I developed math mysteries to be versatile in their use. After being in a teaching role that involved seeing 220 different kids a week across K-6, I initially made this math mystery range to be something that I could quickly prepare, engage, teach, be mostly self-correcting, and quick to pack up before heading onto the next classroom.. So, if you've seen these math mysteries and ever wondered what you can use them for, keep on reading.
When using any of the math mystery resources from my range as a class activity, I recommend pacing the case clue by clue rather than giving your students all of the five clue worksheets in one go. By pacing the clues, it will stop some students from racing too far ahead of the rest, while others are left behind. Turning a math mystery into a competition has its benefits, and certainly is still a fine approach to using these if you prefer to give all five clues in a booklet format for students to work on at their own pace. However, in this post, I aim to outline five tips with suggestions that will help set up ALL of your students for math mystery success!
The previous post aimed at providing some insight to introversion. If you suspect that you have one or more introverted students in your classroom (there's a high chance that you will at least have one), below are some strategies that you can implement in your classroom to help them thrive in school.
I used a simple brownie mix and kept it in one piece to first explain that the cake in this tin is a whole. We spoke about that it is ONE whole brownie cake.
Next, cut up the brownie cake into 20 equal sized pieces. Then discuss that 20 pieces of brownies make up one whole in this cake tin. So 20 is the denominator for our fractions in this brownie tray.
I tried my best to keep the size of each brownie the same - point out that when working with fractions each part needs to be equal.
Then to start practicing writing fractions, use some different candy to decorate the individual brownies. I used jellybeans, coins, m&m's, and monster wrapped candy.
For example in the image below:
1. Ask students how many of the brownies are decorated with M&M's?
There are 5 brownies decorated with M&M's.
2. Ask how many brownies are in total?
3. How can we show this by writing a fraction? The number decorated in m&m's is the numerator, and the total amount of brownies is the denominator.
4. If doing this with older grades, you could also further discuss simplifying the fraction as an answer.
Then continue to do the same with different types of decorations.
And then you can also do fractions for brownies without decorations.
I didn't put icing on the brownies so that I could easily change the decorations on top and keep practicing fractions as many times as needed.
Decorating some delicious treats is a fun way to help kids build an understanding of fractions. Grab a sweet differentiated fraction FREEBIE down below.
In the free download, you will receive TWO sets of the same three worksheets.
The first three are in easy mode, keeping the denominator the same as the total number for students to work with. Great for beginners.
The second set of the three worksheets, works best for students who have an understanding of equivalent fractions. The fraction rules are given in simplified form.
Find Decorating with Fractions for Free here.
You may also like these resources . . .
This week I'd like to share an anchor chart I made to teach addition with regrouping. I found the use of place value blocks helpful in explaining the concept of carrying the ten over.
The different colors used are intended to help highlight and show the steps throughout the process.
Step 1 - Look at the ones first!
Count the one blocks to find the total. Draw them.
In the chart example, there are 15 one blocks.
Step 2- Explain that we can't put 15 in the ONES position, so if we have 10 ones, we must regroup them and turn them into a ten block. Demonstrate that this new ten block formed from the ones is CARRIED over to the top of the other ten blocks. In the numerical form, we represent this by adding a '1' to the top of the column.
Step 3 - Then add the ten blocks together (including the carried over ten block). In the chart example we have 10 + 50 + 30 90. Or 9 ten blocks which equals 90. Take the 9 (in the tens position) to sit in the TENS position of the answer.
So, the answer for the chart example is 95! .
If you are looking for a fun way to get lots of addition practice in, you may like to try this fun addition math mystery 'Case of The Angry Adder'
Available in different difficulty levels. Click on a grade cover to find out the addition skills covered in each.
Counting & Ordering Numbers 1-20 Activity
For this simple activity, I labeled the numbers 1-20 on the individual Lego blocks. On the opposite side of each block, I drew the amount of dots to represent the number (optional).
Once ready to begin the activity, spread the blocks out and jumble the numbers around as in the picture below. Keep all of the numerals facing upwards. Then, set the challenge to build a tower putting the numbers in the correct order from 1-20.
If stuck on the number, count the dots!
I put Lego wheels on the base for my son since he loves trucks and cars, but any Lego base will do to help the tower from falling. He enjoyed driving his tower of 20 blocks around once he finished the task.
Differentiation option for older kids – Comparing and Ordering Larger Numbers
This activity can easily be adapted to suit older kids to work on comparing ordering larger numbers.
To do this, all I would do is label the blocks with the numbers appropriate to challenge the level of difficulty my students need.. Below is an example set for ordering 4-digit numbers.
Then set the challenge to build a tower in ‘ascending’ order (from least to greatest).
Another great activity that can be used at home or in the classroom is this fun Math Mystery below, which focuses on Comparing and Ordering numbers, 'Case of The Outback Outlaw'. Kids will be practicing this important skill whilst also working on solving who stole the opals from the Coober Pedy mine in the Outback of Australia.
It's available in four different levels to choose difficulty from. Click on the grade level version below to find out what number range/s are explored in each..
A 21st century School Teacher, Mother, and Wife.
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