Posted in Math is Awesome!

Rubik’s Cube Mosaics

For the last few years, I have been fortunate enough to sponsor a great group of kids in Rubik’s Cube Club.  I use the You Can Do The Cube guides to teach the kids how to solve the cube.  You can get them free from their site – youcandothecube.com.  Once the students learn how to solve the traditional 3 x 3 cube, they can move on to advanced cubes.  Amazon has some great designs and is usually where I purchase mine.

Twice a year, You Can Do The Cube, sponsor a mosaic building challenge in which students are encouraged to build pictures (mosaics) out of Rubik’s Cubes.  You can even check giant sets out for free from their site, however shipping is really high.

The students have a lot of fun planning their designs.  They can use graph paper or the computer to grid out what their picture will look like.  A few of the ones that they designed are below.

  1.  Super Mario’s Bob-omb – Made with 51 Rubik’s Cubes

Super Mario's Bobomb made from Rubik's Cubes

2.  The American Flag – made from 61 Rubik’s Cubes

American Flag  made from Rubik's Cubes

3.  Space Invader- Made From 42 Rubik’s Cubes

Space Invader made from Rubik's Cubes

4. Face?  Made from 57 Rubik’s Cubes

Face from Rubik's Cubes

 

Posted in Kahoots, Math Anchor Charts, Math is Awesome!

Multiplication Strategies – Math Anchor Chart, Kahoot and Game

Last year I noticed that I had several of my 5th grade students struggling with multiplication facts.  It wasn’t just that they didn’t know them, but several of them couldn’t even skip count.  Some who were still drawing out dots and groups to count, would get so tied up with figuring out what 8 x 7 was that they couldn’t remember what step they were on in long division or fraction computation.  It was getting to be a little crazy.

I started researching strategies and found this handy anchor chart.  (This year,  it was the first anchor chart hung in my room!)  I tried researching where the original idea came from but there were at least 25 variations on Pinterest and the web.  I took out some of the facts that I felt my kids should know like 0s, 1s, and 10s and left the rest.  I’m hoping that if I get this out early enough this year and teach from it, that it might help those students who are struggling.  Chart Paper and Sharpie Markers are the best- I usually laminate all of my charts so it is super easy to pull out each year.

5th Grade Multiplication Strategies Anchor Chart

I also found this great little Kahoot called Multiplciation Facts by Jordan Manning that I love to use.  I started using that about midyear last year as a warm up to get our brains thinking about math.  I found that the kids loved competing against each other and for those who kept missing the same facts, I had them make flash cards on index cards to help them study. I plan on starting this a lot earlier in the year than last.

 If you’ve never used a Kahoot before check out my Kahoot Introduction.  I have several with different topics that I made under menu, Kahoots  or just click here.

Another game,  I like to use to help with fact fluency, is a game called Multiplication War.  The only item needed is a deck of cards. (Amazon has 12 packs and 2 packs)  In this game, students deal out the entire deck of cards, then turn over two cards.  Each player multiplies the two cards together while the highest product wins the cards.   In case of a tie, players flip again – this time winner takes all the cards turned over.  Aces are worth 1, Jokers are 11, and Jacks, Queens and Kings are 10.  The students use the cards that they won to continue playing until one person has all the cards or time is up.  This year, I played it the first week of school and gave my students a multiplication table to look up the facts if they didn’t know them.  As the year progress, I plan to slowly remove that handy chart.

http://www.multiplication.com also has some amazing games that the students love to play!

Hopefully, starting all of these games and strategies at the beginning of the year will help solidify some of those crazy facts that the kids need to survive secondary math!

Posted in Math is Awesome!

Classroom Decorations in Math

This year, I decided, was going to be the year that I add some more color to my classroom.  Being in a middle school math classroom, I was afraid this wouldn’t be very easy, not like in those cute elementary school classrooms anyway.

Luckily I found these two super cute decorations at Hobby Lobby.  For the Welcome to Math Class Sign, I used Command Hooks  and some cute sticker letters to write Math on the chalkboard middle and hung it outside my door.  The other one I put on the inside above the pencil sharpener so the kids could see it.  I loved the extra color, the cute designs and… the 40% off coupons from Hobby Lobby!

Classroom Decoration

Classroom Decoration Math

While looking through Pinterest and other sites, I came across this math blog by Sarah Hagan, a high school math teacher, Math = Love and she had some amazing ideas.   On her site, I found this little gem which she had already typed using the super cute font and had it ready to download.  All I had to do was print, cut, glue and laminate.  If you would like a copy of this, you can access her site from here.   This went up outside my classroom door above My Welcome to Math Class Sign.

Classroom Decorations Mathematicians

Like me, Sarah Hagan had read a great book called Mindset, The New Psychology of Success.  Over the last couple of years, I had begun teaching the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.  This I believe  is especially important in math as I have heard from numerous students and parents, “I’m not good at math”  and “I can’t do math.”  I’m thinking she may have heard things like that also as she had a neat board called “Change your Mindset, Change your Words.” On this board, she had several sayings both in a fixed mindset and growth mindset.  What’s even better, is that she had these ready to download free of charge.  You can access her site here.   Using her site, I was able to download the posters and create a board of my own called “Help!!”  In my classroom (and others around the building,) my students aren’t allowed to say “I don’t get it” without saying the word “yet”.  Also sayings like “This is too hard” and “I give up” or “I quit” aren’t allowed.  If this is heard, my other students usually quickly jump in to correct them and help is given but they must keep trying.

Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset Bulletin Board classroom decoration

Using the growth mindset has really changed the way the students learn.  They are looking at something challenging in a more positive way without giving up.  As the year progresses, I’m looking forward to adding more great anchor charts, more additions to the growth vs fixed mindset theme,  and additional math decorations to the walls throughout the new school year.

Posted in Kahoots, Math is Awesome!

Rounding and Comparing Decimals Kahoot

Kahoot Time!!  My students absolutely love hearing that.  They are usually very quick to get out their computers and log into Kahoot in record time.

If you have never used Kahoot! before, you can create them for about any topic or subject. The registration is completely free.  Click here to read my blog introduction to Kahoots.  Our students absolutely love them and love competing against each other.

As the school year starts to gear up,  I thought I’d share a couple of new ones that I found  that I thought were really great.  Looking forward to adding some new ones for my students this year.

Rounding Decimals  5th Grade rounding to the nearest whole number, tenth, hundredth and thousandth.  10 questions that are each set for 1 minute.

Multiplication Facts – This is a great one that I like to use for a warm up (to get their brains thinking about math and to generate excitement.)  This Kahoot has 17 questions that are all 10 seconds each, testing their multiplication facts.  I tell them the faster they answer with the correct answer the more points they win and they are constantly competing to try and make it on the leader board.  I will definitely use this one again this year.

Comparing Decimals – This is a good one that I would like to try.  However, I’m going to add a few more comparing decimals problems since there are more questions about naming the place value than comparing.

If you need a quick assessment tool or would just like to play a quick game, then Kahoot just may be for you.  All you need is a mobile device (computer, tablet, phone) and your children and/or students will love it!

If you’ve never used a Kahoot before check out my Kahoot Introduction. If you would like to see other kahoots,  I have several with different topics that I made under menu, Kahoots  or just click anything below..

 

 

Posted in 3rd Grade, Math is Awesome!, Task cards with QR Codes, Teachers Pay Teachers Store

3rd/4th Grade Place Value Task Cards

place value, math, 3rd grade, 4th grade

3rd Grade/4th Grade Place Value Task Cards…

were created for my husband’s 3rd grade classroom.  These are great for when his students are working in small groups or in  individual stations around the room.

These task cards are designed to help students practice while he works with small groups in the back of the classroom.  Students can complete the work and then use the iPad or Chromebook to scan the QR codes.  The QR codes link the students to a picture with the answer.  If they make a mistake, they can try to figure out where they went wrong.  This provides instant feedback, even though the teacher is not right beside them.

Another good way to use these cards are to tape them around the room.  Students can then get up and walk around the room answering questions.

The tasks cards have students performing tasks such as finding:

  • Place value of a number
  • Value of a number
  • Expanded Form
  • Standard Form
  • A number and using place value to add or subtract to arrive at a new number.

The only prep and materials that are required are a printer, scissors and some lamination (optional).  I went ahead and  laminated them so that I can reuse these year after year.   If you would like to see them or use them  – click here to find them in my store.

For a free dice game that helps students practice reading fluency and comparing large numbers, please read my post Free Dice Place Value Game- Designed for 4th and 5th grades.

Posted in Kahoots, Math is Awesome!

4 Fraction Kahoots!

Kahoot Time!!  My students absolutely love hearing that.  They are usually very quick to get out their computers and log into Kahoot in record time.

If you have never used Kahoot! before, you can create them for about anything. The registration is completely free.  Click here to read my blog introduction to Kahoots.  My husband even created one for my birthday to test our family’s knowledge!  Our students absolutely love them and love competing against each other

The following Kahoots are a few that my 5th graders have used to assist with their fraction knowledge.

  • Least Common Denominator – This quick warm up was adapted from user SrR3ss and has 5 questions.  Students play this game to quickly practice finding the least common denominator.
  • Simplifying Fractions – This game has 13 questions in which students practice simplifying fractions.  Included is 10 math questions and 3 brain break questions.  For example, “Who is this lovable Disney character?” Feel free to make a copy and delete these or add to them.  This kahoot was adapted from user gretchenp.
  • Adding Fractions – This kahoot has 10 questions with 8 of them using math and 2 quick brain break questions.  This was adapted from user petty415.
  • Adding and Subtracting Mixed Numbers – This kahoot was used as a review before our quiz.  It contained 8 questions: 2 brain breaks, 2 word problems, 3 adding and subtracting with regrouping and 1 converting improper numbers to mixed numbers.

If you need a quick assessment tool or would just like to play a quick game, then Kahoot just may be for you.  All you need is a mobile device (computer, tablet, phone) and your children and/or students will love it!

If you’ve never used a Kahoot before, please check out my Kahoot Introduction.  If you would like to see some other kahoots, I have several with different topics that I made under menu, Kahoots  or just click anything below..

Posted in Math is Awesome!

Math Mistake at Walmart- Energy drinks for $98 each??

walmart, math, mistake
Not sure I will be purchasing any Rock Star Energy Drinks from this location….

1??

So… back to my spiel about why I always tell my students to check their work.  I always ask them a single question, “Does their answer make sense?”  If they say “no,” they have to go back and see what they missed. If it does, awesome!

Someone working at our local Walmart forgot to check their work.  If energy drinks prices are going up to $98 a can, I think I may begin to worry…  However, it did make a great start to my math lesson last week. My 5th graders got a good laugh out of their bell ringer word problem.

Posted in Math is Awesome!

Flipquiz – An online quiz game for all subjects and grades

My team and I recently discovered an awesome site called Flipquiz – https://flipquiz.me/

  • Teachers create game boards of questions and you can play using many different ways..
    • In my room, I use it like a Jeopardy game for review.  Students can work their math out on white boards and compete in teams to earn points
    • In my colleague’s room, students have the link and play the game on their own, keeping track of the points that they earn
    • You can play this with all subjects and all grades
    • Oh… and did I mention it was completely free!

My students had an awesome time reviewing for our test today and worked crazy hard!  When they walked in the room and the game board was on the screen, they shouted YAY!!!  So if this site helps me get 11 year olds excited about reviewing for a math test, then it definitely has my vote!  Let me know if you try it out!  I hope your kids like it as much as mine did.

 

Posted in Math is Awesome!

See a problem?

Walmart, math problem, mistake, real world
I’m a little concerned about the math here…..
A friend of mine was shopping at Walmart the other day and sent me this picture.  I decided it was a great picture to show my students. I tell my students daily, “check your answer- does it make sense?” “Use your estimating skills”    If your answer doesn’t make sense, then we made an error with our math – case in point this picture!

Apparently its more common than I realized. When I looked up real world math mistakes, I found a ton! There was even an article written for the Huffington Post that showed several errors.  Click here to see it.

I think I will make a slide show for my kids to see….  Might help drive home the point of always check your work and why it’s important in a very interesting way.

 

 

Posted in Math Games

Decimal Dice Game For Grades 4-6

dice, place value, grade 4, grade 5, grade 6
Decimal Dice Game – A game involving place value, adding and comparing decimals to the thousandths place

Last year, I was fortunate enough to attend a NCTM (National  Council Teachers of Mathematics) conference in Minneapolis, MN.  One of the booths that was represented was a booth from Box Cars and One- Eyed Jacks.  (Their website is located here)

I bought some of the coolest place value dice.  They were about 50 cents each and you can buy them online also however the shipping is expensive.  I also found them on Amazon located here for decimals and whole numbers. Each of the dice had a particular number on them -see the picture below.

 

So when I got back home, I tried to think of something to do with these awesome dice.  At the time, we were working on adding and subtracting decimals so I made the worksheet above.  In it, the kids received one each of the tenths, hundredths, and thousandths dice.  Their job was to take turns rolling the dice and then adding them together. Once they got their numbers, they had to compare it to their partners.  A colleague of mine suggested that they could compare their numbers and determine which had the largest decimal therefore hitting not one, but multiple common core standards at the same time.

The kids had so much fun with these dice.  I bought several of the larger place value dice as well.  My next task is to develop some additional games or worksheets for students to write numbers in standard, expanded and word forms with those.

If you would like a copy of the worksheet above that I made, click here and you can print your own copy.  I also have a store at Teachers Pay Teachers that has some more awesome math stuff.

If you would like to see some other awesome games I use in my classroom, click any of the links below, or go to menu, Math is Awesome, Math Games.