my soft spot

just a mom who plays hockey and knits

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I love teachable moments

This morning, my son asked what the difference is between an alligator and a crocodile. I said that when their mouths are closed, you can't see an alligator's teeth. "What about a crocodile?" he asks. Well, you can see theirs. (If you read the above link, I wasn't entirely accurate.)

"I believe alligators are generally smaller than crocodiles," I continued. (Turns out that was wrong.) Then I thought a moment, and asked, "Do you know what 'generally' means?" Nope, he didn't. Glad I asked.

So I explained that if you say alligators are generally smaller, you can probably find an alligator that is bigger than a certain crocodile, but if you look at a group, most alligators are smaller than most crocodiles...

Anyway, I really love those teaching moments: checking in with him, him being willing to say when he doesn't know something (will get rarer, I think), us talking about what something means and how to apply it to other situations. In hockey, sometimes our (wonderful) volunteer coaches will say something about "the crease" or "point" and I'll see some nodding heads and then ask, "Does everyone know what 'point' means?" and inevitably, there will be 3 or more folks who don't know.

It's all about learning, and I love it.


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