Monday, May 13, 2013


Five years of teaching and I finally got to see the lightbulb turn on! :)
I've experienced kiddos having those little 'aha' moments when things just finally 'clicked' but none to this magnitude!

Last Friday {yes, I realize it is 3 days later and I'm just getting around to sharing...busy much?}, I was working with a sweet little kinder on adding.  We have been adding/subtracting since the beginning of the school year.  This little sweetie has struggled ALL stinkin year on understanding the concept of addition.  It just didn't click with him.  I tried a bunch numerous different approaches/strategies/games, etc.. even had another kinder try to explain the concept of addition to the sweetie and nothing was working. 

I, honestly, had given up hope.  This sweet little buddy will be spending another year with me {which makes me one of the happiest teachers as he melts my heart} and even though I still work with him one-on-one and in small group, he has not been my 'main' focus the last couple weeks.  

Well, last Friday we practiced Gumball Math.  If you have not heard of Gumball Math then you need to check it out ASAP! It's a great way to get kiddos to practice their addition and subtraction fluency, all while making it a fun game/competition.  Since I'm kindergarten this year I am only having my kiddos complete the sums/differences to 5 pages.  I also started out by letting them complete the first page with no time limit. I just wanted them to practice.

Well, sure enough seconds into our practice round I get "Mrs Caffee {he leaves off the "Mc" part every.time.} I can't do it, help me!"
I told him I would only help him on three.  I first gave him the option to use cubes or use his fingers.  He chose cubes.  Fail.  He started building towers.  Onto fingers.  I first pointed to the top number and told him to hold up that many fingers.  Then pointed to the bottom number and told him to add that many more fingers and then to count them ALL TOGETHER {do you get that I really emphasized this part}.  He looked at me, looked at his fingers, and BAM! lightbulb moment.
We did the first three together and then I hear "No, no, let me do it by myself"
Okay.  Go for it! I watched him do the first one and he needed a little help.  Then the next one, I saw the lightbulb go off again.  This time, it was the "AHA"
His eyes got wide, he counted all his fingers to add the problem, and WHAM got it right!  I have never seen such a big smile from such a little boy!
We high-fived and he immediatley went on to complete the next problem.
This time he did a little happy dance, told me to "leave" that he wanted to do the next row all on his own.  I watched from a distance.  Proud teacher/mama moment.  The lightbulb stayed on.
Several minutes later he RAN up to me when he was finished and demanded I grade his paper.
He got them ALL RIGHT! Keep in mind, he only had to complete the first two rows.  We still have a ways to go.

This is his "I'm really overly excited and proud of myself but am kind've annoyed that you're making me take ANOTHER picture!" :)
This sweet little boy's mom left for basic training over a month ago.  His dad is also in the Army.  This picture was sent to his mommy via email.
He was so proud.
So was I.

{puffy heart} LOVE when I get to witness those "aha" moments!

Side note:
I finally updated my End of the Year Awards packet with black & white/grayscale pages and added a "Canadian Idol" award! :)
Check it out HERE!  Thank you for all the awesome feedback on the awards.  The kids and parents LOVE getting them!


  1. This post brought tears to my eyes and reminds me....again...why I teach early childhood. Thanks for sharing such a sweet post! Amber -kindergarten rocks blog

  2. Very sweet!! Love those moments when things just "click" for our littles!
    A Cupcake for the Teacher


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