What a Difference a Year Makes

I love both of the classes I teach on Friday, but they are as different as night and day.  The first group knows how to read – a couple of them quite well, a couple less so.  The second group hasn’t got there yet.  The first group is generally well behaved,  The second group is not.  The first group has only four children and the second group has six.  You might think that’ snot a big difference, but for kids their age, each one  added to the group doubles the mob, and lowers the collective IQ of the group significantly.  Of course, group 1 is an average of a year  or two older than group 2.

Group 1 was quite interesting today.  We were playing Pexeso (I believe the Brits call it Memory.  In the U.S. it’s Concentration, after the TV show, naturally.  There are a couple of reasons I like this game.  For one, kids are just as good as it as adults.  It does not measure knowledge, it measures short term memory and how much you’re paying attention.  I don’t have to let them win, and I don’t, but they usually do anyway.  Second, I like it because the kids like it, so it makes for a nice, easy lesson.
Today, after I’d yelled at them a few times, saying “No Cheating!” they adopted that as a catch phrase, and that doesn’t happen with any lesson.  They just kept yelling ‘No Cheating!’ at each other and laughing hysterically.  That’s wonderful.  You can’t get a reaction like that if you plan for it.  So, I played a couple more games where I knew they would cheat, and just kept reinforcing it.

The second group was trouble right off the bat.  They didn’t want to sit down, they didn’t want to shut up.  Little Jirka, who shocked me a couple of weeks when he dropped trou to show me the scars from his surgery, is now giving me evidence with every session that that was not such an innocent aberration.  In the ‘find the  color’ game, when I say they have to find dowmthing in the room or a particular color, off they run.  So, I shouted out blue and he pulled down his pants and shouted “My underwear!”  That’s the kind of class that was.


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