HereÕs one to make into a puzzle. Print, cut and have some fun! Or take the next challenge and construct (draw) your own!
Have you ever thought about the mathematics of beading? This challenge will have you thinking about symmetry and all of the ways you can create different necklaces with the same beads.
This is a really interesting problem from NRICH. Please visit their site to find many more rich and engaging math tasks.
HereÕs a journey into codes and cryptography. Have you ever started with a shape and kept adding additional shapes? What happens when you do?
In this task students explore changing areas and patterns of numbers. It is a low floor high ceiling task that can be used with many grade levels. The question posed is : what is the biggest fence that can be made out of 36 pieces of fence?
Our friends at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have created an interesting task where they share data they collected from Blue Whales. We send many thanks to the MBARI scientists and the American Museum of Natural History for creating and posting these wonderful resources. This collection of videos, text passages and interactive data graphs will light up minds as students explore data that has been collected to explain what goes on when a Blue Whale is under the surface of the ocean.
This task reminds us of Four 4Õs because students are practicing number combinations to get specific results.
This problem requires children to think about factors and multiples and, in particular, common factors, but it is not necessary for them to have met this term prior to having a go at the task. It offers opportunities for pupils to ask their own questions, find examples, make conjectures and begin to generalize.
Maybe some of you recall from childhood, discovering a set of 6 little cardboard cards filled with numbers that came as a prize in a Cracker Jack Box? I clearly remember the day I got this prize. I was fascinated that it always worked, playing it over and over again with anyone who would engage me. I carried the cards with me everywhere and eventually they ended up wet mush after spinning through the washing machine in the pocket of my pants. Decades later they were reintroduced into my life. It was Christmas day in London and everyone was excited about Òcrackers.Ó I didnÕt understand the excitement until Jo explained that it was a little game between two people where the winner got a prize Ð not food. Guess what prize I won? The 6 cards were back in my life!
This activity provides students an opportunity to go through the data cycle process focusing on a statistical investigative question based on something students would like to learn about themselves. In our day-to-day experiences we are surrounded by variability and this activity provides students an opportunity to formulate a question that can be answered with data, as they collect, consider, and analyze the data and then interpret and communicate their findings. We are thankful for Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec who shared their Dear Data journey with the world.
This task is an opportunity for students to think about why the rules of exponents work, so they can use them with that understanding, rather than trying to remember rules. The handout has a table with some sections already completed so students can complete the rest by noticing patterns and discussing them.
Many students in the US think of Pi as a number they should memorize, when the most important idea for students to learn is that Pi is a very cool relationship, that exists inside all circles in the world. In this task students will find that relationship themselves, through cutting and folding, and be asked to reflect on it.
This game provides students practice subtracting from 999. Students should be encouraged to check each players work and provide feedback for mistakes. Remember, mistakes are awesome and they make our brain grow!
At youcubed we are so excited to share this activity derived from a problem in Core-Plus Mathematics, Course 1. The problem included here is from Unit 3, Linear Functions, where students explore a small sample data set from the World Health Organization, Global Health Observatory Data Repository, faostat3.fao.org. We love the use of real data as students work, in this case, with linear functions and data.
This has become one of our most popular tasks and we are hearing about all sorts of creative adaptations. Some youcubians have made grids of 400 and added dice, others have adapted it to let the grid represent 100%. Please post how you use this task with your students.
Games provide a fun environment for supporting children in building number fluency. As children learn to play the games, speed should not be the focus. Encourage strategy and ask students to explain their thinking.
In this class activity, students find the missing number to complete a number sentence while also seeing different representations made by other students.
This is a really nice task as it is open to everyone, can be solved in different ways and can also extend to work in combinatorics Ð a nice way of organizing counting. Ask students to work on this task in groups, and to display their results on posters. Often we name studentsÕ different approaches and strategies.
Leo the Rabbit has become a youcubed favorite. It is a great problem for using creativity to illustrate and justify student thinking and it leads to rich class discussion.
Many parents use Ôflash cardsÕ as a way of encouraging the learning of math facts. These usually include 2 unhelpful practices Ð memorization without understanding and time pressure. In our Math Cards activity we have used the structure of cards, which children like, but we have moved the emphasis to number sense and the understanding of multiplication without any time constraints.
In Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh, a hungry snake finds 10 mice on the grass and puts them into a jar. The last mouse cleverly sends the snake on a fruitless hunt for an even bigger mouse and the other mice tip the jar over and escape. In this activity, children investigate the different ways that they ten mice could be arranged when some are in the jar and some are on the grass.
This is a great primary activity from one of our Youcubians, Deb Morton. It encourages class participation and discussion as students explore equality as they move around the room. Deb says, ÒThe students have fun looking at what they did and then realize math is all around us and in our lives everyday. And at the end I have a carpet seating chart complete.Ó
In this task, students work together to create live data visualizations of a dataset about Marvel movies. Each student is given a data card that provides information about one movie, the studentÕs job is to play the part of Òdata pointÓ as the class works to physically organize themselves into ÔliveÕ visualizations of the data. The data provides opportunities for students to organize themselves into bar graphs, histograms, and scatter plots.
This is a task that combines art, mathematics and design. Students are asked to see and design optical illusions, think about the mathematics inside them and pose mathematical questions for their friends.
Students build and draw three-dimensional cubes made up of small unit cubes. Student study patterns by analyzing the number of sides painted of each unit cube, which made up the larger painted cube.
This is a youcubed favorite which comes from Mark Driscoll. The activity encourages students and teachers to engage in visual, creative thinking. We have coupled MarkÕs activity with asking students to reason and be convincing, two important mathematical practices.
This activity allows students to explore how numbers are composed, by having them look at different ways of grouping them. There are many different strategies and methods students can use to come up with a solution. Students can use actual pennies, draw diagrams, and use charts to keep track of their findings. As students explore they will notice many different patterns in the numbers they are exploring.
This is a quick game that can be played to practice addition. It provides fun by tempting a player with making that next roll to get a higher score. Soft dice or an app to simulate a dice roll can make this a quiet activity for fun and practice.
HereÕs a game where students can color patterns in a hundred chart showing multiples of a number they have rolled.
This game provides students an opportunity to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division as they try to reach 100 on a number chart. The game can be modified by adding more dice or using dice with more than 6 sides. Students will have fun playing as well as making up their own rules for a new game.
This task comes from a book in a series of three books by Math Solutions, called Math for All: Differentiating Instruction. ItÕs a good way for students to experience different patterns on a number line. The focus is on patterns and provides students options for picking their own starting numbers. ItÕs great for building vocabulary and thinking mathematically.
This is a paper and pencil version of an old game. It is fun for young children and anyone can enjoy the game of chance mixed with the fun of finding a strategy. There is even more opportunity for conversation about odds and probability.
We often see growth pattern tasks that focus on numerical questions like ÒHow many squares are in the 100th case?Ó or ÒHow many squares are in the nth case?Ó These are good questions, but we only ask them after we focus on what the shape looks like and how it grows. We start by asking students ÒHow do you see the shapes growing?Ó and we ask that they make their answer entirely visual, that they forget about counting and numbers. Color coding is often a great tool for this.
This task comes from a book in a series of three books by Math Solutions, called Math for All: Differentiating Instruction. This is another investigation where students can practice addition and think about combinatorics Ð a nice way of organizing counting. The task ends with asking students to write about their thinking.
It seems that taxis have been a part of my life for years. When I was a teacher and academic in London I would see the iconic Black cabs zipping around the streets of London, and I would occasionally travel in them. It was years later when these Black cabs became important again, as some of the first evidence on the plasticity of brains Ð even adult brains Ð came from studying the brains of drivers of Black cabs in London (see video link below). Researchers found that after their intensive spatial training the brains of the drivers of Black cabs strengthened and grew. Years later I was teaching my freshman class when I met Tessa, who proposed this taxi activity for youcubed.
Jo has used this task with a lot of success on the first days of school with very hesitant students. Soon after setting the challenge the board area becomes full of students putting up their solutions, then returning to their seat to look for more. For students, it is a very safe and non threatening activity. It builds number sense and is a fun challenge. This task is also a really nice way of helping students become comfortable sharing their work in front of the class. The first appearance of four 4Õs was in English mathematician: WW Rouse BallÕs Mathematical Recreations and Essays in 1892, and then revisited by Constance Reid in ÔFrom Zero to InfinityÕ in 1955.
This is a great game with lots of strategy. High school students enjoy playing! The game provides a great way to practice and build fluency in single digit multiplication. If a player needs support, tools like calculators and times tables can be provided. We have also included two versions of the game board, one 6 x 6 grid and the other an 8 x 8 grid. During and/or after playing students can discuss strategies. During play students can justify their product at each turn through words, symbols or pictures. Students will also enjoy making up their own rules for new games.
This game is a great way to practice and build fluency with the addends 0 Ð 12. As students develop new strategies they will begin to use subtraction. Encourage students to discuss, write about or illustrate their strategies after they have played. You can also ask students to explain why they are choosing their addend and to justify the sum of their addends during play.
This task helps students build number sense as they practice calculating. The task has more than one solution which is nice. At the end it asks students to write a clue that gives the task only one solution.