Sunday, 12 February 2012

At school we were sorting 2d shapes according to number of sides and whether they have curved or straight sides. It was a really good lesson ( well I was enjoying it which says a lot). With my most able little maths minds, I was moving them on to thinking about the intersection between two groups ( a la your classic Venn diagram) and what could fit in the intersection between not curved and curved ( we found a semi circle fitted our needs but I appreciate beyond the elementary level of maths this might not work). Anyway, in trying to explain the point of an intersection I split the two hoops up and said - what if this was boys and this was girls - would there be an intersection and what would be in it? Immediately the 'tom boy' announced that she would go in the intersection and another girl piped up with 'and a camp boy'. I DO NOT MAKE THIS UP - out of the mouths and all that! As part of this learning about shapes I went on a game which said that circles have 0 sides. I always thought that a circle has 1 side but I am wrong. R looked it up on the interweb and it has between 0 and infinite sides. That is the kind of helpful thing that really makes maths accessible to 5 year olds ( and their teachers). Anyway, apparently if you insist that sides are straight it is easy to see why a circle has 0, but what about a semi circle?

Home from all that head boiling in maths to find H has been given a year 9 maths test for homework. Really got my brain cells bubbling, thinking about algebra for the first time since I was 16, which begs the question why MOST people do such maths at school - when most of us use it for things like calculating which pizza is cheaper and whether the bargain really is a bargain. She had to do some pointless things with graphs about the Eurovision song contest, and she coped really well, only needing help with a few questions about negative numbers. She has a very strong mental map of numbers and relationships between them but it all unwinds for her when you go below 0. I am not sure that my image of it being like a mirror of positive numbers was helpful. But that might just be because I am her mother and therefore know very little, despite her love and cuddles, I am a maths no hoper, spending my days with 5 year olds adding and subtracting to 20 and not doing tricky things like she does.

I spent Wednesday dressed up as a fairy godmother of sorts, and had a fabulous day role playing fairy tales and eating a fairy tale banquet for lunch and acting out a comedy version of the Enormous Turnip for the children for the entertainment. We invited parents in at the end of the day to read Fairy Tales and had a big response and a fantastic day.

Half term now - time to do things like wash my hair, cut my toe nails and moisturise. Just the once.

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