## Archive for April 28, 2010

### Cats and Dogs

This joke makes it easy to see how teachers sometimes inadvertently confuse students…

Teacher: If I give you two dogs and then give you two more dogs, how many dogs will you have?
Johnny: Five!
Teacher: Not quite. Try again. If I give you two dogs and then give you two more dogs, how many dogs will you have?
Johnny: Five!
Teacher: Hmm, no. Let’s try this another way. If I give you two cats and then give you two more cats, how many cats will you have?
Johnny: Four.
Teacher: Excellent! So, if I give you two dogs and then give you two more dogs, how many dogs will you have?
Johnny: Five!
Teacher: I don’t understand! Why do you say that if I give you two cats and then two more cats, you’ll have four, but if I give you two dogs and then two more dogs, you’ll have five?
Johnny: Because we’ve got a dog at home!

My colleagues and I used to joke about the LCS teaching method. Don’t be embarassed if you’re a veteran teacher but have never heard of this method before. We made it up. The acronym LCS stands for Louder, Closer, Slower. There was, unfortunately, one teacher in our school who, if a student didn’t understand an explanation, would say the exact same thing over and over… but each time would move closer to the child, say the words in a louder voice, and speak more slowly.

It was difficult to watch these interactions. With each repetition of the explanation, the teacher would get more and more frustrated. Sadly, the student would get further frustrated, too, but the teacher would never notice! It was like watching an American tourist in France ask for directions!

Happily, I know that the majority of math teachers don’t abide by that method, so here’s a math poem for all you great teachers–

He’s teaching her arithmetic,
Because it is his mission.
He kissed her once, he kissed her twice
and said, “Now, that’s addition.”

As he added smack by smack
In silent satisfaction,
She sweetly gave the kisses back
and said, “Now, that’s subtraction.”

Then he kissed her, she kissed him,
Without an explanation,
And both together smiled and said,
“Now, that’s multiplication.”

Then Dad appeared upon the scene and
Made a quick decision.
He kicked the boy out of the house
And said, “Now, that’s division!”

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

## MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.