- Topic: Measurement: Book: Taro Gomi’s Playful Puzzles for Little Hands. We only did a few puzzles towards the end of the book, most of them involved measurement and were pretty hard!
- Topics: Geometry, Graphs: I made a set of Valentine’s Day themed arrow direction drawings, downloadable here. The rules are, using graph paper (ideally with fairly small squares), you start at a vertex and have one of 8 directions and a distance. I introduced something new this time, which is some of the instructions were in red, which means you moved your pencil but didn’t draw a line.
- Topics: Counting, Graphs: I gave each kid a box of the kind of candy hearts that have messages like “Be Mine” or “Sweet On You” printed on them. Each kid sorted their box by heart color, and then we made a combined graph with how many there were of each color. Then we found as many distinct hearts (message + color) as we could.
How Did It Go?
We had all five kids this week. It was a high energy circle, partly because of candy and partly because four of the five kids had just been to Cirque du Soleil. We spent five minutes at the beginning of circle so each kid who had been to the circus could say their favorite part, and then we got through the rest of circle without any mention of the circus!
One of the problems asked which of a bunch of hats was the shortest and tallest — we tried to find some kind of trick (e.g., number of stripes), but in the end all we could figure out was the measure. Similarly, the next page had two different colored poles cut into pieces and asked which pole (when put together) was longest, which seemed really hard as well.
The kids did pretty well on these, but there was a pretty big spread in ability. Most of the kids made a small mistake from time to time, usually either going the wrong distance or not doing a diagonal at 45 degrees. One kid was noticeably better, going faster and without mistakes. I was worried the red instructions (pick up your pencil) would be confusing, but they understood it easily.
I was originally planning to have them sort by message and make a graph that way, but when we opened the boxes, it turned out that the printing quality on the hearts is really bad — probably at least 1/3rd of them have missing or unreadable messages. Also, it turned out there are a TON of different messages (“Be Happy”, “Nuts 4 U”, …) — we counted 30 different ones — which would have made it hard to make a graph. So we did color instead. And then there was another surprise — there were FAR more oranges than anything else — 3 times as many as most of the other colors! And it was consistent across boxes as well. Seems like a pretty solid result that I’d expect to hold up across many boxes. The kids were pretty excited to find all the different messages and laughed every time we found a new one. The kids were also REALLY excited to eat some of the hearts, but as far as I know they listened to me and didn’t eat any until the end (they got three each).