Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Locks

The biggest obstacle for some of my sixth graders has been their locks.  Combination locks.  As you may know, you have to turn the lock clockwise, counterclockwise, and then clockwise again.  Some of them can't remember this requirement.  Others have forgotten their combinations.

After I tried one lock twice with no success, I said, "Let's look up the combo."

"I KNOW it's 22-7-17," said the kid.

"Let's just check," I said, locating the information.  "Okay, it's 7-22-17."

"OH!"  Problem solved.

Later, a kid said, "My locker won't open."

"Let me get you the combo," I said.

"But I have the combo," he said, producing the original slip of paper with the exact combo written on it.

"Okay," I said, approaching the lock.  Luckily, I happened to glance up at the locker itself, on which I'd hung a locker sign with the student's name. "Hey," I said, "this locker isn't yours!"

And sure enough, that was the problem.  He was trying to open someone else's lock.

At the end of the day, two of my advisees said the locks were the worst part of the day.  I suggested that those two take their locks home for some extra practice.  I think they'll do it.


mm said...

Even though open house isn't until tonight, I helped a student with her locker yesterday. She was frustrated, her mom was frustrated, and things were only going downhill. I showed her then had her show me. Problem solved.

LH said...

I wonder if they'll improve the lock technology some day.
They could have laser locks that open when you blink twice at them, using retinal identification.
This is an idea I'm fooling around with right now.