The "Aha" Series: Quotation Marks and Numbers That Continue in CH4

This week, we asked our teachers, Dee Slavin and Jaki Cameron in the Children’s House Four class, to share some of their favorite stories that illustrate those moments of joyful discovery when an idea really clicks for a student and the “aha!” epiphany brings new life to learning.


Dee’s Quotation Marks Story

During the afternoon, the Kindergarten students in CH4 have been doing a great deal of independent reading. I had asked one child to get out a new book and read it to me. She was so excited to read the next book in the Mac and Tab series. After reading the first few pages, we came to a pause when she noticed ‘marks’ next to some of the text. I explained to her that those were quotation marks and in this case it meant that someone was talking. She looked up at me, smiled and continued to read. As we got to the next page, more quotations appeared, and she said, “Oh, I see, the vet is talking.” You could see how pleased she was with her reading and how she was making progress with every page. And now she’s on to the next Mac and Tab!

Jaki’s Numbers Story

I have been teaching for the past seven years, but one moment stood out to me this year here at Inly. Working with numbers can sometimes be a challenge for children and figuring out what is involved in paring numbers together to make more than 10.

One boy in particular seemed extremely intrigued with the one lesson we had presented a few days earlier. Each day when choosing work he repeatedly chose to work at mastering the sequence of numbers. There were times when he would show me the work, but we needed to erase a few errors to continue the correct sequence. I had shown him the 100 board to explain the continuing of each row and how then the numbers didn’t stop just because one row stopped. I saw him think and continue on with his work.

The next day, when he chose this work again, he came to me and said, “Jaki, now I know the numbers still continue.” His face was so bright with excitement that I could tell he finally got the concept. I am so pleased with his progress and he continues to strive each day!

[This post originally appeared in Rhythm & News, the Inly School newsletter, on March 6, 2009.]

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