Tuesday Teacher Tips

Focus on Math - activities, books & technology ideas

Ideas for Daily Math Practice

After our last faculty meeting and a discussion of searching for ways to implement more math practice, I went on hunt for ideas. Here are a few that I found, that you might want to explore.


  • Math Talks - this post at Mrs. McFadden's Classroom Blog is full of example ways you could visually display math expectations for students. It includes anchor charts, free printables for Math Talk Expectations, I can statements, Interactive Notebook reference sheet and a link to a helpful Leveled Math Questions that helps you, as a teacher check for accuracy, understanding and clarity
  • Four Strategies to Ignite Math Instruction by Bill Smith identifies four things you could quickly do to help practice math daily. In the section on Daily Math Warm-ups, Smith discusses having a bulletin board in your classroom and a "Fact of the Day". With the fact of the day students spend some time discussing the number in as many different ways as they can. Smith also discusses using vocabulary, drawing and math workshops.
  • Number of the Day - With the "Number of the Day" format, you can give students a number and then as a warm up ask them to do different tasks with it, like add and subtract 3, spell it out, create a problem where the number would be the solution. Just enter "Number of the Day" on Pinterest or Google, and you will get all kinds of helpful worksheets and posters that will help you integrate the number of the day practice as a daily warn up. Here's an example of how you could use it at the Intermediate level on Teachers Pay Teacher (freebie) and for Primary, scroll through the ideas here on the Original Math Maniac
  • How To: Improve Proficiency in Math-Facts Through a Self Administered Folding-In Technique to help students acquire fluency in math facts you might try the technique described from Interventioncentral.org. In this technique students are given, or create math facts flashcards and then using a dry erase board practices writing answers to math facts. They sort their flashcards into piles of known and unknown and record their progress on sheets. The strategy here includes a checklist with directions and forms for students to log their work.
  • Figure Me Out Math Activity - this is a fun one to add to your "Student of the Week" as a challenge. In this activity you can help students develop pre-algebraic thinking by having them create math problems that their classmates can answer to give them information about a particular student. For example have them create a math problem to help people discover their shoe size, height, birthday etc.

Math-inspiration in Books

There are plenty of ways you can introduce math concepts with picture books. Check out some resources below for ideas:

Math & Tech - Beyond the Drill and Practice App

If you want to work in some use of technology to your daily math practice, some of these ideas might be useful.

A Little More on Coding

Coding can be an excellent way to help students apply math skills. Using coursework in Code.org for example, students can learn about angles in a hands-on way, they have to calculate things in pixels and problem solve.

A few basics on coding and math:

  • The Hour of Code this year is December 7-13. Check out some of these resources below that are specific to math that could get your kids practicing math and coding.

MinecraftEDU and Math

The use of MinecraftEDU to help teach math skills is really exciting. For ideas, skim through the MinecraftEDU World library (all of which we can add to our server). Students do mental math constantly to craft tools and build in the game. To get started, you can harness the enthusiasm they have for the game by giving them simple math challenges such as using a certain number of blocks to build, figuring out the area of something based on Minecraft blocks, or practicing measurement by shooting arrows or throwing snowballs and calculating how far they traveled under different circumstances. Make the most of your lab time by having students plan ahead of time with graph paper. Check out the YouTube videos below for some ideas.
Minecraft Math: Grade 3 Surface Area
Teaching Math With Minecraft (an Education Experiment)
Minecraft Math Lesson: Volume!

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