Monday, June 2, 2014

What is whole but not whole?

A riddle, by my newly 9 year old daughter, presented in 20 Questions style, at 7:00am in the morning.

Her: Mama! I have a great riddle!

Me: I'm trying to read the paper, I'll be there in a minute...

Her: But this is SO great.

Me: Okay...

Her: I'm thinking of something that is whole, but not whole.

Here is what my guessing revealed:

1. Not alive
2. Not an object, but can be (her emphasis)
3. Made of many parts
4. Parts look similar to each other
5. Not a reflection
6. It's in our house and other houses too.
7. We use it every day.

Her: Here's a hint, it relates to math.

8. It's an idea.
9. We use this idea.
10. The idea helps us do stuff around the house
11. Idea helps us do housework.
12. A specific kind of housework? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Maybe.
13. Helps us clean.
14. Helps us clean inside and outside.
15. Helps mama think about our day

Me: Is it the calendar? [And, because I thought we had gotten to 20 questions I continued] Okay, just tell me!!

Her: IT'S A WHOLE FRACTION!!!  Like when you cut carrots into sixteenths [we have never ever counted carrot pieces]. Look...[she takes my pen and writes something like this]:

1 = 1/2

Me: But one isn't equal to one half, is it?

Her: No, but it's a whole half. It's a whole fraction but still a fraction of something.

Me: So you mean the 1 is whole, but when you divide in half, the 1/2 is a new whole?

Her: YES!!!  Can I watch Frozen?

I think this calls for a celebratory viewing of this wonderful video:

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