# Activity 1: Thinking and Numbers

This is one part of the reflection on the lesson “Introducing Challenge to Pre-School Children

Procedures

1. First, cards with the numbers are placed in a row in front of the children. They are asked to name the numbers.
2. Then, 3 numbers are selected by the teacher (7, 12, 18) and children are to say what unites these 3 numbers.
3. After that, the teacher asks to prove why nr 7 is ‘odd out’. Then, nr 12 is picked and after that nr 18.
4. The last activity is hold in a circle, students are given an equal number of cards (they do not see the digit) , they have to reveal one card at a time and the child having the biggest number takes the opened cards of his peers.

Students’ response and Teacher’s role

1. Students easily name the numbers.
2. When asked to name what unites the 3 cards, students are stuck for a few seconds and keep silence. The teacher prompts them slightly to look for similarities in the three cards. Then one child points at the colour, which is on every card. The teacher accepts the answer and the task is considered to be solved.
3. When asked to explain why the card with nr.12 is ‘odd’, children again start with the silence. Then, one child voices the version, that this card has ‘2’ and the two others do not have ‘2’. The teacher accepts the answer. Moving to explaining why the card with nr.18 is odd, the child uses the same strategy as before and says that the card has ‘8’ and other cards do not have it. The teacher agrees but asks for another explanation. Children keep silence. The teacher hints saying that this card was made ‘odd’ by one of them. Waiting for few seconds for the reply, the teacher more explicitly reveals that the card was bent by a student A.
4. Children sit in a circle, open the cards, name them and easily identify which number is bigger.

Overall reflection on the Activity 1

• Two of the tasks offered thinking potential (finding similarities and differences).
• When asked to find similarities, the real challenge was not present, since the first reply was accepted and the task was considered to be solved.
• When asking to identify the odd out, the challenge was increased when the teacher asked to find another explanation why the card with nr 18 is odd. At the same time, the challenge was destroyed by providing a direct hint.
• I think that the teacher was trying to solve the contradiction of keeping the classroom dynamics and keeping the challenge high. The fear was that the children are keeping silence (are stuck) and lose motivation to find the solution. Maybe, one of the solution would be to offer a context for excluding numbers to make the task more personal for the child that will keep his motivation to find the solution.