Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Everyone Else Strategy

Today we had a few minutes to spare after maths so I was going through some times table flash-cards with my kids. When we came to hard ones I got kids to explain the strategies they used to figure it out. I was really impressed with the strategies they explained  (like "if it's 12x3 I know 11x3=33 so I just add 3 more").

My favourite was the 'everyone else strategy' that one of my Year 4 boys explained..."If I don't know the answer I use the 'everyone else strategy'... I just wait till everyone else has answered the question then I just join in."  He soon gave us a demonstration when I flashed "4x7" at them. He sat with a deep look of concentration on his face, thumb and first finger on his chin and repeated "Using the everyone else strategy..." until the rest of the class chimed in with "28", he then quickly added his "28" on the end. My aide and I cracked! I couldn't keep a straight face, there ended the lesson! I love the original explanation of a tactic so many kids use! (I may just need to work on developing a few more strategies that don't involve cheating :) ).

How often do we, even as 'grown ups' use the "everybody else strategy" to gauge what we're meant to say and do? To make sure we've got the "correct answer"... hmm. This morning in our staff devotions we discussed how real fulfillment, energy and even rest comes when we are doing what God has called us & equipped us to do. If we spend too much time trying to fit in with what works for everyone else, we might miss our own calling, or spend our time being jealous of people who have what we think we should have, rather than using what we have to glorify God where we are. This has been on my mind for a while, but I love the reminder. (I'm also loving reading Deuteronomy, but that's another story)  My kids teach me so much!

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