Sunday, April 12, 2009

More cute kid sayings

We've never allowed our daughters to use calculators during their everyday math work because we wanted them to have a sound grasp of the basics before becoming dependent on a calculator.

Well for pete's sake, our oldest daughter (she's 13) certainly has the basics down cold by now. On Friday, while figuring out the area of a circle (pi x r squared), she groaned when she realized she had made a slight miscalculation in multiplying a radius of 5.25. In other words, she had to hand-calculate 5.25 x 5.25, then take the product and multiply it by 3.14. Somewhere along the way she made a small error and got the wrong answer. Now she had to hand-calculate it all over again.

The purpose of the math problem was not to get her to use her multiplication skills. The purpose was to teach her to calculate the area of a circle. The laborious number-crunching was slowing her down.

"Hey guess what," I told her. "I know you know the math. I think it's time you can actually use a calculator to do the grunt work when crunching numbers." --and I handed her a calculator.

She took it reverently. "I think it's glowing," she said, awed.

Dunno, this just struck me as cute.

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