Teacher Hacks: Making Cool Math Things for School

I am currently in my observation phase of my teaching credential program.  This means that I am placed at the school where I will be student teaching in January, and I am expected to start teaching lessons in about a month.  Well, since I am an experienced teacher (6 years of Pre-K) I am actually starting tomorrow!  I will be leading a month long project on playwriting and producing for the 1st grade portion of the K/1 class I am working with, and a lesson on graphs for the whole class.  My professor suggested that I go ahead and write up full lesson plans for the first playwriting lesson and the math lesson, even though she will not be observing them.  So, I spent the day writing up the lesson plans.

For the graphing lesson, we are going to eat two different kinds of apples, and chart which one the class likes the best.  I decided to make a reusable foam core chart with contact paper and painters tape.  This way, I can use dry erase markers on the chart, and the tape is repositionable if I want to add more categories.  For the little guys, I am writing their name on star shaped Post-It notes so they can mark their choices.

Here is the chart:

Graphing Chart

I’m so excited to do my lesson on Wednesday and try this out!

Tomorrow afternoon, I have my Teaching Math in Elementary School class.  For my assignment I had to play 5 math games with friends, family or kids.  We were all given a list of a bunch of different games and asked to write down our observations about the games for class tomorrow.  I recruited three of the high school students at work, and the daughter of one of the other dorm parents to come and play with me.  We had so much fun playing games last night!  I didn’t have all of the materials that I needed to play all of the games, so I looked through the game descriptions to see what I could repurpose.  Two different colored decks of playing cards became a game board, the metal-edged plastic discs from my magnet box became counters, and graph paper became a Multiplication Tic-Tac-Toe board and “button” game boards.

"Button" game boards on the top, and the Multiplication Tic-Tac-Toe Board is on the bottom!

“Button” game boards on the top, and the Multiplication Tic-Tac-Toe Board is on the bottom!

I used the rest of the contact paper to “laminate” the paper, so now I have more durable game boards to add to teacher toolkit!

My growing folder of math games!

My growing folder of math games!

If you want more detailed instructions on the chart, or the math games (I have a whole stack of good ones!) please send me an email, and I’ll be happy to fill you in!



About 12months12quilts

I am an educator and sewing teacher, crafting away in The Bay Area, CA.
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