Monday, November 11, 2013

When is a Line not a Line?

"Mama, is a curve a line?"

"What do you think?"

"I don't knowwwww...."

"Oh, come on, you asked the question, I bet you have some thoughts about it."

Showing me her Etch-a-Sketch and turning the knobs: "Okay, this is a line [drawing a straight line horizontally to the left] and this is a line [drawing a line vertically upward] but this is not a line [squiggling the line back and forth]."

"Why isn't that back and forth drawing a line?"

"Because it has to go in one direction. This curve is a line, but not when it goes back and forth..."

I left it there because the kid was sick, it was time to start resting and I know answers often rely on more questions about and interactions with the idea at hand. I'm sure this'll come up again at some point in the future. 

Approximation of original by the mother.  As users of Etch-A-Sketches
will understand, the original got destroyed with an inadvertent shake.

1 comment:

  1. Most incredible thing about this post is... you still have an etch-a-sketch at home! But seriously, I love posts about talking math with your kids, so thanks for sharing. Keep us posted if new opportunities arise. :-)


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