I used this kind of trick when we are between
topics or when a short day makes a regular lesson meaningless. I found
that my students enjoy the challenge and some develop an interest in
math that wasn't there before.
- three dice (optional if the students are familiar
with dice--it is helpful if the students know that opposite sides
of a die add to 7)
- some may need a calculator
- Students roll (or pretend to roll) the three
- The students should write the three digits showing
in any order.
- Next he should write the numbers on the bottom
of the dice, using the same order. For example if he rolls a 5, a
3, and a 1, he may write them in any order.
- Supposing he writes them 513. Then he subtracts
each digit from 7 to get the numbers on the bottom of the dice and
adds those numbers to his original numbers. This gives him a 6 digit
- Now have him divide that number by 37, then
again by 3.
- Choose one student and ask him to give you the
- Now it's your turn. Subtract 7 from his result,
then divide by 9. This gives the three original digits in the order
he wrote them. (513264 divided by 37 equals 13872, and when divided
by 3 equals 4624. Subtracting 7 gives 4617, and dividing by 9 gives
513, his original numbers in the order he wrote them.)
- You can complete the trick by supplying the
last three digits of his 6-digit number if you wish.
NORDHOFF HIGH SCHOOL
MAD MINUTE RELAY
A variant of the twenty year old mad minute. Students
learn timed math facts in a team environment. Math problems can be
any single operation problem (ex: + - X / (for X and / use #s up to
12 X 12 or 144/12))
- The students are split into two teams. Each
team receives one sheet of problems.
- When the teacher says BEGIN, (or any other signal
that means it) a five minute clock is started.
- Student one on each team begins working on problem
- After that student is done, the sheet is passed
down and the procedure repeated.
- Each team goes 3x around (This may vary depending
on class size. I generally get as close to 30 problems on one sheet
as possible (ex. if you have 12 students you break it down 12/6 then
6x5= 30 and that works out even...In other words for 12 students
number the problems 1-6 and have the students go 5x around.))
- No conferring between teammates until the end.
7. If there is time left on the clock, teammates check the answers.
8. If sheets are handed in before the time limit expires, the team
cannot take it back to continue to work on it. Most correct answers
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Here is a fun spring game for the students to
play. Tell the students to help Peter Rabbit find his egg basket. See
how many eggs the students playing the game can put into the basket.
- oval shapes for eggs (various colors). I made
about 20 for the game.
- black marker to write the problems on the oval
- golf tees
- manilla folder or poster board
- pocket on the basket for the eggs when answered
- Make and decorate a game board. Either use
poster board or a manilla folder.
- Make oval shapes to use for the cards.
- Write math problems on the oval shapes. Place
the math problem face up with a self check for the students on the
- On the game board make an oval shape a little
bigger than the cards and write place eggs here.
- Make a start and a finish. I would put a rabbit
at the start and then at the finish put a Easter basket with a pocket
for the eggs. When a player answers the problem correctly they put
the egg in the pocket.
- Put 3 oval shapes with skip on them. If a student
draws that card then they loose a turn.
- To begin the students are to roll the dice to
see who goes first.
- The player will draw a card and answer the question.
If the player is correct they roll the dice and move that number
- The player that gets to the Easter basket first
The oval shape math problems can also be used
to just play a card like game. The student with the most cards after
all the cards are gone wins. Make a manilla envelope and put about
4 pockets, each being a different color for the eggs to be placed when
the player is correct. If the player is incorrect the oval shape goes
back to the bottom of the deck. The player that wins is the one with
the most eggs. I call this game Spring Fling.
Make sentences on the oval shapes using the spelling
words. The player reads the card and has to say the correct spelling
word that goes in that blank. A self check is on the back.
- JANET HILL
HOT SPRINGS SCHOOL DISTRICT
HOT SPRINGS, AR
MAD MINUTE MATH PRACTICE
I use this daily practice to reinforce basic math
facts, improve speed of recall, and teach graphing skills.
- Mad Minute (or some other sheet) of 30 basic
math facts - addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.
I have a set of 5 worksheets that I rotate -- it doesn't matter that
the kids see them weekly -- they don't even notice.
- one file folder per student
- one blank graph per student, stapled into the
- timer (a clock with a second hand will do if
you don't have a timer)
- colored pencils (for graphing)
- To maintain and improve my students' knowledge
of their basic multiplication and division facts, we do a daily "mad
minute." Each student has a two sided worksheet - one side is
division and one side is multiplication.
- I set the timer for one minute and when everyone
- I say "Go." When the timer goes off,
the students flip the page over (it doesn't matter what side they
do first) and we repeat the procedure for the other side.
- At the end of the 2nd minute, they switch papers.
I do a quick review of the vocabulary ("What is the answer to
a multiplication problem called?" "What do we call the
two numbers that are multiplied?" etc.) and then, going across
the rows, I call out ONLY the answers . (Until they learn the difference
between rows and columns, I review that vocabulary, too.)
- I always check the multiplication side first,
but it doesn't matter, as long as you're consistent.
- As we finish checking each side, the students
write the number correct as a fraction (N/30) at the top of the page.
Once both sides are checked, the papers are returned and each student
graphs his/her progress.
- We use a double line graph format, because line
graphs are best at showing change over time.
- The students make up their own key and do their
- Until they were proficient at the graphing,
we practiced multiplication facts only and used a single line graph
- My students love the drill and the challenge
of trying to beat their best time or "go up" on their graphs.
It's a great way to reinforce facts, vocabulary, and graphing in
less than 10 minutes per day and will work for any of the basic facts.
Because the students do their own data collection for me, it's one
less thing for me to do when it's IEP time.
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SWEET APPLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
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MAKING A BUDGET
This activity can be used at the holiday time
or for the students' birthdays
- writing materials
- video: The Homecoming--A Christmas Story (optional)
- I introduce the lesson by asking them to make
a list of ALL the things they want for their birthday. (They go hog
- Then we discuss the difference between a want
and a need.
- Next: they divide their lists into two categories,
wants and needs. We discuss their lists and then they revise it (some
things are deleted)
- Now we make a list of all of the standard household
bills their parents receive each month. I impress upon them that
I do not want to know their family's business, keep $$ amounts private.
- We form a class list on the board or overhead.
- Next we place estimated $$ amounts by each bill:
ex. electricity $$, grocery $$, car payment $$, etc.
- Then we arrive at a grand total of the average
monthly bills that their parents must pay before gifts may be purchased.
(this is a real eye opener!!)
- We discuss wisdom and how it is obtained over
a period of years, not learned form a text book.
- I assign them a project of finding a wise person
(someone over the age of 60) to interview. They are to ask: What
was Christmas/your birthdays like for you as a child? Then they are
to record their story and any other information about their family
traditions. Their information my be turned in as a video taped interview,
written as a new paper article, written in story form, etc.You will
be amazed at how these kids are touched by their experiences with
these "wise" people.
- Hand back their original birthday list and ask
them if the want to add or delete any of the items. They (9 out of
10 of them) will want to delete items.
- Rent a copy of the Film THE HOMECOMING - A CHRISTMAS
STORY (Walton's Mountain family) to show the class. They will love
it! (Even if it's not Christmas time)
- I have done this project for the past 7 years
and find it to be a true learning experience for all kids!!!
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REIDSVILLE MIDDLE SCHOOL
All children can do this activity, even at the
kindergarten level with help. I have never had a problem with children
completing this activity and the children take pride in their finished
- old birthday or Christmas cards
- 1 sheet of white A4 copy paper per child
- wallpaper or other paste and glue brushes
- 1 pair of scissors for each child
- Collect enough old Christmas, birthday and
other greeting cards for each member of the class with pictures that
will appeal to both sexes. The children take great pride in their
work and choose their pictures with care.
- Cut the card so that the front is separate
from the back. You should have one piece of card with a picture which
is single thickness. Keep the commercial greeting part of the
card for other activities.
- On the back of the card, draw 5 triangles.
One should be the largest and will be made by placing a ruler from
one corner diagonally across the card. The remainder of the card
will consist of 4 triangles of different sizes.
- Each child looks carefully at the picture prior
to cutting it out. Then each spice is cut out and placed carefully
into position on the A4 paper. DO NOT ALLOW THE CHILDREN TO GLUE
AT THIS STAGE.
- When the children have pieced their jigsaws
together in the right position, then they can glue the card pieces
onto the paper.
- Display on the pin board.
APPLECROSS PRIMARY SCHOOL
PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA