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Very wise reply
What a wise response. What you are describing is what I call "gel time." I discovered "gel time" when I was in college and needed it myself more often than I'd like to admit. I tell my students (4th and 5th graders) that if they're hearing this (whatever I'm hoping they'll learn) for the first time and feel rather lost, don't worry about it. I reassure them that they will hear it again, and again, and again, and eventually it will 'click."
There is a down side to retroactive learning, however . . .
I have taught what I thought was sooooooooo clear and simple that I just wanted to bang my head against the wall when my students don't get it. I taught a nine's trick for multiplying by nines many, many times. I demonstrated how to use the trick many, many times. I let student volunteers demonstrate/explain how they used the trick many, many times. Then one day, one of my students (who hadn't ever gotten the trick) worked out in the hallway with an aide who was assigned to one of my other students. He came running in waving his paper and shouting, "Look what Mrs. L. taught me!" It was MY nine's trick! While I was certainly glad that he finally "got" it, I was a little disconcerted that he thought SHE taught it to him! You won't always get the credit you deserve! (Actually, I am just kidding, because Mrs. L. and I laughed and laughed about the fact that I did all the HARD work and she just WALTZED in took the home the trophy!)
Sorry this was so long. Once I got into the story I just couldn't stop! I just love teaching!
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