Yesterday was probably the calmest lesson I’ve had with the girls to date. I gave each of them a task, and watched them peacefully plugging away. Varya was supposed to write down numbers that could be made using rods with two beads and Katie had to do the same thing for three-beaded rods (this was done again using the Montessori beads). I was afraid that they would get bored very quickly, but in fact the opposite happened – the girls kept asking for more time to write down more numbers!

Here are the results:

I feel that I should be able to learn something about the girls’ personalities from these :-). Any ideas? Varya’s numbers are certainly neater, and more consistent in size. The sizes of Katie’s written numbers were growing with their magnitudes for a while. After the first line, I couldn’t restrain myself any longer, and told her that if they got any bigger she would only have room for a few more numbers. As you can see, she got them a bit more under control after that.

I will leave it to the reader to figure out which numbers I had them circle. I wanted to write these numbers out on a separate piece of paper and then have them count by sixes, but I ran out of time. Perhaps it wouldn’t have made an impression on them anyway. I did, however, have each of them figure out the pattern of which numbers ended up being circled (every second one for Katie and every third for Varya).

The main lesson learned from the experience: if I want to decrease the chaos, I should give them individual tasks more often!

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About aofradkin

I enjoy thinking about presenting mathematical concepts to young children in exciting and engaging ways.