Thursday, June 23, 2016

Spend It All!

Here is another math activity that will have your students practicing subtraction of decimals, regrouping, and unit rates!  It's also quick and easy to make!

You will need index cards, scissors, glue and store ads.
Cut out items on sale from the store ad.
I tried to chose items that I know my students would be interested in.

Next, glue them onto index cards.  Try to glue them so that you will have room to write on a section of the index card.  Also, only glue one per card.

You have two options to choose from for this next part.  You can either use markers to write on the cards or you can print out the info and glue it onto the cards.  I chose the easier one. :D

Here is what I came up with!  Notice, on some of the cards students will have to determine unit rates.
Here are some more examples for you.

How do you play "Spend It All"?

Number of players:  2 to 4

Materials:  Paper, pencil and one set of "Spend It All" cards.

Directions:  Place cards face down on the center of the table.  Each player starts with $100.  Player 1 takes a card from the top of the stack.  This represents a purchase.  The card will state the number of items the player must buy.  The player will then subtract the amount from their $100.   Player 2 then repeats the same process.  Each player will have different cards (purchases) each time.  The player to "Spend It All" first is the winner!!!

As you can see, it is great practice for subtraction from zeroes and regrouping.
I would let each group have a calculator so they could check each other's work. This is great for immediate feedback and if the student knows he or she did the math correctly, their confidence level is raised!
Here are some closer looks at the cards.  Hopefully it will give you some ideas! :D

I truly hope this activity is helpful and of use to you! I think that it is good to have students work with something they see everyday outside of school, such as these ads. That way, they can actually realize that math IS important to learn and that they WILL use it in their daily life.  

Foam Counting Blocks Are For More Than Just Counting!

I found these at my local Dollar Tree, but I'm sure you can find similar ones else where.  I have also seen wooden counting blocks, but I prefer these for my stations since they are quieter.

When you first take them out of the package, they are sort of stuck to each other.
But they are really easy to pull apart.

Here is one option.  Create your own foam dice!

I first tap marker where I want my dots to go on the cube.

I then make the dots larger.  This helps me keep them lined up.

So there you have it! A pair of foam dice.  I used actual dice to determine the placement of the dots. Here is how they are set up, in case you don't have access to any.
1 is across from 6, 2 is across from 5, and 3 is across from 4.
These would be great to use with the Game Board I created HERE.

You don't have to use these only for dice.
There are a variety of uses.

Make fraction dice.
You can have students roll the dice and then add, subtract, multiply or divide them.

Make percent dice.
Have students roll dice, convert percent to decimals, then have them add or subtract them.

Make decimal dice.
Have students roll dice, then add, subtract, multiply or divide.

Here's a good one!  Give students two percent dice, two decimal dice and two fraction dice.  Have them roll and then place them in order from least to greatest!

Bright, colorful, inexpensive and so easy to make!

Here are a few tips when making your own foam dice:
  • Use a fine tip permanent marker. Thicker markers tend to bleed on the foam.
  • Wait a few seconds for ink to dry so that there are no smudges on your cube.
  • Write down numbers you would like to use on paper before creating your dice so that there are no repeats.
Thanks for looking!  Hope this was helpful!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Practice Integers with a Deck of Cards!

First of all, I know first hand that buying materials for your classroom can get pricey and adds up to quite a bit by the end of the year.  This is why I try to look for ways to save money on items for my classroom.  I also try to look for items I can use in more than one way.

Now, onward to using a deck of cards for integers!

I found the best deal at Dollar Tree!  You get TWO decks of cards for $1!  Fifty cents a deck is a real bargain. Of course, if you can get them donated, that would be even better.

Here is what the package looks like if you happen to have a Dollar Tree near you.  If not, I'm sure you can find them at other types of dollar stores.

They are glossy and pretty durable.

I usually take out the Jokers, since I have no use for them.

This is how I use a deck of cards to have my students practice addition of integers.  My students call it Integer War and it is a game for two players.

First, I tell students that all face cards (King, Queen, Jack) have a value of 10.  All blacks are positive and all reds are negative.
For example, 6 of diamonds (red) has a value of (-6) and a Jack of spades (black) has a value of (+10).  I then instruct students to use addition to solve.

Step 1: Divide the entire deck of cards between two players.

Step 2: Both players take a card from the very top of their stack and place them down next to each other.  Be sure to tell you students that peeking is not allowed!  They MUST take the card from the top of the stack.  Now they have created an integer problem!  This one shows (+10) + (-8).

Step 3: The first student to shout out the answer takes both cards.  The coolest part is that they can use the symbols on the cards to create their "zero pairs" if they are still struggling solving it mentally!  Since face cards don't have symbols, you can have students take all face cards out for the first few times they play this game.  Then have them play the game with the face cards included as they are gradually building integer fluency.

Here are some more examples:

(+10) + (+7) = (+17)

(+10) + (-10) = 0

(-4) + (+10) = (+6)
(-10) + (+8) = (-2)
(-10) + (-10) = (-20)

It's that easy!

I think the colors really help students determine positive and negative values and understand when they have to add or subtract the values.

I usually have my students seated in groups of four. So what I do is have two students play against each other and the other two students use a calculator to check the answer.  That way they know who stated the correct answer first.  Then the pairs of students trade tasks.  It's a great way to build integer fluency and students end up discussing when answers are incorrect.  They teach each other!  How awesome it that?!

Take it to the next level!  After students understand directions and the goal of this game, change it up and have them subtract the integers.  I usually have them write down the problem when they use subtraction.  Eventually, I also have them practice multiplication of integers.

So you actually get THREE activities that will have your students practicing with integers using only one deck of cards!

WARNING!  When students are playing this game, you will hear them gradually get louder as they shout out the answer, because they want to win!  They get really excited.  Student engagement at it's finest!  :D

I will be posting other ways I use decks of cards in my classroom at a later date.  Stay tuned!

Thanks for looking.  I hope this was helpful!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Stations From Store Ads? YEEEESSSS!!!!!!

Some people call them "store ads", others call them "store circulars".  I call them "STATIONS"!!!!

All you need are "store ads", scissors, glue, index cards and your imagination!
Here is a set I made to use as a station in my math class.

I wrote the answers on adhesive labels and stuck them on the backs of the cards to make the station self-checking! I use adhesive labels, because sometimes the writing will go through the card and students can see the answer.

Here is a closer look at the directions I provided to give you an idea. I like to include skills covered.

I am attaching pictures of some of the cards below to give you ideas for the types of questions you can create for your station.

I hope this idea inspires you. You can create problems for many types of skills, including Financial Literacy standards! I'm listing some more ideas below to help.

  • How much money will you get back if you pay with a $20 bill?
  • What is this amount rounded to the nearest dollar?
  • How many can you buy if you only have $10? (tax not included)
  • If sales tax is 8.25%, how much will your total cost be?
  • For sales such as "3 for $5", you can ask this question: How much will you pay for eight?"
The possibilities are endless and it will cost pennies to create! In addition, you are using real life situations and the ads are colorful.

Take it to the next level! Have your students create a card, independently, with a partner, or in a group.  Have them include the answer. Not only can you use this as an evaluation, but you just had your whole class create another station.  They will love seeing their own creations!

Hope this helps!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Quick and Easy Game Board for Stations!

Task cards are great, but sometimes students can get bored with them. So I like to change it up in my classroom by having students use task cards with a game board!  

Here is an easy, inexpensive way to make a game board for your classroom.

All you need are some markers, manila folders and 3/4" colored dot stickers.

Use a marker to create a "path" on the folder.

Write "Start" at the beginning of your path and "Finish" at the end.

Here's a closer look at the way I wrote mine.
Not the best, but I try!  :D

Now it's sticker time!

Place dots on the path you drew.
I chose to create a color pattern.
Helpful tips for placement of dots can be found
at the bottom of this post.
Ta da!  Game board done! Cute, colorful and best of all, easy and inexpensive to create!
Oopsie!  I got a little carried away with my marker.
Don't let this happen to you!

Here is the front cover.

Here is another one I made.

I made a spiral path on this one and spaced the dots further apart.

Instead of including directions on the game board itself, I explain how to use the game board to the entire class and let students know that they have the option to use it when they are working on task card stations.

Here are a few tips if you decide to make your own:
  • Instead of markers, type it up with a fun and colorful font.
  • Use clip art or stickers to decorate.
  • Dots placed closer together = more dots used and longer game. 
  • Dots spaced further apart = less dots used and shorter game.
  • Laminate for durability.  Don't have access to a laminating machine? Use clear packing tape!
  • Make it more specific and write the task card name on cover.
  • Make one, show it to your students and have them make more! I bet they can come up with some pretty creative paths and covers!
Click here to see how I store my number cubes (dice) and game pieces that my students use with game boards!

Hope this was helpful!