In my previous post I shared one of two mathematical conversations I had with my daughter this morning. Here’s the second.
“Look I made a triangle.”
I look over and she’s sitting cross-legged on the floor. It takes me a moment, but I realize she’s talking about the square tile she’s sitting on and the triangle she can see in the corner. Here’s a re-creation of it since I didn’t take any photos.
The third side of the triangle looked a lot cleaner with her crossed legs. This graphic of a child doesn’t quite work, but you get the idea.
“Oh! I see. How do you know it’s a triangle?”
As usual when I ask that question about a geometric shape – How do you know it’s a ___? – she didn’t really say anything back. I turned around to put something in my lunchbox.
“Look! The triangle is smaller!”
I turned back around to look and she had scooted up on the tile. “So it is!”
With pure delight she exclaimed, “We can make shapes!”
She started scooting back on the tile and stopped when she got here.
“Is that a triangle, too?” I asked.
She looked down and thought for a moment. She slowly started scooting up until she got to the diagonal. Then she stopped and looked up at me.
She doesn’t yet know how to articulate what a triangle is, but she is clearly grappling with and making judgments about the “triangleness” of her shapes. It’s fascinating.
Even better, her exclamation, “We can make shapes!” makes me so happy. It’s such a simple statement, but it felt so empowered. She came to the realization all on her own as she moved her body back and forth on our tile floor.