During our Arithmetic block weeks ago, I introduced the concept of Odd and Even numbers in the name of Bungkig and Tabla (Bisaya translation). My story was about children who harvested fruits which they later gave away to one old man and one old woman.

“Kung nakakuha ang mga bata ug napulo ka rambutan, ug ilaha kining bahinon para hatagan ang usa ka tigulang nga lalake ug usa ka tigulang nga babaye, tag-pila-pila man sila?” (If the children got 10 pieces of rambutan, and they would divide these to one old man and one old woman, how many would each receive?)

“Tag-lima-lima!” (5 each!)

“Aha! Tabla diay ilahang madawat kung naay napulo ka rambutan.” (So they receive equal amount of rambutan if there are 10.)

“Unsa kaha kung naay siyam. Tag-pila-pila man sila?” (What if there were 9. How many would each receive?)

And this went on and on — children excited to find out if the number’s ‘tabla’ or ‘bungkig’!

One day, while the whole class was setting the table for snacks, one child asked. “Miss Althea, kinsa imong mas ganahan, si Tabla o si Bungkig?” (Miss Althea, which one do you prefer, Even or Odd?) Trying to find equality for all numbers, I said I love them all.

Her response: “Ako, Miss Althea, mas ganahan ko kay Tabla. Para parehas ug madawat ang tigulang nga lalake ug tigulang nga babaye” (I prefer Even Miss Althea, so that the old man and woman will receive an equal amount.)

What a wonderful answer; I hugged my student. I never felt this way about Odd and Even numbers.. When I was my student’s age all I did was memorize; I was all head.

Moments like this is what inspires me as a teacher of a Steiner/Waldorf school to keep on striving for a balanced education of the head, hands, and heart.

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