Tic Tac math

So, we’re “those” people. You know: we don’t use plastic. We are vegan. We compost. We’re really quite difficult to take seriously.

One of the indulgences I partake in is (wait for it…) the tic-tac! Seriously. I love a white tic-tac. And when L asks for one, I give it to her. I don’t know if I “should” but I do.

In any case, she asked me for a tic-tac the other day. I reported back that we didn’t have any and needed to get them the next time we were at the store. She wanted to know how many tic-tacs came in a box. Great question! I have no idea, but we can count them… which led to today:

6 groups of ten!

6 groups of ten!

We revisited the question of the tic-tacs. We framed our question and took guesses from L, mommy, and daddy. L’s favorite number right now appears to be 100, so it wasn’t a surprise that it was her guess.

We then used a cupcake pan to hold our tic-tacs as we counted. We placed 1-10 in the first cupcake spot, then repeated until we’d counted all the tic-tacs. L counted by tens (“10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60! There are 60 tic-tacs!”) to arrive at her answer, which I recorded for her.

Then, we moved onto three more boxes of tic-tacs. On the advice of a very wise friend, I’d purchased the value pack (all in the same color, nonetheless, so if there was a difference in quantity it wasn’t incorrectly attributed to the color). We repeated the process. She guessed the second box would have 100… but it had 60. By the time we got to the third box, she guessed 60 (which was correct). Finally, when counting the fourth box, we practiced counting by two’s as we dropped the tic-tacs into the cupcake pan. We arrived at 60 once again. L generated our rule about tic-tacs: There are 60 tic-tacs in a box.

Daddy then raised an interesting question – how do they know there are 60 in the box? Do you think someone at the factory counts them? Sounds like an inquiry question for another day… =)

Tomorrow is her first day at play school (a Waldorf-inspired two-day a week solution to allow me to, you know, do the work that I get paid for). We will school again on Wednesday.

Also, last week was back-to-school here – my husband was in meetings all Monday and Tuesday and school started for his students on Wednesday. I was in meetings all week, and L spent the week luxuriating at a Cincinnati Zoo camp. Seriously, I could preach the greatness of the Cincinnati Zoo. LOVE THEM.


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