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The Mapmakers

We had a few visitors at Math Circle today, so we started with a collective recap of our voting scenario from last week. Kids immediately started suggesting still more voting/counting methods. I reminded them that the question is whether there is a system for voting that is fair. I briefly told them about Borda Counts, which count votes in such a way.

Some kids were getting distractingly physical with some of the math manipulatives on the table, so we engaged in an attention- focusing activity: the Bobble-Head doll.

Animal Voting Plan

We began this week’s math circle sitting in an ogre – not a circle, not an oval, but an ogre, as suggested by the kids. This used the math skill of mentally shifting from the concrete to the abstract.

Once situated, we played a version of the shell game aimed at increasing our attention spans and developing the Jeffersonian hand required for extended mathematical inquiry. Then we moved to our task at hand: to create a scenario that would involve land plots and voting so that we can explore the topic of our semester, “maps, voting, and counting.”