The Calendar Problem

Topics: Multiplication, addition, Materials: Calendar, Hundreds chart, pencil and paper, calculator (optional) Common Core: 4.OA.1, 4.OA.3, 4.OA.5, 4.NBT.5, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP6, MP7, MP8 How can you add up these numbers so quickly? Why we love this lesson Simple to launch, instantly engaging and accessible, this puzzle is a beautiful demonstration of the usefulness of multiplication. Not only that, figuring …

Target Number

  Math Concepts: Arithmetic, equivalencies Equipment: pencil & paper Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Common Core: Variable, but especially OA, i.e., 1.OA.C.5, 2.OA.B.2, 3.OA.C.7 Time: 5 – 15 minutes You know the answer. What’s the question? Why We Love Target Number This is a quick check-in that adjusts to the abilities of each student, allows for creativity and arithmetic practice together, and …

The Power of 37

Topics: Multiplication, patterns, Materials: Pencil & paper Common Core: 4.NBT.1, 4.NBT.5, 5.OA.1, 5.OA.2, 5.NBT.5, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP6, MP7, MP8. How does multiplying by 37 have this strange effect? This problems in multiplication is designed to give students the practice they need once they understand the basic idea of multiplication, with a context to provide motivation and deeper understanding. The …

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Number Talks

Topics: Mental math, numerical fluency; argument & critique Materials: White board or projector Time:5 – 15 minutes Common Core: Variable, but especially MP3 This mental math routine creates powerful positive habits for students. Why We Love Number Talks Number talks don’t replace other instruction, but they are a powerful complement to it. They get all students involved, help them strengthen fluency, intuition, …

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Math Games and Movement Breaks

  Topics: addition, subtraction Materials: none Recommended grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4 Common Core: K.OA.A.2, K.OA.A.4, K.OA.A.5, 1.OA.C.6, 2.OA.B.2 When kids get antsy, it is time to break out these quick, fun, physical math games. They are perfect for a class break between stations, or a moment of flagging energy. Why We Love These Games Getting kids moving is a …

Horseshoes (+/-)

Topics: Addition, subtraction, estimation, comparisons. Materials: Card deck, pencil and paper, white board/document camera. Grades: 2, 3, 4 Common Core: 2.NBT.B.5, 3.NBT.A.2 How close can you get to the target number with the digits provided? Why We Love Horseshoes Horseshoes combines arithmetic practice with complex thinking. Students make their own choices about how to combine the four numbers and get immediate feedback …

Broken Calculators

Topics: Addition, Subtraction, Skip Counting, Multiplication, Logic Materials: Scratch paper and pencil, handouts (optional) Recommended Grade: 3, 4 Common Core: 3.OA.A.3, 3.OA.A.4, 3.OA.B.5, 3.OA.D.8, 3.OA.D.9, 4.OA.A.4, 4.OA.C.5, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP6, MP7, MP8 Something is wrong with the calculators in each lesson. Can students reach the target number despite the broken buttons? Why We Love Broken Calculators The premise is simple, but …

Counterexamples

Topics: logic, deduction, mathematical argument, communication Materials: None Recommended Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Common Core: Variable, but especially MP3 Proving the teacher wrong. Rigorously. Why We Love Counterexamples Every kid loves to prove the teacher wrong. With Counterexamples, they get to do this in a productive way, and learn appropriate mathematical skepticism and communication …

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Blockout

Topics: Multiplication, area, strategy, addition. Materials: Crayons, Blockout game sheet Recommended Grades: 3, 4 Common Core: 3.OA.A.1, 3.OA.C.7, 3.MD.C.6, 3.MD.C.7 Roll the dice and shade in a rectangle. How can you claim the most space on the board? For 2-4 players. Why We Love Blockout This is one of those rare games that reinforces both the skill of multiplication and the …

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Multiplication Table Sums

Topics: Multiplication, summation, patterns and structure Materials: Multiplication table, pencil and paper Grade: 4, 5, 6 Common Core: 4.OA.1, 4.OA.3, 4.OA.5, 4.NBT.5, 5.OA.2, 5.OA.3, 6.RP.1, 6.EE.1,  MP1, MP2, MP3, MP6, MP7, MP8. This is a great puzzle for kids who have some comfort with multiplication but still need to deepen their understanding. It gets them looking at the multiplication table …