Today's math journals were just as interesting as those from day one. Reasoning mathematically to come up with eight legs did not appear to be a big stretch for the students. They appear to think naturally about 4 and 4, whether it is drawing 2 animals with 4 legs each or drawing 4 legs on either side of an 8-legged animal.
Communicating clearly and precisely is a greater challenge for these kindergartners. A few students drew animals that did not clearly show eight legs because tails or ears looked a lot like legs. Some students double-checked their drawings and they found they had drawn nine legs. What could they do to make their pictures clearer? In some cases, they were visualizing the legs on the other side of the animal . . . then how do you show your thinking about that?
At morning meeting we started exploring all the different combinations of animals that would result in eight legs, and we discussed whether 5+3 legs was a reasonable combination for this problem. Do we know of any five-legged animals?
I have learned a lot from this exercise about the intersection of children's mathematical thinking and their understanding of how to communicate that thinking. I am encouraged by how engaged students were in the orignal task as well as the extensions at our morning meeting.