A kindergartener on units [Talking math with your parents]

The following conversation took place in my house the other day. Tabitha (6) had been informed by her mother that she (Tabitha) needed to eat something healthy before eating a chocolate-covered donut. I was—and remain—ignorant of the origins of this donut.


I came in partway through the conversation.

Rachel: I’m going to cut you a small slice of this apple.

Tabitha (6 years old): Do I have to eat the whole thing?

R: The whole apple? No.

T: No, the whole slice!

R: Yes!

If you are unaware of the fun we have had with units around our house, you may wish to check out our discussion of brownies, and (of course) the following.

5 responses to “A kindergartener on units [Talking math with your parents]

  1. PKalenik@opschools.org

    If only that were a Tim Horton’s donut. :-)

    Pete Kalenik

  2. Christopher, just watched your TED video on units. GREAT STUFF. Very entertaining and instructive. I’m showing this to my 6-year-old when I get home. Plus I just sent a link to all my colleagues in the math department. Got any more cool videos? Where can I find them?

  3. Hadn’t seen your video before. My son, 4, is obsessed with understanding why he could buy a ‘4’ candle for his birthday but they don’t sell a single ’10’ candle. And speaking of exchange about Deborah Ball, your video ties in nicely with one of her tasks around using 2 wholes as the unit which threw my undergrads for a loop. I’ll show this next semester for sure.

  4. I love the video! If you haven’t seen this already, you may be interested in how some researchers develop the concept of unit in young students: Dougherty, B. J., & Venenciano, L. C. (2007). Measure Up for Understanding: Reflect and Discuss. Teaching Children Mathematics, 13(9), 452-456. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41198995

  5. Thanks for the recommendation, Nicora. I’ll have a look.

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