12 Days of Christmas, the Hard Way

Try this at 11:00pm on New Year’s Eve!

Math with Bad Drawings

Once there was a song. It was maddeningly repetitive and endlessly parodied.

It endorsed “quantity over quality” in gift-giving. It advocated buying for our loved ones not a good book, or a nice pair of pajamas, or even a scented candle, but teeming masses of geese, each one actively laying eggs.

The song proposed, dubiously, that human people could be given as gifts—maids, pipers, drummers, even lords and ladies. The song’s human-trafficking aspect has received little attention to date.

The song pegged the length of Christmas at a mystifying 12 days. The religious holiday, so far as I know, lasts 24 hours, and the secular capitalist holiday lasts roughly two-thirds of the year. But I guess “The One Day of Christmas” wouldn’t make much of a song, and “The 247 Days of Christmas” might bring about the slow, irritating end of human civilization.

The song invited a lot of questions, but…

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About gblakney

Middle School Mathematics Teacher, passionate EdTech user who loves to experiment with new methods and tools in the classroom. Following the lead of Dan Meyer and Jo Boaler, I create a safe place for kids to discover the fun and beauty of maths. I use Number Talks and Groupwork to make maths accessible for all of my students. I enjoy Mathematics and I'm enthusiastic about teaching; the kids really respond to that.
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