Tuesday, March 2, 2010

spontaneous math

So we have this little odd assortment of plastic toys (which are a GREAT, cheap toy by the way that holds my boys' attention for hours). I've been reading about how sorting is a good skill so I suggested the boys sort them. I had no idea they would get so into it!

They put the little animals into different piles based on categories they made up themselves. These included jungle animals, horses, trees, dangerous animals, animals that live in the woods, farm animals, ninja turtles, people, blocks, weapons, frogs, lizards, dinosaurs, and one alien.

Then they began lining up and counting each pile. I helped collect the data by writing down the numbers for each pile.

Using the data we collected Kai and I made a graph. Sitting around the table at lunch we all studied our graph. The boys answered questions like, "Which piles have the same amount?" "Which is biggest?" "Which is smallest?" "How many more would this pile need to equal that one?" "How much smaller is this pile than that one?" etc.

I can't tell you how much the boys loved this. They now have ideas of all different things they want to sort, it's a new favorite activity. And think of all the math skills involved - classification, grouping, numeration, ordering, comparing, counting, graphing, subtraction, addition! Sometimes, you just never know what is going to excite your children!

more ww posts here.
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