Thursday, November 13, 2008

In which we learn the proper process for adding large numbers

Good evening ... er ... morning ... ahhh ... very early morning (happy for me, I haven't figured out how to make the "posted at ..." clock on my blog accurate, so you don't really know what time it is). All you smart peeps out there should have been asleep awhile ago. Me, well, things happen, they run in your mind, they keep you up, you can't sleep, so what do you do ... post and tell people about it. :) So now you all get to read my late-night-should-be-sleeping-way-to-crazy-for-normal-people post. Such lucky peeps you are.

On a different subject, during church tonight a little six-year-old girl sat next to me. As she comes from an artistic family she asked if she could draw, so I handed her my notebook. She drew actual pictures of things for a little while before, when I looked down, much to my surprise, I saw this ... (note: pictures were not taken during church, but after I'd arrived home with said notebook :) )

She was, as you can tell, practicing her math. :) How cute is that!? But as I observed, I watched her try new things such as adding "large" numbers. It greatly amused me how she came up with the "hard" answers. Observe ...

In picture #1 we see the easy problems (thus the texts and lines (please click on the pictures to get a better view)) but the hard problem is what we're looking at ... 6+8=? We see in neon greenish circle the first number is 8. The next line shows that 8 can become two 4's + 6. :) Or thus ... 44 6. (I'm not quite sure what the other 6 is doing down by the ones, but it's there because it needs to be, I'm sure.) We then see that because it is still to hard to add them up that we write the correct number of ones (backward mind you) that equal the two parts of the problem. She wrote out eight ones, then she wrote out six ones and then she counted them all. :) Thus ... 6+8=14. Got that? Good, moving on ...
In picture #2 we see much the same thing, only the problem is now 7+6=? But instead of trying to figure out how to break down the different numbers as before (ex. 8 is two 4's.) we just start writing ones (also, they continue to be written backward, it's easier that way). First seven ones, then six ones. And then we add them all together. Yup, you guessed it 7 backward ones + 6 backward ones = 13 backward ones! And then we discover that if we make one number change (ex. 6 to a 7, figure it out, then change the newly changed 7 to a 8 for the next problem and figure it out) we can easily figure these problems out as well! How fancy is that?!Well, I hope you've all learned as much as I did. But, seriously, I loved watching how she figured it out. I could see her mouthing different things, see her counting, "see" the wheels in her head turning. It was great joy!

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

What a fun process! I worked with pre-k students for 5 years and its amayzing to see how each child figures things out.