Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Math & Indians

In the spirt of keeping things Thanksgiving"y" around here and the need to keep our math hands on I decided to pull out some small indian figurines we had. I wanted to introduce odds and evens to Jayden, and it made a good refresher for Morgan. So I stuck these cute little indians on the middle of the school table. We divvied them up fairly and I gave them each a 1-10 number strip and I took out a handful of lentils. I then explained that some numbers are even and some numbers are odd. I'm pretty sure that's where I went wrong because Jayden looks me square in the face and says, "Mom, you're being rude." Excuse me, I'm rude? Say what? This is math, how can I be rude during math? Apparently calling numbers odd wasn't in his book of etiquite. This comes from the child who has odd bodily functions happen at the most inopportune times and then shouts, "Run, it stinks in here now!"

I ignore the comment and tell them both to make the Indians stop fighting. (For the record, if they'd have been pilgrims they would have been fighting too.. it's a boy thing..) I resume my quick odds and evens terms and then say that they need to have their two friends (they each had two Indians) sit quitely and wait for sandwiches. I give them each 2 lentils. I explain that they must give each Indian equal portions of sandwiches. They do. All is good for a moment. We record 2 as an even number because everyone got the same amount.

Jayden says, "I get it. Even is like fair. If they have the same amount that's fair. If they don't then it's unfair." I'm happy he's getting it and figure there's nothing wrong with calling it fair & unfair. We plod on with another even number, er fair.

Then, to shake things up I move to an odd number. I give them each 3 sandwiches and tell them to divide them between their two friends. Morgan is trying to break his 3rd lentil in half and discovers that if he removes the outer skin he can have yellow which he likes better. I've lost him at this point, he's not coming back. He's dead set on making all his lentils yellow. I count my losses and turn to the child who really needed this lesson.

Only I hear a, "That's not fair, you have more then me!" To which the women Indian replied by throwing a sandwich at the chief. The chief is put out by such behavior and tells her to knock it off while throwing the sandwich back while screaming, "You still have more then me. You're rude!"

At this point I have a migraine and I'm thinking 'just keep breathing..' So I breathe and I'm about to say, "Jayden.." when his women indian goes flying off the table while painfully screaming, "You shot me!" Apparently to seek ultimate revenge the chief opted to throw his bow and arrow at her which whacked her baby. While she scrambled to get out of the way of the next attack he stole her extra sandwich.

I remove all indians from the table. We discover 3 is an odd number. I give back the indians while breathing, barely, but I'm still breathing. I point out that this is math, Indians are not mean and they wouldn't throw sandwiches at each other. I'm informed that, "We know there not mean, but he had more and it was rude and she wasn't sharing, he had to do something!"

I'm pretty sure this math lesson has gone down the drain. We put the indians away. I give them a 100's chart and point out the pattern of odd and even between 1-10. We then color in those numbers to recreate the pattern. We play Joey-Joey. The losing child's indians now attacks the winning child's indians.

Someone screams, "That was me not the indian, I'll get you for that now!" I hear a water bottle spill. I see two figures wrestling under the table. My migraine has exceeded human pain and I call it quits on math. I'm destined to believe that indians, cowboys, guns, and bows will never grace our math table again. The boys are still giggling, I'm holding my head and wondering if it's okay to declare bedtime at 3 in the afternoon.

At dinner my head is still hurting and my family is served pancakes, because after the war of math I'm left with little energy to make the chicken pot pie that was on the menu. I give each child 3 pancakes. I sit down and Mr Scarecrow says, "Pass the cream please."

While Morgan passes the cream Jayden looks at his plate of mini pancakes; he looks at Morgan's plate of mini pancakes and he bursts out with, "We have a fair number of pancakes. Was that the blue or red one Mom?" My migraine lifts just a pinch and I say, "Blue Jayden. That means they were even." "Right, Morgan we have even/fair pancakes!" "Jayden, don't be weird 3 is not an even number." He proceeds to put one of his pancakes back so he now has an even number on his plate.

Jayden scowls and becomes indignant. "Now you messed it up Morgan and we have unfair pancakes!" "Two is an even number Jayden, it's not unfair just because you have more then me!"

Only, my migraine has lifted and I'm smiling, and I look at Jayden and say, "You're right. There is now an odd amount of pancakes between two friends. Morgan must take one more pancake to make it even again." Now Morgan scowls, "MOM! You know two is an even number!" "Ahh yes, but so is six. And if I give two friends six pancakes to share they must each take three for it to be fair." Morgan plucks his pancake back off the platter while Mr Scarecrow raises his eyebrows.

"Indians Dear, Indians." I'm pretty sure Mr Scarecrow has the migraine now..


Alice@Supratentorial said...

This is hysterical. The sad part is I can see the entire thing happening from start to finish at my own house.

Diane said...

That is so funny.

Michele said...

That was so funny! :)