May 5, 2014

Talking In Gavinese

Gavin LOVES math.  It's right up there with Minecraft and looking cool.  He doesn't only love math, he thinks in mathematical variables and formulas and terminology all the time.  He only thinks in logical, sequential order. He sees math patterns all around him without even trying.  I'm so lucky to get glimpses inside that brain of his.  I love that he still loves to share his math thoughts with me...even if I have trouble interpreting what they mean sometimes.

The other day I heard him in the kitchen excitedly sharing one such math thought with Bennett.

Gavin:  "So, I created a matrix on my calculator of all the perfect squares from 1 - 20.  I'm surprised you're allowed to use the calculator I have for tests cuz of all the matrices you can create."

Bennett: "What's a matrix?"

Gavin: "It's a set of numbers I create and then assign a certain value to.  My perfect squares is Matrix G on my calculator."

Bennett: "Oh.  Why?"

Gavin:  "In case I ever need them."

The next day the boys are standing next to one another preparing their pizzas for pizza night.  Gavin sneezes very loudly.

Bennett:  "Thanks for sneezing on my dinner."

Gavin:  "I didn't sneeze at your food Bennett, I sneezed away from your food.  My sneeze is a vector, not a scalar quantity."

Bennett:  "Huh???"

Gavin:  "A vector is a quantity that has both magnitude and direction while a scalar only has magnitude."

Let me interpret for you:  He's saying that even though he sneezed and it appeared to be all over Bennett's pizza, it in fact wasn't because Gavin controlled the direction of his sneeze away from Bennett's food thereby being as polite as possible even though he didn't cover his mouth like we've taught him since he was 2 years old.

And lastly, just this morning, Gavin wanted to let me know what's been on his mind lately.

Gavin:  "Mom, I want to tell you about a math thought I had."

Me:  "ok"

Gavin:  "I had the numbers 9 and 12 stuck in my head the past last night.  Did you know they add up to 21 and if you took the factors of both of 9 and 12, you would find that 3 is in both of them.

Me:  "uh-huh"

Gavin:  "The factors of 9 are 3 and 3, the factors of 12 are 3 and 4.  If you add 3 + 4 it is 7 and then multiply that by the common factor of 3 you get 21."

Me:  "cool"

Gavin:  "That works for any pair of numbers that share a common factor."

Me:  "I love learning new things every day.  Thanks for being my teacher today, Honey."
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