Story of X and Y – Math Logic in classroom

Isn’t it hilarious to cage the concepts in the boundaries of subjects. Read on the story of 2 children of Math-Logic intelligence to understand these boundaries are blurred in real learning.

X and y are siblings, as they are children of Math-Logic Intelligence. X’s real name is Logical, while that of Y is Illogical.
X (i.e., Logical) resembles her parents quite closely, so is respected and sought after by many. Y (i.e., Illogical), on the other hand, is the proverbial black sheep of the family and is mostly look down upon.

Since the parents, Math-Logic Intelligence, belong to the multiple intelligence community, they wanted both their children to be part of the schooling and learning system.

X was disappointed that while she was more than welcome in the math class and also sometimes in the science class, in most of the other subject classes, she was considered a hindrance to completing the syllabus, or acquiring marks and getting the teacher’s appreciation. Y, used to being disrespected, had to reconcile with being completely unwelcome in school.

Concerned about their children, the parents decided to approach a school open to new ideas. They spoke to the school in detail about how multiple intelligence is good for every class and how math-logic could involve the children in the process of learning. Their request, to allow their children — Logical and Illogical — to visit various classrooms to demonstrate this,was accepted on two conditions: the children were given just a week’s time during which they had to do their demonstrations together.

A for Analysis
On the first day, both Logical and Illogical went with a big A written on their t-shirts. They explained that A stood for Analysis. They showed the children how ANALYSIS could be used:

In the English class, Logical analyzed the story of the Hare and the Tortoise. She analyzed what caused the Hare to lose. She asked the children to analyze the characters on various parameters, such as courage or decision making or senstivity towards others, etc. She also analyzed some of the illustrations in the book.

Then, Illogical pitched in. He asked the children to first analyze the parts where the story seemed illogical (like the rabbit not sleeping after crossing the finish line). He also asked them to analyze some illogical options that the tortoise could take to ensure that it won. The children suggested that the tortoise could use an escalator, or use roller skates/cycle. Based on the thinking this evoked, the teacher realized the importance of being illogical and thanked Illogical.

B for Building Models
The next day, Logical sported a B on her t-shirt. She wanted to show that just as several things are logical in life, it is possible to build visual, verbal or physical models to show, understand, and express any phenomenon. She drew a Venn diagram and gave it to the four-year olds who were studying plants and animals in their class. She asked them to draw or write down the similarities and differences between animals and plants.

Illogical was sporting an X on his t-shirt. He proclaimed that people who are illogical like him do not make models, instead they break models. He quickly took out a visual of a plant, cut it into its parts, and put it back together a little askew (the flowers were in the place of the roots, leaves forming the stem, and the stem protruding up like a flower). Finally, the picture showed several kinds of flowers. This was followed by discussions on where this plant could be or should be, why it is there and so on.

C for Challenges
Both X and Y like challenges as it is fun to face them. So, Logical, during the art period asked children to draw a scenery. The children had to draw the picture using only straight lines — slanting, horizontal, or vertical.

But, Illogical did just the opposite in the other class. He asked the children to draw the scenery in such away that it made sense to no one. This challenge was not easy, but the results were hilarious and very satisfying individually, as almost all children said, “We can draw illogical drawings!”

D for Data
By now, the children and teachers in the school were curious to know what D will stand for. Illogical entered the class and wrote some illogical numbers on the board. Children tried hard to guess what these numbers were and only when he started to sing the song, they realized that it was the total number of words in each line of the song. This is what Illogical does — he takes some data and tries to see which event in his life fits that data.

Logical, obviously does it the other way round – figuring out the data in any phenomenon. For example, how many times ours jaws moved down while singing, or how much time we took to sing a song and so on. Children thoroughly enjoyed playing around with the song’s data in the music class, in science class, in art class, and in language class.

E for Experimenting
When they came with an E on them the next day, they said E for Experimenting would need a little ‘e’ for Explaining. Logical said most people thought that experimenting meant that children were given an experiment to do and learn from. But according to her, the real experimenting happens when a child wonders about something, poses a why/what question and then makes a hypothesis (theory) about it. Once that is done, an experiment is needed to test the theory.

So Logical asked children why when the ball falls down, it bounces, but a stone does not. They led the children through several experiments and theories and conclusions — all different from one another. Illogical went one step ahead and started throwing things up to see what happened in the upward direction.

In the language class, Logical asked the children to spell a word they did not really know the spelling of. Since a lot of children were learning phonics, this became a fun exercise and the children experimented with some 10 different spellings of the word “experiment”.

Illogical went one step ahead and tried changing the logic (meaning) of many words – like, ‘come is go’ and ‘go is come’ and said children should experiment with writing the words in the wrong place.

With five days of logical and illogical exploration getting over, the teachers requested the two children to give an F for a final list of things they can do to use Math-Logic intelligence in their classroom. Here is the list for your quick reference. Enjoy it both logically and illogically:

  • Analogies to explain
  • Analysis
  • Cause – effect
  • Charts and diagrams
  • Compare and contrast
  • Create a formula
  • Data/Statistics
  • Inquiry
  • Experimentation
  • Flow charts
  • Games (of logic and strategy)
  • Guess, predict, and estimate
  • Hypothesis
  • Investigation
  • Matrix, graphs, and other mathematical representations
  • Measurement (e.g., time)
  • Models to represent the system
  • Patterns
  • Personal statistics
  • Planning
  • Problem solving challenges
  • Put things in order (straight and reverse)
  • Puzzles and brain teasers
  • Reason
  • Sequence
  • Sorting and classifying
  • Syllogisms to demonstrate
  • Systematic evaluation
  • Working with actual numbers