Monday, September 15, 2008
G is for Googol
Book recommendation and Amazon link.
I've often talked about how (at least in the early years) 99% of the Math Brian knew he learnt not from school or from me, but from Kjartan Poskitt's Murderous Math series, for example, this post here. Often, when I ask him how he's able to do his GEP Math worksheets without being taught, he said he learnt them from Murderous Math.
While Sean has read perhaps all of his korkor's Horrible Science series, he has only read maybe 1 MM book (doesn't matter, Brian only started on them when he was in P1). However, he does like to read G is for Googol, a book I had bought for Brian back in 2005 from the scholastics book order in his Frankfurt school. And I'd recommend this book too, it's thin but Sean's actually learnt some Math from it.
First, he surprised me earlier in the week by telling me, "Mummy, I only know my binary numbers up to 512", when I didn't even know he knew what binary numbers were. He doesn't talk much Math with me, it's always Science stuff which I'm not interested in. But talk Math with me, and I perk up somewhat, cos I do know a lot more Math than Science (which I know isn't saying very much given the abysmal level of my Science knowledge). I then told him to go slow and just continue doubling, so he got up to 8192 before giving up.
And twice over dinner this week, he starts talking about Palindromic numbers.
Then this evening, I asked if he still remembered what triangular numbers were and he went, "1, 3, 6, 10..." till 66.
So I suggested, only half in jest that "Next time, when you're bored, maybe you could think about number patterns, instead of tortoises all the time."
He nodded, "Okay." haha.
I shouted for Brian to come over, "BRIAN! What other number patterns are there? Binary, squares, triangular...what else?"...
Before Brian could come over, Sean suddenly said, "Mummy, do you know that the leaves and the petals of clovers and flowers come in the Fibonacci sequence?"
He pronounced it FAI-bonacci, instead of FEE-bonacci.
I went, "You know Fee-bonacci?"
He continued, "For example, a clover has 3 leaves and it's very lucky for you if you get a 4-leafed clover. A daisy has 13 petals. These are Fibonacci numbers."
I asked, "So what are the numbers?"
He said, "I'm not sure, but I think it's, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13...."
Brian came by and said it's actually, "1, 1, 2, 3, 5, ...." and showed Sean exactly how the pattern is derived.
So it's not just Murderous Math that's an excellent Math teacher for kids; G is for Googol is pretty good too, cos that's definitely where Sean learnt about Binary and Fibonacci numbers.