March 25, 2009 When tutoring students for whom conventional methods of learning aren't enough, I look for ways to engage all the senses. One little girl was having trouble distinguishing vowel sounds which of course created problems when she had to produce the written symbols for those sounds. To facilitate the process, I had drawn a lower case a on an apple, and had marker in hand to write an e on a hard-boiled egg.
With a look of intense worry on her little face, she warned me: "You're going to use marker on the egg??? Your mom will be upset!''
Thinking, I guess, that I wasn't hearing her or perceiving the level of urgency, she repeated the warning in a couple of ways.
"But I am the mom at my house,'' I told her matter-of-factly.
"Noooo, you're not,'' she countered, with a look which told me how incredulous she thought that was.
"True to character for a kindergartener,'' I thought. "She thinks I live here at school.''
Then, just in case I was missing something—like that I looked so much older than her mom that I couldn't possibly be one, I added: "and the grandma.''
As unconvinced as she still looked, I had to chalk that up to a visual gone bad—one which detracted from itself and did not accomplish the purpose for which it was intended. Instead, it probably prompted the little gal to try it at home—on an egg which had not been prepped, in which case her mom most assuredly would not have been happy!