A context for on-going, informal chats about maths. These ideas were originally prepared around the school resource called Poly Plug. This is reflected in the photos provided for guidance. However the substitute equipment described will be fine since the real strength of the activity will be sharing time and mathematical conversation with your learner. Just a little bit of time each day or two - around 10 to 15 minutes. ## PreparationPlastic screw caps from soft drink and spring water bottles will fit the circles. Collect at least 10 in each of two colours. The board and the caps are a substitute for the school resource called Poly Plug. Buttons are also a possibility, even pebbles of similar sizes, if you have enough in two colours. If you think of something else that works let us know.- Print 2 copies of this Poly Plug Frame and cut away the excess paper from each frame. Save one until later.
- One calculator (there's one on your phone)
- Write the title of this challenge and today's date on a fresh page in your maths journal.
## Counting With Kites
Questions *Count the number of caps you used.**Can we check that another way?**Close your eyes. I'm going to cover some of the caps with a piece of paper. When I say 'open' you try to figure out the number I have covered.**How can you check that?**Look, there were ...caps in your picture and I took away ...caps by covering.*(Cover again).*How many caps are not covered?**So, ...caps take away ...caps leaves ...caps.**Would you like to write that together on the calculator?**Okay my turn. I'll close my eyes and you cover.*
*Guess the number of caps we would need to cover the empty circles?**That's a great hypothesis. How could we check that?**Could we check it a different way?*
*If I made a kite the same as yours, how many caps would I need.**I will do that in a minute, but first guess the number of caps we would have altogether.**Shall I make mine now so we can check?*
*Wow, that was good counting. You counted every one. But I know a short cut. Would you like me to show you?*
Now we have two the same. That's two times with the same pattern. Would you like to use the 'times' button on the calculator.
*I wonder if we could figure out the number of caps we would need if everyone in the family made one of your kites?*
## Counting With Kite TailsA kite isn't a kite without a tail and the photo at the top of the page shows what we mean. When you have had some time making and exploring a kite design, it's time to use more caps to make the tail. On the floor is good because there is usually more room for the tail to grow.
It starts with, *How many caps do you think you have?**How can we check that hypothesis?**Can we check it another way?**If we arrange the caps into twos how many do you think there will be? Let's check.**If we arrange the caps into fives how many do you think there will be? Let's check.**Is there another way you would like to arrange the caps?*
*Now let's put them in a long line to make the kite tail.*
- What does the tail look like if we split it into twos, fives, threes?
- Make a pattern in the tail. If you only have one colour of cap you still make a pattern with caps up and caps down.
- Do you think you are longer or shorter or the same length as the kite and it's tail? How can we find out? (Remember to photograph.)
Have fun exploring Kites and Kite Tails.Reminder: This may have taken a while to read through, but once you get into it with the learner it's only 10-15 minutes every couple of days for as long as the adventure feels fresh to the learner. For most learners just changing the kite pattern, or using someone else's kite keeps it fresh. Asking the same questions for a new kite doesn't seem to bother most learners. In fact, it seems to lead to increased focus and confidence. ## Just Before You FinishFor this part you need your maths journal and your Working Like A Mathematician page. For some of the days you use this activity,*Draw a picture of you and me playing Kites today.**How did we work like a mathematician today?*Model reading through the Working Mathematically document and record 2 ways.
## Answers & DiscussionThese notes were originally written for teachers. We have included them to support parents to help their child learn from Kite Tails. The photos and some of the ideas for using them are from another activity called Free Play which is available to member schools of Calculating Changes.- Notes for Kite Tails.
Send any comments or photos about this activity and we can start a gallery here.
Maths At Home is a division of Mathematics Centre |