Thursday, 22 September 2011

a hoop isn’t just for hula

Two hoops, lying side-by-side on the carpet.  Hmm.  What’s all that about then?

Into one goes a label - boy; into another - girl.

Tightly clasped in hot little hands, a slip of paper with a name on it.

Go on then.  Put your name into the correct hoop.

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What are you doing Tim?

‘I’m counting.’


‘Because I want to know boys or girls more in this class.’  He wants to know whether there are more boys than girls in the class.

He counts.  Finds out.  ‘Boys are more because 10 boys 9 girls.’  A big smile.

Do you think we might be able to count to find out anything else?  What other questions could we ask?

‘How many boys and girls altogether?’  This from Melchior.

Fast as a flash, this answer.  Bianca.  ‘Nineteen,’ she confirms.  She counted all the names in both hoops you see.

Shall we try again with different labels?  Take back your (by now rather curled) name.

Into one hoop goes a picture of trousers or leggings; into the other, a skirt, or dress.

A flutter and a flurry of papers, and this is what we found out.

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Three people are wearing skirts and 16 have on pants.  And still there are 19 altogether (just checking!)

But wait a minute.  Look what I have noticed.


A dress -  with leggings!  Oh dear.  Now what should we do?  Where should Melina (actually also Lakeisha and Emily; it was an awfully chilly day) put her name?  It needs to go in the ‘dress’ hoop but should also go in the ‘leggings’ or ‘trousers’ hoop.  Any suggestions?

Maybe she could put it in between the two hoops. 

But that won’t work, because that would tell us that Melina isn’t wearing a dress or leggings – and that wouldn’t do now would it!

How about if we move our hoops.  Would that help?

It looks as though Bianca has an idea.  See what she has done?


If you look carefully (trace round the hoops) you will see that Melina is in the ‘dress’ hoop (the red one) and she is also in the leggings (or trousers) hoop (the yellow one).

I wonder what  other things we might be able to find out about the children in our class using our two hoops.  Here’s a thought.  Can you hula; yes or no?

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