# My Friend’s Mom Is Always Right (Age 6)

## The Activities

1. Topics: Numbers, Large Numbers: The Cat in Numberland, Chapter 1, by I. Ekeland.
2. Topic: Large Numbers: First, I asked the kids to come up with numbers with increasing sizes (first 1 digit, then 2 digits, …).  After they stopped being able to come up with things, I wrote powers of 10 up to a quintillion.  I also wrote a googol and had them help me count the zeroes.  Next, each kid wrote down the biggest number they could on a sheet of paper.  I asked them which kid’s number was largest, and then I asked if it was the largest possible number.  Then I guided them through a proof by contradiction that there is no largest number.
3. Topic: Programming: We revisited the Dance Programming activity.  First I called out commands (Down, Up, Jump, Spin) and the kids did them.  Then I taught them a few programs I had made that used the four commands plus “Do X times {… }” loops and function calls.  Next I had them each say a 3-command function for us all to do.  Finally, I asked each kid to write down a named function, with the rule that if you used a “Do X” loop X was at most 5.  Then I made a program that called all their functions and a couple of the kids did it.
4. Topic: Programming: We revisited the Cargo Bots activity.  I made a new version of the board, download here.  First, we moved a single block from one end to the other; then two blocks; and finally, they needed to move two blocks of different colors from one end to other so that the final ordering was the same (i.e., if red is on top initially, it should be on top at the end as well).

## How Did It Go?

We had four kids this week.  This circle went pretty well, we had some good discussions and some good problem solving.  The kids sometimes thank us after circle(usually prompted by parents) , this time one of them said “Thanks for giving circle to me.”

#### The Cat in Numberland

This was a popular book with the older circle.  There was a part about how not all numbers can play division together — two of the four kids got the idea.  When it got to the part about infinity, several of the kids already knew something about infinity.  One kid said “My friend says that her mom is always right, and her mom says infinity is a number.”

#### Large Numbers

Most of the kids had trouble coming up with a number above 1000.  Even the kids that knew larger numbers like 1,000,000 couldn’t make arbitrary seven digit numbers.  The kids enjoyed counting out 100 zeroes when I was writing a googol.  The kids varied in their approaches to writing large numbers.  Some did 1 followed by lots of zeroes, others wrote somewhat random sequences.  I wrote a large number as well — I started with 9’s for obvious reasons, but I discovered that 9 is pretty slow to write, and so I switched to 1’s which are really fast to write.