- Topic: Addition: Book: Mall Mania by S. Murphy.
- Topic: Primes: As a followup to last week, I made bags of 65, 91, and 95 unit cubes, gave one bag to each of the three kids, and asked them to prove that those numbers weren’t prime by making them into a rectangle.
- Topic: Logic: We did about ten puzzles from Logic Links, numbers 1-8, 50, and 51. To make a set of pieces for each kid I used Unifix cubes and printed-out boards. These puzzles have clues like “There is a blue cube directly to the left of the orange cube.” and you have to figure out the position of all the cubes.
How Did It Go?
We had three kids this week. Two of them were somewhat out of sorts, so the group was less attentive than usual.
This book has a bunch of different interesting adding strategies, so it would be a good lead-in to an addition activity.
Kid 65 recalled that you could get to 65 counting by 5’s, and tried that out right away successfully. Kid 91 tried a very long (and spread out) 2-wide rectangle. Kid 95 decided to use the hundred plate as a guide and tried out a 10-wide rectangle. When 2-wide didn’t work, kid 91 didn’t want to try anything else. I mentioned that you could check things quickly by skip counting and seeing whether you got your number. We skip counted 3, 5, and finally 7, but kid 91 wasn’t interested in checking whether you could make a 7-wide rectangle. Kid 95 worked slowly and eventually found that 10-wide didn’t work. Kid 91 had noticed that you got 95 counting by 5’s, but kid 95 didn’t see how that helped. I showed them that 95 did work with a 5-wide rectangle. Kid 95 had suggested doing the prime rectangles activity with larger numbers the previous week, so it was surprising that the kids weren’t a bit more interested in this activity — might have just been a one-off problem, but it does take quite a while for them to make rectangles with this many cubes.
Even with the L and R printed on the boards, understanding what “The blue block is directly to the left of the red block” means was challenging. In particular, you really have to pay attention to the order the blocks are mentioned. Besides that, the kids were good at following the directions individually, and decent at combining all the clues to get the final answer. However, they definitely aren’t good at abstracting what the clues imply — for example, one of the clues was “There are 3 red cubes. One of the red cubes only touches red cubes” which means that there must be an L shape of red cubes in the corner. One of the kids got tired of the puzzles and said they were bored and wanted to stop. Again, might be a one-off, we’ll have to see how it goes next time.