Math = Love: Filing Cabinet: Volume 1

Monday, January 30, 2017

Filing Cabinet: Volume 1

I've spent a lot of time lately organizing my activities in individual pockets that I store in a filing cabinet by my desk.  I blogged about how I'm keeping more organized this year here.

So, I've decided to start a new blog series where I share with you a peek into my filing cabinet.  Each volume of this series will include 4-6 activities from my filing cabinet.  I'll either share with you the files I created or share where I found the resource online.

I hope you'll enjoy this peek into what goes on in my classroom!  As of now, my plan is to share the activities in alphabetical order.  That means you're stuck with my number-based activities today. :)

1-100 Challenge from Sara VanDerWerf

This year, I tried Sara VanDerWerf's 1-100 Challenge for the first time on the first day of school.  It was a huge hit!  My students were SUPER-engaged, and it was a great springboard to discuss what groupwork should look like.  You can learn more about this post at Sara's awesome blog.

Here's the general gist.  Students are given a sheet of numbers that *appear* to be randomly arranged.  The first student in the group must color 1.  The second student must color 2.  Students continue going around the group coloring the appropriate numbers.  They can help their teammates find their numbers, but they may not color the numbers for them.  If students are in groups of 4, a colorful pattern will soon emerge if they are paying attention!

1-4-5 Square Challenge

I found this square puzzle on a puzzle site.  I created a printable version using Publisher.  Then, I printed and laminated them to make a class set.  

I give my students three challenges.

Challenge 1: Make a Square Using Exactly 1 Piece
Challenge 2: Make a Square Using Exactly 4 Pieces
Challenge 3: Make a Square Using Exactly 5 Pieces (No overlapping!)

I blogged about this puzzle in more detail here.  You can also find a link to download the file and make your own set.  My students usually have no problem doing Challenge 1 and 2.  Challenge 3 turns out to be a real challenge.  And, I usually only have 1 or 2 students figure it out.  Whenever I use these with my students, I usually have to set a timer to let them know when we will stop.  Otherwise, they will want to keep going, and we'll never get to our lesson!

24 Game

I love the 24 Game, so I was super excited when I found a PDF version with printable cards on the website of Minneapolis Public Schools.  You can read more about this activity here.  The goal of the game is to make the number 24 from the four given numbers.  You may add, subtract, multiply, or divide the four numbers.  Parentheses may also be used.

You can purchase different types of 24 Games from Amazon (affiliate link).  Last month, my husband and I played a couple of rounds of Double Digits (affiliate link) against each other, and some of the problems were super-tricky even for us math teachers!  This is a great activity to use to reinforce the order of operations.

Here's the free printable version I found online:

5-4-3-2-1 Challenge

This challenge was inspired by a puzzle posted by Will Shortz on NPR's website.  The goal of the problem is to use the digits 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 (in that order) to create as many numbers between 1 and 40 as possible.  You can add, subtract, multiply, and divide the numbers.    

I created some recording sheets for my students to use to attempt the puzzle.  This is another great puzzle to practice using the order of operations.

I also made a poster-sized version for a full-class activity.  

I've posted all of the files I created for this activity here.  My students really enjoyed the challenge.  I used it with both my lowest math class (9th graders not yet ready for Algebra 1) and my highest math class (trig).

Hope you've enjoyed this peek at some of the activities in my filing cabinet!

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