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The eyes have it …

On his blog, Reflections in the Why, Chris Hunter posted some photos of eyeballs and ice cube trays.  Wonderful!  Marvelous!  Fabulous!  Had me stop what I was doing, take photos of my own stuff, and post on twitter and Instagram.  I added the obvious questions:

How many eyes do you see?  How do you see them?

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AND I shared my pic with my 4-year-old nephews.  They thought it was fabulous.  We had a great lunch time conversation about how many eyes do you see and how you do you see them?  The result:  smeared peanut butter from their peanut butter sandwiches on my iPhone!!  Totally love those guys–so into math conversations at lunch that they strayed from the awesome pb and j sandwiches their dad made.  Go Jack!  Go Josh!

AND also appreciative of my photos were my colleagues who teach first grade.  We started our grade level work session with an estimation question (idea “borrowed” from Andrew Stadel at estimation180.com).

How many eyeballs are in the jar?

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The answer:

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Awhile ago, I bought several bags of eyeballs.  They do not work so well as counters.  Since they are round, rolling objects, it is really difficult to use them as counters.  They do what comes natural to round, rolling objects, they roll all over the place.  Round eyeballs do not play well with ten frames; they roll right off the ten frames and onto the floor.  So, if you are working with a small group of kiddos–both the eyeballs and kids are now rolling around.

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So, thanks Chris for a perfect solution.  I can now use these fabulous counters that had, until about 10 days ago, just been sitting quietly in a plastic container on a shelf in my garage.  Now, they are the object of LOTS of math conversations with kids who crack up at my current favorite questions to ask–how many eyes do you see and how do you see them?

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