A Slice of Life


My Own Slice of Life on Hinges

Today my husband and I attempted to assemble a piece of furniture that required hinges to be attached. We vowed to not get into an argument this time. We both consider ourselves to be smart people but when it comes to hinges neither of us can wrap our brains around how to attach them. We look at the picture, we read and reread the directions, and we fail every time. Today it took us at least a half an hour to get the hinges in place. During this thirty minute time period, we both raised our voices, we threatened to throw the screwdriver, we got up and walked away, and we mumbled a few choice words.

This must be what it is like when I demonstrate how to add fractions, draw pictures of how to add fractions, use manipulatives to show how to add fractions, and some students still don’t get it. They can’t wrap their brains around it. Sometimes they do raise their voices and throw their pencils. Maybe they need to get up and walk away. Maybe fourth graders need to get away from their fractions for a minute because they are too frustrated to even begin to understand no matter how many different ways I try to explain it.

Today I vow to share this experience with my students. I promise to reassure my students that they are smart even when certain content is temporarily beyond their grasp. I am going to let my students get up and walk away and recollect before we try again. We will try again. We will get it.


Comments on: "Hinges" (5)

  1. Lovely and apt analogy. So true. So smart for you to recognize and to give everyone (even yourself) the gift of a break from frustration.

  2. True – we forget how things are complicated for children – until we can’t do something ourselves.

  3. Good insight. Bravo to you for sharing it with your students.

  4. The scene you described made me laugh. You and Billy threatening each other with screwdrivers. Of course, you had to be all brilliant and glean some life lesson from it. Sheesh.

  5. Yes!!! I love this comparison Jill!!!!

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