- Viva Sarah Press

# Seeing the solution in a different way

The math teacher sent out a riddle to find a missing number in a set. Upon finishing to read the instructions, my kid already knew the answer.

He could see it.

And he could explain it.

Mathematically gifted students __“are able to see relationships among topics, concepts, and ideas without the intervention of formal instruction specifically geared to that particular content.”__

That partly explains my son’s amazing abilities.

Without thinking, he uses logic and deductive reasoning to come up with answers far before most people have had time to understand the question.

When the riddle is simple, the answer is obvious. For him. He sees it.

When a riddle is difficult, he thinks. He doesn’t always draw or write. He sits and thinks. Until he comes up with the answer.

It is fascinating to watch him. To try and understand how he does it.

He thinks in a totally different way.

His explanation to his teacher and fellow pupils was calm and collected, he took them through his logical reasoning.

He had a hard time accepting that even with his detailed explanation, the teacher preferred her step-by-step solution.

So, we spoke about it. How not everyone can see the solution in the same way. That it is okay to see solutions in a different way. Especially in math.

Though I didn’t share this with him, I question whether the answer is still heterogeneous groups in (digital) education. He is too young to self-learn, even though the education system often makes it seem like the only option in satisfying his quench for more math knowledge.

Of course, we have been lucky enough to have met some teachers not afraid to teach in a different way – even in the same (Zoom) classroom. We have met these teachers who go above and beyond to help us satisfy his thirst for mathematical equations.

These teachers are able to see the solution (in how to teach differently) in a different way. And when we get one of them, it is a blessing.

When we do not, it can be challenging. Plodding along with the rest of the class is a test in patience and boredom.

He is fully aware that just as he sees the answers in a different way, so do his classmates. But he is not willing -- and shouldn't have to be willing -- to have his way discounted in favor of the general level of the class.

A solution brought about in a different way should never be dismissed. Especially not in the fifth grade.