Dec 5, 2013

Conversation Map: Ski-mask to Salmon-eating shark

Date: Dec 3, 2013, Tuesday
Time: 7:30 AM
Starting point: Ski-mask
Ending point: salmon-eating shark
As we are donning outerwear to leave for school this winter morning -
1. Oyon pulls on his hat and observes that it does'nt warm his cold face. He remembers a Spiderman ski mask he saw at the store recently that might. While he was there, he also saw a 'Pegasus' Bey Blade toy. He really wants the 'Pegasus'!

2. Wonders where the names of Bey Blades come from since another is named 'Sagitario' (not 'Sagittaraius' per O). Guesses they were inspired by constellations since he knows Pegasus is one.

3. I suggest Greek mythology is really the source for both the constellation and toy names.
But what are myths?
I say ancient cultures used them in lieu of books and videos to teach people things and record facts.
What are some other mythologies?
I tell him many cultures have them - Africa, China, Japan and of-course - India.

4. In fact, the 'Ramayana' is part of ours - to his delight since he 'lurves' the Ramyana.
What's USA mythology?

5.  I have to gently break it to him that the USA is not Ancient at all but really quite young as a culture. Native Americans have lived on this continent for many, many centuries though and have a rich mythology.
Oyon thinks about it and disagrees - the USA does have mythology! It's all the worlds mythology combined since Americans come from everywhere!!

6.  I concede the point and compliment his reasoning.
If myths are meant to teach people, then are there math stories? He loves the addition stories they have to make-up in class but apparently struggles with subtraction stories. He could do with some help.

7. I immediately quiz him with a few subtraction problems, thinking the problem is with his math skills.
He easily cracks them then reveals that his struggle is with the math stories not the math.

8. I quickly take off my teaching hat and query further: he's usually great at making up stories. What seems to be the problem?
The problem is that can only 'do' salmon and sharks.
He responds to my utterly bewildered expression by patiently explaining that he always ends up telling stories where a shark eats a certain number of salmon and another number is left over. He's bored of salmon and shark stories but whenever he tries other characters they end up adding together - not subtracting.

We are now parked in our car outside our neighbor's home, brainstorming other story topics for subtraction and trying to rewire his addition-crazy math brain. They have not yet done much subtraction in this first quarter of First grade. Our carpool folks arrive and our conversation comes to a natural end. 

Where did YOU travel today?

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