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clauclauclaudia
clauclauclaudia
Claudia
Sat, Jun. 17th, 2006 01:30 am
proto-geek yay!

This evening, rmd and I babysat for a 6-year-old, M, so that her parents could have a date night for their anniversary. She claimed to be very good at math, so after we Sudoku-ed for a bit, she asked our ages. Regis set her age as a subtraction problem which she simplified a bit for M. M then guessed that my age was somewhere between 20 and Regis's age (correct!) I told her that my age was also a perfect square, so she figured out the two possibilities and which one was correct.

Then I told her *her* age was a perfect number, and we defined that for her (perfect numbers). She asked me whether there were any odd perfect numbers, and I said if you didn't consider 1 one, then I didn't know. I'm glad to know I wasn't missing any obvious deductions there. ;-) She said that 1 and 0 are special numbers and often exceptions. She asked if primes could be perfect numbers and we thought aloud about that until she agreed that they couldn't.

I said I could think of one other perfect number that was fairly small, that she could count to within a minute. She said that meant a number up to 20, so I had to revise my statement slightly. She pounced on that with glee. "That's a clue!" and I had to admit that the number I was thinking of was higher than 20. We then played an arithmetic 20 questions as she narrowed in on what number it might be. (Is it over 30? Is it prime? (No, we'd already figured out it wouldn't be prime. Oh, right.) Is it odd?) Once she'd essentially figured out what number it must be, she wouldn't say it out loud; first she had to confirm it for herself by finding and adding up the factors, so she went around muttering numbers while she worked that out.

She needed help with division at several points, but she'd never outright ask the answer to the question she was working on, but would simplify it as best she could and then ask. So it wasn't "is 28 divisible by 4?" Instead she clearly found 28-(2*4) first and then asked "is 20 'even in 4s'?" Which is how the six-year-olds say it these days, I guess.

There was a rough spot where she thought 13 was a multiple of 3 and 5, and I had to keep track of all the factors and prompt her to add them up when she'd found enough of them to be interesting, but it was really an impressive bit of work. I wish I'd had someone to play numbers aloud with like that when I was a kid.

And then it was a couple minutes past her bedtime, so I read her a chapter of a Charlie Bone book while she used rmd for a jungle gym, and then it was time for lights out. Hee.

Yay, proto-geek.

Tags: ,

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whitebird
whitebird
Occam's Pump-Action Shotgun
Sat, Jun. 17th, 2006 06:16 am (UTC)

Wow, she's definitely very advanced mathematically for her age! And all that sounded like a lot of fun.


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firni
firni
Some people play tennis, I erode the human soul
Sat, Jun. 17th, 2006 06:40 am (UTC)

You guys would love babysitting my six year old.

His entertainment these days is to swing a lightsaber at the Jehovah's Witnesses (that he built himself) while shouting "SURRENDER OR DIE!"

oy


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clauclauclaudia
clauclauclaudia
Claudia
Sat, Jun. 17th, 2006 08:00 am (UTC)

That's because he rocks.


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sunspiral
sunspiral
Scott
Sat, Jun. 17th, 2006 01:32 pm (UTC)

Did he build the lightsaber or the Jehovah's Witlesses?


ReplyThread Parent
whitebird
whitebird
Occam's Pump-Action Shotgun
Sat, Jun. 17th, 2006 05:15 pm (UTC)

Huh. You know, I didn't even consider the possibility that he built the lightsaber...


ReplyThread Parent
firni
firni
Some people play tennis, I erode the human soul
Sat, Jun. 17th, 2006 05:54 pm (UTC)

He built them both, because he's just that evil.


ReplyThread Parent
madbodger
madbodger
Spam
Sat, Jun. 17th, 2006 03:10 pm (UTC)

Yes, my pretty. Raise the next generation, and we shall take over the WORLD!
Or at least destroy Tokyo when they're bigger.


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mikevonkorff
mikevonkorff
mrvk
Sat, Jun. 17th, 2006 04:10 pm (UTC)

Cool! Yay for encouraging young minds. ^_^ (...Also, my parents' anniversary was yesterday evening, too. Coincidence? I think not!)


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lil_brown_bat
lil_brown_bat
Little Brown Bat
Sun, Jun. 18th, 2006 12:40 pm (UTC)

Oh, you subversive. Teaching girls math.


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liralen
liralen
Liralen Li
Sun, Jun. 18th, 2006 06:29 pm (UTC)

Woohoo! How fun!! That sounds really great.

Yay! Math as FUN!


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clauclauclaudia
clauclauclaudia
Claudia
Tue, Jun. 27th, 2006 05:34 pm (UTC)

Thanks! I passed along the recommendation and her mom got it for her. Maybe I can borrow it. ;-)


ReplyThread Parent