One of my all time favorite ways to get students interested in a new topic is to conduct a museum walk. If you've been reading this blog awhile, you may have heard me share about it before. The idea is that I set out pictures or artifacts about our new topic of study.
Most students start looking for connections or a reason all of these particular pictures are out together. Some just enjoy it and write what they see without any further thought, but all of them are engaged in the task and responsible for participating in their own way!
Interactive writing is such a powerful way for students to communicate and learn from each other. Students still refer to things that classmates wrote because they remember being a part of the process together.
We take it further by writing what makes something a living thing.
Underneath the human's needs picture one little sweetie simply wrote, "sleep". It's rough returning from spring break! We were all ready to take a nap!
In the world of math we are always excited about hands on or game style activities. These two activities are just what the mathematicians ordered to get students up and excited about solving addition and subtraction problems!
This game in the picture below is called chip clip. I have a stack of "bags of chips" with both addition and subtraction on them. I also have 4 chip clips with the sums and differences. Students race the timer to take a bag of chips and solve by placing it under the chip clip that has the correct answer. I mix not only addition and subtraction, but easy and difficulty.
Best. Thinkers. Ever.
After students finish racing the timer and declare their victory, we check the answers. When an entire stack was correct we clipped it to the answer. This comes from my picnic pals unit.
Another game just like this one in simplicity and fun is from my MATH STICKS unit. It is called Popsicle stick!
I wrote a variety of addition and subtraction problems on sticks and students had to race the timer to solve. They place the popsicle stick on the correct mat like a finished ice cream. They begged to do this game over and over! It will definitely be going in a math tub next week!