More Or Less

Sometimes I ask my kids to do really obvious things to kill time–things I would never in a million years think that they would a) be intrigued by b) want to do or c) be enthusiastic about doing.  But since I’m wrong about 50% of the time, I always ask.  Because you never know when a lame attempt at getting your kids to clean up will turn into an impromptu math lesson!

All I had to say was, I think there are more pink blocks than red blocks in this room.  Boo-yah.  Jax picked red, Em picked purple (the dark pink/purpley blocks), and we basically began to make a bar graph.  When we stood above it and looked down, the kids got a great visual on which line had more or less, terms that (as a former high school teacher) I would have never thought needed explanation but, as I’m realizing, are concepts that reinforcement and fun can take a long way.

My favorite moment was when two colors were neck and neck and Jax jumped up and down, yelling “They’re equal!”  So that’s why people send kids to preschool!  To teach them cool vocabulary words and concepts that wouldn’t have occurred to me to be appropriate for four-year-olds.  Guess I have a thing or two to learn!

This kept Jax out of trouble for at least a half hour.  It was a game and a race to him–he so wanted red to win!  Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the cards.  It was great to be able to talk about which colors had more or less and to make hypotheses about whether the pink or the purple would win based on a general glance around the room.  Lots of science and math going on in this simple activity!  At least, I think so–remember, I’m an English/literacy girl.  This kind of stuff definitely isn’t in my wheelhouse.  Lucky for me, my kids are up for anything!

And then at the end we counted how many blocks were in each line; since the blocks were all different sizes, some had much more or fewer than we expected.  Like these three lines, which all had seven blocks, but were different lengths.  Not sure what he learned from that, probably something mathematical, but I thought it was pretty cool.

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