Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Matias and Violet have been learning about angles recently.  We encountered the concept while building our Rube Goldberg Machines.  At first I thought that this was going to be a difficult concept for them, but it turns out that angles are everywhere, and they are visible and tangible, and really not that hard at all!  A few things we did with angles:

So, how about those backwards < and > signs?  We knew what we meant :)

We discussed the difference between obtuse and acute angles (awww, isn't it so a-cute?!)  Matias does taekwondo, and he has already learned to jump 90 degrees, then 180 degrees, then 270 and 360 degreee circles, so he immediately grasped that idea.  I had no idea he already knew that much.  Cool!  We got a good workout practicing jumping those different angles- a few 360s in a row, and I was quite out of breath!  I don't think there is any learning quite as solid as building a physical memory of a concept (and I will not soon forget just how far around 360 degrees is!!)

Next we pulled out the protractor and measured some angles around our house: the fireplace screen, the art drawer, the door frame, etc.  The kids have been noticing angles all over the place ever since!

Then, while the little ones napped, Matias used the miter box to saw some angles into some old boards (leftover from taekwondo testing, actually). That was a BIT hit!  

It just goes to show that most complex concepts can be introduced at an early age, especially if the child is eager to learn about them.  Obviously, we don't care if they master the concepts, learn to measure angles perfectly, or teach formulas...we just introduce the ideas and tools and play around with them.  Hopefully, in the future, they will encounter angles in a more formal way and they will say, "hey, I learned about this when I was little...this is easy!"

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