Circle 4: Three block towers January 25, 2020

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

This week, I am changing format. Instead of three short activities, with possible trouble changing between tasks, I would do two or even just one activity. I think kids have longer attention span than we give them credit for. We will see…

Worm habitat.

How many different towers can you make with one red, one blue, and one yellow block?(credits go to https://www.youcubed.org/tasks, a wonderful website). 

I invented a story to go with the task to get the kids interested. We had worms (I glued googly eyes on pipe cleaners) who wanted houses. But the worms were very picky about their houses: they wanted them with three blocks, one red, one pink, and one yellow; in addition, each worm wanted a house that did not look like any other one.  

If you ask my kids what they learned at the math club, they will tell you that they learned about what kind of houses worms like.

  • The blocks were a big hit.
  • It was hard to put the worms in their “houses” and some of the eyes fell off (I used Elmer Glue because I didn’t have any hot glue gun).
  • The first graders got all six different houses. I then asked them how many different houses would there be if we could repeat colors. They started on it but lost interest quickly (the answer is 27 and we didn’t have enough blocks anyways). They made up all kinds of crazy stories about the worm population.
  • The preschoolers got five and I couldn’t prompt them to get them to find the last one.

The activity lasted about 20 minutes. When the kids went off task, I switched activity. In retrospect, I would have liked to gather everyone as a group and talk about what they have done and why they think 6 is the maximum number of houses.

Which one does not belong?

For the next activity, I continued the Which one does not belong? Discussion. This time with more objects, as opposed to shapes. Last time, the kids seemed to find much more to say about objects. 

This seemed to calm down the groups and it was a good activity to finish.

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