By: Carmen Willings
The activities identified here are designed to help students gain a thorough understanding of concepts through hands on experiences with materials related to Back to School. All students need to begin math understanding with real materials. Exploration of materials is beneficial in supporting all student’s understanding in mathematical and logical thinking. This will also reinforce concepts being taught throughout the unit and variety of materials to complete math problems will add variety and help students transfer their skills. Select activities based on each students unique learning needs.
Provide students with a collection of crayons, erasers, or other objects related to school. Encourage the students to count various sets. Have the students compare sets to determine which set is greater than, less than or the same as the objects in another group. Count by…
Present groups of crayons to students. Encourage the students to group the crayons together by 2’s to determine if the amount is odd or even. Have students group and count crayons by 5s and 10s to 20, 50, or 100 as able.
Bus Stops On My Way to School
Create a poster or file folder titled "On My Way to School". Draw or create a tactual house in the top left corner of the poster and a school at the lower right corner. Draw or create a tactual road leading from home to the school. Place 10 "bus stops" using Velcro, along the road. Provide the students with Velcro numbers 1-10 and encourage the students to label the stops to school in sequential order.
How Many School Supplies?
Have students determine “how many” in created sets of objects (pencils, erasers, spoons, paper clips, etc.).. Encourage students to write the number that corresponds to the amount in a set on cards labeled with object name. Arrange the cards from least to most. Have the students determine if the amounts are odd or even.
Lunch Assembly patterns
Provide students with sandwich parts using tactually and visually different materials to represent meats, cheese, pickles, lettuce, mustard, bread, etc. as well as empty milk and juice containers, and chip snack bags. Create sandwich assembly cards that depict what goes on certain kinds of sandwiches. Provide lunch trays along with mock lunch order requests. Have students fill orders. For added fun, have the worker ring a bell and announce "order up!" when each order is complete and accurate. For an added challenge use a timer and challenge students to complete a certain number of orders within a specified time.
OPERATIONS & ALGEBRAIC THINKING
Addition & Subtraction Problems
Ask students addition and subtraction questions using school materials. Ask questions involving situations where one is “added to,” taken from,” “put together” and “taken apart”. Add and subtract up to a sum of 5, 10, or 20 as able. Possible questions include, but are not limited to:
If you have 4 pencils and 3 erasers, how many school supplies do you have in all? (change the numbers to challenge students within their abilities)
If you have 8 crayons and give 4 to a friend, how many crayons do you have left?
Place crayons along a bold line and/or tactual number line from 0 to 10 to determine whether the number is closer to 0 or 10. Compare to base ten models to help students make the connection. Use these models to count larger amounts with ease.
Addition/Subtraction Equation Comparison
Using school supplies to create sets, encourage students to compare different equations to determine if equations are true or false.
2 (pencils) + 3 (erasers) = 4(pencils) + 1 (eraser)
Multiplication & Division
Ask students multiplication and division questions using crayons, pencils or other school supplies. For example:
If you have 10 pencils and have to put the same amount in 5 classmates pencil boxes, how many pencils will each student get?
If you want to give 5 classmates 3 crayons each, how many crayons will you need?
Encourage students to either use the objects or base ten models to solve multiplication and division problems.
Using number tiles or cards, encourage students to put together or take apart three digit numbers into hundreds, tens and ones. Consider using crayon boxes that are labeled “hundreds”, “tens”, and “ones”. Use crayons to represent numbers.
The Length Of Materials
Provide students with pieces of chalk, various size pencils, markers, scissors and crayons. Encourage students to measure the length using a ruler, yardstick, meter stick or measuring tape. Encourage other students to identify tools used to measure with. Provide assistance to students as needed to determine how much longer one object is than another. Create a graph to represent the data and determine which items are the longest
How many Crayons Tall are You?
Encourage students to lay on the ground and have peers measure how tall/long they are in crayons. Encourage other students to identify other standard/non-standard tools that can be used to measure with.
Smallest to largest
Compare the materials and arrange from smallest to largest. Encourage students to estimate length using inches, feet, centimeters or meters (or nonstandard units). Provide assistance to students as needed to determine how much longer one object is than another. Create a graph to represent the data and determine which items are the longest.
The Weight Of Materials
Provide students with school supplies. Encourage students to weigh the objects. Compare the materials and arrange from lightest to heaviest. Encourage students to estimate the weights. Encourage other students to identify tools used to measure with. Provide assistance to students as needed to determine how much heavier one object is than another. Create a graph to represent the data and determine which items are the heaviest.
The Volume Of Materials
Have students determine how many crayons, markers, scissors, pencils, or erasers it takes to fill a lunchbox. Have students determine which materials it takes more of to fill the lunchbox.
Provide the students with a variety of cookies (following reading, “If you give a Mouse a Cookie”) and encourage the students to taste each item. PLEASE BE AWARE OF ANY ALLERGIES & SUBSTITUTE ACCORDINGLY!! Ensure there are enough "safe" foods for all students to be able to participate. Complete a chart depicting each item. Have students identify which items they liked and place a smile/frown (or other indicator) on the chart. Keep in mind that tactual smile/frown stickers are available through quota funds from the American Printing House for the Blind. Engage the students in a discussion about the different tastes and textures (salty, sour, sweet, bland, crunchy, soft, etc.). Discuss how results may vary if other classes or family members completed the graph. Encourage the students to read the completed graph and develop a summary sheet. What was the most popular item? What was the least popular? Possible cookies include:
Chocolate chip, M&M, No Bakes, Oatmeal, Nutter Butter, Oreo's, Peanut Butter, Snicker Doodle, Vanilla Wafers
How did you come to school?
Students will complete a graph on how they came to school. Bus? Car? Van? Walk? If all students use the same form of transportation, vary the activity by bus number, color of car, etc.
School Supply to Shadow Match
Encourage students to match real school related objects to shadows, thermoforms or raised line drawings of the object.
Determine the area and perimeter
Assist students in determining the area of objects using materials presented in the unit. Find the area of a table, desk, etc. using nonstandard measurement tools such as crayons and unsharpened pencils. Why are the results different when using different materials? What standard tool can be used to determine the area and perimeter?
The Shape of it
Identify what shapes objects from the unit are similar to. Create shapes using the objects. Are the objects similar in shape to cubes, rectangular prisms, cones, cylinders or spheres. Provide models for comparison. Classify two dimensional shapes by their attributes (quadrilaterals, triangles, number of sides and angles)
Crayon Box Fractions
Provide the number of empty crayon boxes to match the denominator to demonstrate fractions. Use crayons to represent the numerator. Provide a variety of sets in order to help students compare greater than and less than. Add and subtract fractions using the models.