Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Exploiting My Son for Math

At some point I'm going to have to apologize to my four-year-old son, Emmett. Over the last year I've been using him for all sorts of math lessons - many times under the guise that I'm spending quality time with him. It all started with this video:

I posted this on facebook and lot of people thought it was cute. But many also wanted to know the answer to the question. I used the same video in class and one of my students went home and worked on the problem with her dad. She was so proud when she came in the next day with the right answer.

I quickly learned that I could use his "cuteness" to teach math. He was helping me teach probability:

He was helping me teach problem-solving:

And sometimes he'll even inspire lessons. The other night I was sitting in the kitchen doing some work. Emmett should have been in bed sleeping, but instead he was in the living room stacking cups.
Emmett and his cups.jpg

He was so proud of his design and he wanted to make an even bigger pyramid. So we went out the next day and bought a bunch of cups, and hence, a new math lesson was created.

So again, I apologize to Emmett for using him this way. But I think he's having some fun in the process. Besides, how many kids have had the chance to do this?

I only hope his cuteness doesn't run out any time soon.

Nathan Kraft


  1. Emmett is ridiculously cute. I love his pose next to the cups pyramid and stealing this pic for a math lesson. I like the pound of coins also. My kids' cuteness ran out when they added BUT to my first name Mom. Luckily it's a replenish-able resource.

    1. I just don't have the energy right now to replenish.

  2. This is great! Great way to tie spending time with Emmett and doing some 3 Acts work.

    I became a dad about 8 months ago. You're giving me ideas of what he and I can do together when he gets to Emmett's age!

    Thanks for sharing these great videos.

    Bruno (Mr Reddy's Maths Blog)