## The Activities

**1. Topic: Division. **Book: Divide and Ride by Murphy. This is good book about 11 friends going to an amusement park. How many ride cars will they fill? How many empty seats will be left over?

**2. Topic: Sorting. **Work together to sort the letters A – Z. How fast can you do it?

The trickiest part of the alphabet: Ellemeno.

**3. Topic: Combinations.** Find all unique animals for the Math Pet Shop. We had pictures of three animals: dog, bird, and snake, each with a bow around its neck. The kids had 3 color choices for the body of the animal and 2 choices for the bow. Here are the animal pictures. After finding the combinations, we sorted the pet shop:

**4. Topic: Spatial Reasoning, Tesselations. **Cover a half-sheet of paper with wooden pattern blocks, so that no white paper is showing.

A successful strategy.

Another successful strategy.

An unsuccessful strategy.

## How did it go?

All 5 kids attended this week. It was a very focused and fun circle.

#### Divide and Ride

The kids loved the amusement park theme of this book, and each kid got a chance to put the 11 friends into cars for a different ride. We used plastic pumpkin tokens as the friends.

#### Sorting the Alphabet

We’ve sorted parts of the alphabet the last few weeks. Today I gave them the whole alphabet on foam paper squares, and said they should work together to sort it. I handed out a few letters to each kid. I also timed them while they worked.

Their strategy was to sing the alphabet, and then each check their letters to see if they had the next letter. Also, the people with the X, Y, and Z put them at the end immediately.

This strategy worked pretty well since the number of cards each kid had was pretty manageable. However, singing the alphabet proved to be a bit tricky, -especially L-M-N-O-P, which the kids sang very quickly. They ended up missing N & O initially…skipping from M to P.

They worked together surprisingly well, though at the very end they started to get silly. They laughed really hard at the end when I found their two mistakes. O was missing, and V was in the wrong place.

#### Math Circle Pet Shop

The first 6 or so animals were pretty easy…almost anything you picked would be a new. Then it got tougher…a couple kids got a bit frustrated when they brought me an animal and found that there was already an exact match on the wall.

Then they started looking at the animals already on the wall. The kids would pick a type of animal they wanted to color, and then a body color. They could then look at the wall to see what color bow would be new.

Eventually we got 6 puppies, 5 snakes, and 5 birds. The kids immediately suggested there should be one more snake and one more bird. Two kids were able to figure out the missing snake and bird.

#### Tesselations

We did this a couple months ago, but most kids had not been able to finish the activity.

Last time one kid tried to cover the whole paper with squares. Last time it didn’t work because he switched to a different shape halfway through. This time he came up with the same strategy. Another kid saw what he doing and also started using squares. Unfortunately, there were not enough squares to cover both papers. Eventually the second kid switched to hexagons (because I was using hexagons), and she generously gave all her squares to the first kid, who was able to finish covering the whole paper. Afterward he said it was a lot of work, like one or two hours to finish.

Two kids covered their whole papers with hexagons, after I started doing that.

My son tried to use a mix of shapes, but that gets tricky quickly, so he eventually got frustrated and just threw a handful of shapes on his paper.

The last kid and I worked together to cover the paper with blue diamonds.

After this, we all picked up the shapes and circle was over!