Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



All of My Friends

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Counting

My 1300th post.
My daughter says I should do something . . . important.
But I don’t know anything important.
You’re getting the old and usual . . .

I was helping out in my grandson’s first-grade class.
An active bunch. (If any of you have seen the movie, The Lion King, you will recognize the row of monkeys in the ‘future-king-presentation scene’. They were modelled after any first grade class you find.)
Ahem . . .
The activity I was there to help with was an exercise in caring for animals. Each student chose an animal, then was given materials to build a little compound specifically suited for said animal’s needs. Food, water, sleeping arrangements, toys, entertainment.
Because what animal doesn't need its big-screen TV, right?
Moving on . . .
As co-ordinator of my little group of four boys, I was entrusted with the bag ‘o treats. The feathers, popsicle sticks, foam sheets, paper cups, string, sticks, tape, glue and scores of other building materials.
It was a large bag.
And everyone was having a large time.
One of them asked for sticks and I dove into the mass of materials and dug out a small container of bundles of sticks. Colourful little bundles of sticks.
And just like that, I was transported back fifty-five years to my grade one class.
And no, it wasn't held in a cave . . .
Our teacher, Miss Woronoski had laid out multi-coloured sticks. Some singles. Some in bundles of five and ten.
And with a combination of those singles and bundles, we were learning to count and add.
I loved it.
I especially loved saying the word ‘bundles’.
I would manipulate little packs of sticks, laying them out in regimental order, and add them. Then re-arrange and add again.
Sometimes I would concentrate so hard, I would completely miss what was going on around me . . .
“Your Gramma isn’t listening to me!”
“Gramma! Gramma!”
Like now.
Sigh.



19 comments:

  1. Nothing like a 'bundle' of coloured sticks to hold your attention.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Miss Woronoski was ahead of the curve, I think ... I'm about your age and I don't remember learning to add like that, but 30 years later, my kids were using little blocks in the same way you used your little bundles! Now I'm wondering how we learned ... I remember a lot of repetition of times tables for multiplying; maybe we learned addition by rote as well. Hmm. Anyway, have fun with your little monkeys :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What?! You didn't have little sticks?! I'm floored. Absolutely floored.
      And thank you! :)

      Delete
  3. What an amazing memory you have. I remember only one anecdote from first grade. Love your stories!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Carol! Oooh! Are we going to hear about it?

      Delete
  4. Congratulations on 1300 posts!!! I have a lot I have missed! I remember making a diorama of colonial life where I had to build a cabin, garden, paddock etc. It was amazing with only one problem it wouldn't fit into the car. We had to break it down into squares and rebuild it at school. I was so proud of it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wish I could have seen it. I love dioramas! I love little scenes and buildings! Even better when there's a little train going through . . .

      Delete
  5. Wow - 1300 posts? Wow. Bundles of colored sticks make me happy! So does reading your blog, by the way :)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Lana! I'm so glad you enjoy it! :)

      Delete
  6. 1300! That's a lot of words!
    funny how something as small as a bundle of coloured sticks can take you right back to being 5 again.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You brought me back, too. That was touching. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Quite a feat to have written so many posts!

    How I loved the sticks. With boys and glue and tape with sticks I imagine there were some sticky bundles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm . . . I expect you're right. I didn't let them near my sticks though . . .

      Delete
  9. You and 'unimportant' aren't even in the same hemisphere, thankyouverymuch.

    ReplyDelete
  10. 1300 posts?! That is a lot of sticks!! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete

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