# 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.

## 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.

Materials:

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

Whiteboard and dry erase markers

Instructions

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:

## Developing Number Theory and Fraction Concepts

Many students can begin to feel challenged in math in middle school. Students who have been good at, and have even enjoyed, math suddenly look to their teachers, friends or parents for assistance. Why does this happen? If you look at the concepts that are significant in middle school grades (fractions, decimals and integers), you find that these concepts appear to break all the rules their teachers have told them up to this point.

Typically, students are taught that when you multiply two numbers, the product is always larger. When you divide two numbers, the quotient is always smaller. However, these rules apply to whole numbers, not fractions. When you multiply two fractions, the resulting product may be smaller! When you divide two fractions, the quotient may be larger!  Many students become frustrated, confused and give up on math. As teachers, we need to make sure our students understand concepts, not just memorize rules about them. Students need time to explore and discuss real life examples of the concepts we are teaching. Below are some high-level tasks that allow students to explore number theory and fraction concepts. As with all tasks, students should represent their work in numbers, pictures and/or words. They should have time to communicate their thoughts and findings with others.

Topic: Factors and Multiples

Task: Max is making table favors for a party. The candles come in boxes of 15 and the candleholders come in boxes of 9. Max does not want any leftover candles or holders. What is the fewest number of candles and candleholders he needs without any leftover? How many boxes of each should he buy? Task: At a day camp, there are 12 girls and 18 boys. The camp counselors would like to split the campers into teams. However, they must follow these rules: 1) All campers must be on a team; nobody can be left out, 2) all teams must have the same number of campers, and 3) each team can only have all boys or all girls; no boys and girls can be on the same team. What is the greatest number of camperseach team could have?

Topic: Understanding Fractions

Task: In Penny’s Pet Shop,  of the pets were dogs,  of the pets were cats,  of the pets were birds and the rest were gerbils. There were 48 pets in all. How many of each type of pet were there? Task: Ms. Kinny has  tank of gas in her Volkswagen Beetle. Miss Jamison has  tank of gas in her Ford Mustang. Dr. Beck has  tank of gas in her Honda Accord. Mrs. Hughey has  tank of gas in her Toyota Prius. Without finding common denominators, list the women in order from the person who has the least amount of gas in her car to the person who has the greatest amount of gas in her car.

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

http://www.math-lessons.ca/activities/index.html

http://www.math-lessons.ca/activities/Geometry.html

## Problem Solving Activity

Too often, we rely on worksheets to help our students learn. Students need to be active participants in their learning. They need to explore, communicate and problem solve. Here is a fun activity appropriate for second and third graders to complete during your measurement unit. Not only does it help them practice measurement skills (weighing items and counting money), but it also facilitates math process skills such as communication and problem solving.

Materials: scales, envelopes, coins, student directions and recording sheets (attached). Note – you will have to weigh the envelopes you choose to use (the ones I used weighed 3 grams).

Overview: Students work together to determine the amount of money contained in an envelope through problem solving and application of math concepts. If students can successfully determine the amount of money within the envelopes, they are given “credit” to shop for items (erasers, pens, colored pencils, etc.) in their class store.

Class Store

It is your lucky day! Your teacher said she will give you money to shop in the class store. However, there is a catch. She will not tell you how much money you will receive. Instead you need to figure it out. You will be given four different envelopes. Each envelope holds a different type of coin (quarters, dimes, nickels or pennies) which is written on the envelope. No envelopes hold a combination of coins. You must figure out how many coins are in each envelope, how much those coins are worth, and determine how much money you have altogether. Hints are given below.

Fill in the chart completely. If you determine the right amount, your group will be able to spend it in the school store.

Hints:

1 envelope = 3 grams

4 quarters = 23 grams

5 dimes = 11 grams

4 nickels = 20 grams

4 pennies = 10 grams

Complete the chart:

Work Space:

For more fun and interesting Learning Math Games, you can visit us here:
http://www.math-lessons.ca/activities/FractionsBoard5.html
http://www.math-lessons.ca/timestables/times-tables.html
http://www.math-lessons.ca/activities/FractionsBoard4.html
http://www.math-lessons.ca/index.html

## Pass The Times Tables Test!

Here’s a game that makes learning fun! Instead of giving your students yet another worksheet to complete, take those same problems, write them on index cards and turn it into a game. Practicing this way keeps your students focused, on-task and alert.

Preparation:

1)    Before class, create numbered index cards with the problems you want the students to solve (see figure 1). Create one card for each student in your class.

Figure 1

2)    Set up the classroom. I find that it is easiest to set the desks up in a circle so that students pass the cards clockwise and there is no confusion about who to pass the card to. Before the game, I also make all the students point to the person to whom they will pass their card.

3)    Prepare the recording sheet. It is extremely helpful to provide students with a numbered table to record their answers. I find it is beneficial to have students put a star on the number problem that they are starting with so they record their answers in the correct box. (See figure 2 for an example).

Figure 2

How to Play:

1)    Give each student a blank recording sheet. Then distribute the problems to solve. Each student is given a different index card to begin the game. Have the students put a star on the problem they will start with.

2)    Have the students solve the problem in front of them. Once they are done, the teacher says, “Pass” and all the students pass their card to the person next to them. Students then work on the problem on the card they just received, making sure they record it in the correct box.

3)    Continue this way until the students have completed each problem.

4)    Have the students provide the answer for the card they are left holding at the end of the game.

Notes:

1)    This game is not a timed activity, but most students find it more exciting when they have a set amount of time to finish. I tend to supervise the class and when it appears everyone is finished, I start counting down from 5.

2)    Enforce the rule that students are not permitted to pass cards until the teacher says, “Pass.” Otherwise, students end up with more than one card on their desks and end up passing the wrong card.

3)    I have used this game with every subject and grade level ever taught. It is a great way to practice vocabulary, review for an exam, assess student understanding, etc.

For more fun and interesting Learning Math Games, you can visit us here:
http://www.math-lessons.ca/activities/FractionsBoard5.html
http://www.math-lessons.ca/timestables/times-tables.html
http://www.math-lessons.ca/activities/FractionsBoard4.html

## Developing Deductive Reasoning with Hula Hoop

Here is a fun game to help students in your elementary math classroom – develop their observation skills while at the same time practice their deductive reasoning. My students have named this game “Soup,” and we pretend that we are cooking up a delicious soup. Feel free to adapt it to your own students’ interests.

Materials: Attribute blocks(these are our ingredients) and a hula hoop (this is our pot in which to cook).

How to Play the Game:

1)    Have your students sit around the outside of the hula hoop so that they can all see and reach it. The teacher begins the game by creating a rule for the “soup” (e.g. square soup). Without telling the students the rule, the teacher places one attribute block into the center of the hula hoop, saying “This piece belongs in my soup today.”

2)    The first student in the circle chooses any other piece, places in in the “pot” and asks, “Does this belong in your soup today?” If the piece matches the rule, the teacher says, “Yes it does,” and the student gets another turn. If it does not, the student removes that piece from the center, and her turn is over.

3)    Students continue to take turns going around the circle. A student may guess the rule only during her turn. (e.g. “I think you are making blue soup.”) If the student is wrong, her turn is over. If she is correct, she wins the game.

4)    You can continue to play the game by creating a new rule or allowing the winning student to create a new rule for her classmates to figure out.

Notes:

1)    Attribute blocks are excellent tools for this game because they contain four different attributes (color, shape, size and thickness). When I play with very young students, I choose only one attribute (e.g. red soup or triangle soup). However, when I play with older students, I use several attributes (e.g. thick yellow soup or small red triangle soup).

2)    When allowing students to create the rule and start the game, it is a good idea to have them whisper their “soup recipe” in your ear. They tend to forget their rule and provide false information at times!

3)    I find that continuing around the circle after a game is won keeps students from arguing about whose turn it is and gives everyone a chance to play. For example, if the sixth child in the circle correctly guessed the soup recipe, the next game starts with the seventh child in the circle.

For more fun and interesting Learning Math Games, you can visit us here:
http://www.math-lessons.ca/activities/FractionsBoard5.html
http://www.math-lessons.ca/timestables/times-tables.html
http://www.math-lessons.ca/activities/FractionsBoard4.html
http://www.math-lessons.ca/index.html

## Primary Geometry All Around

Here’s a fun way to integrate math, technology and language in one project for your youngest learners. Mathematically, students learn about solid figures and their properties. Technologically, they use digital cameras and work with word processing programs to insert pictures, word process and format documents. Students practice writing original thoughts and grammatically correct sentences as they describe the objects they have discovered.

Start the project by having students take digital pictures of solid figures in their everyday lives. They can either do this at home or (if they do not have a digital camera) at school. The following chart lists the common solids primary students learn about and some everyday items children would be familiar with. Hopefully, your students will find numerous examples of each.

 Cones Spheres Cubes Rectangular Prisms Cylinders -ice cream cone -construction cone -cone used for sporting events -party hat -ball -globe -scoop of ice cream -marble -play block -sugar cube -dice -tissue box -cereal box -stick of butter -pack of gum -juice box -soup can -marker -dowel rod -stove pipe -rolling pin

Once students have taken their pictures, visit the computer lab so students can create their “Book of Geometric Solids.” Students can organize their books in a variety of ways. However, each picture should have one to three sentences to serve as a caption. Captions must identify the type of solid the object is and must tell something about that object. For example, the student inserts a picture of a soccer ball. He then writes, “A soccer ball is an example of a sphere. I play soccer every Saturday morning. It is my favorite sport.”

This activity not only allows students to discover math in their everyday lives, but it also helps develop multiple academic skills.

For more fun and interesting Learning Math Games, you can visit us here:
http://www.math-lessons.ca/activities/FractionsBoard5.html
http://www.math-lessons.ca/timestables/times-tables.html
http://www.math-lessons.ca/activities/FractionsBoard4.html
http://www.math-lessons.ca/index.html

## Geometry Math Stars for Christmas!

Learn and Practice Geometry by Making Your own Family Christmas Tree Star Ornaments!  Great for decorating your Christmas Tree or for making a Gift to give to a friend or family member.

Materials Needed:

Colored Markers or Crayons

Glue or Scotch Tape

Scissors

Colored Yarn or String

Sparkles

Colorful Recycled Paper (tissue boxes, flyers, old wrapping, etc.)

Directions for Christmas Star Cutout:

1.Cut out the outline.

2.Cut along all heavy lines.

3.Score plain lines on the front.

4.Score dotted lines on the back.

5.Fold triangles upword along plain lines.

6.Fold triangles downword along dotted lines.

7.Glue or tape tabs to form small tetrahedrons.

8.Continue until you have your Geometry Christmas Star Tetrahedron.

Everyone has their own Star!  Everyone has their own Inner Light!  With Favorite colors, draw your stars, or print this page and cut the pattern of the star out.

Inside each shape on the side of the star, write your name and birthday.  Or – write the names of each member of your family (If you Wish, your family / family Tree Star can be made of relatives (close or extended), friends and/or adopted family – as long as you write each name on each.  You could make many stars – a pretty star for each member of your Christmas Tree, or write everyone’s name on the same Star.

Color and Decorate each one with colored markers, crayons, sparkles, gluing pieces of recycled Christmas paper from last year.  You can also write happy words all over your star like Love, Divine Wisdom, Infinity, Pure Spirit, Fun and Harmony!

Remember to Decorate your Stars!

Glue Yarn / Strong at the top  into a 2 inch loop and tie a knot at the end

Hang your Christmas Geometry Math Stars and Decorate your Tree at Home or in your Classroom!

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!

For more of our Fun Learning Math Games:

http://www.math-lessons.ca/activities/index.html

http://www.math-lessons.ca/activities/FractionsBoard4.html

http://www.math-lessons.ca/activities/cards.html

Reference for Star Tetrahedron Geometry Template: “The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life,” Vol. 2, by Drunvalo Melchizedek

## Easter Egg Hunt 100 and Under

Easter is the central feast and holiday in the Christian year representing Jesus’ Ascension.  It culminates the end of 40 days of fasting from the person’s choice.  Some people refrain from eating chocolate for 40 days until Easter weekend! Then they have an Easter Egg Hunt whereby one person hides chocolate eggs and the others have a fun treasure hunt to find the eggs.  For the Unity Spiritual Community, this year’s Easter’s theme is “Release Your Inner Splendor”. http://www.unity.org/publications/free-materials/lent-2012-release-your-inner-splendor

The following is a Fun Easter Egg Hunting Game for Practicing Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division Under 100.  It can be played outdoors or indoors, depending on the weather and environment of the class.

Materials:

Organic Chocolate Eggs with foil covering

Marker

Pencil

Paper

Small Easter Baskets

Instructions:

Find a box of Organic Chocolate Easter Eggs.

Unwrap each egg but save the foil covering.

1. Make up a set of Math Problems to Solve, including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  At the end of this article, we have included a sample.

2. Wrap each Egg with a problem written on a small piece of paper, and then rewrap the eggs with the foil.  With a marker, number the eggs by groups.

3. Divide Learners into groups of 3, and Assign each group a number.  (In this example, there are 21 students. The class would be divided into 7 groups of 3, and there would be 7 groups of Math Problems).

4.Hide the eggs outdoors and/or indoors, weather permitting.

5. Each group has paper and pencil.  Each group hunts for eggs with their numbers and solves the math problems. As they find the eggs, each group respectively puts them in their basket. Each Learner Individually solves the problem, by first writing the problem on his/her paper and then following with the answer.

6. As each is finished, they bring their sheets to Teacher for checking. If they have any answers wrong, they must redo their answer. When all answers are correct, they can eat the chocolate, and help other groups.

Remember to recycle all the foil and paper wrappings!

http://kidsblogs.nationalgeographic.com/greenscene/2012/03/recycled-kisses.html

http://www.bayroberts.com/green/reduce.htm

Here are some more of our Fun Learning Math Games:

http://www.math-lessons.ca/activities/index.html

http://www.math-lessons.ca/review/math-review4.html

http://www.math-lessons.ca/timestables/times-tables.html

Sample Math Problems:

Group 1:

84 + 11 = 95

88 – 35 = 53

24 */* 3 = 8

8 x 6 = 48

14 */* 7 = 2

88 – 31 = 57

4  x 18 = 72

75 */* 3 = 25

25 – 5 = 20

Group 2:

88 + 12 = 100

25 x 3 = 75

18 */* 2 = 9

22  x  4 = 88

21 */* 3 = 7

55 –11 = 44

23 x 4 = 92

24 */* 12 = 2

45 + 33 = 78

Group 3:

88 – 3 = 85

13 x 4 = 52

100 */*25 = 4

44 x 2 = 88

13 – 1 = 12

44 */* 4 = 11

77 */* 11 = 7

3 x 9 = 27

52 – 23 = 29

Group 4:

44 – 11 = 33

23 x 4 = 92

14 */* 2 = 7

28 + 14 = 42

55 */* 11 = 5

88 – 13 = 75

34 – 17 = 17

22 x 4 = 88

14 + 17 = 31

Group 5:

14 + 5 = 19

33 – 12 = 21

22 x 5 = 77

89 – 17 = 72

34 +55 = 89

33 */* 3 = 11

22 x 4 = 88

100 */* 4 = 25

21 x 4 = 84

Group 6:

19 + 24 =43

47 – 17 =30

88 */* 11 = 8

24 x 3 = 72

90 */* 10 = 9

55 – 23 = 32

17 x 5 = 85

9 */* 3 = 3

100 – 25 = 75

Group 7:

18 */* 9 = 2

7 x 7 = 49

21 x 4 = 84

88 – 55 = 33

21 + 4 = 25

99 */* 3 = 33

22 x 1 = 22

35 – 8 = 27

77 – 22 = 55

## Congratulations Spirit of Math Students!

Congratulations Spirit of Math Students!  Over 2000 kids took part in the 13th Annual Spirit of Math Contest.

There were 742 Placements from Grades 1-4 across Canada, who made the National Mathematics Honour Rolls.  And several others from all grades from other countries, with more details to come, as results roll in.

Categories included Thales; Byron-Germain; Fibonacci; Pythagoras; Math Kangaroo Tournament of Towns; Canadian National Math League; New Jersey National Math League Honour Roll; American Mathematics Competition Honour Roll; Brock University Caribou Math Competition; Centre for Education in Math and Computing Honour Roll (University of Waterloo);

List of Learners’ names to come soon!

http://www.spiritofmath.com

http://www.spiritofmath.com/2011contest/

If you want your class to enjoy one of our Fun Learning Games, downloadable hands-on learning tools, here are a few really great ones:

Race; Fractions Board Game:  http://www.math-lessons.ca/activities/FractionsBoard5.html