Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Noodle Head

Cecily and I sat doing math from Life of Fred. 

The book tells us that Darlene is helping Joe understand a lesson on doubling by using a dried spaghetti noodle (Joe's snack of choice). She breaks it in half,then again,and again to show that one plus one is two,two plus two is four...and so on.

The book then shows us this:


and tells us to complete the image.

Now,I am trying to help Cecily understand what we are doing here without the help of a dried spaghetti noodle (we are out) and so I draw a line on her paper and use slash marks to represent the breaks in the noodle. 

I make some marks and tell her

We broke it once and got two,twice more and got four,four more times and got eight,eight times more and ended up with sixteen pieces of spaghetti. Now if we break it sixteen times...what do we have?

I put the appropriate slashes on our fake noodle pencil line.

And guys,she loves math and she was listening so attentively and she was concentrating so hard (I really could see the wheels turning) and she was so serious when she answered


And yes,it was true. All we had left were fake spaghetti crumbs. The spaces were now so tiny.

And I laugh.

But we had not arrived at the correct answer yet.

So I tried a different tactic and showed her by simply adding the numbers all the way up to 8 plus 8 and then I told her

Okay,we can use this answer of 16 and pretend that Darlene breaks each piece of spaghetti one last time.

So then I ask her

Now what do we need...?

And still so obviously picturing those spaghetti crumbs she uses her fingers to show me and tells me this:

Most likely some really strong fingernails.

(to break those tiny spaghetti crumbs)

I laugh some more and she giggles along but doesn't really know why we are laughing.

Eventually I think we went off on a tangent and learned about addition using borrowing instead.

You can learn a lot from a book but sometimes I think you just need a good real life experience.

Spaghetti is for eating.

 Joe is apparently smarter than us all.

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