It’s a tough time of year for teachers, and I don’t say that to garner any sympathy. But I’m going to take a moment to deviate from the regular musings of my classroom and write about my favorite topic: my daughter. The discussion won’t be completely unrelated as I have learned a great deal about my students’ development of mathematical literacy while watching my daughter make sense of numbers, quantities and shape. And of course, Christopher Danielson’s development and facilitation of Talking Math with Your Kids has encouraged me to continue the conversation with my own child. Specifically, I appreciate that his daughter is a few years older that Maria so that I know what I’m looking for and what to look forward to.
Maria (3.5 years old) loves to be outside. As soon as the snow melted, she insisted that it was now summer and hence every activity from that moment forward must be done in the great outdoors. A personal favorite is the sandbox, with water. I’m not opposed to the sandbox overall, but mixed with water, it becomes more like a swamp. Plus, let’s face it. It’s Minnesota. It’s Spring, not Summer, and taking out the hose just isn’t in the cards just yet.
So we made a deal that when the temperature on my weather app reached 70 or above, we could take out the hose. In the mind of my three year-old, this meant that the first of the two digits needed to be a seven. On Saturday, this lucky girl got to take out the hose.
Results as expected.
Sunday, I decided to test Maria’s understanding of these numbers. She again asked “is it seven on the phone?” I instead showed her Chicago’s temperature which was a balmy 82 degrees. As expected, her response was “Aww, it’s not seven so we can’t do water.” I know she knows 8 is bigger than 7, but hasn’t yet connected that a temperature that begins with an 8 represents something warmer than a temperature that begins with a 7.