Furry Monsters Hate Raisins (Age 5)

The Activities

  1. Topics: Arithmetic, Counting: Book: Math for All Seasons by G. Tang.  We read about half the pages, solving each problem.
  2. Topics: Combinations, Venn Diagrams, Attributes: The kids made pumpkins using 2 different kinds of eyes, 1 kind of nose, and 2 kinds of mouths, each with 2 orientations (right-side up or upside-down) — download templates here.  The goal was to make as many different pumpkins as possible.  After that, we made Venn diagrams with attributes like “Half-circle Eyes” or “Upside-down Mouth”.IMG_1740
  3. Topic: Logic: We solved several Halloween-related logic story problems.  We’ve done this activity before with this circle, but this time we did all seven puzzles instead of just three.IMG_1741
  4. Topics: Estimation, Counting: We have a small plastic skeleton bucket (about the size of a baseball).  One at a time, I filled the bucket with several different types of item: glass beads, paper clips, etc.  For each item type, he kids all guessed how many there were in the bucket, and then we counted as a group.

How Did It Go?

We had four kids this week.

Math for All Seasons

The kids liked counting the items.  I don’t think they ever did the clever counting methods until after I suggested it.

Pumpkin Combinations

The kids did a pretty good job coming up with different pumpkins.  I taped each one to the wall after checking whether it was different.  There were a few duplicates which we fixed by turning one of the parts upside down (since we were using glue sticks, this was easy to do).  They ended up making 18 of the 32 possible pumpkins; they didn’t get blocked, they just got tired of making pumpkins.  Around this time, one of the kids started to get distracted and remained that way for the rest of this activity and the next as well.

The Venn diagrams went pretty well — they weren’t all that great with the overlaps, but they understood the idea.  We did a three-circle Venn diagram, and they did alright with that as well.

Halloween Logic

I still helped them some, keeping things moving, but they were much faster than last time we did this (in March).  They were more likely to guess and fix things later, and they understood all the clues right away.  So we were able to get through all 7 of the puzzles.  Two of the kids (including the distracted one) thought the clue “Furry monsters hate raisins” was hilarious.

Skeleton Estimation

They guessed low every time, except for a guess of 90 for small plastic acorns when the answer was 36.  In general I’ve found that they almost always guess too low.  They were particularly far off for paper clips (largest guess was 60, answer was 179).  They enjoyed counting the items as a group.


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