Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Made4Math Monday - on Wednesday

Now that my classroom is set up (or at least the kids are here and there's no going back) I wanted to start gearing my "Made4Math"s towards activities I'm trying for the first time or reusing from my student teaching and part time work. This activity was thought up literally the night before and then executed!

Introduction: As students walk in the door I handed them each a sign containing a number that they had to put on. I was wearing '0' in case any of them were confused as to what I meant by "put this on". The signs were made by tying yarn to sheet protectors and writing with a whiteboard marker. I like that I can erase and reuse these signs to do other activities like binomial match ups, or asking students to find their factored form with quadratics.

Warm Up: We went through our whiteboard warm up routine as normal. The warm up for today was two PEMDAS and two Substitution problems.

Activity: Once I had checked the warm ups I asked if any students had ever played the getting to know you game where the class has to organize themselves by birthday without saying a word. About 5 or 6 responded in each class. (I've played that game 4 times). I told them this game would be similar in that they couldn't talk or ask each other for help. Then, I asked the students to organize themselves by their numbers. That's it. I had a few students come up to me and ask if I meant "rational" and "integer" (which I did) but I told them to interpret however they choose.

Wrap Up: What I was hoping to emphasize with this activity is that we have a lot of natural instincts when it comes to how numbers are grouped. All of my whole numbers were together, my negative integers were next to them, my decimals and fractions grouped up, and perfectly enough my radicals, pi, and e all stood separately on the opposite side of the room from everybody else- Perfect! After a little rearranging I called out a few numbers like "The square root of 25" and asked the class what number that was. Once they realized it was actually 5 the square roots of 25, 100, and 144 auto corrected themselves. Then I called out "-9/3" and asked the class what that number was. Again, the reducible fractions auto corrected themselves. Once our whole class was correctly placed I pointed out how the radicals, pi, and e were on the other side of the room, and how that matches the relationship between irrational and rational numbers. Then I asked the class where I fit in the groups and they said "in the middle". With a little prompting I got them to get specific and place me between the positive and negative integers.

Notes: The activity took about 10 minutes post-warmup and including collecting the signs back. Afterwards we took our "official notes" in my real number foldable and did recognition practice on our whiteboards.


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  2. Great idea Lauren! We flipped our order with unit 1, so I can't wait to use this next week when I introduce the real number system!

  3. Awesome! Doing real number system next week! What is the foldable you use for this?

  4. You can see it here:

    Just a page with boxes printed (one inside the other) that the kids fill out with the name of the set and a list of examples. On the front cover we ended up doing Properties [this was for Algebra 2 so I'm doubling up a lot of review lessons]

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