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Integrate Math and Literacy for a Halloween Costume!

For our fall carnival, we dressed up like a book character.  Me being the math coach, I wanted to incorporate literacy AND math.  I decided to become “The Greedy Triangle.”  The librarian says that kids LOVE this book.

I looked everywhere for cardboard large enough to make a human sized triangle and finally found some in the storage room–chart paper boxes.  The bottom of the triangle is as large as the box.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to be equilateral like the true Greedy Triangle.  I’m isosceles, but that leads to some great geometry discussion with kids!

I covered my front and back triangle with yellow bulletin board paper.  Then I made the mouth eyes and nose with white and colored paper, and just glued it onto my front triangle.  I just drew the eyes and nose and mouth free handed, and outlined them with marker.  I folded the eyes in half so I would have a symmetrical shape.  The cheek circles I made by tracing a round cup.  A teacher next door helped me staple the yellow ribbon, which I had at home, to the two triangles.  The costume fits over my head like a sundress.  Underneath as you can see I wore black tights a black cotton T-shirt and skirt  which I already had.  I would say this whole project took me one hour and cost me nothing–not bad.

The costume isn’t user friendly however if you plan to sit a lot.  The cardboard doesn’t bend of course.  When going in and out of small areas I found that my vertices would bump into a lot of things.  However, this was a plus because I was able to use math vocabulary all day such as….”watch out for my vertices.”

I received lots of complements on this costume…some “aww how cute” from parents, kids, and teachers.  One parent thought I was pizza…but then where are my pepperonis?  I guess I could be a happy block of cheese, too!

With that said, I suppose you could adapt this costume to many things when trick or treating…

Picture this…

“Trick or Treat”

“Hi, honey, what are you dressed up as?”

“A block of cheese, but I’m lactose intolerant.”

“Oh, honey, here’s some extra candy!”

Maribeth Alexander liked this post

A Trick to Get Your Students to Line Up Quietly

I have personally witnessed two teachers use this in their classes and it works exceptionally well.  The novelty will wear off after time, but it works well for students at this point in the year when summer break and friends are all that is on children’s minds.

1. Buy a feather boa.
2. Tell your students to put their heads down on their desks and close their eyes.
3. Tell them when you pass by and touch them with the feather boa they can line up.

This seems to have a magical effect because feathers are quiet and those who are in line are in suspense waiting to see who will be feathered next.

Do Your Students Forget to Put Their Name on Their Papers? Try this

This has proven to be an effective method to have students put their names and dates on their papers.  Before taking up papers each time say, “Class, put a smiley face beside your name, and put a star beside your date.”  Students all want a smiley face and a star at the top of their papers, so they will all put their names and dates on their papers.  You will no longer have to tell students to put their names and dates on their papers in a frustrated monotone voice because they will do this.  When students get accustomed to putting smiley faces and stars, you can change what you ask them to put beside their name and date and associate it with something they are learning.  For example, have students put parallel lines beside their name and perpendicular lines beside their date if your class is studying geometry.