Sunday, May 30, 2010

Green Light

On our Sunday morning walk to church, the boys like to play "Green Light, Red Light."  They'll take off running and when they approach a driveway or just get too far out front, we'll yell, "Red Light!" and they stop.  We've incorporated blinkers and windshield wipers, but I digress. 

Jabin, our two-year-old, wants to be a big boy and run with his brothers.  He hears "Green Light" and takes off.  He hears, "Red Light" and keeps going. 

I'm thinking to myself, "What's wrong with this kid?" so I yell, "Stop!" and he stops. 

My wife was a kindergarten teacher before we started having children and she informed me that Jabin understands the "Light!" command but doesn't distinguish the colors. 

Light means run.  Stop means stop. 

It's that simple.

How often do I think my students can understand the nuance of something I see as being so simple?

I see 2x and think two times x and they may see 2x and think twenty-something

Man, what I say and what they hear may be worlds apart. 

3 comments:

Miss Cal.Q.L8 said...

I never thought about 2x looking like twenty-something. How can we notice those kind of nuances more often?

David Cox said...

I think asking that question is key. Trying to identify misconceptions and their root is tough, but gets easier with experience.

Malyn said...

I used to play that game with my kids when they were younger, too.

I've used it in the classroom too early in my practice because when I get excited I tend to speak really quickly. Students can literally flag me to slow down (yellow) or stop (red) altogether.

Soon, my eldest daughter will learn to drive and I have to remind her of the importance of these lights.

My point is, it is not just the misconceptions we have to watch out for. But also the hidden meanings, and the other meanings of what we say....or don't say for that matter.

1 more thing, there are things we have to insist kids learn. Red light for stop is one of them. One day, your 2-year old will be old enough to learn that. Watching for cues when students are receptive to learn is just as tricky as watching out for misconceptions and meaning.

thanks for the short, sweet and reflective post.