Thursday, March 24, 2011

Math tutoring fun

Indiana Jones???
At Tuesday's tutoring session with 3rd graders I was excited to hear from one of the little guys that I looked like someone in the movies.  Wow, I thought, maybe Harrison Ford from Indiana Jones fame?  No, I quickly reflected, this eight year old would likely not have seen any of those movies, which were mostly filmed in the 80s and 90s.  Then I tried to get a bit more current and came up with a bit more recent action film in my mind... maybe someone from "The Matrix".  Again, I reflected, not likely, I rarely wear black.

We then played a math dice game.  Specially made paper dice had the numbers 4 through 9.  Two dice are rolled. One of them is multiplied by ten and the other is subtracted from that number.  Not as easy as you might expect for 3rd graders.  Players take turn rolling the dice. The goal for each player is to come up with one number in each of the decades from the 30's through the 80's. The first one to get numbers all six decades win. My young student and I ended the game in a fiercely competitive tie, 5-5. Neither of us could roll an 8, which is necessary to get a number landing the decade of the 70s.

Train conductor
Just as he was getting up to leave he thought of the movie character of whom I reminded him.  My high hopes of a major action character were dashed. It was someone from the "Polar Bear Express."  I was consoled slightly when he said it wasn't one of the animated characters.  I checked with a friend who's got a couple of younger kids and he suggested I might likely be taken for the train conductor, who has a mustache.  Okay, not exactly the action character I was hoping for, but I'll take it none the less.

A newspaper article appeared earlier in the week about guy who  who was an active math tutor at an elementary school "Retired salesman gives new spiel at Plymouth school: After a career in sales, 85-year-old Andy Anderson volunteers each week at a Plymouth school."  I wonder if he's ever been compared to a movie figure?  Possibly George Burns? No, probably not.  One of his most famous appearances was in "Oh God", and that was filmed way back in the 70s.

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