Fractions? Oh, Poo.

15 November, 2010 | | 1 Comment

Do you remember fractions?  You know, seven eighths, two hundred forty-seven three hundred twenty ninths?  A third?  Do you remember what a pain in the butt that was?  No?  Me either.  The joy of having kids is that you get to revisit ALL your childhood, not just the good parts.  Not that the diapers were such a joy, but at least I could speak with some authority.  “That’s poo.”  (I know poo when I see it.) 

Hard to speak with authority when you haven’t done your math homework in 30 years, and what little you remember is all from Tom Lehrer

So I don’t really know poo about math, and I certainly don’t remember poo about simplifying fractions.  What I do know is how to talk to everyone in the language they understand.  For me, helping Number One Son with his homework tonight was a question of finding the point at which his interests, his experience, and his problems intersect.  

“Son, you’re not going to simplify these fractions.  The problem is that they’re all too fat.  You’re going to perform Gastric Bypass on these things, and get them as thin as you can!” 

Suddenly it was fun, plus he got the analogy because he’s seen so damn many ER and medical shows that explaining simplifying fractions as surgery made perfect sense to him.  But I’m still humming “You can’t take three from two, two is less than three, so you look at four in the tens place…”

1 comment
  1. Janice says:

    Now that’s really four tens, so you make it three tens… (Wow, we listened to that waaaay too often, me thinks…) :-)

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