Monday, September 15, 2008

Less than, Same, Greater Than

I got to help out in LilKat1's 1st grade class for the first time. He's got a bunch of really nice kids in his class! I had a very good time helping out. I even got a big ole' hug as I was leaving from a little girl that I had just met. I also had this conversation with another little girl.

Girl: What's your name?
Me: Well, my name is Mr. BigKat, but some kids can't remember so they just call me LilKat1's Dad.
Girl: You have a funny last name.
Me: Really? Well, it is kind of long.
Girl: No. It's funny.
Me: What's your last name?
Girl: Flibbidy-Floo
Me: Your last name is funny too. I guess we're the funny last name twins!

(high fives)

When I got to class, they had started working on math. They were working on Less Than, Same As, and More Than. Here's how it worked. Each kid had a bunch of blocks. They got a number card and some cards that said 'Less Than', 'Same', and 'More Than'. They were supposed to gather a number of blocks that was the same as the number card, then put those blocks on their 'Same' card. Then they were to gather a number of blocks that was less than their number card, then put those blocks on their 'Less Than' card. Then do the same type of thing for their 'More Than' card.
Most of the kids weren't sure what to do. So I had many conversations that went like this:

Me: What's the number on your card?
Kid: Five
Me: So put 5 blocks on your 'Same' card

(kid does this)

Me: Ok, so now, what's a number that's less than 5?
Kid: Two
Me: So put 2 on your 'Less Than' card.

(kid does this)

Me: Now, what's a number that's more than 5?
Kid: Nine
Me: Ok, then put 9 on your 'More Than' card

I had something resembling this conversation for almost every kid there. Sometimes more than once (and sometimes the Same as once).

But LilKat1 figured this lesson out right away. And by figured out, I mean he found the lazy way to quickly do this activity, and was very proud of himself for doing so. What he would do is put the correct number of blocks on the 'Same' card, then just put the rest of his blocks on the 'More Than' card without counting them. He knew that the number would be always be bigger than the 'Same' card and that having zero blocks on the 'Less Than' card would also always be correct.

When I went to check his work, he just sat there grinning at me. After I told him it was good, I got a new number card for him and told him to do it again. And he quickly repeated his same trick again. Sneaky kid that LilKat1...

But you know, it's probably the same thing I would've done.

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