School started last week, but I just had my first subbing gig of the year.
I subbed for middle school math teacher.
This particular school starts middle school in the 7th grade, so in some of these classes, these kids were about a week out of elementary.
The 7th grade class had some basic book work for an assignment. The teacher had it written on the board as something like:
Page 6 & 7
Qs 1-3, 4-24 even, 26-29, 30-38 even, and 41
That seemed pretty straight forward to me, and after some intro stuff, I pointed the assignment out to them and said, "get to work, let me know if you need any help."
After about 2 minutes I realized these kids had no idea how to even approach the work. They understood the concepts just fine, but when it came to deciphering the problem numbers, and then putting that onto a page, they were lost.
I drew out a piece of paper on the board, and then showed them how to organize it. After that, they blazed through the assignment.
I'm really glad that I caught why they were struggling.
The following unrelated conversation also took place,
7th Grade Boy: Guess what I might be getting!!
Mr. C.: Umm... a pony?
7th Grade Boy: No, but close!
Mr. C.: Oh... a donkey?
7th Grade Boy: No! A laser that will shoot all the way across my house!
Mr. C.: Oh... cool. I see how that is close to a pony.