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Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Napping House Problem

During Math Workshop, I read The Napping House, by Audrey Wood. I asked the kids to figure out how many characters were in the bed? They were quick to list and count the characters looking for more of a challenge. I then asked how many feet were in the bed. Scholars thought that would be easy so I added a spider to the problem. This made them think. After a quick lesson on the difference between an insect and an arachnid, scholars were off to work their brains.
As I planned this problem, I was confident that scholars would be able to handle the counting involved. What I really wanted to see was how they would organize the information. Here is a sampling of their work.

At first, Thomas was attempting to count the number of feet in his head. When this proved unsuccessful, he decided to use a chart where he listed each character and then used tally marks to total the number of feet.

This chart labels each character and marks for each foot. The numbers along the right side demonstrate a growing understanding of how charts and graphs work.

Gracie's graph lists each character along the left and numbers along the bottom. This graph makes the information easy to see and analyze.

Jacky grouped the characters and their feet into manageable bits so she could add the number of feet.

When presented with the problem, Kate reported that the answer would have to be 'in the 20's'. This comment demonstrates a strong sense of number. It also shows that Kate is thinking about 'reasonableness', a math skill that will serve her well!
Kate first solved the problem without the spider using pictures. Then she attempted a graph to  show the information including the spider. This work shows a growing understanding of the components of a graph.

Janette created a very well organized chart where she listed the characters and used tally marks to count the number of feet. The idea of a spider having 8 legs was new for her as evidenced by her illustration of an 8 legged spider.

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