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A group study of the human body, its bones and organs, warranted help from a savvy 6th grader who graciously spent an hour and a half a day for a week with my 2nd graders. He was an out-of-control child in his class and an angel in mine.

The 1st graders were intrigued and did their bodies in math rods!


July 25, 2010

Dear Mac,

It was delightful to chat with you by phone … Here’s another great example (recent) of MI:

Last year when I was still tutoring at Village Tutors and working with my babies, Cooper (1st) and Hunter (K) were both at the round table. I had finished with Hunter and he was doing some backup paper and pencil work. I was pacing Coop through his 1st grade math assignment and he grasped it so quickly that I just kept going. 2nd grade math and then 3rd grade concepts. He nailed them all. About that time Walt, our nuclear physicist leader, walked by. Not being able to keep it quiet, I told him what Cooper had just accomplished! “Well,” said Walt to Cooper, “would you like to learn a bit more about that?” My Coop, the most curious child ever born, was all in agreement. So I got busy with Hunter. When Walt got up, he looked impressed and congratulated Cooper, telling him he had just had a lesson in calculus! I asked Cooper if he would like to teach Hunter what he had just learned. Oh boy! Would he! So the next five minutes these two boys had their heads together. When Cooper declared they were done, I asked Hunter a few questions which he answered correctly and without hesitation.

And here we are, adults, parents, teachers, school districts and universities, all saying, “Oh dear! Don’t present that advanced concept to a small child. You’ll just confuse him!” The above is a perfect example of why MI works so well. Children tend to listen in on each other’s lessons and absorb what they can at any given age. Consequently, when exposed to an advanced concept, they take it in, sift it with what they already know, and tuck it away for future use.

How can we be amazed at what a good job the one-room rural schools often did? Think what happens when the teacher knows how well MI works and uses it consciously. And learns from the students and continues to refine the process.

Some of the best teaching techniques I developed came from those years when, with a classroom full of 35 students, I had my ways or perish! And, oh my goodness, what you learn from the students! Education (most justifiably) leaves the realm of teacher teaching a classroom full of children and becomes a collaborative system. No one gets left out and EVERYONE learns!!!

Ha! I can see you smiling and saying to yourself, “I knew it worked because it makes sense.” My only regret? That it took me so many years to “discover” the solution to excellence in learning but also the solution to over-crowded primary classrooms. One last thought: Teachers, throw away your egos. Most children are better teachers than you are!

So, Mac, I leave you to gloat!
Love, Joan


Joan Larimore Letters:

June 6, 2010   /  July 25, 2010   /  August 3, 2010   /  August 7, 2010



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