595 Jumps

The Activities

1. Topic: Shapes. Book: A Triangle for Adaora by Onyefulu.  This is a book about a young African girl searching for a triangle. It has nice photographs of shapes in an African town.

2. Topic: Shapes, Logic, Sudoku.  Shape Sudoku: I gave the kids cut out shapes and sudoku sheets.  Each row and column should have one of each shape. Here are the puzzles we made.

A solved shape sudoku.

A solved shape sudoku.

3. Topic: Shapes, Sets. Count the number of circles, squares, rectangles, and quadrilaterals. Are there more squares or quadrilaterals in the world?


4. Topic: Counting, Written Numbers.  Jumping Dice: Each kid takes a turn rolling two dice. The first die goes in the 10 spot of a number.  The second die goes in the ones spot. So a 6 then a 3 means 63.  Next we all get up and jump 63 times, counting together. This was a huge hit!

5. Topic: Physics, Water, Drawing. Waterline Drawing: I asked the kids to draw a glass of water sitting on the table. Then I dumped out the water and asked them to predict how the water would look if I tilted the cup sideways.

My son's waterline drawings.

My son’s waterline drawings.


Another kid’s drawing.

5. Topic: Probability, Pigeonhole Principle. Shoes in the Closet: I told the kids about a boy whose closet was very dark.  He had two pairs of shoes in there, and had to pick shoes out until he got a matched pair.  How many shoes do you have to pick out before you know you will get a pair?  What’s the least number of shoes you’ll have to pick?  We used a bag and 2 pairs of glass chips for the shoes.

The 'shoes'

The ‘shoes’

How did it go?

I led the younger kids circle this week. We had 4 kids, and a really fun, lively circle :-).  This lesson is based on activities in Math from Three to Seven by Zvonkin.

Shape Sudoku

I handed out simple charts that were missing only one shape, and asked the kids what shape was missing.  A few kids initially suggested making a pattern in the row like: triangle, circle, triangle.  After a few suggestions someone said they would put the missing shape in the spot.  I then showed the kids how each row and column had one of each shape.

Next I handed out the harder puzzles. 3 of the 4 kids finished the puzzles with no problems. The 4th made a mistake, but was soon able to fix it.

Counting Quadrilaterals

I spread some attribute blocks out on the table. The kids started complaining that they had already used the attribute blocks at least 90 times before, so I said we would use them 91 times now.

First I asked them to count the number of triangles, circles, squares, and rectangles. Next I asked them to count the quadrilaterals.  None of the kids had ever hear that word before, so I explained it was a shape with 4 sides.  I asked if anyone saw any quadrilaterals on the table, and a girl picked up a square. The other kids started counting squares. Then the same girl said a rectangle was a also a quadrilateral, so the kids all counted the squares and rectangles.

Next I asked if there were more squares or quadrilaterals in the world. My son said there should be the same because squares are quadrilaterals.  I asked if there are the same number of squares and quadrilaterals on the table, and the kids said more quadrilaterals.

So I asked again about the world.  One girl suggested there would be more squares because there are so many windows in the world.  Another kid said there would be more quadrilaterals, but couldn’t explain why. They also couldn’t explain how they knew there were more quadrilaterals than squares on the table.

I left this as an open question.

Jumping Dice

I got out two dice. The kids took turns rolling the purple die, which went into to the ‘tens’ spot, and then rolling the white die, which went into the ‘ones’ spot. So a 6 then a 3 would be 63.  Then we would all get up and jump that number of times.

The kids LOOOVED this game. I would complain that I didn’t want to jump a lot, so I would root for small numbers.  I also let each kid decide whether we would jump or clap the number on the die, but the kids always picked jumping.  We ended up jumping 595 times!

I asked the kids what they thought the biggest number of jumps could be? A couple kids said they wanted to get 99 or 100 jumps. After circle, my son said that 66 would be the biggest number.

I also asked question like, is the new number bigger or smaller than the last number?  Also, various kids volunteered to lead the counting while we jumped. No one wanted to stop playing this game, but it was pretty tiring, so on to the next activity!

Waterline Drawing

I drew a picture of a cup on a table top for each kid. The kid then colored in the water.  My son initially drew a vertical line for the water, but changed to horizontal after seeing his friends’ pictures.  Next I dumped out the water and then showed the kids that I was going to tip the cup sideways. I drew a tipped cup on each kid’s paper and asked them to draw in the water.  Most kids drew the water exactly the way it was when the cup was level.  My son actually drew the water in the top half of the glass 🙂

Then I added water to the glass and showed the kids how it looked when it was tipped.  One kid was then able to accurately draw the waterline. The other kids drew a diagonal line, but put the water on the wrong side of the line.

Shoes in the Closet

I told the kids about the boy with the dark closet who needed to get matching shoes.  I had a bag and two pairs of glass beads (2 red, 2 blue). The kids took turns drawing beads out of the bag until they got a pair of shoes.

The first round it took every kid 3 draws to get a pair.  I asked if it would always take 3 tries? Some kids said yes.  One girl said it could take only two, if you drew a blue and then a blue.

I asked if it could ever take more than 3 draws? My son said it could. I asked how? He said first you could draw the red, then the blue, then a green, then a yellow. I pointed out there were no greens or yellows in the bag.

A couple kids thought maybe 3 was the most it could take, but no one could explain it fully.


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