- Topic: Time: Book: The Case of the Missing Zebra Stripes, “Monkey with a Minute”.
- Topic: Time: We figured out how many times we could do various things (draw triangles, jump) in one minute. We counted to 60 seconds using “1-Mississippi”, and watched the second hand on an analog watch for one full rotation. We also tried to stand on one leg for a minute. Finally, we timed 4 different sand hourglasses (1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes).
- Topics: Attribute Blocks, Sequences: Each kid made a chain of 10 attribute blocks, varying only one attribute per step. Then they had to make it into a loop. Finally, the whole group worked together to make a loop out of all 60 blocks.
- Topics: Geometry, Optimization: We revisited the activity with pastures and animals. The rules are only one type of animal per pasture. Each 1×1 square can hold two animals, and each equilateral triangle can hold one animal. The goal is to hold a certain number of animals using as few fences as possible. Initially, each kid had their own set of animals, but at the end the kids worked together to make one farm for a bunch of animals.
How Did It Go?
All five kids attended this week.
Monkey with a Minute
This was only a couple of pages, but it gave the idea for the next activity.
How Much in a Minute?
I used an iPad to do all the timing, they all enjoyed watching the digital display. As usual they loved jumping — but one minute is a pretty long time to jump with such high energy! Only one of the kids managed to stand on one leg without touching their other foot for a full minute. The hourglasses turned out to vary in accuracy: 1:05, 2:01, 2:45, and 4:55.
Attribute Block Sequences
Most of the kids have a pretty good handle on this now, but many still make mistakes. The kids are more inclined to vary shapes than any other attribute, followed by color — so there were lots of long sequences of thick shapes, for example. After they had gotten a full loop using most of the shapes (which they could do mostly by themselves, with a few mistakes), they weren’t that great at finding places to add the few remaining shapes.
All the kids understood the rule about only one kind of animal per pasture, and most understood the rules for how many animals there could be per pasture (although they’re not that great at actually counting up larger pastures). They were less consistent about trying to use as few pastures as possible; and none of them really understood that you could save fences by putting all animals of the same type close together. In the group activity, we ended up with one region built by a couple of the kids that was pretty efficient, and then a few outlying pastures — initially there had been a bunch of large unused pastures connecting the outlying pastures, but the kids realized they could take away all those fences.