Talking Math with Other People’s Kids month continues…
Today we pay tribute to the family bathtub, and its profound contribution to family math talk over the centuries.
Don’t laugh! Is yours more perfect?
Dad and loyal reader Jon Hasenbank reports some math talk at bathtime with his own 5 year old son, whom we will call Isaiah.
Isaiah is in the bathtub, having a lovely time. He has stacked his bath-toy Elmo on top of his bath-toy Cookie Monster.
isaiah (5 years old): Look! His eyes are peeking out!
Dad: The water is almost over his head. I wonder if it’s deeper near your feet?
He did not report further details to me.
But he did demonstrate an important principle of talking math with your kids—It’s not a conversation until you, as a parent, participate. When Jon turned Isaiah’s observation into a wondering, he set the stage for some good math talk.
The bathtub is great for this!
Tabitha has complained about the depth of her bath in the past—always that it is not deep enough. “It’s not even one foot deep” she has wailed as her toes stick out of the water. “Is it one hand deep?” I have asked. And—as with Jon and Isaiah—we have been off and running on a lovely exploration of measurement.