Hi there! I'm Tonja from Smart Puppy Learning and today I want to share with you some of my favorite activities to do in the fall for math. This time of year is always one of my favorites, October through December offers so many teachable moments with kids and ways to tie in fun activities from our culture including my favorites...the holidays! It was so easy for me to bring in holiday fun when I taught Kindergarten and First grade. When I moved to third grade a few years ago I wondered how I would ever get it all taught, but still make it have the fun flair that I enjoyed during the holiday season. Below are some of my favorite activities to do to bring in a bit of fun while still teaching math.
The candy corn pictograph project has become a favorite with my kids. The students have the chance to learn about pictographs by creating their own graph. Students select the kinds of candy to put in the graph, then construct the graph. After the graph is constructed they write problems for their classmates to solve using their graph. We take time to trade papers 3 to 4 times (depends on my groups and their level) and take turns solving each others word problems. You can learn more about this activity here or by clicking the image.
This next activity is a fast finisher activity I use and something that really motivates my students to want to finish their work. Most of us have used Mystery Pictures, but I have to say Terry Peterson has the best out there. My students BEG me to have time to complete these pictures. Lucky for me they aren't just holiday themed. He has them year round. Here is an example of one (I wish I had a student example, but I don't at the moment). My kids are driven to complete these though and I would recommend them to anyone who asked for something fun to do for this time in the school year to practice math facts. You can see Mr. Peterson's store here and all of his great Mystery Picture creations!
To bring a little spooky fun to the week of Halloween I like to create word problems with Halloween themes. Nothing too scary of course, but my kids really enjoy the festiveness and the break from the every day problems we solve. Many of us use task cards in our rooms (and if you don't you should, they really are fantastic). I put our Halloween word problems on cards or paper size around the room and students have the opportunity to walk around and solve problems with partners. This gets them up and moving during those wiggly times, but also allows them to stay on task.
You can create your own word problems, have students come up with problems and solve as a class, or if you are in a pinch you can get the problems I used here.
As you can see there is a lot of multiplication practice in my classroom in the fall. We spend A LOT of time working not only on understanding the concept of multiplication, but we also move into memorizing the facts as well. As Thanksgiving rolls around we do our Multiplication Chief headbands. Students are given feathers that have multiplication facts written on them (each feather has a different number, for instance x2 or x4) Students solve the facts, color and we create this colorful headband to wear on our school wide Thanksgiving feast day. You can learn more about this activity here.
The last activity I want to talk about is Daryl the Division Turkey. This division activity has students spend time solving division problems. Students have space on the turkey feathers to draw circles and practice making equal groups to divide their numbers. We spend a day making our turkeys and then there is an extra page where students have the chance to write some division problems and then they trade and solve with a partner. I've found that the more students create their word problems themselves, the deeper their understanding of the concept. We hung our turkeys in the hall with our word problems when we finished.
Thanks so much for stopping by Classroom Tested Resources. I hope that one or more of these activities can bring some FUN to the fall season in your classroom!