Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Solving for X

Common Core's math focus is to teach kids how to examine a problem in different ways in an attempt to develop critical thinking.  That sounds great - in theory.  Our experience of it, at least as it's being implemented in LAUSD, is a rush to introduce concepts at age-inappropriate levels - using terms of questionable accuracy.   While typical children can learn shades of meaning for misused words or catch up to concepts eventually, Liam is very literal.  He learns words and concepts and commits them to memory, seeing any deviation as WRONG!

So my husband, John, came up with a different way to show several ways to solve the same problem, using a basic algebra concept - solve for "x."

"X" can equal anything and you can use any function you know to solve the problem different ways.  My husband and I can take turns with different ways to solve a problem, letting Liam come up with yet another.  The more functions you know, the more you can use.  The possibilities are endless.

Today, John and Liam started with "X=1" and "X=2."  Liam took to the idea right away.  The end result looked like this:

The board can be moved anywhere - in this case, balanced on the bed, so Liam could crawl, kneel, stand or sit in any position to work on the problem.  This has a lot of promise.  

And being another "beautiful rainy day," after math class, some puddle jumping was in order.

video

For music, Liam figured out the 20th Century Fox theme on the piano and on a tiny keyboard as part of "Drawing Carl" on his iPad.  He recreated the gold 20th Century Fox logo too, but erased it before I got a picture.  It was pretty cool.  

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