Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fortune Math tellers??

Morgan has an incredible memory. All though, his memory is much like mine where we remember the oddest and weirdest things from a long time ago, but ask us where we just put the jug of milk and we might pull up a blank. So yesterday while we were eating lunch and discussing what school was left to be done Morgan pipes up and says, "What I really want to know is if you can make me one of those things that says things." Yup, really that's all the info he gave me. In the past I would have been highly irritated and drawn a total blank which would have caused him to become equally irritated. However, God blessed me with a moment of clarity and I patiently (a total miracle) said, "I'd love to help you, but I need more information to go on."

He thinks a minute and says, "I'm talking about those paper things Poppy knows how to make. You know and they are folded up and you lift up a paper and there's something under it. I saw them in a movie too and the guy didn't like what it said so he ripped it up and threw it away."

I have no idea what movie he's talking about, to be totally honest, but I did know what he meant when he said Poppy made one. Funny thing is I remember Poppy making one when Jayden was like 2. It kept the boys entertained for an incredible amount of time while they tried to figure out how his PAPER puppet was eating that funny fly.

I told Morgan we needed paper, so we retired to the school room (where our art stash is) and I pulled out a sheet of paper and trimmed it down to a square. From there I wanted to make his fortune teller (really hate that name so I'm going to call it a Cootie Catcher) simplistic because I wasn't sure if he'd ever used one. I also wasn't into it telling a fortune, but I knew he wanted words in it.

I got the whole thing folded up and wrote silly thing inside like, "Watch out for spiders." or "You're awesome!" and then some more intelligent things like, "God Loves you." and "You're very special." This entire project took us maybe five minutes and in the end he was quite pleased with himself. I was grateful I'd been able to figure out what he was talking about, because when you can't it really upsets him.

Jayden was a tad put out though because I wrote the color names on it instead of putting blotches of color on. I did, however use simplistic colors with no rule breakers in it. Pink, Black, Green, Red. I used numbers, and wondered if in the end I should have used number words, and here, my friends, is why I'm posting this!

It dawned on me as Morgan was sitting there spelling out colors and reading them off that in a matter of hours he knew those colors and their letters quite quickly. He was also counting out the opening and closing of his little cootie catcher quite quickly. So it dawned on me that while I didn't mean for it to be, I could have easily pulled one of those off as a math lesson, especially if I had put written words for the numbers.

Mind you, it's not working out equations or learning to estimate. It's not mastering decimals or counting money, but in a very quick time the boys mastered a few hand eye skills and even adding and subtracting as they realized they had over or under counted. In fact, I'm pretty sure when that paper machine dies (because it will, most likely at the mouth of the washer because no one ever empties their pockets..) I can see myself making one with a few sneaky math ideas in it..

Not sure what a fortune teller/Cootie Catcher is or how to make one? You can see how to make your own here, or you can print out one from Fall/Halloween Cootie Catcherer, Nick Jr Variety.


Sugga Mama said...

I so want to know your math ideas. I can't believe I remembered how to make a cootie catcher, but I did. I just made one for my 9 year old.

I was thinking you could make one and instead of colors you could use the days of the week or month of the year.

Please do share any math ideas with me!!!


Kendra said...

We'll actually have another math post coming up as soon as I get our photos uploaded. ;) You should be able to see past math ideas here though! :D

Jimmie said...

How funny! We made these this week as a Civil War activity (review ?s inside). I was planning on doing an article on using "cootie catchers" for learning! :-)

Tracey said...

Love this idea Kendra!