## Tuesday, November 29, 2011

### Surprising Ways to Make 8

As we work on computation we are getting rolling with just breaking numbers apart. With the goal of keeping things open ended I started today's lesson with just the title here, Ways to Make 8. The students began in unsurprising ways, such as the actual number 8 and using our fingers (that's the odd looking thing right under the title in the picture). They suggested drawing 8 crayons, 8 rocks, 8 legos, 8 flowers, and 8 people. It took a while before we got to the idea of 4 and 4 and then on to other combinations. In the midst of all these ideas a few students suggested using materials, such as blocks, bears, and books. I couldn't understand exactly what they meant as it wasn't clear that they just wanted to get 8 of the item, so off they went to show me. I love what they created!

Kassia said...

Yea! This is one of my favorite routines, ways to make a certain number. Great seeing your creative mathematicians. Could also ask, how could you make 8 with two dice? What would 8 be a lot of (elephants, planets, whole chickens for dinner)? What would 8 not be a lot of (grains of sand, goldfish crackers for snack, etc). Good way to relate numbers to relative magnitude.

Jill Fisch said...

How creative!

Jenny said...

Kassia, Thank you for the thoughts on relative magnitude! That will be wonderful to add as we continue these discussions.

Jill, I love it when the kids surprise me. I just need to be better about giving them the leeway to do so!

Shel P said...

All of these representations of the number 8 show me that you've got some deep thinkers in your class.It's a great way to show one of my favorite concepts: that math is all around us, and we are all mathematicians EVERY DAY! Great post!

Kristin said...

What a fun way to help students see multiple representations of the number 8. I love that they used the Froggy books - and that you encouraged them to do that. Good stuff.

Snyve said...

The creativity in young minds is amazing. Give a similar prompt to a group of adults and you'd probably get a variety of math facts. At what point does this change in creativity occur? How do we continue to foster this kind of thinking throughout our students' entire education experience?

Jenny said...

Shel, math is all around us ! I need to remember that more often in order to help the kids see it.

Kristen, sadly I'm not sure I encouraged them. The best I can say is that I gave them the chance, and I'm so glad I did!

Snyve, that's a good question and one I struggle with. I taught 4th & 5th graders and they were much less likely to do this sort of thing. They had a better idea of what a teacher would expect, I think.