• @Agent641
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    8
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    4 months ago

    You gotta remember, numerals are just arbitrary symbols that we assign meaning to. To small children, you could rearrange the order of numbers and teach them to count to ‘10’ like “7, 4, 5, 1, 8, 3, 9, 2, 6, 70!” And to them it would make perfect sense.

    The symbols dont have meaning til we assign them meaning. The teacher probably implemented some way of tying meaning to the symbols, such as using tally marks. The teacher repeats the exercise many times, and then gets the kid to repeat the exercise on paper. The answer to the question is probably “3 is smaller than 10 because ‘III’ has less than ‘IIIII IIIII’”

    The number 10 was probably chosen because it contains the number 1, which is less than 3, and requires an understanding of base-10 numeral system.

    Its more of an abstraction and repetition question than a math question. Its hard for us to understand why a child might struggle with this, but I do remember being corrected lots of times for writing my numbers and skipping 10. Id jump straight from 9 to 11. I felt that ‘10’ didnt make sense. I insisted that 10 doesn’t exist. That was one of the hardest years of college for me.

    • @dlok
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      14 months ago

      Do you think we use base 10 because we have 10 fingers?

      • @Agent641
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        54 months ago

        Yes for sure. But it didn’t have to be that way. Other cultures used base 12 (egyptians) or base 60 (babylonians).

        You can count to 12 on one hand using your finger segments, and can count to 60 with both hands, using your fingers as tally markers indicating 12, 24, 36, 48 and 60.

        • @Andonno
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          14 months ago

          Ten fingers gives you either base six (one hand for zero magnitude, other hand for one magnitude) or base eleven (both hands for zero magnitude).