# The Real (CC)… Curiosity and Creativity in Action

My son has had no formal instruction in fractions. Children are naturally curious. He quickly was able to figure out the value of each colored fractional piece by using concrete materials.

I asked what is one of those pieces worth? Two of the pieces? Etc…

Then I asked him if we could cut the black “candy bar” into 100 pieces?

“Yep” he said. He instantly grabbed the pen and started to try to show me the size of what one hundredth would look like?

This stumped him for a bit. He made it into 20 equal parts, then tried to cut the 20th into parts. After cutting it into 80ths, he said, “Oh, boy… I needed to draw one more line…” he did and then he said, “These are the approximate size of a hundredth, mom.”

I then asked, “What are you noticing about the half and the hundredth?

He said, “The half is much larger.” So, I asked… “what is happening when we cut the candy bar into pieces?” He said, “The more pieces there are, the smaller the part.”

“Give me more mom!”

I grabbed the 1/2 piece. How many ways can you make 1/2? He instantly went to work. He found 2/4, 3/6, 4/8, 5/10, 6/12. Wrote each of them like: 1/2 = 2/4.

I then circled all the denominators of the equivalent fractions. I asked, “What do you notice?” He said, “2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12! They are counting by twos!”

Yes. What else do you know about those numbers?

Long pause.

Hmmmmm…

I waited.

“They are even!”

Yes! I said. Now what if we cut this candy bar up into sixteenths? I wrote: 1/2 = /16. What would make an equivalent fraction?

“8/16ths!”

“Give me more mom!”

So I wrote: /20 , /100…

“Too easy mom…come on! 10/20ths and 50/100ths. You are going to have to do harder than that!”

So I wrote: /80 , /150, /96.

Handed him the pen. And watched. He put 40 above the 80 and 75 above the 150… instantly. Then paused at the /96. In about 5 seconds he wrote 48/96.

I asked, “How did you figure the last one out?”

He said, “Well, I broke the 96 up. First I thought of 80. Half of 80 is 40. Then I took half of 10, that is 5, then I just had 6 left. Half of that was 3. Soooo…. 40 + 5 + 3 = 48! Half of 96 is 48, so 48/96ths = 1/2″

(80 + 10 + 6 = 96)… He took half of each of those and added.

I did not directly teach him one thing. He made the connections and the discoveries with my guidance. Took all of 25 minutes!  Asking the right questions is the gateway to a child’s natural propensity for curiosity.

RIGOR VS.

VIGOR

Passionately Submitted,

RAZ ON FIRE

# The Real (CC)… Curiosity and Creativity

Part One

The CC Switch-a-roo.

CC has become the acronym for Common Core.  No more… !

Exchange the two Cs for Curiosity and Creativity… the REAL CC.

Curiosity and Creativity emphasizes the heart of inspiring and educating children.

The Common Core Standards are just that… Common.  No child is common. The standards streamline learning with claims of “rigor“, when what our children need most are learning environments in which they can learn at their individual developmental pace.  Because children grasp skills and concepts in different ways,  honoring each child’s learning style creates an atmosphere of “vigor“,  the essential nutrient needed most in their earliest years of learning.

The concerns with the common core include:

1. Standardized Learning.  An attempt is made to box children into learning the same things at the same time at the same pace.
2. Only that which can be measured is aspired to and made most important through high stakes testing.

Very limiting.

The landscape of learning is a much wider path.  Children traverse it when they are allowed to explore.  They like to see what is around the corner and over the hill.  Through the common core, we have compartmentalized their learning and are keeping them on straight and narrow roads.  Children are contained to only one road at a time.  They master a road, check (test), and then are allowed onto the next straight road.  Check (test).  And so forth.

What of traits like curiosity and creativity?  Are these measurable?  Do we consider these important attributes for our children?

Sir Ken Robinson outlines three principles crucial for the human mind to flourish. He captures the following principles eloquently in his TED Talk: How to Escape Education’s Death Valley.

• Human beings are naturally DIFFERENT and DIVERSE.
• If you can light the spark of curiosity in a child, they will learn without any further assistance…. CURIOSITY is the engine of achievement.
• Human life is inherently creative.   One of the roles of education is to awaken and develop these powers of CREATIVITY.

So often the standards are referred to as “rigorous”, but rigor is about death…  Education’s death valley.  Rather, the aim for our children needs to be “vigorous”… about thriving and growth, and vigor is about life.  In order to meet the goals of a society filled with thinkers, innovators, inventors, explorers, painters, historians, writers, mathematicians, adventurers, etc…  we can not lose sight of the valuable role curiosity and creativity play.

Reassuring children have vast opportunities to use their natural Curiosity and Creativity, the real CC, within the learning process, will enable each different and diverse child to flourish in the valley of life.

The Vigorous Curiosity and Creativity (CC) in Action

My 8 year old son has had no instruction in fractions. Through the use of concrete materials, he quickly figured out the value of each colored fractional piece.

Then I asked him if the black “candy bar” could be cut into 100 pieces? He instantly grabbed the pen and started to try to sketch the size of a hundredth. This stumped him for a bit.

He made it into 20 equal parts, then experimented with dividing the 20th into parts. After drawing the 4th line, he achieved success by dividing the bar up into 5 equal groups of 20.

After comparing fractions and examining the sizes of fractional values he was able to conclude, “The more pieces there are, the smaller the part.”

As he wrestled with each mathematical question I asked, he continued to request a progression of more difficult problems.

My questions had him hooked, and his natural curiosity had his engine revving.

By the end of the fraction expedition, he had begun making sense of the concept of equivalency by finding several ways to make 1/2. He made many connections with my intentional guidance.

Asking the right questions is the gateway to a child’s natural propensity for inquiry. Tapping into where a child is developmentally, utilizing multiple learning styles, and honoring their unique intelligences, are the keys to unlocking the door to new learning.

Curious children naturally learn.

The world is full of valleys, mountains, bridges and tunnels… Children are capable of paving paths unforeseen.

RIGOR VS.

VIGOR

Passionately Submitted,

RAZ ON FIRE

References:

The full 25 minute fraction lesson linked here.

Definition of Rigor

Definition of Vigor

Rigor Belongs to Mortis… Not Our Children