Jennifer J C Thompson nee Coetzee How do we resolve the functional and instructional dilemma in teaching direction to groups of Grade R-7 learners given the directional challenge that the educator infacing the group presents the opposite to expressions / expectations/indications uttered as either Right or Left; Front or Back ; North/South/East/West The Lord bless you Jennifer

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I run into this problem fairly often -- for instance when teaching slope, I want to impress upon the students that if the slope is positive, the graph gets higher as you scan from right to left. I found myself gesturing from left to right; but it was my left, so the students were seeing right-to-left motion.

Now I often write in "stage direction" into my notes -- reminders that, in theatrical terms, house left=stage right. This way I remember to reverse the directions so the students see a consistent message.

I do not encounter the same problem with direction (i.e. North, South, East, and West) as all in the room will agree.


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One good way to teach direction is to label things. Label the walls and desks with north, south, east and west. You can put stickers on the students' hands or fingernails with l for left and r for right. You can also play games, like Simon Says and Mother May I? with directions.
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