Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chicks and Math

Friday, Ms. D and I were out grocery shopping when she reminded me that I said we could get a couple more chicks after Grandpa and Grandma left. Some of our older chickens have stopped laying, and if I want a steady supply of eggs, we need to get new ones every year or two. I learned a long time ago that chickens need company, and one chick is much louder than two.  So we got one Easter Egger and a Buff Orpington.
Aren't they cute?

What do chicks have to do with math? You can count the chicks, adding them to how many chickens we had before, how much they and their food cost, measuring the temperature and adjusting the heat to the age of the chicks, the cost of raising them until they start producing, and maybe figuring out the cost per egg when they finally do lay.  A person can use a lot of math when gardening and raising animals, but that's not the math I am thinking about when I am titling this post.

Yesterday a friend, who is a teacher, came over to try out a method she's learning to teach math to middle school kids. Mr. I and Ms. D were reluctant at first to do math on a Saturday morning, but we bribed them with a movie if they would cooperate. It turns out they had a great time, and were disappointed when the hour was over.  Mr. I memorized his eight multiplication facts and Ms. D was reminded of them again. They asked my friend if she could come another time.

It encouraged me to have some more fun when teaching the kids.  They often resist doing their work. I then get more serious about getting through the material and tell them we'll do the fun things after we are done. But too often, I'm exhausted from all the resistance, and don't have the energy for things like art, music, educational games, or field trips. I think I need to schedule the homeschool time so that we have more interaction, and breaks throughout the day.

And maybe we can work some math into their lives, by figuring out how much each egg our chickens produce really costs us.

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