My students have an interesting view of reality. Mainly that it’s subject to their own perspective.
Yesterday we learned about prime numbers. Today we reviewed the concept. The number 13 came up as an example. We identified 13 and 1 as the only factors. So it’s a prime, right?
“10+3” one kid said, in the tone of voice of someone pointing out an irrefutable fact to someone who they pity slightly. “That’s addition. Remember, we’re talking about multiplication!” Then I reviewed the concept again.
“5+5+3!” A different child said excitedly. “Three numbers, more than two, so it’s NOT prime!” “Nope. Still addition.”
Ok, maybe those kids just don’t get the concept.
One of my very strong math students raised his hands. “How do we KNOW there aren’t other factors?” He asked. “Because… math!” I spluttered. “I don’t know.” He said. “There could be more, and we just don’t know!” How do you argue with that logic?
At the same time, we’re doing a unit on fiction in language arts. Realistic fiction. Emphasis on REALISTIC. The rule I use is, if it could happen in real life, it’s realistic fiction.
Enter, the following conversations.
“There could be dragons, though! If there were dinosaurs, couldn’t there be dragons?”
“My dog barks, and when he barks it’s like he’s communicating, and that’s like talking, so dogs can talk. My talking dog story is realistic fiction.”
My favorite was this-
“You can’t prove that I don’t have magic powers.”
“Do you?” I asked him.
“I don’t know if i have magic powers!” And he threw his hands up.
Honestly, I don’t mind living in a world where there are as yet undiscovered numbers waiting to be found, along with dragons and latent magical powers.