Thursday, December 17, 2015

Math and The Mitten

On December 16, 2015, Mrs. Proudman's class arrived in the library for their weekly visit.  Together, we read The Mitten by Jan Brett, a winter favorite.  Our activity to go along with our book was a little out of the ordinary.

The Mitten tells the story of a young boy whose grandmother knits him a pair of white mittens.  Since the mittens are white, it is easy to lose them in the white of the snow.  In fact, the boy does lose one of his mittens.  It doesn't take long for a wide variety of woodland animals to make a home inside the warm mitten.  Eight animals in total were able to crawl inside the mitten!  This was indeed a very special mitten.

After reading the story, we decided to test the capacity of different mittens we brought to the library.  The first step was to stuff the mittens with pom poms from our makerspace.

A student working on fitting a large number of pom poms into a mitten.

We had lots of pom poms to use!

Once the mittens were filled to capacity, we then used our math skills to determine which mitten held the most pom poms.  The pom poms were sorted into groups of ten to make counting a bit easier.  Math skills used included counting to ten, sorting in groups of ten, and counting by tens.

Pom poms were sorted into groups of ten.

Perhaps we were a little overly ambitious with stuffing the mittens.  We were able to fit many pom poms into the mittens!  We didn't get through all of the counting, but the students certainly made a great dent.  Each student counted a large number of pom poms: 50, 50, 70, 100, and 150!  The mitten holding the most pom poms was a green alligator mitten which was knitted by Ms. Muhlbauer's mother.

It isn't everyday that we incorporate our math skills in the library, although we hope to be able to do this more often.  Students did an outstanding job putting their math skills to work in an interesting way.

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