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'I didn't want to be the odd one out'

(11 Posts)
WinterStepThisWay Fri 05-Oct-12 21:16:30

I had this conversation with DD, aged 5 and in Y1:

DD: The teacher asked the class 'what is 6 minus 7?' All the children shouted 'zero'; I knew it was minus 1 but shouted zero as well.
ME: Why did you do that?
DD: Because I didn't want to be the odd one out

This concerns me because it is not an isolated incident, this is happening more and more. It is one thing to get stressed because a uniform item looks slightly different from the others or her pencil case is not quite the right size, but when it comes to the academic stuff, well, it's a different thing.

Should I worry?

MWB22 Fri 05-Oct-12 21:26:22

Blimey! If a year 1 understands about negative numbers I don't think you need to worry at the moment!

WinterStepThisWay Fri 05-Oct-12 21:33:28

Hi MW. I'm not worried about her academic ability at all. I'm worried about something else. I'm worried about her feeling the need to blend in with others even if it means hiding her abilities (big or small).

DeWe Sat 06-Oct-12 17:36:24

I would play stupid sometimes to fit in. I probably would have said nothing in that situation though, rather than be wrong.

I don't think it hindered me. I read maths at Oxford wink

Sometimes, I am trying to get across to dd2, it can be best not to tell all you know. So instead of looking at someone elses' story they're proud of and saying "you've spelt receive wrong", you admire the essay. If someone's finding it hard to do 19 x 23, then looking over their shoulder and saying "437" (I think that's right) can be very irritating to the child that's struggling. I'm trying to get her to see that she may be right, but there's ways of saying it nicely. Along the lines of "what about doing it that way?" or in your dd's example quietly "I think it might be minus one" rather than confidently giving the answer. That way other children tend to admire the knowledge rather than resent that they "always know the answer".

MWB Ds (now year 1) discovered minus numbers last winter when the temperature went below zero. Looking at it as a temperature makes them much easier to understand. He wanted it to snow so minus numbers became very important grin

Euphemia Sat 06-Oct-12 17:50:44

Year 1 do negative numbers?! shock

TheBuskersDog Sun 07-Oct-12 00:38:23

Sometimes, I am trying to get across to dd2, it can be best not to tell all you know. So instead of looking at someone elses' story they're proud of and saying "you've spelt receive wrong", you admire the essay. If someone's finding it hard to do 19 x 23, then looking over their shoulder and saying "437" (I think that's right) can be very irritating to the child that's struggling. I'm trying to get her to see that she may be right, but there's ways of saying it nicely. Along the lines of "what about doing it that way?" or in your dd's example quietly "I think it might be minus one" rather than confidently giving the answer. That way other children tend to admire the knowledge rather than resent that they "always know the answer".

I think it's fine to confidently give the answer to a question directed to the class. However in your earlier examples it is not about not telling all you know, it's about not putting down someone else's efforts and to be honest it is not your daughter's place to pick fault with others' spelling.

sashh Sun 07-Oct-12 06:17:27

That is a common reaction. Experiments have been done with college students, where a simple question like that is asked and two or three wrong (but the same) answers are given then the students being studied also give the wrong answer.

WinterStepThisWay Sun 07-Oct-12 10:09:20

Hi everyone, thank you for your answers. Sashh, you get exactly why I'm concerned about this. I wouldn't want my DD to be the 'smart one' that tries to tell everyone else they're wrong and she's right, but equally, it would worry me that she doesn't feel confident enough to say what she thinks the right answer is.

noblegiraffe Sun 07-Oct-12 10:11:34

This is why giving the kids individual whiteboards to write their answers on then show the teacher in a situation like this is better than getting a class to shout out if you want to check progress or understanding.

7to25 Sun 07-Oct-12 10:14:04

Ha ha DeWe
y son read Maths at Oxford and was a consummate expert at fitting in in Primary school!
He understood doublethink from an early age.
By year five he was really naughty, though, as he was correcting the teacher.

learnandsay Sun 07-Oct-12 11:26:24

I thought socialisation was all about fitting in.

Surely the question is not whether to reply minus one or not, it's when to reply minus one. The chances are that your daughter has probably judged the situation correctly. I'd give her the benefit of the doubt.

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