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## Do You Need an Idea for Family Math Night?

As promised, here are a few snapshots of our Family Math Event/100th Day of School Celebration!

Students built number bonds with Legos, and got to take a few Legos home!

Students built 10 groups of 10 to make 100 with different small food items.  This was one of kids’ favorites since food was involved!

As you can see in the picture above, this is one of the staff members that dressed up like she was 100 years old.  She said she got her whole outfit at Good Will for \$4 with the exception of her wig from Party City.

Students played Race to 100 on the 100′s chart with dice.  They rolled and added the number that they rolled each time on their 100′s chart.

Double dice subtraction is a game idea taken from the Georgia Department of Education resources.

How creative!  This teacher made a multiplication/division edition of chutes and ladders complete with spinner.  Kids loved this activity.

Kids flocked to this booth where they made chocolate chip cookie dough.  Students mixed up the dough in a gallon baggie to prevent mess.  The math was in the measuring cups fractions.  They had to figure out how many small measuring cups to use in lieu of the larger cup sizes.  For example, if the recipe calls for a cup and a half of flour, how many times will you have to fill a 1/4 measuring cup?

We can’t forget the Estimation Station!  The closest guesser got to go home with the jar including candy!  We gave away five jars.

One of my personal favorites…maybe because it was my idea , is the 100 scavenger hunt.  Students had to find index cards hidden around the cafeteria.  Each card had an equation, but only some of the equations equaled 100.  If the equation made 100, students could then bring it to the scavenger hunt booth for a prize.

Students used different fruits and vegetables to equal up to a pound in this next picture after first estimating.

At the probability booth students used fractions to predict the chances of landing on a variety of spinners.  Students got to take home their own spinners.

We also had a technology table where students got to play math games on our schools mini laptops.

Moe’s Southwest grill kindly donated tortilla chips for us to have nachos!  And, the church next door to our school kindly donated lemonade!  We also got plastic sacks donated to us from a nearby restaurant so that students had a bag in which to place all of their take home math activities.

The kids went home with smiles!

## Need Activities to Teach Counting?

I was so excited to get these unifix books that I ordered.  With there being a shortage of counting activities in our regular kindergarten textbook, I was eager to find more.  These simple and practical books for kindergarten and first grade offer several counting activities like the following:

• Shapes that students cover with cubes to see how many cubes will fill the shape.  Students count the number of cubes that fill the shape.
• Cards with a different number of shapes on them that students match to numbers cards.
• Number cards to match to plastic baggies with cubes in them.
• Games like “First to Fifty” in which students spin a number spinner to draw a certain amount of cubes to cover a board.  Students can count how many they have left to cover.

There are some other good number sense activities included also.  These are available at Didax for \$13.95.

## A Simple, Quick Activity to Make Area, Perimeter, and Volume “Click” with Kids

Every year the same thing happens.  Students get area, perimeter, and volume confused.  Several years ago I went to an NCTM conference and a presenter there suggested this activity.  I kind of made it my own since I have been teaching fifth grade a lot lately.  She suggested taking index cards and labeling them “AREA” and “PERIMETER”.  I added “VOLUME” also.  Then read aloud several statements and have students hold up the card so that all including you can see.  I had a list of about fifteen statements such as:

• How much sand to fill up a sandbox?
• How far is the distance around the playground?
• How much bulletin board border do you need to go around the bulletin board?
• How much paint do we need to cover the classroom wall?
• How much fabric do you need to make a tablecloth to cover the table?
• How much water is needed to fill a swimming pool?
• How much carpet do I need to buy to make a comfortable reading center?

To extend this activity, I had students keep their cards in their notebooks and add to them the next day.  On the back of the perimeter card, students wrote “UNITS”.  On the back of the area card, students wrote ” SQUARE UNITS”, and on the back of the volume card, students wrote “CUBIC UNITS”.  I used the same fifteen statements and had the students hold up the cards just as before, but this time with the units side facing me.  Doing this helped them see the connection between perimeter, area, and volume with which type of units each measured.

After these activities most students were holding up the correct card and had the general understanding that:

• perimeter and units measure distance
• area and square units cover
• volume and cubic units fill.

This activity could be used in other disciplines as well if students are struggling with the meaning of a few terms.  The beauty of this is you as a teacher have an immediate quick assessment for students who aren’t understanding as soon as you see their card.

## ‘Naked’ Numbers But Not Before Discovering Patterns

The common core standards for first grade state that students must become fluent with adding and subtracting tens.  To promote fluency, students need to discover patterns and how they change numbers.  Only when students have examined patterns and become comfortable with them should they be given timed “naked number” problems to assess and improve their efficiency in recalling the patterns.  Finding the answer to a “naked numbers” problem needs to be merely a by product of knowing the pattern.

When trying to figure out how to teach fluency with adding and subtracting multiples of ten to first graders, I struggled to find resources to do this.  Because of the lack of resources, I developed these sheets for next week to lead students and their teachers into guiding discussions about patterns on the hundreds chart.  They are simplistic activity sheets but necessary.  I will be trying them out this week.  I am providing a link to them below.  If you would like to try out one of the lesson sheets, the preview file will give you a sample for free at TPT.

Discovering Patterns

Naked Numbers

## Try These Compelling Fall Pumpkin Activities…

I so look forward to a crisp fall day after the humid triple digit temperatures we have had in the south.  I am already wanting to hang my fall wreath on the door!  Maybe it will hasten fall weather.   With the fall weather I always think of this pumpkin unit I taught with my precious third graders in which the students all did math investigations with pumpkins.  The following are pictures of the activities we did with the unit.  I also made the lessons  available on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I added one lesson to it –pumpkin lines– to make it a full week unit.  We measured pumpkin’s weight, circumference, height, and counted the seeds (eeew so messy, but fun!)  Take a look below.

Body Benchmarks: Inch Thumbs

Pumpkin Height

Doing Pumpkin Calculations from "Pumpkin Patch Math Investigations"

Yuck!

Counting seeds

Making Arrays to Count Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seed Arrays

Total Counted Seeds from One Pumpkin

## Math Website with Free Engaging Activities and Printables

Math Wire is an amazing website with lots of helpful, quality teaching tips and free printable worksheets for math instruction.  All the activities are based on NCTM standards and constructivist learning. Activities include free printable worksheets such as “I Have, Who Has” cards, open ended response questions, and math game boards to name a few.  I especially like the suggestion that Math Wire presents about coin antennas for students who have difficulty counting money. Take a while to browse Math Wire to gain insight on improving your instructional practices.   http://mathwire.com/