Math: Making Calculators and *Really Difficult* Multiplication

22 08 2010

In Mathemagic, we are reading about counting systems, and how computers count in base 2 instead of base 10. So I thought it would be fun to build an adding machine of some description. Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories helped us out with its Fraction-of-an-Inch Adding Machine. Here is Floppy, reading the build instructions:

Cutting out the patterns:

Furiously gluing the pieces:

And working the finished product, which he thought was awfully cool:

From there, we moved on to maddening difficult multiplication problems. Here they are:

I can tell when the math is too hard: First Floppy gets angry and frustrated, throwing his pencils and saying “I can’t do it!” Then we stop. I say, “It’s OK, we don’t have to do this today. Another time.” Then he says, “No, I want to do it!”

Then he asks for food, usually something sugary, like cereal. Did you know your brain consumes fully 75% of your available blood glucose — and more when it’s thinking hard? I did. I can watch the Floppy thinking and tell….




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