The Backwards Lesson

A class of kindergartners came into their classroom one morning in the spring, some still talking excitedly as the bell rang. They settled down at their desks and gazed at their teacher as she came to the front of the class.

“Hi everybody! It’s great to be here another day! I’m really excited because now that you’ve all learned your numbers really well up to 20 this year, we’re going to start learning math. I promise you’re really going to have a great time with it.”

“My mom told me about math!” called out one of the girls in the front row. “She said we’ll be adding things to get bigger numbers, like apples or books!”

“Well,” replied the teacher with a smile, “we’re not going to start with addition, actually.”

“Subtraction?” asked another kid.

“No. You kids are all so bright that we don’t need to go over addition and subtraction! You would have understood all that without any problems. So we’re going to move on to multiplication and then division.”

The classroom became all wide eyes and open mouths.

“Mul … multi …” stammered one child.

“Mul-pli-cation?” tried another.

“What’s divizzin?”

Many of the kids started talking at once.

When the teacher finally calmed them down, she said, “Don’t worry. You’ll all be just fine. I know you would get addition and subtraction. You’ll love multiplication and division because they’re so much more fun!”

Photo by Yan Krukov on

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2 thoughts on “The Backwards Lesson

  1. Kay 26 July 2022 / 8:00 pm

    Even i have a hard time with multiplication!


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