Posts filed under ‘Steven Strogatz’

1 2 3 Count With Me

From Fish to Infinity, by Steven Strogatz
Sesame Street: 1 2 3 Count With Me
Ernie teaches Humphrey to count at The Furry Arms hotel.

The best introduction to numbers I’ve ever seen — the clearest and funniest explanation of what they are and why we need them — appears in a “Sesame Street” video called “123 Count With Me.” Humphrey, an amiable but dim-witted fellow with pink fur and a green nose, is working the lunch shift at The Furry Arms hotel, when he takes a call from a room full of penguins. Humphrey listens carefully and then calls out their order to the kitchen: “Fish, fish, fish, fish, fish, fish.” This prompts Ernie to enlighten him about the virtues of the number six.

Children learn from this that numbers are wonderful shortcuts. Instead of saying the word “fish” exactly as many times as there are penguins, Humphrey could use the more powerful concept of “six


September 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm Leave a comment