Minus 4?

January 9th, 2014 | Uncategorized

This week Shelby and I had the opportunity to get back into the schools we worked with before classes started last semester. We had 6 classes today, and did a lot of different games. Fan favorite is domes and dishes, or cups and saucers as the kids at St. Bridget’s like to call it. Over lunch, we could hear some of the junior infants practicing their numbers. I was reflecting on how second nature something as simple as numbers becomes to us as we age, and had never really appreciated that counting is a learned skill.


We also watched the 5th and 6th years have hurling class during the lunch block. The same, unruly kids who struggled with the simplest basketball skills were so, so good. It inspired both Shelby and I to do some skill work before the next time we try our hand at hurling.


During one of the later classes, we explained that if someone cheated, it would be -10 to their score, often the difference between winning and losing. For example, if two kids didn’t make it back to the bench as we counted down from 10, the team would lose 20 points from their score. One of the smart mouthed kids asked, “well what if we get 16 points”. I responded, “well then you would have minus 4”. All of the kids stared at us with a blank look, and said what does that mean? At that point, I realized these 10 year old kids hadn’t learned negative numbers yet in maths! (they add the ‘s’ here). And again, I was struck by something that I consider so basic was learned at some point in my education. This realization helps me appreciate the things I am learning now that are challenging—practice, practice, and more practice and it becomes second nature, both school and sports!


Back to the school tomorrow, and my first trip to Kubs post Christmas tonight!

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