Which Princess has the Most Toes?

The Activities

  1. Topic: Doubles, Addition: Doubles Fun on the Farm by Freese.
  2. Topic: Shapes, Charts: We have a bag with an assortment of Attribute Block shapes.  There are two activities.
    1. Put your hand in a bag, find a shape.  Then, without looking say what size, shape, and color 🙂 it is.  Next, I specify a size and shape, and each kid needs to find it without looking.  Then the kid puts it in the right box of the shape/color chart.

      The shape and color chart.

  3. Topic: Sequences, Transitivity: 
    1. This is from “Math from Three to Seven” by Zvonkin. To go to work, I drive to the train station, get on the train, get on a bus, then walk to my desk.  How do I get home?
    2. A plane is faster than a car, car is faster than bike. Is a plane faster than a bike?
    3. Jim is taller than Fred. Fred is taller than Susan. Who is taller, Susan or Jim?
  4. Topic: Logic: Some stole the princess’s jewel. I gave the kids a lineup of 4 clipart characters, and also 4 name labels. The kids have to figure out which name goes with each character so they can identify who stole the jewel.
    1. 4 girls, different heights.
      1. The person with the red hat stole the jewel.
      2. Anne is the shortest person.
      3. Dinah is the tallest.
      4. Cara  is taller than Betsy.

        The Girls Lineup

    2. 4 boys with different amounts of hair.
      1. The thief is bald.
      2. Cody is has less hair than Ben.
      3. Cody has less hair than Alex.
      4. Cody has more hair than Dan.

        The Boys Lineup


How did it go?

We had 4 kids at circle this week.

Doubles on the Farm

This is a simple book where two kids see farm animals and do 1+1 = 2, 2 + 2 = 4, and so on. Once we got to 3+3=6, one kid predicted that next would be 4+4=8. Then the kids all said next would be 5+5. Before turning the page, I asked how much that was. The kids thought for a bit, and then one suggested it would be 10.

When we got to 7+7, the kids asked me to stop showing the answers, so they could figure it out first. I checked the book and realized there were only 3 more sums, but 4 kids, so I asked if someone would be ok with not getting another turn.  Everyone protested.  Then I said I would do them all, but they said that wasn’t fair. One kid suggested that the parents could take turns answering, but another kid pointed out that one parent wouldn’t get a turn.  I said, “Do you think that parent will cry?” And all the kids laughed, although they agreed that they would cry if they didn’t get a turn.  So three parents double checked the last sums.

Shapes and Charts

I explained that we need to feel a shape and say what it is without looking into the bag.  I had two bags so two kids could go at the same time.  Most of the kids were pretty good at this. Next I asked 2 kids to pull out a circle, however, Kid #3 said that hexagons were her favorite so she insisted on getting a hexagon.  Kid #2 didn’t understand what I meant and pulled out a triangle.

Then I asked Kid #1 and #4 to get out a circle, which they did successfully. After that, we did another round, and all the kids did better.

Then I got a chart that had square, triangle, rectangle, circle across the top and red, yellow, blue down the side.  The empty space in the top right corner was crossed out.  The kids immediately wanted to know what could go in the empty space I said nothing went there.  I then realized that the chart did not have any hexagons (I forgot about them), so we decided to put the hexagons into the empty square.

I asked each pair of kids to take out a shape and then put it in the chart.  Kid #1 got a red triangle and she wanted to put it right on top of the triangle outline.  I showed how it needed to line up with the red patch of color, but she was unconvinced.

Kid #4 put her yellow circle on the chart with no problem.

Kid #3 got a hexagon (intentionally) and so she put it in the crossed out space.

Then the kids kept taking turns placing shapes.  Kid #4 and #2 were the only ones who really seemed to understand the chart, so we should do more chart work in the future.

At the end, the kids started to get rather wild. I settled them down by saying that I needed their help solving a mystery.  Someone stole a princess’s jewels and they needed to follow clues to figure out who.

Who stole the jewels?

Each problem started with 4 clip art suspects and 4 names written on paper.  The kids’ reading ability varies from pre-K level to fluent.  I read the clues to the kids, and they had to work together to figure which name went with each person.

On the first problem (with the girls of different heights), I told the kids that the jewel thief was the girl with the red hat.  Then I said we had to find the person’s name so we could tell the police.

My first clue was that Anne is the shortest person.  Anne is the one with the red hat, so they already knew who stole the jewel…oops! But we decided to assign the other names anyway.  Kid #4 assigned Anne to the shortest person, but Kid #2 wanted to change it and give the shortest name to the shortest person.  Next I said Dinah is the tallest. Last I said Cara is taller than Betsy and Kid #4 was able to correctly assign the names.  We all agreed Anne was the thief and we should tell the police.

The next problem was the lineup of boys with different amounts of hair.  This one was much harder.  I didn’t tell them the theif was bald, I saved it to the end.  I said all the clues, but no one could deduce anything.  Finally someone assigned Cody to the hairiest person.  I said let’s see if that possible.  I said Cody has less hair than Ben, so who could Ben be? There was no one.  So I asked if there was someone else who could be Cody?  They said maybe he was second hairiest.  So we put Ben as the hairiest but had nowhere for Alex.  Then we scooted Cody down to 3rd hairiest and put Ben and Alex ahead (no one noticed or cared that we couldn’t distinguish A&B).  Finally we put Dan down for the bald person.

Then I went around the circle having each kid verify one clue, and they all fit.  So I said…ok, the theif is bald.  And they excitedly said that Dan took the jewel. I said we’d tell the police and that I hoped Dan would give the jewels back. I said maybe the princess could just ask for the jewel and then call the police if Dan says he won’t give it back.

The quietest kid in circle was a bit lost during this activity because the other kids were super loud.

Sequences and Transitivity

“To go to work, I drive to the train station, get on the train, get on a bus, then walk to my desk.  How do I get home?”

Kid #1 shouted, you do it backwards! Then she correclty explained it, except for forgetting the original order.

The kids asked me if that is really how I go to work.  I said I walk to the garage, ride my bike to my son’s school, ride my bike to work, and then walk to my desk.  I asked how I get home.  Everyone yelled “Backwards!” but had some trouble actually saying the backward order.

“A plane is faster than a car, a car is faster than a bike. Is a plane faster than a bike?”

I asked this one to Kid #2, and who correctly said a plane is faster, but it wasn’t clear if it was just because everyone already knows planes are fast, or because of the clues.

“Jim is taller than Fred. Fred is taller than Susan. Who is taller, Susan or Jim?”

I asked this one to Kid #1 who correctly said that Jim is taller.

“Aurora has more jewels than Cinderella and Cinderella has more than Belle, who has the most.”

“Belle read more books than Aurora and Aurora read more books than Ariel, who read the most? The fewest?”

Everyone was shouting answers, mostly correct.  I asked if they thought Ariel liked to read, and I said I hoped so.  One kid said the stepsisters did not like to read.

Next I asked the only boy at circle today what he wanted a puzzle about… Trains? Thomas? Spiderman? After thinking for a few moments and looking over at all the girls, he said he liked princesses. Very sweet of him 🙂  So I said “Belle has more toes than Cinderella, Cinderella has more toes than Snow White. Who has the most toes?” The kids all laughed at this one, and he answered correctly.

I asked if anyone could think of a princess who really had no toes.  One kid said Ariel, because she is a mermaid.

After circle my daughter wanted to play the jewel thief game more and said it was her favorite part of circle.