# Math

Check back later this week for another round of math ideas – this time for Properties of Addition and it will include a FREEBIE!

As I mentioned in my post about Story Problem Tip #1, story problems are a huge part of math. It’s so important that we provide students opportunities to use math with real world situations. Last week I talked about how students tend to dread word problems. The see words in math and tend to freak out – it’s just supposed to be numbers! That’s why I started this little mini blog series. You can find tip #1…here…

So, for tip #2 to make story problems a little more fun, let the students choose their numbers. A huge part of differentiation is choice. My example below is from when I taught first grade, but you could change the numbers and story problem skill to fit any grade level.

I often give 3 choices. One for my struggling students, one for my on-level students, and higher numbers to challenge my kids who are ready. I let kids pick the numbers. However, I do go around and monitor their choices. If students pick one that is too easy, after they solve it, I suggest they try the larger numbers. If students pick one too hard for their ability, I suggest they try a different one first and then they can try to go back to that one.

Kids love choice and by giving them choice with story problems we are differentiating for their needs, which will make story problems seem less dreaded and impossible.

Every Tuesday during the month of September I’ll be sharing tips for using story problems in your classroom. While these story problems are often dreaded for most children, they are such an important part of math and a practical real-world application. So, it’s important that they practice them and that they hopefully become less dreaded in the process. Here’s tip #1 for how I make them less dreaded…

Use student’s names in your story problems. Kids love being included. Especially if you can include a hobby or something you know they are interested in. We do weekly (every Friday) story problems in my class. I use my student’s names in the story problems. They always get excited to see who the story problem is about! It’s also fun to put in interests and real-life things for them. The more excited they are to start, the more excited they’ll be to solve it!

Check back next Tuesday for my second story problem tip!

Every Friday this summer I am sharing some of my favorite things with you! The month of July is focused on technology and academic areas.

Check out past Friday Favorites…

PD Books

Read Alouds

Kids’ Favorite Series

Book Studies

Check out a few of my favorite math activities…

**Counting to 1,000 Book –** One of the second grade standards is that students are able to count and write their numbers to 1,000. So for an activity (we started whole group and then students would work on it when they finished work early) I had students write their numbers from 1-1,000. They would do one paper at a time and then I would check it. This allowed for quick feedback and made sure students didn’t get too carried away with incorrect numbers. When they were finished, it was put together in a book that they could take home. They loved the fact that they got to decorate the front cover.

**Making 2D Shapes**– As I mentioned, I like to incorporate food into lessons when I can. I saw this online and can’t remember the exact source, but it worked perfectly. We had been studying 2D shapes and their attributes. As a way to practice, students created shapes using pretzels and marshmallows. This lesson was a hit and the kids loved trying to create the harder shapes with more sides.

**Arrays with Skittles** – Another great food lesson. I like to break out the Skittles when we start working on arrays. Students like below can make the array that fits the equation. For example, 3 x 7 – they make 3 rows with 7 Skittles in each row and then count to find the product. They also enjoy the Skittles when we are finished!

**Race to Zero**– This is a fun, competitive game that focuses on subtraction and strategy. Students can play in teams, partners, individually, etc. The goal is to be the first person to zero. Each team gets 3 dice and starts at the number 999. They decide how many dice to roll and then once they’ve rolled, they decide what order to put the numbers in. Then, they subtract. This continues until one team reaches zero. The interesting thing about this game is that it focuses on being strategic and using the right number of dice at the right time and really thinking about the best order to put the numbers in to maximize your turn. I love having the kids play this for an activity during Morning Meeting.

**Lucky Charms Graphing**– Back to the food again! I again do not know where I got the worksheets I used, but there are many different Lucky Charms graphing packets out there. The kids have fun picking out the marshmallows and graphing the totals that they have. It also gives you a chance to ask some data analysis questions which focuses on number sense, addition, and subtraction.

**Create Your Own Graphing Project**– This is a fun project that my students always enjoy working on. Once we’ve learned about the different types of graphs, students work with a group on a project where they create their own graph. The group comes up with their survey question, surveys students, creates the graph, analyzes the data, and presents their findings to the class. It’s a great project to use to wrap up the graphing unit. You can find this in my TPT store… Create Your Own Graph Project.

Thanks for stopping by! Next week I’ll share some of my favorite reading lessons and activities!