Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Celebrating Math-A-Palooza with First Grade Buddies

"I never knew math could be that fun" exclaimed Joey.
Who knew that gumdrops could make a decagon?
Let me help you count your skittles into groups of 2.

These were just some of the conversations that we (Shelly and I) heard during Math-A-Palooza during the last week of December.  Again, I am thankful for my friend, Shelly because she thinks math.  Our students had a wonderful time of reviewing and previewing several math strategies. 

Practicing place value, the students drew a number out of a bowl and had to build it using graham crackers, pretzel sticks and gum drops.  The students then had to write their number on a dry erase board in word form, standard form and expanded form. Finally they got to each their number.

Using their skittles, both first and fifth graders separated them into color groups and recorded how many they had.  The first graders built their own bar graph and the fifth graders built a circle graph.  They enjoyed this activity and began to have conversations about how the graphs were similar and different.

Bet you can't catch me I am the gingerbread man!  This station focused on measuring.  The first graders used the large gingerbread man and the fifth graders used the smaller one right under the measuring tape in the photo. First the first graders  had to measure the stage and record their results. Next  the fifth grader measure the stage but had to predict first based on the results of the first grader's measurement.  Finally, they had to measure themselves using the measuring tape and predicting how many gingerbread men that would be.  It was fun to listen to the conversations about how the two gingerbread were connected in size.

If you teach intermediate and you don't have math buddies, I strongly encourage you to try and find a primary class to buddy up with for 2013.  If you're lucky enough to find Shelly who loves math that is the best present of all!


  1. Awesome! I'm passing this idea along to my math colleagues. Thanks, Maria!

  2. Thank you for sharing. It's good to have someone nudging us forward. Reading your post made me envision my fourth graders meeting with first graders.