Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's hip to be a modified rectangle.

Today is Wednesday, which means I spent the morning volunteering at my son's school.

When I first started volunteering with the enrichment program, I was assisting the Spanish teacher.

She wasn't able to volunteer any more after Christmas so we decided to switch from Spanish to music. And I think this was a good move since I don't speak Spanish and the kids were over it.

They weren't able to find a music teacher for me to assist. Instead they found another mom who like me said she would assist but didn't want to take the lead.

So you've got two assistants with no one to assist which means we've been doing a lot of limbo and a lot of freeze dance. (Don't judge. I know the limbo and freeze dance aren't what you normally think of as music class but we do have music playing in the background.)

Today when we walked into the first class the kids immediately asked where the limbo stick was and they all groaned when I told them we were going to sing a song about shapes.

Each kid was given either a circle, a square, a triangle or a rectangle. We reviewed the shapes with them and then began the song.

The man singing the song instructs the kids with the circles to stand up or tells the kids with the rectangles to stand up and so on and then he tells certain shapes to sit down and then at the end of the song, he instructs the kids to switch shapes with a neighbor and then we do it all over again.

After doing this three times, the kids were completely over it and we played Simon Says. (And yes, I know. Simon Says isn't even remotely music. It's basically just a filler until time to move on to the next class.)

I believe these kindergartners love Simon Says almost as much as they love to limbo. I will probably be muttering, "Simon says hop on one foot" in my sleep tonight.

We worked our way through three classes and finally made it to the fourth and final class.

We handed out the shapes to all the kids and then started reviewing the shapes.

"What's this shape?" I asked as I held up the circle.

"Circle," they all said in unison.

"What's this shape?" I asked as I held up the triangle.

"Triangle," they all said in unison.

"What's this shape?" I asked as I held up the rectangle.

"Rectangle," they all said in unison.

"What's this shape?" I asked as I held up the square.

There was a pause and then several kids said, "Modified rectangle."

MODIFIED RECTANGLE?!

I started to laugh thinking they were just being smart alecs and asked, "Modified rectangle?"

Their teacher happened to be passing through and said, "Yes. They (not sure who they is) want us to teach them that a square is a modified rectangle."

"Why?" I thought perhaps she was trying to be funny but then I realized she was serious.

"It will help them when they learn geometry because in geometry they refer to squares as modified rectangles."

"Geometry? When will they learn geometry?" I quizzed the teacher thinking perhaps they were going to learn geometry next year.

"In the tenth grade" she replied shaking her head.

The tenth grade?

I'm all for teaching kindergartners things they need to know to prepare them to succeed in the future, but kids grow up so fast these days. Can't we just let them call a square a square a little while longer?

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12 comments:

Denise said...

wow, lol

Heather said...

You learn something new everyday. And as for music class, just an idea, do American Idol and call it "Kindergarten Idol". You and assistant #2 could be the judges. I can see it now:o)

He And Me + 3 said...

seriously, that is too funny. Oh my word. I love it!

Pam said...

Amen, and amen. People wonder why I don't think much of public school. (No offense.)

Andrea said...

Can't a kid just be a kid?

I have "singing time" with the 3,4 and 5 yr olds at church on Wednesday nights. Believe me when I say I can completely understand what you mean by being "over it", they are "over it" before they walk in the room! Kids are just not interested in singing, all they want to do is "game time"!!

Kimberly said...

Ok...don't hate the public school teacher, but I teach 5th grade at a school in your town. We do teach Geometry in 5th grade...in fact that's the unit I'm teaching right now. If you'll humor me for a moment, here's a brief Geometry lesson. We DO NOT call a square a "modified rectangle". The only difference between the two is that a square MUST have 4 congruent sides. All the other characteristics are exactly the same.

**thank you...class is dismissed**

Was the "modified" group a Kindergarten class?? If that teacher thinks it only happens in 10th grade, she is WRONG!!

Annikke said...

That is kinda funny, you gotta admit. High School prep in Kindergarten!

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daisigirl said...

Wow, that's weird! Now I'm going to have to ask my son what he calls a square.

Megan said...

ha! i think they should just teach them that it's BOTH.

Megan

~~Devita~~ said...

That's funny and creative!

Daisy said...

How funny! In the realms of geometry, all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. All rectangles are quadrilaterals, but not all quadrilaterals are rectangles.
By the way, I'm a 4th grade teacher and former music teacher. Look for Greg and Steve recordings or Tom Pease for some really fun tunes kinderkids can enjoy.