So, I work with an amazing kiddo for an hour and a half or so a day. He's probably 8 and allergic to his chair. Seriously. It's like it makes him claustrophobic or something. When I work with him, I tend to spend a fair amount of time saying "No" and "Come here." I don't like that.
I've been thinking alot about Dewey, about how to make education relate to what is real and loved and understood in a child's life. What is understood by most of my kids is cartoons, video games, etc. So I bought a deck of Yu-Gi-Oh cards, thinking that would tap into his curiosity.
What I didn't realize -- Yu-Gi-Oh is HARD. My husband and I, both grad students, struggled with the instructions. I was disappointed. But I've come up with ways to simplify Yu-Gi-Oh as the kiddo learns about the cards and how to play. Suddenly, a kid who only is adding single digit numbers now is comparing and subtracting four digit numbers to calculate points. We're to the stage where we play with just monsters, no tributing, and whoever looses them all first looses. Next we start subtracting from 8000.
I have to laugh because it's not a child innocently exploring nature in some sort of Montessorian idealized education. In my pursuit of educational goals, I end up using a lot of Sponge Bub and Pokemon and yes, Yu-Gi-Oh. But it's fun.
Here's a link to my google document of the games. I'm also excited because I managed to post this from school, which has a block on blogger, facebook, and livejournal. Don't get me started about how we should use social networking to our advantage instead of fearing it as educators. Anyway.... enjoy the training games.