Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lesson 2- Year 2

1.      (name of student) (animal) is always sneezing  before it rains. Today it is sneezing. “It is going to rain” – thinks (name of student). Is he/she correct? 
       First I asked who had a pet, and nobody did, except Katya, who said she had a horse (she had a play horse). So I used the horse as an example. It took them some time, and they argued a little with each other (which I think is very good for them, as long as it’s peaceful arguing). Since they didn’t solve it for some time at first, I “simplified” the problem for them by saying that it’s Dima who is yawning before it rains. Katya said “If he is yawning, he should be going to sleep, not predicting rain.” J  We did the same problem last year except with Dima eating chocolate and being happy (they obviously didn’t remember it).
2.      Put 8 toys around a rectangular table so that each of the sides has 3 toys.
We had a small table and we did this problem by placing 8 poker chips around the perimeter of the table. After a few minutes, they figured out that they could put the poker chips in the corners and that would count for two sides instead of one.

3.     Arrange the dominoes how it is done above (grey) so the sum of every side is the same. 
I cut out these dominoes (you can use really ones also) and asked them to solve it by putting it in the formation above with every side having the same sum. But they are still very little, and counting to numbers like 15 AND having to figure out how to add the other ones together to get that number is too hard for them, so after a few minutes I told them that each side had to add up to 12, and then in a minute or two they figured it out.

4.      There is a power outage, and everything is dark. I know there is a drawer in the room. There are 8 blue and 8 red gloves in the drawer. How many gloves should I pick to get at least one pair of alike (in color) gloves? What if there were 12 blue gloves and 12 red gloves?
We did this problem last year too, and it looks like they didn’t remember/understand a lot of the problems from last year, because now when I gave them similar problems to the ones we had last year, they don’t remember it at all and have to think again and solve it afresh (which is good for them). But they grew up noticeably since last year so they solved the problem faster than they did last year just because they’re older now, and they go to school, and have to do some type of math there too.
5.      Each pair is given red and blue poker chips. Players sit back to back, so they do not see each other’s move. The players are NOT allowed to communicate! If both play a red chip, they get 2 points each. If they play different colors, the one who plays the blue gets 3 points, and the one who plays the red gets nothing. If both play blue, both get 1 coin each. The purpose   is to get as many points as possible. What is the safer choice to make? What choice gets you more points?
For this problem, I asked them to work with a partner and I recorded the points that they got. Then after a couple minutes of playing I asked them what was the safest choice to make. They all answered “blue because in any case you get some points, and unlike with the red chips, you don’t have the risk of getting zero”. Correct.
6.      Play robot (opposite). The kids have to get me from one point of the room to another while giving me instructions (I’m the robot), but I do everything opposite from what they say.

I asked them if they remembered backwards Simon Says, and they said “YES! That was so fun!”! Then I asked them if they remembered “robot” and they yelled “YES! That’s our favorite game!” Then I asked them if they wanted to try playing “backwards robot”- a mix of their two favorite games. They were so happy! They took turns controlling me from one spot of the room to another (this was a good cool-down activity). 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lesson 1- Year 2

1.      1.      Mr. and Mrs. Boo have two sons. Each of them has a sister. How many kids are there in Boo’s family?
This took SO long for them to understand (even though I think it was a good warm-up and exercise because it made them think- I try to make all the problems like that, but that doesn’t always work out). Even after I hinted them for so long that we got to the answer, they took some time to understand. To check their understand, I asked “If there were 1000 brothers and each one had a sister, how many sisters would there be?” and I found out that they didn’t really understand the first problem, because at first, they again yelled “1000!” but after a couple of minutes they understood. 

1.      2. Construct three non-intersecting routes from the gates to the houses. Each gate should be connected to a house with the same number as the number on the gate.
I think that this was a good exercise because they had to think about what they were going to do before they did it, and they had to visualize where the paths were going to be. They actually found three different solutions to this puzzle, which was surprising, because I only found one when I was solving it (not that I spent too much time on it, but still). 

3. Continue the pattern. 
Since this was the first class of this year, I think that this was a good problem to make the kids think back to what we did the previous year with patterns, and it took like 5-10 minutes for them to solve this problem. I think the kids grew up a lot since last year (a year is a lot for them, since they are only 5-6 years old) because when somebody didn’t understand the problem, instead of me having to go and explain it to them, other kids went and helped (without being told to do so). Also, they didn’t fool around as much (even though a couple were a little shy because they haven’t done this in a while or seen any of the kids (and me) in some time.

4.   There are 6 fish in a fish tank– 4 blue fish, 3 green fish and 1 purple fish. How many of these fish can each say that it is the same color as another one?
After a minute or two they figured it out (I actually used poker chips of different colors for this problem to represent the fish. A nice joke when they solved the problem “Actually, I was tricking you all along. The answer’s zero! Have you ever heard of talking fish?!”

1.   5. What do you see?
This was nice because the kids were all starting to get tired and their attention was drifting, and I passed this picture around the table and asked very person to describe what they saw (and then I explained it was an illusion so it can look like two things at once, and I explained how it was made/how it worked), so every person had to pay attention. 

1.    6. 2 penguins were sitting on ice – a big penguin and a little penguin. The little penguin was the son of the big penguin, but the big penguin was not his father. How do you explain this?
It took them a couple of minutes to solve this problem (they clearly didn’t understand the problem at first because they said that the big penguin might be an older sister or brother). This surprised me, because actually, we did the same exact problem last year, except it was with dentists instead of penguins (I guess those are two completely different problems for the kids). I kind of used this problem to check how much the kids remember from the previous year. After they solved the problem, I asked them “Do you remember doing this same problem last year with the dentists?” And they answered “Dentists?! Are you crazy? How are dentists and penguins at all similarJ?” 

General Notes:
I thought we would fit in many more problems in this class (I prepared about twice more), but since it was the first class of the year, I guess it took some time for them to adjust back to this type of thinking ( now that they are going to school, they are getting used to straightforward thinking).