Mr. Men #2

salinon

mrkoch

mr rectangle

(Mr Rectangle is borrowed rather liberally from Mr Grumpy).

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4 thoughts on “Mr. Men #2

  1. First, I’d like to offer whatever hearty encouragement I can for you to continue this series.
    Second, the salinon reminds me: why do we teach shapes, particularly shape names?
    (1) many are objects of mathematical study and we want students to attend to their properties. Naming something helps signify that it has value and is worth considering.
    (2) as a short-hand to facilitate communication
    (3) to practice logical reasoning around concepts of inclusion/exclusion
    For (2), words have a meaning based on social practice, not necessarily strict logical consistency. This could be embedded in the linguistic structure, for example this post by Chris Lusto on square and non-square rectangles. For (1), I could say the same things except focus on the social practice within the community of mathematicians.
    In this spirit, I think “rectangle” is interesting because the (1) and (2) strongly conflict, with (3) aligning with (1). There are lots of worthy things to study about the whole class of rectangles, not just those special squares. In contrast, my impression is that something like “hexagon” actually means “regular hexagon” in senses (1) and (2) and only differs when we play the logic game (3).
    Another shape idea: even with all the shapes names I know, I realized I couldn’t effectively describe most leaf shapes I saw. Thank goodness this page helps with that problem. I will now look out for salinon shaped features as well.
    Finally, perhaps there is some opportunity for collaboration between your Mr Men/Little Miss series and Chris Danielson’s shape book?

    • Some very interesting points. I have often thought that regular shapes should be better distinguished too. Squares get their own names, as do circles, yet others get branded simply as ‘regular ‘ which confuses students when they are asked to name an irregular shape as a consequence. Furthermore shape names end up constraining things for students too. They find it hard to accept crossovers such as equilateral isosceles etc. The Mr Men series will be a long one I imagine. Plenty of shapes to get through, and it’s teaching me how to use Illustrator which I have intended to get to grips with for some time. It still feels quite counter intuitive to me at the moment but I’ll get there. Many thanks for the comment. It’s great to know there are people out there!

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