This downloadable workshop is designed for home-based kaiako to stimulate thinking and discussion about the rich learning opportunities you can find in relationships, everyday home life, and getting out into the local community.
It was one of those hot, muggy, sunny days that you get in Auckland sometimes and I went to visit an educator with three children and a baby. So we sat outside under a tree on a blanket and looked at her pegging out the washing, which seemed to include hundreds of her husband’s work socks. One of the children noticed that the pegs were a different colour and was talking about it and wondering why that was. He asked the educator and she said, “I don’t know. Why do you think the pegs are a different colour?”
The children started talking amongst themselves and came up with some ideas. One child said that his father reckoned that red sports cars went faster than any other colour so perhaps the red ones were very fast pegs. After some talking around why pegs were different colours, what the colours were, and how pegs worked, the children came up with the idea that maybe the pegs were different coloured because some pegs were stronger than others. And that the black pegs would be the strongest of all. So I asked them how would they prove that? The children decided that they would have to do some tests to check which pegs were the strongest. When I asked what sort of things they could test for the pegs, they said well if they hung things on the line with pegs, the one peg that hung the heaviest thing (whatever that was) was the strongest peg.
So I said, "Okay but how are you going to make sure that you do this fairly?" They decided they could put things in the socks as there were plenty of socks. The more stuff they put in, the heavier the sock would be and so the stronger peg would be that held it up. They decided the best thing they could do was marbles. So I said, “How do we make sure it is fair with the marbles?”
We got into a big discussion about how they would measure the marbles. Some children thought they could measure them with weight on scales. Some children thought they could line them up one by one and the same number of marbles would weigh the same. Other children said well we could count them and that would be quicker. So over the next couple of weeks they did all sorts of things with the marbles and the socks to see which was the strongest. Eventually they came up with the finding, I think we would say, that all pegs are equally strong. I was a bit disappointed that nobody gave me a red sports car to try out the father’s theory but there you go.