Saturday, May 19, 2012

Finding Time in Math

Celebrating "Thinking Puzzles" on Friday has been a huge part of my students math class this year.  I have a box of thinking puzzles.  They are puzzles that typically have 6-8 pieces and when placed together correctly form a square or triangle.  I originally purchased these for "back in the day" when I used to do centers in the morning.  However, I needed to find time on Friday especially for small group reteaching.  Finding "time" is so hard for me in math class because we switch students, and I only have my students for an hour a day.  Not that I want more time to teach math, but I have had a difficult time finding time for both ends of the spectrum-reteaching and enrichment.

I have pulled out my bag of tricks for math for third trimester and every Friday we have spent 20-30 minutes allowing students to choose from the math tub.  An unexpected surprise for me was that students wanted the time to choose a math activity, so I noticed some improvements on their math papers. I typically had 2-3 small groups that needed a review of a specific skill that week or I would enrich students who had been extremely successful during the week.  The two pictures on this page are students who continued week after week working on their thinking puzzle and finally completed it!  Here are some additional items that they can choose from:

*Phase 10 ( a card game involving sequenced patterns. I just found out there is an app that  will be getting for class iPad)

*24 Game (an order of operation game - students have to make different equations that = 24)

On our class iPad, some students review past math concepts at Wonderopolis including:
#190 What is a Prime Number?
#162 What is Pi?
How do you find time in math class?  Leave me a comment.


  1. A great resource is called Month to Month Guide (and there is one for each grade). I have it on this post:
    It provides open inquiries and games for each major strand. My students love finding all the ways a knight can sit at a table if the table has different shapes (algebra), playing the game of Pig to find out the probability of rolling a one or double one, or using five rainbow tiles to figure out how many different shapes you can make that are not congruent (geometry). These tasks are listed and up on the board as a "menu" so if I have time to meet with individuals or groups...they can look at the "menu" and work away! I have to rethink my math journal for next year...

  2. Thanks so much for this link. I will add it to my list to check out this summer :)