Arranging Numbers with Kitty and Hawk

 Kitty lives in North Carolina beside the ocean and close to the Cape Hatteras lighthouse. She is a very busy and curious cat and she has a special interest in numbers of all kinds. She likes to look at the different shapes of numbers, the sound of their names and all the different ways they can be arranged. Her favorite time is spent looking at all the things that are measured by counting with numbers.
She counts the steps going up from the kitchen to the bedroom and she counts the steps going down to the basement. She counts the blocks on the sidewalk as she walks to visit her friends and she counts the number of times the telephone rings before her friend, Mrs. Corolla, answers it. Maybe it will be her friend, Hawk, calling.

Now we can look at numbers too, seeing how some have straight lines (1, 4, 7), some have circles (0, 3, 8), and some have a mixture of both (2, 5, 6, 9).
We can say the name and listen to the sound of each number and even discover that some have interesting sounds.

Who ate the number eight?
Who won the number one?
Who went to two?
What is four for?

Next we can practice counting with numbers, following a numbers wall chart going up from zero to 9 (or ten).

Classroom Activity

The story above sets the scene for a classroom exploration of numbers, patterns, and trends. These activities below are intended to help very young students make their weather prediction.

Prepare a set of 10 sheets, each with a digit from zero to nine written large on front and back. Then another set of eight cards containing ther numbers shown in the demonstration below on front and back: 43, 47, 49, 50, 53, 56, 59 plus a blank card.

Distribute the cards to ten children who stand across the front of the room, each holding a sheet. The rest of the onlooking children will be honorary "Kitties" and it is their job to direct the card holders into the correct sequence.

Once the correct sequence has been achieved, and suitable applause is over, why not have the children hold the cards in a position, up or down, to reflect their relative value?

Having achieved that arrangement, why not close our eyes, have a couple of card holders leave the room, and see if we can figure which numbers are missing?

Then why not rearrange the children to be out of sequence but have each continue to hold their cards at the same height? Of course the value (height) doesn't change, even when the cards are rearranged.

(continuing the story...)

Temperature is an item Kitty likes to keep track of, especially December 17 which happens to be the birthday of her best friend, Hawk, and she is in charge of the party every year.

Classroom Activity

Now we use the other card set which contains the values for the mean temperature at Cape Hatteras, on December 17, for the last seven years.

Again distribute the cards to seven different children and have the observing "Kitties" take their places. This time the Kitties have extra decisions to make. First they must organize their demonstrators into two sets, one beginning with the number four and the other with five. Only then can they decide on increasing value within these sets and they must take the gaps into account. The result will be:

Then we will rearrange the children to reflect the sequence of Hatteras temperatures as they have occurred on December 17 in the past seven years. The row will look like this:

Yes, the blank card has been added. This is the number which will be selected as your entry in the 2003 Flight Forecast competition.

Will it be higher or lower or the same as another?
Will the weather for Hawk's birthday party be nice or nasty?
You decide.

Now make the same decision on your wind speed prediction. The values for 1996 through 2002 are:

Perhaps we can add a further effect to this activity by having each demonstrator "blow" about as hard as her value indicates. 1996 would be a mere whisper while 2000 is mimicking a very strong breeze!

 Visit Kitty and Hawk every school day for a Daily Detail.
 National Science Education Content Standards [K-4] Content Standard D: Changes in earth and sky. [K-4] Content Standard F: Changes in environments. [K-4] Content Standard G: Science as a human endeavor. Principles and Standards for School Mathematics [Pre-K-2 | 3-5] Number and Operations Standard: Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems. [Pre-K-2 | 3-5] Algebra Standard: Understand patterns, relations, and functions. [Pre-K-2 | 3-5] Measurement Standard: Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement. [Pre-K-2 | 3-5] Data Analysis and Probability Standard: Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data; Understand and apply basic concepts of probability. [Pre-K-2 | 3-5] Connections Standard: Recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics.