I am in awe of the children’s mathematical thinking this week. As you know, we’ve been working with single loop Venn diagrams. On Tuesday, our question for the day was, “Do you have a brother?” Each child either put their name inside the loop or outside depending on their answers. We called the two areas “the brother club” and “the no brother club”.
After sharing the drawing at morning meeting, we moved our data to the floor. We used one plastic Venn loop and placed photos of our faces inside the loop if we had a brother. Obviously, some of us were not in the circle. Then I added another, non-dissecting loop on the floor that we titled “the sister club”. Everyone who wasn’t in the brother loop did have a sister and moved their photos to the new circle.
The excitement came when two children realized that they had sisters AND brothers. I asked the children for some ideas about how we could deal with this new problem. Many suggestions were made. We could draw another face and put it in the other circle. We could cut our face in half and put half in each loop. We could just pretend we didn’t have both. Finally, one student perked up and almost yelled, “We can put the two clubs together!” She then reached out, grabbed a loop, and placed it so that it now overlapped the other creating a joint area in the middle. (Do a little dance for the amazing brains of small children!)