The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

CHROMATIC #, WEEK 6: No Mention of Aliens

(April 14, 2015)  In case you haven’t been following along, a bunch of 6-8 year olds have been tackling the Hadwiger-Nelson Problem (to determine the chromatic number of the plane) with the support of a narrative tale about aliens on a planet called Botso.  This week (our final), I dropped all references to the story.  The group engaged in an…

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Chromatic #, Week 5, Making Progress

(April 7, 2015) We started today with child-produced function machines, then moved into our old standby, the Hadwiger-Nelson Problem. INTRODUCING DOMAINS OF FUNCTIONS M approached me before class with a slip of paper with her rule written on it: +10.  She explained that she had only practiced with numbers up to 1,000.  What to do if someone called out an…

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Chromatic #, Week 4, Coloring the Plane

FUNCTION MACHINES (March 31, 2015)  The first student to present his Function Machine to the group was N.*  He drew the machine, then called on students whose hands were up to suggest “in” numbers.  He stated the out number for each, as follows: IN  OUT                           1                                 118                        20           20,089,000,000                           1                                 129                           2                             …

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Chromatic #, Week 2, Acting It Out

CHROMATIC NUMBER, 2, ACTING IT OUT (March 17, 2015)  “What do you remember of our problem from last week?”  I asked.  The students called out details until the problem was pieced together. THE PROBLEM Here it is in everyday language:  What’s the fewest number of colors an astronaut can use to mark out territory to be sure that you are…

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Chromatic #, Week 1, Mars and Botso

(March 10, 2015)  As the kids entered the room, they saw on the table were some images of life pods on Mars and… “Mars!”  exclaimed someone.  Immediately their curiosity was piqued. MARS ONE I told the kids about the Mars One project – a private company in the Netherlands planning to send 24 people to Mars to live.  We discussed…

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