Dessert is a good time to get the children’s attention for a little math talk.
A few weeks back, a smallish serving of M&Ms was about to be given to each child, from a large one-pound bag.
In keeping with my assertion that a day should never pass without asking my kids at least one how many? question, I asked Griffin to choose the size of the serving (but unbeknownst to him that this was the purpose.)
Me: Give me a number between 10 and 20.
Griffin (eight years old): What’s the point?
Me: I won’t tell you until you choose.
G: I won’t until I know why.
Me: Tabitha, pick a number between 10 and 20.
Tabitha (five years old): Twelve.
Me: OK. That’s how many M&Ms you each get for dessert.
G: Oh, then I pick 20.
Me: No. The first number I heard. That’s the one I’m using.
G: You should use the biggest.
Me: Nope. The first.
T: Next time, I should choose….thirteen.
This is beautiful, is it not?
I love the realization that things had not worked out for her maximal benefit. I love that she knows some thinking needs to be applied to the situation.
And I love dearly that the result of this thinking is an increase of a single M&M.
G: No! It’s between 10 and 20!
T: Oh. I should choose…nineteen.