Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What's in a Name?

I was pleasantly surprised in today's lesson when we were doing a little number discovery.  The students needed to count the letters in their last name.  They then needed to write all of the things they knew about that number.  So for example if your name is Jones, your last name has 5 letters.  What do you know about 5?  Well I got the usual "It's odd." "It's the number on a five dollar bill." "It's double is 10."    But then something unusual happened, I continued to call on students and they said things like: "It is a prime number."  "Its factors are 1 and 5 only."  "The multiples of 5 all end in 0 or 5"  With even number last names students were telling me about composite numbers.  The were discussing squares and square roots.  What a handle they seem to have on basic number concepts.  This will make for a great start to the year.  I can't wait to delve into place value, big and very small numbers.  This should be fun!

The one thing missing from this discussion...Baseball.  I always relate the numbers to baseball player numbers.  Five is David Wright!


  1. I recall reading a long, long time ago that Socrates believed that people have far more knowledge than they realize. All the effective teacher has to do is ask the right questions. Hence, the Socratic Method. You seem to have mastered that. Nice work.

  2. Thanks George, but the credit needs to go to the teachers before me.