I jump off the swing without hurting anyone, myself included. I turn to my wife and say, "I'm going to test something out when we get bagels." We walk over to the bagel establishment, place our order, and I grab a couple of straws. Enter this picture:
Your Baby Can Read series and have found it wonderful. I highly recommend it. The following is in one of his books.
|Find the biggest comb.|
He looks at me blankly as he chews on his bagel. I didn't expect him to understand what I had just said. That's okay. I'm still going to use this language. I follow it up with this.
Me: Let's put them in order starting with the smallest.
Me: Where is the small piece?
He points to the small piece.
Me: Okay, let's put that first (as I place it on is left). Where is the medium?
He points to the medium size piece.
Me: Let's put that next to the small piece.
Me: Here, let's move it next to the small piece. What piece is left?
Son: The large! (saying it like he's just won the lottery).
Again, I'm not claiming my son is the next Einstein. I need to keep him honest and humble at the same time so here's how I proceed. I take the largest straw wrapper and rip off a tiny piece so that it's smaller than what we previously agreed was the "small one". I temporarily hide the piece previously known as the "large one".
Me: Now which piece is the small?
He points to the new tiny piece.
Me: and the medium?
Son: This one (pointing to the piece formally known as 'small')
Me: and the large?
Son: This one (pointing to the piece formally known as 'medium')
I hope you're following me. If not, here's a picture to compare to the first one.
|Previous small, medium, & large|
|New small, medium, & large|
Me: What size is this?
Me: This is the small, medium, and large (as I point at the new small, medium, and large) so what size is this piece (pointing at the piece formally known as "large")?
I give him a few seconds to contemplate, mull it over, and possibly share his own name. Nope, nothing. He's perplexed. He's staring at it. He wants to call it something. He wants to have a name for it and compare it to the other three, but is looking for some direction here. I can see he's just about to take another bite of his bagel and be done with his dad's straw wrapper experiment. I jump in and say, "It's EXTRA large!" If this conversation was happening six months from now, I'd ask if the newly named piece would be "extra large" or stay known as "large." Likewise, would the tiny piece now known as "small" be correct or be known as the "extra small" piece? You decide.
Lastly, a wonderful 3 Act opportunity made an appearance at the end of our bagel extravaganza today. I'll be posting it on Dan Meyer's 101qs.com so let me know the first question that comes to mind right here. It might be winter, but math is not in hibernation. It's still out there in the wild. Be ready to capture it any chance you get.
Small, medium, or large,