What is Bedtime Math? A message from Laura: Bedtime Math is a pretty simple idea: We all know we should read to our kids at night, but what about math? My husband and I have done fun, mischief-loaded math problems with our kids at night for years, and when at age 2 our third child started hollering for his own math problem, we realized we were onto something: In a world where so many people say, "Ewww, math!" we had created a household culture where kids don't just tolerate math, they actually seek it out. Now, every week, we'll be posting a new problem right here on Scholastic Parents!
We just wrapped up April, which was Poetry Month. While poetry is made of words, numbers rule their rhyming. Think about your Dr. Seuss books, where two lines in a row rhyme: "Knox in box / Fox in socks." Since the first 2 lines rhyme, then the 3rd and 4th rhyme, we call that an a-a-b-b pattern. But sometimes every other line rhymes: "I do not like them, / Sam-I-am. / I do not like / green eggs and ham." That pattern is a-b-a-b. A sonnet, which has 14 lines, seesaws the rhyming except that the last 2 lines rhyme with each other: that gives you a-b-a-b-c-d-c-d-e-f-e-f-g-g.
It's hard work to make words rhyme, which is why we were amazed by New Orleans "sidewalk poet" Antoine: Tell him your favorite thing, and he'll type up a poem about it for you – then you decide how much to pay him for it. We of course asked for a poem about math, which you can find below!
Wee ones: How many words can you rhyme with four? Count them!
Little kids: If you know that cat rhymes with hat, rat, and mat, then you think of 3 other words that rhyme, how many rhymes for cat do you have? (See if you can think of any!) Bonus: If Antoine pays you $2 per word to help him, how much does he pay you for those rhymes?
Big kids: If Antoine thinks up 7 3-letter words that all rhyme, how many letters does he have to type? Bonus: Sonnets have 14 lines, while haikus have just 3. On which day does he type more lines, a 13-sonnet day or a 45-haiku day?
Wee ones: Different for everyone…some ideas include more, tour/tore, bore, core, adore…
Little kids: 6 rhyming words. Bonus: $12.
Big kids: 21 letters. Bonus: The sonnet day is more line-heavy: 182 lines v. 135 lines.
And here is Antoine's poem – thank you Antoine for the inspiration!
it's a system
it's a system of an infinite
number of systems
it's the imagination
turning an equation into
a sculpted crystal
the mind circles
it's the art
of creating sideways
and getting stuck into
and try again
till it equals