, we had homework packets in first grade, but I considered them more of a "suggestion" rather than a "requirement" - not sure the rest of the education world agreed, but it has clearly taken us a few years to gear up to this concept. The fact that David is a teacher played a large role in our lackluster approach to finishing homework. By the time he got home every day, he was done. Done being patient, done explaining every concept 47 different ways (because that's what good teachers do), and done telling 30 kids exactly when they could go to the bathroom.

We agreed that I would be the homework "liaison" this year. I like this term better than "enforcer" mostly because it's less likely to make Morgan wail at the kitchen table when I break the news to her that there is an entire set of problems on the back side of her paper. Part of Morgan's math homework also requires her to be able to talk about her solutions in different ways. This includes numerical representations, sentences, and even images. Images are by far Morgan's favorite approach, as it lets her turn her homework into its own art project.

Last week, I left Morgan at the table to finish her last problem. The problem was fairly simple: a visual representation of 7 +__= 17. She asked for colored pencils, which I gladly provided her. As is the practice in our house, Morgan let me know when she was finished, my cue to come check her work. As I quickly scanned the sheet. My eye was immediately drawn to the bottom of the page:

Yep, she drew a martini glass. Nine cups of sparkling water, rounded out with a glass of vodka and a couple of olives. If you look closely, you can see she even threw in a tooth pick. I could have been mortified, embarrassed that Morgan once again threw me under the proverbial bus. But I wasn't.  After all, she could have drawn a couple of cans of beer and a bunch of red Solo cups. At least she kept it classy. Now if you'll excuse me, we're going to go make some Bloody Marys for breakfast.

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