Helping to create teacher packets has been one of my favorite activities at work so far! I really enjoy coming up with them however, sometimes its hard to come up with different methods. When solving a more tedious problem such as an algebra or calculus problem there are often different methods you can come up with, but when given a simple addition problem it is often hard to think of different methods. For instance when given a problem such as “John has 3 apples then his sister gives him 2 more apples. How many apples does John have now?” You think to yourself, “It’s 5! It’s 5!” You almost want to just write down, “Its 5, because it just is!” When solving these primary problems and coming up with methods, I get to put myself in a Kindergarten/ Elementary Teacher’s shoes. I was always under the impression that elementary school teachers probably had it easier then upper level teachers because the work was a lot easier and more simple. My view on that has definitely changed. Why, You may ask. Well a teacher in a middle school or highschool often knows that the students have some former knowledge of their subject, but an elementary teacher often needs to start from scratch. A middle schol teacher could be like “Well since you know 10 +10 +10 +10 +10 +10 +10 + 10 +10 +10 = 100, you can do 10 ^10 = 100 and get the same answer. Where an elementary teacher needs to show the students, WHY 10 + 10 + ….=100. They need to come up with different methods on how to get this information across to their students. They cannot simple rely on counting alone. Instead they use other methods as well such as counters, numberlines, and pictures. Without the dedication of the elementary school teachers and their various methods of teaching, these students would not know the fundamentals of math that the upperlevel teachers rely on.