Little Room Under the Stairs: Educational Math Activities and More

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

What Do You Do with Sticky Notes?

sticky notes in math class, exit tickets, math review

Sticky notes were my favorite thing when teaching. I actually still LOVE them! I sort of have an obsession with them especially the colored ones. So what can you do with sticky notes in the classroom besides all those random notes stuck on your desk and computer?

1) Use sticky notes for a review. Pass a sticky note out to each student. Have students write a math problem on the note they have without the answer. You can be specific about the skill such as write a problem with adding mixed numbers or write a problem that involves finding the area of a triangle. You can also use this as an end of year review or back to school review using skills from the previous year. Collect the notes, and randomly pass them back out to the students for them to solve. OR You can also have students get up, mix around, give their note to someone, and sit back down to solve their new problem. (I'm all about letting students get up and move!) Check answers to see how everyone did.
sticky notes in math class, exit tickets, math review

2) Use sticky notes to create number lines. Give students a small sticky note. Have them write a number from a category (think ordering decimals, integers, fractions, or rational numbers). Divide the students into 2-5 groups depending on your numbers and have them create human number lines. Again students are up and moving in math - BONUS!
sticky notes in math class, exit tickets, math review

3) Give students a sticky note to explain their thinking. Some students get very anxious if they have a whole page to write on. Keeping the explanation space smaller can relieve that anxiety a bit.

4) Do you have students that shut down if they see too many problems on a page? Use sticky notes to cover up some problems on the page. They can remove the sticky notes as they work through the problems.
sticky notes in math class, exit tickets, math review

5) Exit Tickets. No need to print anything off. Pass out a sticky note to each student and have them solve the problem that you put on the board. They can then stick them to a certain board, cabinet door, or wall space as they leave.

Sticky notes just add a little something extra to math. So get yourself a stash of sticky notes and let your students use them! Your students will be excited about math!

Tell me below your favorite thing to do with sticky notes!

Need some more ideas to engage your students in math? Sign up for my newsletter below.

sticky notes in math class, exit tickets, math review


Monday, April 23, 2018

Repurpose Old Games - Poker Chips

Repurpose old poker chips or water bottle caps into a math matching game. You can use a variety of math skills including converting fractions, decimals, and percents. Perfect for your math centers and engaging your students.

It's time for another round of Repurposing Old Games! If you haven't seen Part 1 - Shrek Board Game to Integer Adventure, you can find it here. Part 2 - Connect Four to Decimal 4 in a Row, you can find it here.

Repurposing games saves you money and are really easy to do. Your students will also enjoy a twist on an old game.
Repurpose old poker chips or water bottle caps into a math matching game. You can use a variety of math skills including converting fractions, decimals, and percents. Perfect for your math centers and engaging your students.
Today I have a set of poker chips & cards that I picked up for $3 like new. There are so many things you can do with this set! One idea is to create a matching game.

Materials Needed:
◈ poker chips (you can also use water bottle caps)
◈ address labels, paper circles, or write directly on the pieces
◈ scissors or circle punch if you are cutting
◈ marker

The skill I chose was converting fractions, decimals, and percents. I wrote 2 pieces of the match per address label, cut them out, and stuck them on the poker chips.
Repurpose old poker chips or water bottle caps into a math matching game. You can use a variety of math skills including converting fractions, decimals, and percents. Perfect for your math centers and engaging your students.
Once you have the matches set up, your students are ready to play. You can easily use different colored poker chips to differentiate for your students. This game is perfect for your math stations or math centers.
Repurpose old poker chips or water bottle caps into a math matching game. You can use a variety of math skills including converting fractions, decimals, and percents. Perfect for your math centers and engaging your students.
Are you interested in other fraction, decimal, percent games? You can grab 2 free games below by joining my newsletter. Already receiving my newsletter? That's okay! Just submit your email below.





Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Best of 2017


It's time to count down 2017 and prepare for 2018. Here are my hopes and wishes for 2018.

For 2018:
2017 was a long year full of doctor's appointments after a second diagnosis of Melanoma. Hopefully I will finish my treatments in May 2018. I do hope things go well with the treatment. I hope for health and happiness for my family as well.
For all of you, I wish you a healthy and joyful year. May you enjoy happiness throughout 2018!

From 2017, I wanted to share some of my top resources that teachers have used in their classrooms this year. They will be 20% off through the end of 2017. You can find them all here





Best of 2016, one step equations trashketball

Best of 2016, multiply fractions trashketball

Best of 2016, decimal operations color with math


Best of 2016, fraction decimal percent math stations

Best of 2016, fraction decimal percent bingo

Best of 2016, multiply divide decimals trashketball


Thursday, November 30, 2017

After Tests


So it's test day. You have students that will finish in 20 minutes and others that will take the entire period. What do you do?

Provide your early finishers with some quiet activities they can do at their desks!


These are all perfect to have available for those times you need some quiet in the room. They are activities with an academic focus that can be completed at their desk. The students will enjoy engaging with math even after taking a test!

These are pretty easy ideas to recreate for your students with your skill. If you want to save some time (just print and go), click on the items below.






Thursday, October 26, 2017

Moving in Math with Bingo Extreme

Bingo is a staple game in many math classrooms. It certainly was in my classroom especially on Fridays. My students always enjoyed a game of Bingo and never minded that they had to do some math problems to play.

One day, one of my 8th graders asked if we could make some changes to the rules to make it even more exciting. We talked about it and decided to play an "extreme" style of Bingo that involved movement. 

Years ago, the youth and children's ministry adults at church decided to sit down and play some Uno. We were getting a bit bored and decided to spice it up by moving seats each round. I thought this would be a great addition to our Bingo games! 
  1. How to Play:
    • Students will answer and cover on their Bingo board for the first problem. 
    • After that they will move on your signal to the next desk/board. This movement continues throughout the game until someone gets a Bingo. 
    • Be sure to explain which direction everyone will move in. You do not want chaos! You can have them move clockwise, counter clockwise, or around a grouping of desks. It just depends on your desk set up.
  2. Pass out the Bingo cards and cover pieces.
  3. All students should have a piece of scrap paper and a pencil on their desk for anyone to use. All other stuff should be out of the way to allow for safe movement.
  4. Explain the Process:
  •  The teacher calls out a problem for students to answer. They check their board and cover if they have the answer.
  •  Once everyone has had time to decide, the teacher will say "MOVE" (or give some other signal) and students will move the direction you have gone over already.
  •  The teacher calls out the next problem. Students solve, check their "new" board, and cover if they have it.
     Signal for students to move again.
  •  The process continues until someone has a Bingo.
  •  My students always stood during the entire game.
Students will enjoy the movement during a favorite game!

If you need some math Bingo games, I have several in my store here.


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