Sunday, December 29, 2013

Amelia, the Enduring Math Doll

First, there was Amelia the hand-made doll and her essay "What Infinity Means to Me." That was early in 2013.

Since then, Miss Amelia has been on all sorts of notable journeys.  Most recently she's been the subject of some interesting math questions.

For instance, Amelia needed a new dress. Unable to find the tape measure, my disorganized eight year old devised an interesting new way to measure out a piece of cloth.  She used this work board from a physics activity (investigating levers, pulleys, etc.). 

We have never discussed coordinate grids. She has, however, seen a lot of grids, mostly in the form of multiplication arrays.  She measured Amelia vertically...

...and then horizontally...

...and then cut out two identical square pieces of cloth (front and back of new dress) with which to sew the dolly a new garment.

Amelia was also recently the subject of a conversation about doll years.  I'm pretty sure I didn't have enough math to truly help her, but here's what came of it.

My kid wanted to make sure Amelia was SIX in doll years.  Apparently (after a very heated, frustrating conversation mostly, I assume, because she wasn't really clear about what she was trying to ask) one doll year is equal to two human months.  The only way I could help her figure it out was by writing out her ideas for her, one step at a time. One problem was that my kid was thinking in too many time units at once -- days, months, and years.  

We did finally come to a conclusion that was agreeable to her.  I almost typed 'concussion' because that's how I felt after it was all over.

I wonder what kind of math adventures Amelia will have next?

1 comment:

  1. When I was a kid I used to play Battleships with my mum
    on grids like this (but 10x10). You can buy commercial versions, or play online, but paper and pencil is best, with home-drawn grids.


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