|eliza tells me all about infinity while balancing on one foot.|
Children come up to teachers every day to tell us information, perhaps to share about a vacation, a play-date, their favorite shoes or what they have in their snack bag.
Children need to be able to express themselves, to have a sense of being an expert, and to offer unique knowledge about something.
Eliza had told me she had a big discussion with her father and really needed to pass on this news about INFINITY.
What was it called again?
TJ: Infinity? And how did you learn about that number?
Eliza: From daddy...
TJ: From dad. So, how big do you think infinity is?
Eliza: Well, if you add a bigger number it gets bigger!
TJ: It gets bigger! So, that's kind of surprise, huh?
Eliza: So, no one can ever count up to it...
TJ: Oh, my gosh...
Eliza: You can think you can count up to it but you can't...
TJ: Eliza, do you want to give me an example? What's a number that's pretty big like infinity but then there is a number bigger than it?
Eliza: A Hundred.
TJ: A hundred? And then, is there a number bigger than a hundred?
TJ: Infinity is right after that?...
Eliza: Yes, Infinity is right after 100!
Eliza's new information about INFINITY was something she was compelled to share. It seems clear that some of her facts were answers to questions she had posed to her father and was now passing on her findings to me...
"If you add a bigger number it gets bigger!"
"No one can ever count up to it."
"You think you can count up to it but you can't."
This simple, short exchange with Eliza is an example of how children are empowered with language and build trusted relationships as exhibited by listening with her father at home and speaking with me at school.
Everything Eliza told me was true and she had absolute confidence in her facts. It didn't seem to matter to Eliza if I might have already known about infinity - she believed she was giving me new, valuable information.Eliza was the expert on infinity.Period.