Friday, October 24, 2014

Math at the beach

Who: J2
When: vacation time
Where: at the beach resort!

With late October here, we figured that people in higher northern latitudes would enjoy hearing about our recent trip to the beach. Of course, you don't want to hear about sand, sun or seafood, you just come here for the educational tidbits, so I won't bore you.

Instead, let me offer a little example that shows a math discussion can come up anywhere.  What do you notice about this picture?  What does the 2 or 5 or 7 year old next to you think?

Here are some of the points our kids discussed:
- How many floors are there in the hotel? Led by J2.
- What should the numbering be? Led by J1.
- How many floors are there between M and the floor labelled 8? What about the floor labelled 15? J1 and J2.
- Is 7 the same as 17? Led by J3

Also, since the elevator had a glass back, the kids were able to connect higher number floors with a powerful visual of being physically higher.

Even safety indications can be a fruitful source:

We talked about our mass compared to the posted capacity (to be polite, not when mommy or grandpa or non-family members were in the elevator), how many people were there, and how to compare the 17 person limit with the 1150 kg limit.

Finally, you see that this pic was from elevator number 4.  At each floor, there was an indicator to show where each elevator was and which direction it was moving.  Based on that, we played a game to guess which of the 4 elevators would come to our floor first and, of course, I got them to talk about the thinking behind their guesses.

So, a fun trip to the sea, even if I did get a bit too sunburned.

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