After the Peeps photo session last week, I test drove my images with Tabitha (six years old).
Me: Which are there more of in this picture? Purple Peeps or pink?
Me: How do you know?
T: It goes all the way to the top.
Piaget would be proud. Tabitha’s focus is on one dimension, rather than on overall quantity. So let’s test that hypothesis. Does she really believe that’s all that matters?
Me: What about in this picture?
Me: But they both go to the top in this one.
T: This one (purple) has full rows, and this one (pink) has holes.
Me: Interesting. You know what I see? I see that if you moved that last bunny on the bottom row up to the next row, you’d have two rows of three and an extra bunny, while the purple has three rows of three.
Me: OK. One last one. What about this picture?
Me: Because it goes to the top?
Me: Look carefully, though.
She proceeds to count 9 pink bunnies. I correct her and have her count over. She again counts 9 pink bunnies. I show her that if you move the two top purple bunnies into the second row, you would fill that row. She is uninterested and we move on to other things.