Category Archives: Math

3-D Pyramid Ornament

3-D Pyramid Ornament

Submitted by: Rhonda Pena

Create a decorative holiday ornament while reinforcing knowledge of geometric properties.

Goals:

  • Create a decorative holiday ornament
  • Identify the geometric properties of a 3-D square pyramid, including faces, edges and vertices

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: Foam or tag board to cut the pyramid shapes from, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, ribbon, glue and tape.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Cut out a square and 4 identical triangles from the foam or tag board. The triangles should have a side that is the same length as the sides of the square. More-advanced students can try to create a “net” from a single piece of foam or tag board that will simply fold together to form the square pyramid.

Step 2.
Use glue or tape to put together the square pyramid. Hot glue may work best for this step, but be sure to do so carefully with adult supervision.

Step 3.
Decorate the ornaments using pipe cleaners along the edges, pom-poms at the vertices (corners) or anything else you like.

Step 4.
Attach a loop of ribbon and hang!

Furthermore:
As you are making your ornaments, discuss with the students the different attributes of a pyramid. Encourage them to discuss the attributes with their families after taking their ornament home.

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Circle Prints

circleprints

Submitted by: Maria Langis

Children use cups to make circle prints on paper.

Goals:

  • To explore various painting techniques
  • To identify the shape “circle”
  • To practice hand-eye coordination
  • To use fine motor skills

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: plastic or paper cups, various colors of paint, white finger paint paper, construction paper, scissors and glue sticks.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Fill the bottom of trays or plates with a single color of paint (make several colors available). Provide plastic or paper cups to the children. If possible, provide cups of different sizes.

Step 2.
Have the children take their cup and dip the open end into a color of paint. Then, have them press their cup onto their finger paint paper. Repeat using different colors and placing each circle in a slightly different location to create unique patterns.

Step 3.
When the painting is dry, cut around the perimeter of the painting (help the children as necessary).

Step 4.
Using glue sticks, mount the finished painting onto a contrasting color of construction paper.

Furthermore:
Discuss circle shapes with the children. What attributes do all circles have in common? What are some everyday items that are shaped like circles?

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Geometric Builders

geometricbuilders

Submitted by: Vicki Lemanczyk

Children explore geometric shapes using simple, reusable materials.

Goals:

  • To identify, create and copy geometric shapes
  • To identify and recreate letters of the alphabet

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: colored craft sticks, paper, markers, hook and loop circles.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Stick a hook circle to one end of each craft stick and a loop circle to the other end of each craft stick.

Step 2.
On sheets of paper, draw and label a geometric shape. Each sheet should have only one shape. Suggested shapes include square, rectangle, triangle, octagon, hexagon and pentagon. Optional: Laminate each sheet for repeated use.

Step 3.
Give a shape pattern and some hook and loop craft sticks to the children. Have them recreate the shape using their craft sticks.

Step 4.
Adapt this activity to recreate numbers, letters or other patterns.

Furthermore:
Allow the children to build open-ended creations using the hook and loop craft sticks, without providing a shape or pattern for them to follow.

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Daily Math Facts Bracelets

mathfacts

Submitted by: Shannon Griffin

These bracelets are a great hands-on way to learn math facts.

Goals:

  • To teach beginning addition and subtraction
  • To have fun learning math skills with a creative activity

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: pipe cleaners, animal beads or other colorful beads for stringing. Be sure to use beads that have a large enough hole for stringing on a pipe cleaner. Prepare your addition (or subtraction) math problem/fact of the day and write on a white board or chalkboard for the class to see. The teacher may also use math flashcards on the board to display the fact/problem of the day.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Give each child a pipe cleaner and the correct amount of beads they need to solve the math problem/fact you have prepared for the day.

Step 2.
Point to your math problem/fact on the board. Say the problem out loud, for example: 2 + 5 = 7.

Step 3.
Have the children count out the first number of beads, and string on their pipe cleaner. (In this example it would be 2 beads.)

Step 4.
Have the children count the second number of beads, and string on their pipe cleaner. (In this example it would be 5 beads.) Ask them to leave a space in between the two sets of beads temporarily.

Step 5.
Next, have the children push the beads together as they count the beads, and then say the math fact out loud. (“Two plus five equals seven” for 2 + 5 = 7)

Step 6.
Have the children fit the pipe cleaner around their wrist and twist to secure. Be sure to have them twist the ends in a way that prevents them getting scraped by the pipe cleaner.

Step 7.
Now children have a bracelet they can display all day that will remind them of their math fact!

Furthermore:
This is a great way for children to learn basic math skills in a hands-on manner. This activity can also be done with children at home using flashcards or dice to display the addition or subtraction fact.

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“Get to Know You” Graphs

knowyougraphs

Students will have a ton of fun getting to know each other while working on a great math activity.

Goals:

  • To get to know other students in class
  • To have fun while learning math skills

Before You Start:
Prepare supplies needed for activity: assorted large stampers, jumbo washable classroom stamp pads, easel paper roll, yard sticks, black markers and masking tape. Cut the easel paper into strips about 3 feet long. Each sheet of paper will become a “Get to Know You” Graph. Turn paper horizontally, and using a yard stick and black marker, create tall columns for students to stamp. Give the graph a title, for example: “My Favorite Subject”. Label each column with different subtopics/subjects, e.g. math, science, spelling, reading, history and English. Make multiple graphs with different topics, such as “Favorite Foods,” “Favorite Types of Stories,” “Favorite Recess Activity,” Favorite Animal as a Pet,” “Number of Children in My Family,” and label its columns with related subtopics. Lastly, create a key on sheet of paper where each student will stamp their stamper and write their name next to it, so each classroom member will know who is what. Tape the key and the graphs on the blackboard or whiteboard.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Let each student choose a stamper to symbolize them. They will use the same stamper for each graph. Have the students stamp the key with their stamp and write their name next to it.

Step 2.
Have students take turns putting their stamper in the different stamp pads and marking their choices on the graphs.

Step 3.
When it is all complete, student will be able to see what each of their classmates enjoys. (This will be read in a fun pictograph format.) Take time to discuss with the class the “results” of each graph. Ask them questions, such as “What did you learn about your classmates?” or “Did you know that many of you like the same foods?”

Furthermore:
The teacher will be able to see what the classroom likes and dislikes are. For example, the teacher may find out that most of the class enjoys reading mysteries over biographies. This could be helpful for picking out the class a book to read or planning lessons in general.

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Dinosaur Teeth

dinosaurteeth

Submitted by: Maureen Myers

Trachodon (meaning “rough tooth”) is a dinosaur identified only by a few of its fossilized teeth that were found in Montana. This fun, stringing activity is inspired by this little known creature.

Goals:

  • To learn about dinosaurs (especially the Trachodon) and their teeth
  • To promote counting skills and eye-hand coordination
  • To teach measurement, comparison and prediction

Before You Start:
Read a book about this or other dinosaurs and show photos to the children. If possible, make a visit to a museum which has fossils of dinosaurs. Find pictures of dinosaur teeth; try to show children a replica of a dinosaur tooth if possible. Point out how some dinosaur teeth look rough and smooth in different places, and how some are pointed and some are rounded kind of like packing peanuts. Some dinosaurs, like the Trachodon had many large teeth in their very large mouth. Gather items needed for activity: packing peanuts (foam or other), string or yarn, bags for each student to use to divide the packing peanuts into groups of 100 and plastic needles. The teacher may want to cut lengths of yarn/string, tie a knot at one end of each of them, and thread the needles ahead of time.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Let children prepare bags of peanuts by counting them out in increments of 20, 25, 50 or 100, based on their level of math skill. Each child should have their own bag of peanuts.

Step 2.
Give children a length of yarn threaded through a plastic needle. Demonstrate to children how to stick the plastic needle through the peanut and push the peanut along the string/yarn to the knotted end.

Step 3.
Have children string their own peanuts in 20, 50 or 100 increments. Place in a box until you have 2,000 peanuts strung.

Step 4.
When the children have their segments, take them out to the play area for some math, measurement and prediction activities.

Step 5.
Ask children to predict how far all the segments would stretch when they took them outside and connected them. Ask children, “Do you think they will all fit in our play area? Why? How can we make them fit?”

Step 6.
Talk about how large some dinosaurs were again and ask the children to estimate how many segments it would take to be as long or tall as a certain dinosaur. Have the children use their segments strung together to approximate or represent the sizes of various dinosaurs or dinosaur parts. When segments are connected to create various lengths, stop to ask the children how many peanuts there are total, reminding them how many are in each segment.

Furthermore:
This project should be done over a week or more; put it on the math and/or science table and let children work on it as they choose. Segments can be strung together to approximate sizes of many other objects such as vehicles or large animals, to measure playground equipment, or to see how long all the children are when lying down head to toe.

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How Tall is a Baby Giraffe?

babygiraffe

Submitted by: Darlene Taig

This activity can be a great extension of a story read during circle time that introduces the giraffe to children.

Goals:

  • To acquaint children with a new animal
  • To encourage creativity and self esteem
  • To build fine motor, language and math skills
  • To introduce scientific concepts about giraffes

Before You Start:
At circle time, read a story that includes images of mother and baby giraffes. Point out their height to the children and ask who they think is taller, a human child or the baby giraffe (calf). (Note: a giraffe calf is 5 to 6 feet tall at birth. The mother is about 18 feet.) Next, prepare all supplies for project: bulletin board paper, scissors, black markers, yellow watercolor paint, brown tempera paint, paint rollers, measuring tape, paint smocks, paint sponges, paint trays, clothespins, scraps of black and brown yarn, glue and a mat or newspaper to protect the work surface from paint. This activity can be done outside or inside.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Have children help measure 5 feet of butcher paper using a measuring tape. If appropriate, have one or two of the children help cut the paper off the roll.

Step 2.
Have children wear paint smocks. Give everyone paint rollers, and ask them to paint the paper with yellow watercolor.

Step 3.
After paper dries (or the next day) ask the children for ideas on how to make the paper look like a giraffe. Ask questions that will help lead the children to the conclusion that the painted paper can be cut into the shape of a giraffe. Note: the teacher should draw a giraffe on the paper and cut out per children’s directions, making sure the baby giraffe remains approximately 5 feet tall.

Step 4.
Ask the children what else the shape needs to make it look more like a giraffe. For example, does it need spots? Does it need a mane?

Step 5.
Have children use sponges and brown paint to add spots (some children may add handprints to look like spots).

Step 6.
Children can add a mane and a tail by using leftover yarn. Eyes can be added with black marker. Hang your class giraffe on display in the classroom.

Furthermore:
Extend the activity by measuring children next to the giraffe on the wall to show them how much taller the giraffe is compared to their height. Have children write their names on a card and display it on or near the giraffe at their measured heights. If preferred, you can start this activity using a yellow roll of paper, but white paper will provide a more open-ended option.

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