Not too long ago, Katie was happy to do random arithmetic problems that resulted (semi)-naturally from our conversations. However, recently, when I try to turn something into a calculation for her she says, “I don’t want a problem” or “I don’t want to count.” Once in a while, though, she will be inspired to come up with her own problems or have mathematical monologues. Here is one that I witnessed today while putting her to bed.

It all started when she decided to count how many chapters we had left in her current nightly reading book. This was an easy enough exercise – there were 17 of them (they are short chapters).

K: Hmm, what is 17?

Me: 17 is 17

K: No mom, don’t interrupt.

From then on I stayed quiet, which was not easy for me to do :-).

“If 8+8 is 16, then what is 17?

Oh, 9+9 is 17.

No, wait, 9+9 is 18.

So what is 17?

I know, 17 is 9+8!

Oh yeah, and 17 is odd, so it couldn’t be 8+8 or 9+9.”

I didn’t even have anything to add. She answered all the questions I would have asked, and more!

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About aofradkin

I enjoy thinking about presenting mathematical concepts to young children in exciting and engaging ways.

Even mom shouldn’t interrupt such an odd monologue! Very interesting…. 🙂

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