Category: Math Activities

Measuring Noah’s Rainbow Arc

Have your class make a homemade Noah’s arc.  You will need creative materials:

a ruler

a tetra pack or other recycled container that floats

sticky pine pitch or an eco-friendly sealant

other thoughtful decorative creative materials

In the bible, Noah is instructed to make an arc large enough and strong enough to fit a lot of animals and to last in the flood that is to come.  The name Noah is noted as “comforter”:  Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.  (Blue Letter Bible; Genesis 6:14)…And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.  (Blue Letter Bible Genesis 6:15.  A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.  (Genesis 6:16) (This passage could either be 4 stories in Height in its description, or 3, depending how it is interpreted – is the lower basement floor considered to be counted as a floor.  The passage in Genesis (Genesis 6:15) says that God instructed Noah to build the Arc in these dimensions using Cubits.  The cubit is an ancient unit based on the forearm length from the tip of the middle finger to the bottom of the elbow.  The estimate varies depending on which version of a biblical text one reads.  Approximately 17.5-20.6 inches (  What in Today’s world can be compared with The Length of Noah’s Arc about 450 Feet Long?  a Baseball Field; a 7 story Building.  There would be 3-4 stories of height (including the lower) and a giraffe would have to fit (approximately and up to 15-18 feet)!  How tall is a giraffe?

Cubits Answer:

300 Cubits = 450’ L

50 Cubits = 75 ‘ W

30 Cubits = 45 ‘ H

where L = Length

           W = Width

           H = Height

Metric Conversion (where 1 inch – 2.5 cm):

L   300mm = 30cm

W 50 mm = 5cm

H 30 mm = 3 cm

Have your class find homemade materials from the recycle bucket or pieces of materials that your folks have no need for, and make a miniature version of the arc as it is described.  Fashion a window 18 inches from the roof, and make a door.

Rainbow Covenant (Genesis 9:11-16… And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth….And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:…And I shall set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth….


(Photo Here)

Our homemade prototype turned out to be 12 inches x 1 inch x 1.5inches, with a window just under the top, and it floats!  Have fun decorating your Arc as you would be living it for 150 days before the waters receded.  Pine Tar is a term for what is called “Pitch”.   It can act as a sealer for the bottom of your arc, but be careful as it is sticky stuff!  Have fun!

For more fun activities, please feel free to visit:


Fractions in The Kitchen

Choose a recipe from home; notice the fractions used in the recipe.  Formulate fraction questions; and calculate the questions.  Then go ahead and have an baking extravaganza in your school’s kitchen, or at home.  Here is a sample:

Potato Tea Buns

This classroom kitchen recipe was a combination of Tea Buns from the Telephone Pioneers oF AmerIca, Ch. 49; Nova ScoTIa; WhaT Am I Gonna Cook? RecIpe of PaT Brooks; HunT’s PoInT, NS; with some of our personal add-ons such as Brown sugar

1 Pckg Dry YeasT

1/4 cup waTer Mixed wITh 1 Tsp Sugar sIc. We prefer Brown; HealThIer)

1/2 Cup Mashed PoTaToes

1/4 Cup BuTTer (sIc. PaT says ShorTenIng or MargarIne; We prefer Real BuTTer)

1/4 cup Sugar (sIc. We prefer Brown; or a bIT of Molasses, Though The rolls would be a dIfferenT Color.

1 & 1/2 Tsp SaLT

1 Cup Milk (sIc. Almond Milk)

1 Egg (We prefer a dollap of Flax Gel, made by parboIlIng 1 Tbls Flax Seeds In 1 Cup of waTer for 10-12 mInuTes)

4 Cups WhITe Flour

CombIne WaTer and 1 Tsp Sugar and YeasT

LeT sTand For 10 mInuTes

In a saucepan, combIne Milk, PoZTaToes, BuTTer, SaLT and Sugar;

heaT unTIl BuTTer has MelTed

Add yeasT mIxTure To Flax Gel In a Large BowL

STIr In boTh Cups of WaTer and BeaT well

Add RemaInIng Flour

Place In a Warm spoT for 1 Hour unTIl double

Cover wITh Damp CloTh; Leave For 1 Hr To RIse

Bake aT 400 degrees For 10-12 MInuTes

Lovely wITh a bIT of buTTer and chowder

The MaTh

Altogether, How many cups of Ingredients are does this recipe make?


1/4 cup waTer                                 1/4

1/2 Cup Mashed PoTaToes            1/2

1/4 Cup BuTTer (sIc. PaT               1/4

1/4 cup Brown Sugar                      1/4

1 Cup Milk (sIc. Almond Milk)          1

4 Cups WhITe Flour                         4


1 & 1/2 Tsp SaLT             

Answer:  6 and 1/4 cups of Ingredients; and 1 and 1/2 Tsp

Question:  How many Teaspoons of Ingredients are in a cup?  If we really want  to add the small still, we would have to calculate that from a chart, or physically fill up a cup of salt, one tsp at a time. 

Have a quick gander at some our Learning Math Games:

Teaching Fractions with Chocolate

Graphing Classroom Activity

Roll to Win Investigation – Graphing Classroom Activity


Graphing is an excellent way to display data visually. Students will come in contact with a variety of data and ways to display this data over time. It is important that students understand that there are three main types of graphs used to display information. The three types of graphs are line graphs, pie charts, and bar graphs.



Multiplication Can Be Simple! – with a handout game!

math11Multiplication is an operation that requires you to add another number to itself a certain number of times as indicated in the multiplication equation.

When students first start learning the concept of multiplication, it is more simple as time goes on for kids to learn. Memorizing multiplication facts works for some students but not for all! Some students need to learn by using different models and representations. When students have a conceptual understanding of multiplication and realize that it is connected to the real world, they tend to perform better on assessments. If a child is only ever taught isolated facts or memorized facts, they risk the chance of not understanding the meaning behind the objects they are multiplying. Knowing a variety of ways to solve multiplication problems will allow a student to figure out which strategy works best for them.



The perimeter of a shape is the distance around the sides of the shape. Calculating and distinguishing characteristics of shapes is an important concept in Geometry. Elementary school students should be familiar with both 2-D (square, triangle, rectangle, circle) and 3-D shapes (cube, sphere, cylinder, pyramid, cone). Kindergarteners and first graders should be able to identify the shape by name, whereas 2nd and 3rd graders should be able to calculate the perimeter, and 4th and 5th graders should be well versed in area and volume calculations.

In this activity, students will explore the concept of perimeter and how to calculate the perimeter of regular polygons.


Measuring tape

White board and dry erase markers

Note: If your classroom is not perfectly square or rectangular, consider drawing a classroom layout, on the white board that is easy to calculate the perimeter. For more advanced students, challenge them to find the perimeter of their irregularly shaped classroom.


  1. Have the students measure the dimensions of the classroom (to the nearest foot), drawing a diagram of the classroom.
  2. As the students measure the classroom, either have them recreate the classroom on paper, or on the white board in the front of the classroom.
  3. Explain to the class that they are calculating the perimeter of the classroom. You may consider saying, “The perimeter are the edges of the classroom that we are measuring. The perimeter tells you the distance around the outside of a shape. The classroom is shaped like a rectangle (or a square), so when do you think it would be helpful to know the distance around the classroom? Yes, if we were going to decorate the classroom with a ribbon, we would need to know the length of the sides of the classroom. The perimeter is an easy calculation to find, just by adding the length of each side together.”
  4. Have the students calculate the perimeter of the classroom using their diagrams.

You can extend this activity and encourage the students to measure a room in their home and determine the perimeter of the room. This can also be done measuring the perimeter of the outside playground at the school, or the perimeter of the school’s desks.

For more ideas about how to teach young students about perimeter and distance of shapes, visit: and

or more fun and interesting Learning Math Games, you can visit us here:


What are the chances that you can flip heads or tails? Probability can be a fun guessing game and is an interactive Math concept that can be simple to introduce to elementary school students. Probability can tell you how likely or unlikely an outcome is, which can give you mathematical information to help you make a decision. If you have a 0.00001% chance of finding gold in your backyard, are you going to start digging for gold? (Shapes; downloaded Feb. 7, 2014;  Probably not, right? Students can begin to learn that outcomes can be numerically calculated and then can convey valuable information.

In this activity students will learn how to calculate and interpret probability.


Large bag of assorted color candy

Small plastic bowls

*It is best if you know how many color of each candy is present in the bag. If this is not possible, estimate the approx. numbers of each.


  1. Assemble the class into small groups.
  2. Give each group a small plastic bowl and 1-2 cups of candy in each group’s bowl.
  3. Have the students count the total number of candies, the number of candies of each color and record the data on a piece of paper.
  4. Explain to the students that the probability of something occurring is another way of saying what are the chances or the likelihood that an event will happen. You may consider saying, “We are going to calculate the probability of you getting a red colored candy from your bowl, if you picked the candy with your eyes closed. The probability is a number that helps you determine if something is likely to happen or not likely to happen. To find the probability of picking a red candy, we need two numbers. The number of red candies in your bowl and the total number of candies in the bowl. In this group, they have 2 red candies and 31 total candies. So the probability would be 2/31, which is a very small number. So, if they were to close their eyes and choose a candy, it would most likely not be red.”
  5. Invite students to calculate the probability of picking each color and allow time for them to pick candies at random to explore the concept of probability further.

For older students, extend the activity by practicing how to reduce fractions, for example a probability of 3/18 can be reduced to 1/6. There are lots of fun ways to teach probability. Check out these great online resources: and

For more fun and interesting Learning Math Games, you can visit us here:


Writing Mathematical Ratios

Comparing numbers and quantities can be an advanced component of teaching Math, but can also be easily introduced to younger students in first or second grade. In Math, it is important to provide all students with mathematical vocabulary, like ratio or proportion. (Dice; downloaded Feb. 7, 2014;  A ratio is nothing more than a comparison of two quantities and we use ratios even outside of the classroom. For example, when cooking, we may use 2 parts flour to 1 part sugar, that would be the ratio 2 : 1 or when mixing cleaning products, like 1/3 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. It is essential to explain complex terms like ratio or proportion in easy to understand language, and when possible using hands-on everyday items.

In this activity students will learn how to calculate and write a ratio.


5 sealable bags, red/blue/green marbles or unit blocks (20 of each color), white board, dry erase markers *This is best done as a group activity with no more than 4 students per group. Prior to the activity, place a different amount of each marble color in each sealable bag. For example, Bag 1 may have 3 green, 4 blue, and 5 red. Label each bag with a number to better keep track of the bags and marbles used.


  1. Assemble the class into small groups.
  2. Give each group a labeled bag of marbles.
  3. Have the students count the total number of marbles in the bag and the number of marbles of each color and record the data on a piece of paper.
  4. Have the groups rotate bags so that each group gets a new sealable bag and repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. Ask the students: “What did you notice about the number of marbles in each bag? What about the number of each color?”
  6. Explain to the students that the number of each color marble can be written as a ratio or a comparison. You may consider saying, “A ratio is a number that compares to items together. For example, in Bag 1, there were 3 blue marbles and 5 red marbles, so we could compare or write a ratio of blue marbles to red marbles by writing 3 : 5.”

For older students, consider extending the activity by providing them with word problems involving ratios. Have them explore how ratios can be maintained by doubling or halving quantities. For example, you might ask, “if the marbles are to stay in a 3 : 1 ratio, how many marbles of each color would you need if you wanted to double the total number of marbles in Bag 3?”

Ratio activities can be a great tool to teach fractions in the classroom. For more creative math teaching tips, visit: and .

For more fun and interesting Learning Math Games, you can visit us here:

Order of Operations

Math is like a special type of language that has rules that must be followed. Understanding that the order of numbers and how they are combined is an important concept that elementary school students must master. Just as in everyday activities, like getting dressed, cooking, reading, the order of the steps matter. We would not put our shoes on before putting on socks, or read a book before opening it. Making this concept come to life for young students is easy to do using everyday analogies and hands-on activities.In this activity students will explore the mathematical order of operations.


Several clothing items (coat, shirt, socks, hat, sunglasses, gloves)

Whiteboard and dry erase markers


  1. Invite a volunteer to come to the front of the classroom.
  2. Provide them with the various clothing items and explain to the class that even in everyday tasks, like getting dressed, there is a particular order or “rules” that we follow.
  3. Ask the student to put the items on (over top of their clothes to simulate getting dressed). As the student does, so point out what item went first, then next.
  4. Acknowledge that the order of the hat and sunglasses did not matter. One could either put the sunglasses on first and then the hat or vice versa.
  5. Explain how this relates to Math and the order of operations. You may consider saying, “Just like with getting dressed, Math has a special order to it. We do operations that are in parentheses first, then those that may involve exponents, then multiplication and division, then finally, addition and subtraction. However sometimes the order does not matter, like with the sunglasses and hat. When you are only left with addition and subtraction or multiplication and division, you do the operations as they appear from left to right.”
  6. Write the following problem on the board: (3 x 5) – 60 ÷ 10 + 7 and walk students through the “order” of what has to be done first, then next, then last. If time permits, write additional problems on the whiteboard and have students work through the order of operations.

Additional Order of Operation Resources: As students graduate to more advanced math, it is essential that they be able to accurately manipulate and calculate values. This is especially true with solving equations or problem-solving. For more interactive ways to introduce and practice the order of operations, visit:

Enjoy Making Bar Graphs

Using graphs to represent data is an important feature of teaching math to elementary school students. Graphs come in many different shapes and sizes and can convey numerous types of information. As students progress through Math, they will encounter graphs in increasing complexity and will be asked to interpret data from graphs, draw conclusions from graphs, and even extrapolate information. Introducing graphing can be done through fun, interactive games that bring Math to life.  (photo: (10/27/13 7:15pm)

In this activity students will explore the how to collect and graph discrete data.

Materials:   Chart Paper, Markers


  1. In the classroom, section off 4 distinct areas. Using corners of the classroom is the easiest way to do this.
  2. Ask the students: “What is your favorite dessert? If you like cake, go to Corner #1; if you like cookies, go to Corner #2; if you like ice cream, go to Corner #3; if you like candy, go to Corner #4.
  3. Allow time for students to decide which dessert they prefer and then record the number of students in each corner.
  4. On the chart paper, have 4 columns, one for each dessert option. Write the number of students in the corresponding column.
  5. Explain to the class that they just collected data on the type of dessert their classmates like. You may consider saying, “Data can be in the form of numbers or words, and in this case, we determined how many of you like each type of dessert. Next, we are going to do a graph, which is similar to a picture, showing the data we just collected.”
  6. Create the axis of the graph, labeling the number of students on the vertical axis (y-axis) and the type of dessert on the horizontal axis (x-axis).
  7. Mark the y-axis according to provide enough numbers to represent the numbers of students in each category. Draw in the bars to the corresponding number for each dessert type. For younger students, consider using stickers to represent the bars of the graph and have each student place a sticker in the dessert column they prefer.

Additional Graphing Resources:

Graphing is essential to building scientific knowledge and understanding as well as Math comprehension. For more interesting graphing activities, visit:

And for more of our Fun Learning Math Games, you can visit here:

Learning Measurement in Elementary Math

Are you finished administering the same old paper and pencil tests to your students? Instead, why don’t you allow you students to demonstrate what they have learned? Here is a great way to assess your students’ learning with measurement units, using performance assessment.

We find that it is easiest to set the desks up in a circle so that students can move clockwise and there is no confusion as to where to move next. Use large index cards to number the problems and describe the task the student must complete while at that desk. A different problem is presented at each desk. Use a numbered index card to clearly indicate the problem number. (See Figure 1 for an example.)

Figure 1          Task 7

Record The Value of The Five Coins

Students start at their own desk, recording the answer for that problem. All students will start on a different number. It may be helpful to provide young students a numbered table to record their answers. I find it is helpful to have students put a star on the number problem that is set up at their desk so they start recording answers in the correct box. (See figure 2 for an example).

Here is an example of the types of problems that can be used in this assessment. The materials needed at each desk are indicated in the parentheses.

Desk 1 – (coins) Record the value of the five coins.

Desk 2 – (clock) Record the time shown on the clock.

Desk 3 – (pencil, ruler) Measure the length of a pencil to the nearest half-inch.

Desk 4 – (calendar) Record the date of the second Wednesday in March.

Desk 5 – (apple, scale, gram weights) Find the weight of the apple to the nearest gram.

Desk 6 – (clock) Identify the time on the clock. What time was it 15 minutes earlier?

Desk 7 – (calendar) Today’s date is highlighted on the calendar. Marie’s birthday is in 12 days. What is the date of Marie’s birthday?

Desk 8 – (blackboard eraser, ruler) Measure the length of the eraser to the nearest centimeter.

Desk 9 – (clock) Charles started his homework at 3:45. He worked for 20 minutes. What time was it when he finished his homework?

Desk 10 – (1-inch squares and an outline of a large rectangle) Lay the squares on the rectangle to determine the area of the rectangle. Remember to label your answer with square inches.

For more fun and interesting Learning Math Games, you can visit us here: