Imagine that you are writing a book called “Life Story So Far.” This book is divided into chapters, and each chapter covers the same number of years.
“The day doesn’t really start with the discussion, does it?” I ask Ms. K. “Everyone starts their own day before the little bell rings.”
“I wish there was a way for me to just sit and watch what is going on,” Ms. K told me. “It is so important to see it all. You have to learn everything you can about each one of them.”
During the time I was visiting Room 103, two books offered valuable insights that helped me interpret what I was observing:
At the beginning of the school year, the most pressing problem the students face is how to navigate their classroom.
“I teach to the top. I think it is very frustrating for them when you start in the middle and keep raising the bar.”
Each day, for the first hour of the day, for the first two months of the school year, I parked myself in a corner of this elementary school classroom and took notes.
Once upon a time there was a little old lady who lived in a little old house in a little old wood, not too far from a field…
This is a famous story in math circles, said to have been invented in the 19th century by David Hilbert.
Writing can help you learn new things faster and better. This has more to do with how your mind works than how writing works.
If you get to 2 + 2 in your thinking, you might also get to ideas like counting, long division, prime numbers, and Sudoku puzzles.
The British mathematician and logician Alan Turing formulated an idea which has come to be known as the Turing Test: If, in every “conversation,” the machine responds in the same way as a human would, we can say that the machine thinks.
Throughout my career as an educator I have worked alongside students, teachers, scientists, artists, and engineers. Critical At Any Age is my unfolding effort to share what I have enjoyed learning in these collaborations.