|We had tostadas for lunch, too.|
I gave my boys the task of helping the (imaginary) Rosada family who are opening a new restaurant, La Tostada Sabrosa (The Delicious Tostada) that will feature, you guessed it, tostadas. The Rosadas plan to offer a choice of five different toppings to go on the fried tortillas, beans, cheese, salsa, lettuce and olives.
I gave Quentin (age 8) the task of figuring out how many combinations could be made if they allowed two different toppings from the choice of five toppings and I gave him paper manipulatives to help him figure it out, and I showed him how to transfer that information to a chart.
I gave James (age 12) the task of figuring out how many combinations could be made if they allowed three different toppings from the choice of five toppings and I gave him just a chart to work with. I let them do it any way they wished this time so that they could make their own organizational discoveries. After they had solved their problems, we discussed any patterns they had noticed. They noticed that each ingredient was used an equal amount of times. We also discussed how it would be easier to determine all the combinations if the ingredients were chosen in a systematic way. We also talked about how it was easier for Quentin to use the paper ingredients than the chart, but how James didn't want to use them because he didn't need them and considered working with the paper manipulatives as an extra, unneeded step.
Later on I gave them a spy mission to solve and I was pleased that they used a similar chart to organize the clues they were given to solve the case.
- problem-solving strategies
- using charts