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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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Instructor:
*Danielle Wilson*

Danielle is a certified elementary, middle school math, and special education teacher. She has a master's degree in elementary education and special education.

Have you ever sorted blocks or toys by color or size? In math, sorting things like numbers or shapes helps us to see the relationships between them and to better understand them. In this lesson, we will learn about a really popular way to sort in math.

Math is the study of numbers, quantity, and shapes. The best way to understand them is by looking at how they relate to one another. When we can identify the similarities and differences, it becomes easier to work with them. The purpose of the **Carroll diagram** is to help organize how we sort different math concepts on a visual graph. A Carroll diagram is an easy way to sort objects, numbers, or concepts by two different categories using yes/no situations.

Did you know that the man who created the Carroll diagram also wrote *Alice In Wonderland*? It's true! Lewis Carroll was not only a writer but he was a really smart mathematician. The Carroll diagram was originally known as the 'Lewis' Squares'. Lewis Carroll liked to organize information and create logic games. He used the diagrams to organize information so it was easier to categorize.

The easiest way to understand a Carroll diagram is to first use it with something you're familiar with. Let's use a Carroll diagram to sort fruits and vegetables. There are several different ways we could choose to sort our fruits and vegetables; color, size, has seeds, etc. For this Carroll diagram, we are going to sort by color; more specifically, by the color red.

We will sort our objects that are red and separate them from objects that are blue, yellow, or any other color. We are also going to sort the objects by if they are a vegetable or not. So, we can sort a group of objects into the following groups:

1. Red, Is A Vegetable

2. Red, Not A Vegetable

3. Not Red, Is A Vegetable

4. Not Red, Not A Vegetable

A cherry is red, but is not a vegetable. We would put cherries in the 'Red, Not a Vegetable' group. Radishes are red and are a vegetable, so we would put them in the 'Red, Is A Vegetable' category. As you can see, just listing the items is not a very easy way to understand them. It would be much easier to organize the information into some kind of visual or diagram. This is where the Carroll diagram comes in handy.

We can make our own diagram by first drawing a big square, then splitting it into 4 smaller squares. Next, we will label the columns and rows by the traits we want to use to categorize the objects. Last, we put objects into the squares the fit the characteristics of the labels. We can do this by looking at each object and asking ourselves a yes or no question, like: ''Is this object red?'' or ''Is this object a vegetable?''

The **Carroll diagram** is a four square diagram used to sort objects based on two different characteristics. The diagram is named after Lewis Carroll, the author of *Alice in Wonderland*. No matter what it is that you want to sort, the Carroll diagram is a simple way to categorize objects by their traits.

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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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