Circle 2. December 8, 2019

Attendance: Bel (7), Tuh (7), Tari (6), Nia (4), and Bab (4)

Like last time, I started with asking the kids to sort pictures into groups. But this time, I planned it so that some item(s) would belong to two or more groups.  
  • The older kids immediately put the broccoli and trees together. Then noted that “Broccoli is not a tree”, “But it looks like a tree”, “Oh, tree-like and non tree-like” then abandoned the idea for food and non-food groups. Then they grouped it into “yellow and not”
  • The younger kids did “things to eat and not”.
  • I asked Bab to sort because she had been more quiet. She put the rain boots, umbrella, and hat together. When asked to explain, she said that it was “rain items”. Bel mentioned that the rubber duck could be a rain thing.

I suggested making intersecting groups and showed them “things you wear” and “rubber things”. Then asked them whether the umbrella was something you wore “Noooooo!!!!” was the unanimous answer. Tuh told me that it went over the head so it’s not something you wear. I pointed out the hat went over someone’s head and you wore a hat. She said an umbrella goes wayyy above the head and you just hold on to it. [In retrospect, I should have also asked if you wore a purse.]

By this time, the kids were getting rambunctious. Tari arrived. I made room for her next to Bel, but Bel was falling (on purpose) out of her chair and Tuh had her leg on Bel’s chair to keep it far from her chair.

  • Tari sorted into “red things (boots, hat)”, “yellow things (duck, umbrella)” and “multicolor (rubber band balls)”. She is the first to make more than one group.

I tried to push a little further the idea of intersecting sets by showing that the multicolor could be part of red and yellow.

I gave each of them a white board with 8 out of 9 squares filled and asked them to fill the last one. Each kid had a slightly different configuration (green on top). Then I gave them something similar but where only 4 squares were filled. 
Working with white boards

They all found the one shape missing without difficulty (I think they counted how many of each shape there were). For the second part, Bel and Tari did it by making sure there were one triangle, square, and circle in every row and column. Tuh just made sure there were 3 triangles, 3 squares, 3 circles overall on the grid (the bottom tablet is hers). Nia took longer but did like Bel and Tari. Bab needed more help. She told me she couldn’t draw good squares and was more shy about filling things in.

Tari and Bel announced that it was too easy and wanted something else so I set Tari on a 4×4 and added stars. This is just asking them to create a 4×4 pattern – a little like Sudoku but with 4 shapes instead of 9. Tari worked on it for a while. Bel and Tuh riled each other up. They decided it would be big fun to erase the boards with their sleeves. Nia and Bab had fun drawing girls on the white boards.

I asked them again if there were more squares or diamonds. More men or people. More women or moms. More cardinals or birds. 

They answered the non-shape related ones correctly. Tuh said that some women did not have children, so there are more women than moms. The younger kids could not quite explain but gave the right answer too. Nia said something like “when you count people, you count [women?] too” (or maybe that’s my own interpretation of what she said). Bab said “I don’t know”.

The older kids agreed that squares are diamonds but when asked whether there were more diamonds or squares, Tuh and Bel replied “Squares” and Tari “Diamonds” (Tari figured it out last time). Tuh said there are more squares everywhere and Tari said “Some diamonds don’t turn into squares”. I wonder whether has to do with how we teach kids shape – they see squares, rectangles, and diamonds as disjoint sets.

For the last activity, I used cardboard cut outs (square, rectangle, pentagon, triangle, a six-sided non-convex shape, and an eight-sided non-convex shape. For the last activity, I used cardboard cut outs (square, rectangle, pentagon, triangle, a six-sided non-convex shape, and an eight-sided non-convex shape).
How many angles?

They identified the square, rectangle, triangle correctly. When asked how many angles the six-sided shape had, four of the kids said 5 and two of them said 6. Bel commented that one of them was an “inside angle”. I remarked that she called it an angle – even though she said inside angle – so why isn’t it an angle? The answer was still 5 angles. I asked them to count the sides and angles of the triangle (3 and 3), square (4 and 4), rectangle (4 and 4) then the pentagon (5 and 5). When asked how many sides and angles the non-convex shape had (6 and 5). I knew this would happen but did not prepare for it. So I figured I should tell them that inside angles are indeed angles and they should be counted too.

The kids were a lot more energetic this time around (and less disciplined). I had originally planned other activities but had to change because I couldn’t book the room I had last time and was unsure I would have access to a screen. The pictures are from Adobe Stock. You can see the watermark because I did not have the right for them – I hope it’s still ok I used them.

It was fun. I hope some of the kids will try to build their own sudoku and think more about shapes.

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