Little Room Under the Stairs: Educational Math Activities and More

Thursday, January 12, 2017

DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

As a teacher, I always needed something to jot down a note or idea on. I also seemed to have a lot of scrap paper. So I decided to make some scrap paper notepads. You can also use this with new paper.

Materials Needed:
-paper cutter
-rubber cement & binder clips OR binding machine & binding material (wire, coil, or comb)

**Make sure your "scrap" paper does not have any identifying names or information on it. Those papers should always go to the shred pile. I use leftover classroom papers.
DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

Rubber Cement Method
Step 1: Cut your paper to the size of notepad you would like to have. Some suggestions: 4.25 x 5.5 or 5.5 x 8.5.
DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

Step 2: Put all pages together and put binder clips near the top.
DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

Step 3: Apply rubber cement to the top edge of the paper stack. You will need to apply about 5 coats and let dry in between coats.
DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

Step 4: Take clips off and use.

Binding Machine Method
Step 1: Cut your paper to the size of notepad you would like to have. Some suggestions: 4.25 x 5.5, 5.5 x 8.5, or 8.5 x 11.
DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

Step 2: Put all pages together and punch your paper on the side you want to bind.
DIY: Making Scrap Notepads 
You don't need a large machine. Maybe you have a small for scrapbooking and crafts. They work great for small notepads!
DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

Step 3: Attach binding material to your paper stack and use.
DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

What to Do with These Notepads
*notes on your desk or small group table
*keep at computer stations for students to jot down notes, websites, scores, or work out math problems
*put together 1/2 page or full page "scrap notebooks" for students to use in math (easily stored in a folder)
*use new paper and give as gifts

DIY: Making Scrap Notepads

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Best of 2016

Best of 2016, Teachers Pay Teachers, TPT, Math Resources

It's time to count down 2016 and prepare for 2017. Years ago I stopped making resolutions. They never seemed to last very long any ways. So now I just have some hopes and wishes.

For 2017:
I hope for good health and happiness for my family and myself.
I wish each of you a healthy and joyful year. May you move towards fulfilling your dreams in 2017!

From 2016, I wanted to share some top resources that teachers have used in their classrooms this year. They will be 20% off through the end of 2016. You can find them all here

Best of 2016, decimal operations math stations

Best of 2016, fraction decimal percent color with math

Best of 2016, order of operations trashketball

Best of 2016, fraction decimal percent math stations

Best of 2016, one step equations trashketball

Best of 2016, decimal operations color with math

Best of 2016, fraction decimal percent bingo

Best of 2016, add subtract decimals trashketball

Best of 2016, multiply fractions trashketball

Best of 2016, multiply divide decimals trashketball

Friday, December 9, 2016

Day of Giving Back 2017

2016 is winding down. I love spending time reflecting on the events of the past year. It has been a joyful year with family and friends, and I am truly blessed.

For the last few years, Teachers Pay Teachers sellers have been giving back to charities of their choice in December. This year is no different. Look for the wreath around the logos on Sunday, December 11. Those sellers will be giving back to different charities. All of my profits will be going to Operation Warm, a charity that provides coats to children in need. 

Please consider shopping in my store or others that are participating on Sunday, December 11, as we give back to our communities during this holiday season.

A special thank you to Nitty Gritty Science for setting this all up!

May you be blessed today and every day.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Cake Walk Math Style

Cake Walk Math Style | Math Game | Movement in Math | Math Activity

If you've ever been to a school carnival, you've probably participated in a cake walk. You walk around the circle of numbers with music playing. When the music stops, a number is drawn and the person on that number wins a cake. How about we bring that into the math class? No cakes are involved, but you could do a point system or some type of reward. What it will do is get your students up and moving, completing math problems, and having fun in math class.

1) This game will need space! 
2) Create signs with numbers on them. You can have one large circle for all of your students, do smaller circles and group your students, or have your students partner up and walk together. I also suggest having more numbers than students to give a little space.
3) Each student will need a white board, dry erase marker, and eraser that is easy to handle (maybe a marker with a pom pom eraser glued to the end or a tissue).
4) Music! You might try Pandora. I would mix it up with some salsa or tango music. 
5) Small papers, tiles, or bottle caps with numbers on them. One for each number.
6) A list of math problems you want the students to practice.

How to Play:
1) Students choose a spot in the circle with their white board, marker, and eraser.
2) Call out a math problem for students to solve.
3) Give the students some time to solve the problem and then start the music. Once the music starts, students start walking around.
4) After a short amount of time, stop the music.
5) Draw a number and have the student on that number (or closest to) give the answer. If they are right, you could award points or provide a reward.
*You could also have everyone show their answer before confirming the correct answer and award everyone some points for getting it right.

Below is a free download. I'm including some floor numbers and some small "drawing" numbers for your convenience. I suggest laminating for durability. I've also included Evaluating Expressions problem sets (1 with negatives and 1 with negatives). You can use any set of math problems that you are working on. Click here or on the picture to download.
Cake Walk Math Style | Math Game | Movement in Math | Math Activity

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sometimes, You Need a Do Over

Sometimes, You Need a Do Over - Reteaching a Math Lesson, Real Life Math Activity, Fall Party Task Cards

Do you ever have a lesson or activity that just didn't go as planned? I've certainly had my fair share! Here's one activity that really turned into a hands-on, real life activity do-over.

I had been working with my students on decimal operations. For the most part, they understood the concepts and how to use the algorithms. We had even worked with them in word problems. Then it came time for them to show me how they were doing. I put up word problem task cards around the room and had them complete the problems. All of the problems had to do with a real life activity of purchasing items for a Fall Party.

Everyone was working really hard on their problems. Very few students had questions. I helped those out that did by working through the problem and what steps they were going to take.

Then, I graded the papers. Oh, my! It wasn't that they didn't know how to use the standard algorithms to solve their problems. They just didn't understand the concept of buying items, how much it would cost, and getting change.

It was definitely time for an intervention. I took index cards and printed images from the internet and used those materials to create "item cards". I added the price to each card according to the task card. I found some play money in my cabinet and pulled it out. We were now ready to play store and re-enact each task card.
Sometimes, You Need a Do Over, reteaching a math lesson, real life math activity, fall party task cards

Even though these were middle schoolers, I did review how much the coins were worth. I wanted to be sure we all knew. 

I put one task card at a time on the screen. I had one student come and be the cashier and one or more (depending on the task) be the buyer. We read through the word problem, found the "item cards" needed for that task, and worked through what was needed to buy the products and/or make change (depending on the task). 
Sometimes, You Need a Do Over, reteaching a math lesson, real life math activity, fall party task cards

Even though only 2 students or so were involved with acting out each task card, all of the students were engaged in the new activity. They wanted to be the cashier or the buyer. They were figuring out what needed to be done with the "items". And they begged to keep "playing store". 
Sometimes, You Need a Do Over, reteaching a math lesson, real life math activity, fall party task cards

It took awhile to redo the activity, but it was time well spent for a real-life math lesson.


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